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WHITE PAPER

A Toolkit Approach To Business Analysis


Maximizing Your Return On Business Information With BOARD MIT

BOARD M.I.T.

A Toolkit Approach to Business Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................................................2 THE CHALLENGE: TURNING BUSINESS DATA INTO BUSINESS INSIGHT..............................................2 The Hidden Costs and Complexity .........................................................................................................3 Suffer the User .....................................................................................................................................3 THE TOOLKIT: A NEW APPROACH TO BUSINESS ANALYTICS...............................................................3 Business Value of a Toolkit ...................................................................................................................3 Business Analysis: The Toolkit Approach Versus Traditional BI ..............................................................4 BOARD MIT: A TOOLKIT FOR BUSINESS ANALYTICS ............................................................................5 The BOARD Multidimensional Database Engine .....................................................................................6 Application Environment ........................................................................................................................6 Scalable, IP -based, Multi-tier Architecture ..............................................................................................7 BOARD M.I.T. DELIVERS REAL BUSINESS VALUE ..................................................................................8 Feasibility.............................................................................................................................................8 Toolkit Applications (Partial List) ............................................................................................................9 Cross-functional Applications of BOARD ................................................................................................9 Manageable Cost .................................................................................................................................9 Performance....................................................................................................................................... 10 SUMMARY ............................................................................................................................................. 10 ABOUT ORENBURG.............................................................................................................................. 11

BOARD M.I.T.

A Toolkit Approach to Business Analysis

INTRODUCTION
In todays volatile economy companies are under increasing pressure to streamline business processes and identify new revenue opportunitiesall while maintaining customer loyalty and strengthening vendor relations. Characteristics of speed, efficiency and quick decision-making are no longer a luxury for only the best companies. Rather, they are an absolute requirement for survival. To remain competitive in this environment, companies have implemented business applications such as ERP, CRM, SCM and financial systems to automate processes and improve operational efficiency. In the process of automating business processes and transactions, these applications generate enormous amounts of information that can be used for strategic decision making to improve business performance, profitability and customer loyalty. However, turning this data into meaningful, actionable and relevant information is often more challenging than it would appear. To accomplish this, companies have turned to Business Intelligence (BI) solutions, which, under various names have been in existence since computers first started crunching numbers. Dating back to the 1970s, BI solutions such as those for decision support, were supposed to marry operational data and analysis capabilities to provide more strategic business management tools. However, while they promised the world, they delivered little. So, where are we at today? The unfortunate reality is that many BI solutions are often complicated, costly and inefficient at managing the data volumes required for meaningful analysis. After almost 30 years and countless claims of a new cure-alls for corporate reporting and analysisEIS, DSS, OLAP, KPIs, dashboards, balanced scorecards, portals, analytic applicationsits still difficult to find a CFO who can quickly and easily determine the impact changes in customer payment terms can have on company net cash flow; or how changes in raw material costs can impact customer profitability. A new breed of solutions, which can be described as business analysis toolkits, are now available to help companies gain insight from the information stored within their operational data. By using these integrated analysis toolkits, companies can rapidly build and deploy sophisticated applications for business analysis, budgeting, planning, simulation and reporting. These toolkits give efficiencies and true business value by enabling analysis solutions that provide ease of use, application feasibility and scalable performance while dramatically reducing development and maintenance costs. In this white paper, Orenburg explores the toolkit approach to providing business analysis. It also explains how this approach and BOARD Management Intelligence Toolkit (M.I.T.) can provide faster, more feasible and affordable alternatives for building custom analysis solutions for strategic decision making.

THE CHALLENGE: TURNING BUSINESS DATA INTO BUSINESS INSIGHT


While the value of providing hard facts to support decision making is widely recognized, managers still lack the support they need in using information effectively. As a result, companies striving to better manage their business have turned to BI solutions for reporting and analysis capabilities. BI is generically used to refer to the broad category of business applications and tools that allow organizations to gather, access, navigate, analyze, share and leverage business information to make more informed business decisions. Traditionally BI has taken a technology approach to addressing the challenge of providing business insight, reporting and analysis to organizations. These solutions typically combine a mixture of open third-party tools to load, store, process and access data through either pre-packaged applications or ad-hoc analysis tools. While they are supposed to be open, these systems still require significant hardware and software investments. In addition, they require specialized knowledge of procedures, techniques or complex languages in order to be deployed. As a result, implementing these systems has come at a heavy cost financially and organizationally in many cases, and it has been extremely difficult for many organizations to achieve the proposed benefits of implementing a traditional BI solution.

BOARD M.I.T.

A Toolkit Approach to Business Analysis

The Hidden Costs and Complexity


With the glut of technology solutions available, why cant organizations easily determine who their most profitable customers are; or in which region does product ABC sell best? With information spread among multiple systems across an organization, BI implementations are often time-consuming undertakings for organizations, requiring extensive training and specialized knowledge of scripting or complex and rigid languages. Accessing and integrating the data and then providing the in-depth training needed to utilize the system can require an IT investment many companies cannot afford from a personnel resource and cost perspective. Even companies that are able to put the systems in place to access their operational data are soon met with the challenge of getting the right information for decision making into managements hands. Many traditional BI systems are cumbersome and un-intuitive, relying on complex and template-driven processes to develop reports and conduct analysis. Consequently, they are challenging to use or customize to meet specific requirements without a full-time, dedicated staff of analysis experts. It can also be challenging for end users to develop their own reports or conduct independent analysis. Analysts and IT resources are forced to juggle resources as they try to prioritize requests and support users effectively. This leaves many company managers struggling with mounds of valuable data but little information of timely value.

Suffer the User


To provide better information access and analysis to users while reducing strains on limited support staff, many companies are aggressively decentralizing the delivery of information and making it self-service and on-demand to their users. However, in order to provide on-demand solutions that give users independent access to design, create and publish reports, the system must be fast, easy to understand and user friendly. While this would seem to be obvious, it can be easier said than done. Potential pitfalls are many. Disparate data sources, complex rollup structures, custom user requirements, security, application performance and training all are hurdles companies must overcome with traditional BI systems when developing these ondemand systems. In addition, these systems have restricted capabilities in the areas of process modeling, budgeting, simulation, planning and forecasting. This makes them valuable for little more than historical reporting and limits the use of advanced capabilities such as conducting what if scenarios.

THE TOOLKIT: A NEW APPROACH TO BUSINESS ANALYTICS


Today, a new and unique approach exists to help companies gain insight from the information stored within their corporate business applications without the limitations of traditional BI solutions. This approach is driven by business needs (rather than traditional technology limitations) and provides a common framework and integrated set of tools that enables organizations to rapidly and cost-effectively develop and deploy multifaceted business analysis, reporting and modeling capabilities for their organizations without requiring complex programming, components and functions.

Business Value of a Toolkit


Business analysis solutions using a toolkit approach are based on rapidly deployable, flexible and costeffective toolsets. Their flexible design makes them highly versatile enabling companies to develop solutions and provide business insight that can be used company-wide for improved decision-making. Whether an organization needs to provide analytical capabilities to a finance executive or a sales director, or to one department or multiple departments in an organizationthe versatility of a business analysis toolkit can provide adaptable and expandable solutions to meet these diverse user requirements. The differences between the toolkit approach and standard BI are many. The following table highlights some of the areas where a toolkit and a traditional BI solution vary.

BOARD M.I.T.

A Toolkit Approach to Business Analysis

Business Analysis: The Toolkit Approach Versus Traditional BI


TOOLS
Architecture

TRADITIONAL BI APPROACH
Open third-party tools used to load, store, process and access data through ad-hoc analysis tools or pre-packaged applications Layered multi-product software architecture which is module-driven and offers pre-packaged software applications Complex data extraction, transformation and loading tools Relational database modeled for dimensional analysis (ROLAP) or proprietary multidimensional database (MOLAP) Read-only or limited read-write Performance constraints with large data volumes

TOOLKIT APPROACH
An integrated system of tools, designed to work together to rapidly build and deploy custom analysis solutions Single-product software architecture provides easy setup, flexible configuration and scalability

Data Extraction, Transformation and Loading Database

Built-in, integrated, programming-free data transformation tools Integrated multidimensional database, offers high data compression, scalable performance and multi-user concurrent read and write access Programming-free design, development and maintenance with an architecture that offers easy integration of disparate data sources Intuitive, integrated application development environment for users to easily design analysis using drag and drop toolbox objects Native database support for business modeling, advanced analysis, budgeting, planning, forecasting and simulation Flexible, integrated application and ad-hoc analysis environment is simple and intuitive to learn, use and deploy for diverse sets of functional users Database, server and client security are integrated and easy to define and update

Application Development

Commercial BI development tools which are IT-driven and require a highly technical skill set for application customization and development Little, if any, business modeling and simulation Commercial BI clients or applets access rigid, pre-built applications Complex, ad-hoc analysis tools which are difficult to develop and deploy for diverse sets of functional users Multi-layer, complex security protocols are limited and difficult to define and maintain

User Environment

Security

Table 1.0: Illustration of the Differences Between the Traditional BI Approach and a Toolkit Approach.

BOARD M.I.T.

A Toolkit Approach to Business Analysis

BOARD MIT: A TOOLKIT FOR BUSINESS ANALYTICS


BOARD is the industrys first management intelligence toolkit for the rapid development of custom analysis applications. BOARD takes an integrated system approach to business analysis and offers in one single toolkit many of the core functions needed to deliver on the diverse analysis needs of organizations of all size and industry.

Source Databases

BOARD Database

BOARD Application Environment (Client and Web)

Figure 1.0: BOARD Database/Application Environment

At its core, the BOARD toolkit is a blend of tightly integrated tools which when combined in one environment, provide tremendous efficiencies during the design, development and deployment of reporting and analysis solutions. In and of themselves these toolsa highly scalable multidimensional database, data reading and transformation tools, application user interface environment (client and web), security and a multi-tier architecture for system deliveryare the pieces one might expect to need when building an analysis application. The BOARD toolkit was designed to use all these tools together within the same development framework to provide an unparalleled combination of speed, flexibility and affordability. This integrated approach eliminates the need for high levels of technical expertise and substantially reduces the complexity and costs associated with building, customizing and maintaining a data analysis environment. Most of these efficiencies arise by eliminating the technical plumbing involved in combining the various software layers.

BOARD M.I.T.

A Toolkit Approach to Business Analysis

The BOARD Multidimensional Database Engine


A unique multidimensional database is the primary engine driving the advanced capabilities of BOARD. The database has been designed to take full advantage of the efficiencies of the integrated system and offers an unrivaled combination of scalability, performance and flexibility. This system approach allows for programming-free visual design and management of the database and data loading. Fundamental changes to the database are immediately updated throughout the database as well as all related data read definitions, user applications, security profiles and automated procedures, thus eliminating significant maintenance activities. These dynamic update features provide for a truly iterative development process. The database is also highly scalable and capable of loading and retrieving millions of incoming records while seamlessly handling dimensions of millions of members. In addition, native simulation functions are embedded within the database and provide the capability to perform multi-user concurrent data-entry for applications such as forecasting, budgeting and planning . DATABASE FEATURES
Programming-free visual design, data load and database management Multidimensional storage of numeric, text and Boolean information Multi-cube architecture Entity-relationship data structure Data access optimization Advanced sparsity management Simultaneous data read and write Advanced security Automated data loading and export Native functions applied at the database level

IMPACT
Easy to learn and fast to develop High-speed data access and calculation, modeling flexibility and extensibility Easy data integration and modeling Adaptable to any organizational structure Efficient data access and storage High data compression Distributed, cross-functional data collection and simulation Comprehensive (cell level) and easily defined security Streamlined and incremental data updates and exports Optimal calculation performance

Table 2.0: Highlights of Other BOARD Database Features

Application Environment
The database, data analysis and modeling functions provided by BOARD are made available in the application environment. The applications are built using a wide variety of objects including reports, charts, worksheets, calculation models, pictures, gauges and multi-file viewing objects. To build applications, users simply drag and drop these objects from a toolbox onto the screen without any programming. Through this application environment, users gain access to a wide range of functions for maximum thoroughness and flexibility of analysis including time series analysis, exception reporting, sorting, ranking, filtering, color-coding, 80-20 analysis and multidimensional modeling. Seamless integration with the database makes the objects that comprise the application data-aware. This means they can be easily synchronized for advanced visualization and data exploration. Instead of simply drilling-down on a report to retrieve a lower level display of the same report, users can click directly on a report line and immediately see other related objects (charts, gauges, etc.) updated on the screen relative to the report line. In effect, this produces intuitive, immediate, on-screen drill-anywhere capabilities. BOARD users can interact with the applications in a variety of ways. This ranges from applications where the user simply clicks on a button to navigate through the analysis, to the creation of fully distributed end-user analysis. This approach allows companies complete flexibility in determining the level of end-user involvement, depending upon the solution needed.

BOARD M.I.T.

A Toolkit Approach to Business Analysis

APPLICATION ENVIRONM ENT FEATURES


Programming-free visual application development Drill down and drill anywhere for data navigation Time-series analysis and end-user calculation flexibility Data entry into reports and charts Ability to drill through BOARD to source transactional system Exception reporting (filters and color coding) Integrated, Excel-compatible spreadsheet object

IMPACT
Easy to learn, fast to develop and no technical skills are necessary Limitless multidimensional analysis which requires no predefined navigation Trending, forecasting, predictive-modeling and simulation Provides easy data collection interface and facilitates modeling and simulation Store only the detail required for analysis with automatic retrieval of transaction detail Provides immediate, recognizable anomalies Provides full spreadsheet functionality and single keystroke data export to Excel Rich, charting and graphic capabilities including 2D and 3D options, interactive bubble charts, chart wizard and series smoothing Low resource impact required for report production

Advanced charting capability Batch report production

Table 3.0: Other Feature Highlights of the BOARD Application Environment

Scalable, IP-based, Multi-tier Architecture


BOARDs IP -based, multi-tier architecture offers flexible and easily deployable remote access capabilities. Dynamic load balancing and clustering makes BOARD highly scalable and reliable for any enterprise, yet requires minimal hardware and network resources.

Figure 2.0: BOARD Architecture Overview

BOARD M.I.T.

A Toolkit Approach to Business Analysis

BoardClient is the Windows front-end used to create and access applications and databases. BoardMaster is a middle layer between BoardClient and BoardServer. It handles incoming user requests and dispatches them to the BoardServers. BoardMaster also provides Web access (the HTTP service) and some security services. BoardServer is the multidimensional database engine that carries out all data access and processing on the Board databases.

Communications between the three components is conducted through a highly efficient internal convention utilizing the TCP/IP network protocol. The remote computers require minimal network bandwidth, even when accessing large data sets or performing sophisticated simulations. BOARDs integrated peer-to-peer (P2P) functionality is a natural extension of this architecture. It allows two or more users, located in distant sites, to share real-time navigation of applications and voice transmission. This means users can conduct virtual meetings or collaborative working sessions over the Internet.

BOARD M.I.T. DELIVERS REAL BUSINESS VALUE


BOARD provides a framework for advanced business analysis and reporting that brings substantial business value to organizations. Organizations can quickly maximize the return on business information across their organization without the limitations and complexity of traditional BI systems. The following table shows the practical impact of BOARD with several customers. BOARDS IMPACT ON ORGANIZATIONS
Syngenta Syngenta, a leader in the pharmaceutical industry, realized a more than 300% ROI on their BOARD implementation after learning they could be more profitable by shifting more than 1800 of their 2000 customers from buying direct to buying through their distribution channels. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Europe realized a more than 200% ROI in the first year alone and a payback in the first six months by using BOARD to reduce their corporate reporting from a 3-week, 10-person process to just 15 minutes. Manpower GmbH, with the help of BOARD, is now able to integrate their SAPbased order management data with their financial accounting software to perform P&L analysis by order, employee, recruiter, customer, subsidiary, business unit and more.

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Europe Manpower GmbH

Table 4.0: Customer Examples of BOARDs Organizational Impact

Feasibility
One result of BOARDs unique toolkit approach and design is the high degree of flexibility. This enables companies to easily extend business analysis capabilities to a wide variety of applications and audiences. Using BOARD, an organization can easily develop tailored solutions to provide business managers across functional areas the tools they need to dynamically adapt to changes in their business environment. With BOARD, executives and decision makers can answer more than historical What happened questions. Information can be modeled to answer predictive questions like What would happen if With BOARDs unique architecture, applications such as budgeting, planning, forecasting, simulation and collaboration are easily possible and can be deployed anywhere and in a fraction of the time it takes with traditional BI report writing tools.

BOARD M.I.T.

A Toolkit Approach to Business Analysis

Toolkit Applications (Partial List)


Corporate Performance Management CRM Analytics Budgeting, Forecasting and Planning Financial Planning and PnL Impact Production Capacity Analysis Demand Planning Supply Chain Analysis Balanced Scorecards & KPIs Interactive Executive Dashboards Marketing Program Analysis Activity Based Costing Customer Segmentation Investment and Trade Analysis Purchase Analysis and Vendor Rating

Cross-functional Applications of BOARD

An intuitive design, rich interactive web analytics and collaboration capabilities make BOARD highly versatile to support the needs of people of all levels within different functional groups. CROSS-FUNCTIONAL BUSINESS IMPACT
Executive Management Financial Management Sales Management Services Management Operations Management Business unit measurement Easy navigation to metrics 24x7 Information Access Budgeting and Planning Trending and Forecasting P&L Reporting Pipeline Analysis Customer Analysis Marketing Campaign Return Customer Satisfaction Product Performance Returns Analysis Manufacturing Planning Inventory Turn Analysis Operating Ratio Analysis Anytime availability to high-level or detail company information; easy-to-use and navigate interface; pro-actively manage organization to detect potential issues before they happen. Improved capital allocation and cost management to maximize profitability; simulate multiple business scenarios to drive planning process and revenue. Optimized sales process focused on top-margin account acquisition and customer retention; measure revenue return on marketing funds spent. Improved customer experience; reduction in churn; higher product quality ratings through performance feedback and analysis; decreased customer returns. Increased controls over entire supply chain process; identify inefficiencies and adjust internal processes to improve capacity, margins and operational ratios.

Table 5.0: BOARD Cross-Functional Business Impact

Manageable Cost
BOARD provides a highly integrated and synchronized environment that significantly simplifies design and development. This minimizes upfront costs, improvements and maintenance and allows organizations to extend and better leverage their existing applications and IT infrastructure investments. Once BOARD is added to an environment it can easily be leveraged for various needs across an organization without purchasing additional modules or expensive hardware that requires high amounts of time and expertise to BOARD M.I.T. A Toolkit Approach to Business Analysis 9

implement, learn and maintain. The programming-free environment eases development of custom applications and can be deployed rapidly using an iterative design approach. This flexibility improves usability and minimizes ongoing maintenance and training investments. As a result, business analysis systems built using the BOARD toolkit are easy to learn and adapt for various business functions. This significantly reduces costs and allows companies to extend the value of the solution throughout their organization.

Performance
The volume of data that companies collect for analysis is growing at a staggering pace. The justification for this has always been simple the more detail, the better the analysis. However, in addition to the requirement for efficient management of large data volumes, there is also an increasing need for decentralized decision-making and accessibility by an increasingly large, diverse and often, remote user base. BOARD has the power to deliver on all these challenges. The BOARD multidimensional database is capable of loading and retrieving millions of records at amazing speeds while seamlessly handling dimensions of millions of members. The database is also highly efficient, offering high data compression and native functions for streamlined processing. It is also possible to load new data incrementally, incorporating the latest information into the database in just minutes. In the BOARD database, it is even feasible to modify the entire rollup structure and incorporate this into the analysis without reloading the historical data. BOARD databases and applications are as easy to access as a web site, making remote deployment a breeze, even through the Windows client. The communication between the client and server is highly efficient, enabling fast analysis response times and remote development capabilities through even the slowest dial-up connections. This low bandwidth requirement, combined with distributed processing, server clustering and dynamic load balancing provides an analysis platform that is capable of scaling to thousands of users.

Figure 3.0: BOARD Server Scalability

SUMMARY
A toolkit approach to providing analysis provides a new, unique and cost-effective way for companies who want to maximize their business data for strategic decision-making. This approach provides significant advantages over traditional Business Intelligence offerings, which can often be rigid, template-driven, hard to implement and costly. The BOARD management intelligence toolkit is rapidly deployable for a manageable cost and can be easily extended to provide value across all departments. With BOARD it is now possible to create applications that not only highlight historical performance, but also leverage this information to develop predictive models to take action before it is necessarynot after.

BOARD M.I.T.

A Toolkit Approach to Business Analysis

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Case Study/Application Example GlaxoSmithKline


The simple but very powerful and very scalable BOARD M.I.T. architecture allowed us to concentrate on the business issues, with minimal resource investment on the systems and hardware infrastructure. Paolo Pogliani, Vice President Information Technology GlaxoSmithKline Italy Case Study:
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is one of the worlds leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, with an estimated seven percent (7%) of the world's pharmaceutical market. GSK has over 100,000 employees worldwide, with over 40,000 in sales and marketing the largest sales force in the industry. GSK Italy is a market leader operating both in the pharmaceutical and in the Consumer Healthcare markets.

Business Challenge:
With 2 plants and an R&D center well known throughout Europe, GSK Italy produces 87 million pieces annually, of which 55% is exported to 64 countries. Out of the 3,000 total employees, the sales force comprises 1,300 reps structured by five business units. To improve business performance GSK Italy needed to improve financial and sales planning and control. In addition, they needed to give their sales force personalized web access to sales force intelligence.

Solution:
BOARD M.I.T provides forecasting, budgeting and planning tools for financial and sales planning and control as well as sales force intelligence via the Web. Due to the flexibility of BOARD M.I.T., today GSK delivers more than 600 reports and charts and approximately 300 Web pages. In addition, the planning process is supported by 50 different forecasting and cost allocation models.

Impact:
As a result of BOARDs flexible multidimensional database engine, flexible architecture and advanced simulation capabilities GSK has been able to easily implement flexible and robust financial and sales planning tools that are easy to use and deploy at a low cost.

ABOUT ORENBURG
Headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland, with US operations based in San Diego, Orenburg is the provider of the industrys only programming-free toolkit for rapid and cost-effective development of custom analytic applications. Companies of all sizes and across industries are utilizing Orenburgs flagship product, BOARD Management Intelligence Toolkit (M.I.T.), to improve their reporting, analysis and effectiveness of management decision-making. Orenburg has additional offices and distributors in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The company has more than 1000 customers worldwide, including global enterprises like GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft, ABN AMRO, Dupont, Subaru and Montblanc. To learn more about Orenburg and BOARD M.I.T., please visit www.board.com or call +1 (858) 794-3200.

BOARD M.I.T.

A Toolkit Approach to Business Analysis

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