Over this past year, there has been an increase of mid-market companies taking advantage of business intelligence solutions. With the expansion of available solutions and targeted SMB offerings, organizations are starting to look at business intelligence as something that is attainable. Aside from flexible deployment methods, increase in ease of use, and lower price points, organizations are beginning to understand the value of data visibility and managing their business goals on a broader perspective.
SAS just released a press release discussing the expansion of their SMB customer base. According to SAS, “more than 80 percent of new SAS 2009 commercial accounts are small and mid-sized enterprises.” With SMBs “representing more than 20 percent of SAS customers, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are turning to SAS Business Analytics to become more competitive. Most new 2008 customers also were SMBs – companies with annual sales under $500 million – deploying powerful business analytics previously used mostly by large corporations.“
The SAS announcement represents one of many solution providers with expanding small and mid-sized customer bases. With continued pressure to get more for less, mid-sized organizations may end up becoming the largest adopters of business intelligence and BI related applications. Some entry points for companies to consider are:
- Dashboard adoption – Dashboards can give SMBs direct access to information and decision based metrics in a way that does not require backend access to a data warehouse or full business intelligence infrastructure. For organizations looking to get their feet wet and understand the value of BI through adoption, dashboards are a great first step.
- Interactive reports – Every organization uses reports to share and manage information. The expansion of report use towards interactive development and broader access can give end users great benefit related to how they analyze data without reorganizing internal processes. As a first step, and depending upon the way in which the organization’s reporting solution is already structured, organizations can use reports as an introduction to larger BI functionality.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) – Although SaaS is more of a hosted service offered to companies as opposed to a way to expand current functionality, its use provides a good way to get acquainted with business intelligence without having to invest in internal resources.
About the Author
Lyndsay Wise is an industry analyst for business intelligence. For over seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay is the channel expert for BI for the Mid-Market at B-eye-Network and conducts research of leading technologies, products and vendors in business intelligence, marketing performance management, master data management, and unstructured data. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please visit Lyndsay's blog at myblog.wiseanalytics.com.
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