In 2017, over 50 percent of business users and analysts have access to self-service business intelligence (BI) tools, and companies using analytics are five times more likely to make fast decisions, according to recent surveys.
If your company isn’t part of the growing number of organizations using business analytics to drive decision making, you’re missing opportunities. And while you may believe your business is too small or unsophisticated to benefit from business intelligence, we can tell you from experience that this is not the case. There is a lot to learn and understand, but the basics of BI apply to every organization that generates data, which every organization does.
OLAP Cube Myths
BI begins and ends with data—not just how the data is collected, but also how it’s stored, organized, and accessed—and as such, one of the key components behind BI is OLAP Cubes.
OLAP Cubes provide an easy way to take advantage of BI without the need to understand underlying database structures. Solutions utilizing cubes have evolved rapidly over the last few years, and if you’re still holding onto some of the historical concerns about employing OLAP Cubes, it’s time to think again.
You can start by allowing us to dispel the top three myths about OLAP Cubes we run into every day working with thousands of customers.
Myth #1: Cubes require months of planning and implementation before they are of value.
As recently as a few years ago, this myth was true: It would take months or years for organizations to develop and deploy cubes, and then even more time to realize value. This is no longer the case. Today, solutions like insightsoftware’s Jet Enterprise enable organizations to install and run Cubes in two hours or less for companies running Microsoft Dynamics NAV, GP, or AX as their ERP.
With pre-built Cubes, it’s a snap from deployment to running your first report, without the months and months of planning. This means time to value is significantly shortened and opportunities for refinement are much more significant.
Myth #2: Customizing Cubes is slow and difficult.
While this used to be the case, advances in technology and the development of business intelligence products have changed that reality. While complicated data warehousing systems are still very much a thing, tools like data warehouse automation have given more flexibility to organizations that don’t employ programmers and analysts with deep knowledge of various data platforms (SSAS, SSIS, and T-SQL, to name a few).
Tools like the Jet Data Manager allow you to customize or create Cubes in a simple drag-and-drop interface, eliminating the need for programming knowledge. You can add dimensions or create unique measures on the spot and apply these into the Cubes, often in minutes.
Myth #3: Cubes are a luxury available only to large companies with BI development teams and large budgets.
Another myth that plagues the business intelligence community is that OLAP Cubes are reserved for enterprise-level organizations that have large teams and even larger budgets. This is simply not true. We have long since evolved past that point, and organizations of all sizes are now leveraging OLAP Cubes and BI in countless ways.
As of mid-2016, insightsoftware had more than 1,100 customers running cubes, from large multi-national corporations to small non-profits and everyone in-between. That’s proof you no longer need to be a large company with a BI development team to take advantage of the incredible value of OLAP Cubes. By utilizing the power of Cubes and business intelligence, organizations big and small are easily achieving double-digit revenue growth and beyond.
You’re Ready for Cubes
Cubes are a tremendous benefit because of the way they are structured; the heavy lifting is already done through precalculation. If you want to learn more about OLAP Cubes and how they can benefit your company, read OLAP Cubes 101: An Introduction to Business Intelligence Cubes and see how insightsoftware can give your organization fast access to the data you need to drive smart business decisions.