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Using business intelligence reporting tools for predictive metrics

Organizations are always seeking innovative ways to leverage reporting tools for improved productivity and, as a result, annual revenues. Recent research found that business intelligence reporting tools utilized for gathering performance metrics could considerably increase a company's profitability.

Gartner Research stated that groups that leverage business performance metrics gained through interactive reporting could benefit from as much as a 20 percent increase in profitability by 2017. The firm advised using predictive metrics to signal employees when a business moment, or opportunity requiring unprecedented business velocity and agility, is about to happen.

Gartner noted that in today's digital environment, organizations need new business processes and models that match the speed of other digital assets. By utilizing applications that include data visualization tools, organizations can ease some of the strain felt by IT managers called upon to govern the considerable changes previously unseen within their purview. However, Gartner research analyst Samantha Searle noted that using historical measures as a benchmark for business and process performance "is a thing of the past."

"To prevail in challenging market conditions, businesses need predictive metrics – also known as 'leading indicators' – rather than just historical measures (aka 'lagging indicators')," Searle said.

By implementing interactive reporting tools within the company infrastructure, administrators can utilize real-time information for improved predictive metrics. Gartner stated that today's enterprises have begun leveraging intelligent business process management suites, including business intelligence reporting tools, to boost companies' proactive abilities when responding to unplanned disruptions. Analysts expect this market to hit $2.8 billion this year, an 8.8 percent increase from 2013.

Falling behind the competition
However, the study also found that while predictive metrics are key, the vast majority of businesses don't have systems set up for effectively gathering them. ZDNet contributor Larry Barrett stated that although 71 percent of companies understand that performance indicators are critical to business strategies, 48 percent do not have access to the sources of this information.

Barrett noted that these organizations stand to suffer in the current market environment. As their competition improves processes through these metrics, those that don't will fall behind.

"Business process directors who don't apply predictive metrics to cross-boundary business processes will leave their organizations vulnerable to the risk of failing to execute their business strategies," Searle said in the report. "This ability will be crucial in determining the organizations who survive the shift towards a digital world and those who will be left behind."


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