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The world has changed dramatically over the course of a single month, and companies are struggling even more with things that have historically challenged them:

  • Finding the best people to run, build and innovate on their analytics tools and data
  • Making these environments accessible to employees in a work-at-home model

In this Forbes article, Louis Columbus cites a recent Dresner survey that shows up to 89% of companies are seeing a hit to their BI and Analytics budgets due to COVID-19. The survey includes these two recommendations:

Recommendation #1

Invest in business intelligence (BI) and analytics as a means of understanding and executing with the change landscape.

Recommendation #2

Consider moving BI and analytical applications to third-party cloud infrastructure to accommodate employees working from home.


89% of companies are seeing a hit to their BI and Analytics budgets due to COVID-19.


We’re here to help you explore your options.

Now that the role of analytics is more important than ever to a company’s success, analytics leaders are again being asked to do much more with much less — all while companies are experiencing staff reductions, navigating the complexities of moving to a work-from-home model, and struggling to onboard permanent hires.

To address these short-term shortages (and potentially longer-term budget impacts), companies are naturally evaluating whether leveraging a managed-service approach — wholly or even just in part— can help them fill their skills gap while also reducing their overall spend.

As they weigh this decision, cost, technical expertise, market uncertainty and the effectiveness of going to a remote-work model are all top-of-mind. Here’s how these factors might affect your plans going forward:

Factor 1: Cost

As the Dresner number showed, most analytics teams need to reduce spend. Doing this mid-year is never easy, and usually comes at the expense of delayed or canceled projects, delayed or cancelled hiring, and possibly even staff reductions. All of these decrease a company’s analytics capabilities, which in turn decreases its ability to make the right business decisions at a critical time. A managed services approach to meeting critical analytics needs, even just to address a short-term skills gap, can provide valuable resources in a highly flexible way, while saving companies significant money over hiring staff and traditional consulting models.

Factor 2: Technical Expertise

A decade ago, your options for analytics tools and platforms were limited to a handful of popular technologies. Today even small departments use many different tools. We have seen organizations utilizing AWS, Azure, and private datacenters. Oracle, SQL Server, Redshift all at the same company? Yes, we have seen that as well. Some of our customers maintain more than five BI tools. At some point you have to ask: Can we hire and support the expertise necessary to run all these tools effectively? Can we find and hire a jack-of-all trades?

In a managed services model, companies can leverage true experts across a wide range of technology while varying the extent to which they use those resources at any particular time. As a result, companies get the benefit of a pool of resources in a way that a traditional hiring approach simply cannot practically provide.

Factor 3: Effectiveness of Remote Work Engagement

If you weren’t working remotely before, you probably are now. Companies are working to rapidly improve their processes and technologies to adjust to a new normal while maintaining productivity.

Managed service resourcing models have been delivering value remotely for years, using tools and processes that ensure productivity. Current events have not affected these models, therefore making them an ideal solution for companies  trying to figure out the best way to work at home.

Times are changing. We’re ready!

Ironside has traditionally offered Managed Services, to care for and maintain customer platforms and applications, and consulting services, to assist in BI and Analytics development.

Companies can leverage our Analytics Assurance Services temporarily, for a longer period of time to address specific skills gaps, or to establish a cloud environment to support remote analytic processes.

With Ironside, you can improve your data analytics within your new constraints, while reducing your costs. We’d love to show you how.

Contact us today at: Here2Help@IronsideGroup.com

This year’s IBM Insight conference has been chock full of many exciting announcements so far, including news about the next version of Cognos BI – Cognos Analytics.

Scheduled for general release by the end of 2015, Cognos Analytics promises an improved total experience for the entire analytics community from the business user to the IT developer, delivering enhanced usability focused on bringing together self-service and governance, two areas often thought to be incompatible. Cognos Analytics aims to change that perception by addressing both the increasing pressure for self-service and the critical need for governance in one elegant and intuitive enterprise-ready platform. Read more

The Preferred Syntax to use in Cognos and Why

Cognos is not a programming language, but it does allow programmable syntax such as a case or an if logic statement.  The question is, which is the preferred syntax to use and why?

Generally speaking, the answer is that it does not matter.  The best one to choose should be based on your brain’s ability to write and perceive the code one way or another.  The best application, however is to use them as follows: Read more

Even if you don’t have access to the RAVE visualizations available in Cognos 10.2.1, there are still some options to produce non-standard charts and simulate things such as heat maps using older Cognos versions. With some creative HTML use, you can set up a heat map that responds to various conditions in your reports. This article will discuss how to implement this structure. Read more

clock graphicSecurity in Cognos is extremely robust, permitting or denying very precise access to data elements in a package, data source, or even to row level access in a database. Read & Execute permissions are usually applied to a report allowing certain Groups or Roles the ability to run a report. However, you can also allow or deny access to a report to only let it execute within specific hours of the day. Read more

Difficulty: Easy

Required Ingredients: Prompt macros and static values within a prompt parameter.

Scenario:

You have some existing reports that prompt on Year and Month.

Users would like a better experience by having default selections provided for them. For scheduling purposes you’d also like to set relative time so the report can run based on current month and current year. You can accomplish this using macros. Read more