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The last several years have represented an interesting journey for organizations and teams leveraging Cognos for analytics. During that time, visual data discovery tools have made a significant impact. However, as of late, we have seen the pendulum swing back to concepts introduced by enterprise BI tools long ago.¹ What’s old is new again.

When these new tools arrived, they challenged both the status quo and what many of us saw as an ideal solution to the localized, ungoverned, manually-intensive, and often error-prone data manipulation (i.e. “shadow analytics”) processes of the past. If we think back to the dawn of the modern business intelligence age in the mid 1990’s, we realize that these challenges are what tools like Cognos were developed to solve. Read more

Many Finance professionals are faced with the daily task of solving problems. Whether they come from IT Services, the Business Intelligence team, or even the next cube over, we can never seem to fix enough.

The first, and most important step in solving problems is to identify them, otherwise known as Root Cause Analysis. The “5 Whys” methodology is far and away one of the most efficient methods for honing in on and conceptualizing the root cause of any dilemma you might come across.

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One size does not fit all. Try as they might, there is not a single BI platform that can offer every capability that users require. With organizational complexity increasing, and the growing demand for self-service analytics, it has become commonplace, even recommended, for organizations to maintain multiple BI platforms to meet the needs of people in diverse roles with differing needs across the organization. Read more

Governance is the ongoing process of creating and managing processes, policies, and information. This includes strategies, processes, activities, skills, organizations, and technologies for the purpose of accelerating business outcomes. It also involves creating organizations, roles and responsibilities to perform this management. In our experience, many organizations address governance once and often without completing the necessary tasks. Organizations that excel in data and analytics governance continuously manage the process on an ongoing basis. Read more

According to ‘The Economist’, data is the new oil. It is now the world’s most valuable resource. The volume of data available to organizations to capture, store, and analyze has changed the ways in which organizations address innovation, and analytics is a true competitive differentiator.

Unfortunately, business analysts, data scientists, and other line of business users performing self-service analytics are spending a majority of their time preparing data for analysis rather than actually garnering and sharing the insights to be found in it (1), even with the help of self-service data prep tools like Alteryx, Trifacta, and Tableau’s Maestro (coming soon). Read more

Ironside’s Greg Bonnette was featured in NRF’s Magazine, STORES, in the article titled “Mapping Crime Risks: Location data helps specialty retailer minimize loss and maximize sales.” written by Liz Parks in September 2017. Read more

Being the sole data champion within your organization can present difficulties when you’re vying for limited company resources and attention from the “powers that be.” No doubt, you may find the role to be frustrating at times. Yet you may also find the role to be extremely rewarding, because it gives you a great deal of responsibility and offers you with the opportunity to achieve the goal that every data champion aspires to: Gaining user buy-in of the data insights you’ve unlocked. Read more

Ironside’s Ray Haddad published an article on LinkedIn titled “Applications of Nonlinearity in Life and Customer Analytics” in August 2017.

 

What’s the best way to hold on to your customers in a competitive marketplace?

That’s a classic business question, for which Ray Haddad uses an innovative methodology to provide surprising answers in this just-posted article. Ray, an Account Executive in Data and Analytics Strategy at Ironside, initially poses a hypothetical question to serve as an example of this methodology in action: Are you inclined to think that increasing your automotive speed from 60 MPH to 120 MPH will save you more time in getting to your destination than by increasing it from 10 MPH to 20 MPH? Read more

For many, the word “audit” brings a range of negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. But does it need to be that way? After all, an audit is essentially a diagnostic or check of the business processes and results that exist in a company. Hence, it should be viewed as essential to business success.

Before we joined Ironside’s consulting ranks, we went through multiple audits as compensation administrators and found that preparation and good software were essential to our success. Both the preparation and software are vital to providing auditors with what they love to see — namely, a record of activity. In the example shown below, the software being used provides key details of what changed in updated records. Read more

Many TM1 users have cubes with rules associated with historical data or completed plan versions and are needlessly recalculating their data on a continuous basis. This creates an unnecessary performance drain, and to make matters worse, what happens when the business rules change? Do you change history? Do you make rules overly complex by adding a time or version component to all of your rules? Using a few simple steps, this data could be “frozen” or made static, resulting in faster response time, less RAM consumption, and alleviating issues when business rules change. In this article, we will explain how to go about freezing this data. Read more

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