Business Intelligence Makes for Smart Businesses

Business Intelligence, or BI, is a concept that usually involves the delivery and integration of business information in an organization that can be useful for making decisions. Every organization has multiple departments, and each database may only contain information that is relevant to its own department.  Business Intelligence involves the use of customer information, sales data, statistics, product movement, profitability, etc. Companies use BI to detect significant events and identify and monitor business trends in order to adapt quickly to their changing environment and a scenario. If you use effective business intelligence training in your organization, you can improve the decision making processes at all levels of management and improve your tactical strategic management processes.

Regardless of whether you run an established and successful business, or a new startup, your organization needs the ability to make informed decisions through proper data analysis.

1. Boost productivity. Through traditional data gathering methods, users need to compile and analyze data and write related reports. This can be incredibly time consuming, especially for small businesses that may not have the employees to do it. With a BI program, you can pull data and create the reports at the click of a button thus freeing up time and resources allowing employees to be more productive on their own tasks.

2. To gain sales & market intelligence. A CRM is a useful tool for sales and marketing people. A CRM solution collects data about clients and presents it in a way for you to solution collects the data about your customers and tries to make sense of it. You get insights on new prospects, existing customers, and post sales services. 

3. Results closer to established goals. How many times have you established a set of seemingly reasonable goals for a project or other venture, only to end up with an outcome that is drastically different? With BI you can keep track of information, and have it accessible by parties that need it, when they need it. BI goes a long way in helping achieving what you aim for.

4. Return on Investment BI will help a company decrease operating costs and lower overhead costs. For example, if a company is looking to save on storage costs, they are able to see a visual chart of how much they have saved this year compared to previous years. Companies are able to better dictate if they are on track with their new goals and projections. 

5. Gain insights into consumer behavior. One of the main advantages of investing in BI and skilled personnel is the fact that it will boost your ability to analyze the current consumer buying trends. Once you understand what your consumers are buying, you can use this information to develop products that match the current consumption trends and consequently improve your profitability.

6. To improve visibility.  If you want to improve your control over various important processes in your organization, Business Intelligence will improve the visibility of important processes in your organization and make it possible to identify areas that could use improvement.  

7. Turn information into actionable information. A BI system is an analytical tool that can give you the insight you need to make successful strategic plans for your organization. This is because such a system would be able to identify key trends and patterns in your organization’s data and consequently make it easier for you to make important connections between different areas of your business that may otherwise seem unrelated.

Data must be configured to display trends and statistics. Data visualization makes data legible and allows the user to be able to decipher the meaning of it. Business Intelligence Dashboard displays reports on what the company is doing and it shows a breakdown of how each department is doing. Businesses are able to get a centralized view of where they are saving money, and where they are spending too much. 

There are so many important parts to a business, and even though some parts appear to be silos, every part ties into one another. It is important to understand these subtle connections and look at your organization's data from a centralized view through data analytics. It's understanding the subtle connections that can make the difference between a company that excels to the top of the market, and one that makes poor decisions due to not using its data to the fullest potential. 

 

6 Ways Information Governance Uncovers Valuable Data

Information governance makes a positive contribution to businesses. Businesses can leverage information governance to create new income by using big data mining techniques to acquire valuable corporate data.

The maximum value of big data is realized when the output of computing is efficient at creating new wealth. It is important to find meaningful data among a bulk of information. That way businesses can see the bottom line benefits of making the business case for big data governance.

Ultimately, information governance should be "the rules-based management of digital information that connects to the advancing, the wealth creation, and wealth preservation goals of an organization.” The key is to uncover hidden data through big data mining because this can help efficiently filter data to find what is actually worth taking a look at.

For big data analytics to be successful, information governance rules must be followed closely by every person in an organization. Think of big data analytics as a machine, where the engines are performing calculations on the numbers, but they can only do this with correct input -- the data has to qualify, it has to meet the rules that are useful for the engine to compare to find the patterns, and if the data does not qualify, it is useless.

1. Data must conform to rules

Information must be first validated. Then data needs to be compared with the rules in order to decide whether or not to pass it through to the analytics engines that are being operated.

2. Locate sources of new data

This includes warehouse data, graph data, text data and multimedia data. Event record logs, where every machine and application creates records of how they perform their function, are also an important part of information governance because they allow information governance officers to see what has happened to the data. Records can hold important information such as who used what device to type specific keystrokes, and what authentication sequences were carried out.

3. Establish rules for defining event logs

The information governance process should be seen as a front-end process rather than a back-end one. It is important for information governance experts to be involved in making the rules for governing information and handling data provenance. The systems being used today are designed and engineered without the realization of how to utilize their output -- their performance data and event logs, to create new channels of revenue.

4. Data provenance aligns with the rules you set

Data provenance is the records of the entities, people and processes involved in producing a piece of data. It is important because it allows information to be more easily identified as being what it purports to be. Understanding the data’s provenance makes the data much more valuable.

5. Provenance chains together to improve the value of data for analytics

Data provenance improves the value of information intelligence by eliminating excess validation. The validation exercise requires checking the metadata. It chains together so that the result is the net outbound data coming through systems that have been enhanced with information governance policies.

6. Effective information governance requires engineering the information life cycle

This helps with the business’s efficiency. Information governance should be a part of the engineering life cycle because this will allow for opportunities to discuss each data asset’s revenue opportunity.

 

Big Data Drives ECM Market Boom

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Researchers predict that the global ECM market will grow between 15-20% by 2020. Market growth is being largely boosted by the need for big data governance. Currently, enterprises are growing at a rate of 30%-40% every year, which makes it crucial for organizations to have effective and efficient solutions for document lifecycle management, compliance, and security.

INCREASED NEED TO COMPLY WITH REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS

One major need for ECM’s these days is the increased need for companies to comply with regulatory requirements. Organizations must follow regulatory requirements to manage corporate data. The US Government has been enforcing policies on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the US, and data breach notification laws that companies need to comply for conducting business effectively.

Since enterprises in the banking, insurance, and healthcare sectors deal with sensitive information, they should develop ECM policies that comply with external regulations. Cloud-based ECM reduces costs when compared with isolated regulation-specific compliance programs. Cloud-based ECM practices enable organizations to align their data use and communication, record management, and information security policies efficiently. To avoid the hassle of adhering to complex regulatory reforms that are constantly changing and resulting in decreased productivity, organizations are increasingly adopting ECM programs.

Although ECM sales are expected to grow, the report states that one challenge that could curtail market growth is the reluctance to adopt new systems. The following areas of ECM are expected to grow:

·         Exponential growth in data

·         Increased need to comply with regulatory requirements

·         High demand for dynamic documents

·         Increased collaboration and effectiveness

EXPONENTIAL GROWTH IN DATA

Various industries are going through positive transformations due to benefits such as improved innovations in products and services, customer service, cost savings, and enhanced capabilities in decision-making. This has also resulted in exponential growth of corporate data. For example, the healthcare industry has been generating large volumes of digital data due to rapid digitization of manual patient records, fueled by legislative regulations and the need to provide better patient care at low costs.

Organizations face pressure to store data securely with reduced costs and improved efficiency. Therefore, cloud-based information management infrastructure is a viable option for many organizations due to benefits such as low cost, with minimal IT infrastructure support, rapid and predictable implementation, automatic and seamless upgrading, and ease of leveraging cloudbased data across organizations.

INCREASE IN DEMAND FOR DYNAMIC DOCUMENTS

The increase in mobile devices and software has helped organizations create content. Organizations rely heavily on digital media for most of their work, which increases the demand for document solutions. This is driving organizations to shift from static documents to dynamic documents. Dynamic documents are more interactive and include buttons, embedded calculations, links, and content such as images, videos, drawings, embedded web pages, and forms.

INCREASED COLLABORATION AND EFFECTIVENESS

One of the most important advantages of using ECM solutions is increased collaboration and effectiveness. Improved collaboration is related to sustainability in the sense that it aids the common effort to accomplish corporate goals. It also improves social integration of corporate environments, especially across different departments and geographic locations. As every multi-national company faces problems related to fragmentation and isolation of various components, collaboration offered by ECM tools can offer a powerful remedy by means of collaboration through portal structures. Every large company deals with issues related to fragmentation and isolation of various components. Therefore, ECM tools can provide a great means for collaboration.  

Increased efficiency comes from the idea of making information available to every user in an organization in an integrated and personalized way. Integrated and personalized information factor is dependent on the job role of the user, and therefore, also helps improve job performance.

 

 

 

The Dark Overlord

Last year, the biggest breach in healthcare occurred at the second largest insurer in the US-Anthem. The names, social security numbers, addresses, emails, employment info, and income data was stolen.

As of this week, there has been another data breach from an anonymous hacker who goes by the name of thedarkoverlord. This hacker has breached 3 different healthcare databases ranging from 50,000 to 400,000 patients and is offering to sell patients’ medical records.

Each and every employee of an organization has a trail of records, documenting information from the moment they are hired to the moment they leave. Organizations must understand the responsibility they have to protect both their client and employee information. Healthcare is an industry where they have had trouble keeping information confidential. The best defense mechanism against hackers is to implement security measures through an ECM – one with specific requirements, that is.

PICKING THE RIGHT ECM

Your ECM should also provide document authentication, integrity and privacy. It should be able to encrypt data and documents in a way that makes them only accessible through using the ECM directly.

1.      Your ECM should have access controls for admins to put permissions on users. A hacker would need to crack the admin level access in order to change the permissions.

2.      A retention tool that allows for records managers to destroy or archive documents so that confidential information is not sitting around when it shouldn’t be.

3.      Audit trails and reporting tools to show transparency for all user activity and changes to documents.

4.      Disaster recovery capabilities – your ECM data should all be backed up in case of a disaster so that your information is preserved.

5.      E-signatures in order to verify the authenticity of the documents and specify the owner of the documents.

Apart from internal ECM features, there are a few things you can do to add another layer of security to your organization:

1.      check for 3rd-party security audits

2.      ensure that each software release is scanned with a professional security tool

3.      optionally, contract for your own 3rd-party audit

If your company does not currently have an ECM or is running on an outdated one, chances are, you probably have already experienced a data breach. It’s time you migrate your data to a modern solution. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a foolproof security system, but with an ECM, chances of hackers breaking into your database to steal information are much slimmer.

 

 

Robo-advising, the New Steam Engine

THE AUTOMATED AGE

With financial advisors charging hundreds by the hour for investment recommendations, a new, low-cost alternative has been invented. Robo-advising is here to replace traditional wealth management services. Big brands are looking to invest in robo-advising, an automated investment advisor based on algorithms. Robo-advising spans over a wide spectrum, from robo-advice, which pulls information on lifestyle, goals, risk profile and savings to recommend investments, to robo-investing, which refers to cases where algorithms select and a portfolio for the person. The sector for robo-advising and robo-investing is predicted to increase by 68% annually, which adds up to a whopping $2.2 trillion globally by 2020.

In comparison to the investment world, FileTrail has incorporated its own robo-advising into information governance - our auto-classification feature. It is essential for records managers and information governance officers to enforce classification policies and retention schedules to avoid the formidable question all records managers ask: What is safe to destroy and what is safe to keep? 

Just as traditional human-advised investments are becoming obsolete, manual classification is the last thing users want to worry about. At the core, the issue is that the user must understand the information in order to determine how it must be classified, why it must be retained, how long it must be retained, and when it can be disposed. Managing the retention and disposition of information reduces litigation risk, reduces discovery and storage costs, and ensures organizations maintain regulatory compliance. 

Currently, most companies are still struggling with automation. They are using manual classification, which is often inaccurate and inconsistent, leading to increased costs, litigation risks, and productivity loss. Auto-classification eliminates the need for users to classify and sort through an organizations vast database of records while establishing compliancy and consistent protocol for all users to put records on a retention schedule.

In the coming years, companies should move towards reconstructing their ECM and records management systems or migrating their data to new cutting-edge solutions. With the volume of data growing exponentially in the next few years, a modern information management system is vital for a company to stay organized and efficient.