business analytics applications“There’s an app for that.”

Apple’s popular slogan is entwined in our popular culture. It sums up very well the new expectations for accessing information.

To meet these new expectations, companies will need to rethink their application development strategies. The definition of applications is changing. It’s being changed by the web, it’s being changed by self-service business information (BI) platforms, and it’s being changed by mobile computing.

When we say something is an app, we are not talking about your traditional application. I would suggest we might want to start differentiating between what is an application and what is an app.

An “app” is a tool. Like a screw-driver or a wrench or a drill. It is not an integrated set of functions like a big ERP system, which is an application. An app is intended to do what a user intends it to do at a point in time. They do one or two things very well and there many of them. The integration across apps is done through federated data management, a flow of data between the apps, rather than integrating everything together. The nature of what we call an application is changing into what we call apps.

Business analytics (BA) is being transformed by apps. Today’s BA apps enable cross-functional employees to leverage their power. That means that everyone from your IT staff to your HR team can run tools to evaluate and interpret data—and that can improve your bottom line.

A viable BA tool not only helps you interpret financial data; it can help your company improve innovation, secure and retain customers, manage risk, define pricing strategies, and maximize product or service offerings. So it can be used across all departments including HR, marketing and manufacturing. This boosts your overall bottom line and strengthens your business because when you get a clear picture of where you are in the business arena, you can decide where to go next.

How has the right BA tool helped improve your business?