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If the experts’ estimates regarding IoT are correct, it means that in 5-10 years there will be more than 50 billion interconnected devices in the world. And they all will generate zettabytes of data, which can be and should be collected, organized and used for various purposes. Hence the tight correlation between IoT and Big Data is hard to ignore, because IoT and Big Data are like Romeo and Juliet – they are created for each other. The unprecedented amount of data produced by IoT would be useless without the analytic power of Big Data. Contrariwise, without the IoT, Big Data would not have the raw materials from which to model solutions that are expected of it.

What are the impacts of IoT on Big Data?

The IoT revolution means that almost every device or facility will have its own IP address and will be interconnected. They are going to generate a huge amount of data, spewing at us from different sides – household appliances, power stations, automobiles, train tracks and shipping containers etc. That’s why the companies will have to update technologies, instruments and business processes in order to be able to cope with such great amount of data, benefit from its analysis and finally gain profit. The influence of Big Data on IoT is obvious and it is conducted by various means. Let’s take a closer look at the Big Data areas impacted by IoT.

Methods and facilities of Data Storage

IoT produces a great and stable flow of data, which hits companies’ data storage. In response to this issue, many companies are shifting from their own storage framework towards the Platform as a Service (PaaS) model. It’s a cloud-based solution, which supports scalability, flexibility, compliance, and an advanced architecture, creating a possibility to store useful IoT data.

There are few options of models in the modern cloud storage: public, private and hybrid. Depending on the specific data nature, the companies should be very accurate while choosing a particular model. For instance, a private model is suitable for the companies who work with extremely sensitive data or with the information which is controlled by the government legislation. In other cases, a public or hybrid option will be a perfect fit.

Changes in Big Data technologies

While collecting the relevant data, companies need to filter out the excessive information and further protect it from getting attacked. It presupposes using highly productive mechanism that comprises particular software and custom protocols. Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT) and Data Distribution Service (DDS) are two of the most widely used protocols. Both of them are able to help thousands of devices with sensors to connect with real-time machine-to-machine networks. MQTT gathers data from numerous devices and puts the data through the IT infrastructure. Otherwise, DDS scatters data across devices.

After receiving the data, the next step is to process and store it. The majority of the companies tend to install Hadoop and Hivi for Big Data storage. However there are some companies which prefer to use NoSQL document databases, as Apache CouchDB and others. Apache CouchDB is even more suitable, because it provides high throughput and very low latency.

Filtering out redundant data

One of the main challenges with Internet of Things is data management. Not all IoT data is relevant. If you don’t identify what data should be transmitted promptly, for how long it should be stored and what should be eliminated, then you could end up with a bulky pile of data which should be analyzed. Executive director of Product Marketing Management at AT&T, Mobeen Khan, says: “Some data just needs to be read and thrown away”.

The survey carried out by ParStream (an analytical platform for IoT) shows that almost 96 % of companies are striving to filter out the excessive data from their devices. Nevertheless only few of them are able to do it efficiently. Why is it happening? Below you can see the statistics, depicting the main problems which most of the companies are facing with the data analysis procedure. The percentage figure points out the percentage of the respondents to the ParStream survey confronting the challenge.

• Data collection difficulties – 36%
• Data is not captured accurately – 25%
• Slowness of data capture – 19%
• Too much data to analyze in a right way – 44%
• Data analyzing and processing means are not developed enough – 50%
• Existing business processes are not adjustable to allow efficient collection – 24%

To perform the action of filtering out the data effectively, organizations will need to update their analysis capabilities and make their IoT data collection process more productive. Cleaning data is a procedure that will become more significant to companies than ever.

Data security challenges

The IoT has made an impact on a security field and caused challenges which can’t be resolved by traditional security systems. Protecting Big Data generated from IoT arouses complications as this data comes from various devices, producing different types of data as well as different protocols.

The equally important issue is that many security specialist lack experience in providing data security for IoT. Particularly, any attack can not only threaten the data but also harm the connected device itself. And here is the dilemma when a huge amount of sensitive information is produced without the pertinent security to protect it.

There are two things that can help to prevent attacks: a multilayered security system and a thorough segmentation of the network. The companies should use software-defined networking (SDN) technologies combined with network identity and access policies for creating a dynamic network fragmentation. SDN-based network segmentation also should be used for point-to-point and point-to-multipoint coding based on the merger of some software-defined networking and public key infrastructure (SDN/PKI). In this case data security mechanisms will be keeping pace with the growth of Big Data in IoT.

IoT requires Big Data

With the emerging of IoT step by step many questions arises: Where is the data coming from IoT going to be stored? How is it going to be sorted out? Where will the analysis be conducted? Obviously, the companies which will be able to cope with these issues the next few years are going to be in prime position for both profits and influence over the evolution of our connected world. The vehicles will become smarter, more able to maintain larger amounts of data and probably able to carry out limited analytics. However as IoT grows and companies grow with IoT, they will have many more challenges to resolve.

What do you think about the evolving of Big Data in IoT? Have you already experienced the challenges of Big Data in IoT? And do you have any ideas about the progressive solutions to these challenges? I’ll be happy to hear your opinion in the comments below. Please, feel free to share your thoughts.

 

Anastasiya Zakharchuk

Anastasiya Zakharchuk

Business Development Manager || LI Profile

E-mail: anastasiya.presnetsova@altabel.com
Skype: azakharchuk1
www.altabel.com

Over the years, PHP has evolved greatly and now it’s not just the most popular server-side scripting language but also the language used to build complex websites and web apps. The same could be told about its frameworks. PHP web frameworks have an ecosystem of their own in the world of web development. PHP frameworks are used to build websites and web applications of all sizes and complexity, ranging from small static websites to large scale complex enterprise content management systems.

Still there are different opinions on the question which PHP framework is the best, as some developers prefer performance, some prefer better documentation, some prefer lots of built-in functions, etc. Perhaps we should have a look at the frameworks depending how popular they are.

Different frameworks have been popular in different time. For instance, CodeIgniter framework remained the top choice for PHP developers from 2011 to mid 2014. However, later in 2014 a new PHP framework Laravel has gained its popularity and became the most used framework in 2015. Now in 2016 it is clear that the Laravel framework will remain at the top, due to the huge interest from developers and clients worldwide.

  1. Laravel

It’s already been said that Laravel is most famous PHP frameworks nowadays. It is very secure and have a lot of useful libraries like session, authentication, middleware, RESTapi and others are included in it. PHP developers choose to work on the Laravel framework because its large and gradually growing community and very good functionality. You don’t need to write more code because every basic and required code-blocks are pre-build on it. At the same time it’s mostly used by experts.

Features:

– Routing and middleware are the best feature of Laravel

– Laravel uses the blade template engine for generating various views

– Inherent Database Version control

– Built-in unit testing and simply readable impressive syntax

– Larger Community catering to thousands of progarmmers

  1. CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is the second most popular web framework among PHP developers. It is a lightweight powerful PHP framework that provides simple and elegant platform to create full-featured web applications. Choosing CodeIgniter you get all the tools you need in one little package. It’s easy to understand and to extend.

Features:

– Develop using MVC pattern

– No PHP Version Conflicts

– Less Duplication of Code

– Most Active Online Community

– Cache Class

– Security and Encryption

– Little to no server requirements

  1. Yii

YiiFramework is the high-performance modern PHP framework. It attracts most of PHP developers due to its features like fast development, caching, authentication and role-based access control, scaffolding, testing, etc.

Features:

– Yii adopts the proven MVC architecture

– Yii allows developers to model database data in terms of objects and avoid the tedium and complexity of writing repetitive SQL statements

– With the help of Yii, collecting input extremely easy and safe

– Zero configuration required to let the task easier for you

– Thorough maintenance

  1. Cakephp

CakePHP is also popular among PHP developers due to its lightweight, simplicity, faster and require less code. It is easy to learn with fast and flexible templating. The built-in CRUD feature is very handy for database interaction. The framework also has various built-in features for security, email, session, cookie and request handling. It’s perfectly suited for commercial applications.

Features:

– MVC Pattern – Model support data handling, with the model class you can insert, update, delete or read the data from the database.

– ORM features, converting data between incompatible type systems in databases and object-oriented programming languages

– Proper class inheritance

– Easily extend with Components, Helpers, Behaviours, and Plug-ins

  1. Symfony

No doubt, Symfony is a stable and sustainable PHP framework. It is a flexible, scalable yet powerful. It has a huge community of Symfony fans committed to take PHP to the next level. Symfony has plenty of reusable PHP components that can be used like security, templating, translation, validator, form config and more. It’s easy to install and configure on most platforms and it’s database engine-independent.

Features:

– Based on the premise of convention over configuration–the developer needs to configure -only the unconventional

– Compliant with most web best practices and design patterns

– Enterprise-ready–adaptable to existing information technology

– Stable enough for long-term projects

No doubt, some of our readers will either agree, disagree or have other PHP Frameworks, which they consider the best. But that’s already nice that you’ve read this post and perhaps could contribute to it. So please feel free to add a comment or through light why this or that framework is so popular and why it should or shouldn’t be :)

Aliona Kavalevich

Aliona Kavalevich
Aliona.Kavalevich@altabel.com
Skype ID: aliona_kavalevich
Senior Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

 

Programming cells may soon become as easy as programming a computer. Just as computer software designers create programming for computers, scientists have created a programming language that allows them to design DNA-encoded circuits that can give new function to living cells.

Using this language, anyone can write a program for the function they want, such as detecting and responding to certain environmental conditions. They can then generate a DNA sequence that will achieve it.

“It is literally a programming language for bacteria,” says Christopher Voigt, an MIT professor of biological engineering. “You use a text-based language, just like you’re programming a computer. Then you take that text and you compile it and it turns it into a DNA sequence that you put into the cell, and the circuit runs inside the cell.”

In the new software — called Cello — a user first specifies the kind of cell they are using and what they want it to do: for example, sense metabolic conditions in the gut and produce a drug in response. They type in commands to explain how these inputs and outputs should be logically connected, using a computing language called Verilog that electrical engineers have long relied on to design silicon circuits. Finally, Cello translates this information to design a DNA sequence that, when put into a cell, will execute the demands.

dna

The good thing about it is that it’s very simple, without many of the intricacies often encountered in programming.

“You could be completely naive as to how any of it works. That’s what’s really different about this,” Voigt says. “You could be a student in high school and go onto the Web-based server and type out the program you want, and it spits back the DNA sequence.”

For now, all these features have been customized for the E. coli bacteria, one of the most common in studies, but researchers are working on expanding the language to other strands of bacteria.

Using this language, they’ve already programmed 60 circuits with different functions, and 45 of them worked correctly the first time they were tested – which is a remarkable achievement. The circuits were also strikingly fast, and the whole process promises to revolutionize DNA engineering. Before, it could take months or years to design such a circuit. Now, it can be done in less than a day.

Dr. Voigt’s team plans to work on several different applications using this approach — bacteria that can be swallowed to aid in digestion of lactose; bacteria that can live on plant roots and produce insecticide if they sense the plant is under attack; and yeast that can be engineered to shut off when they are producing too many toxic byproducts in a fermentation reactor.

What do you think about this rapidly developing revolutionary computer industry? Can it replace drugs and medicine in future? Can it help to cure cancer and AIDS? Will it make a living cell immortal?

Please feel free to share with us your opinion and thoughts here below.

 

Katerina Kviatkovskaya

Katerina Kviatkovskaya
Kate.Kviatkovskaya@altabel.com
Skype ID: kate.kviatkovskaya
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Nowadays Xamarin has been continuing to become more and more popular among developers and business units. This is for sure as Xamarin framework allows to create apps quickly by enabling them to code in C# which can be shared across multiple platforms such as iOS and Android. So let’s define some key features Xamarin has and try to understand what makes it so popular and why it is worth to be used.

As it is said on developer.xamarin.com site the Xamarin platform consists of a number of elements that allow you to develop applications for iOS and Android:

C# language – Allows you to use a familiar syntax and sophisticated features like Generics, Linq and the Parallel Task Library.
Mono .NET framework – Provides a cross-platform implementation of the extensive features in Microsoft’s .NET framework.
Compiler – Depending on the platform, produces a native app (eg. iOS) or an integrated .NET application and runtime (eg. Android). The compiler also performs many optimizations for mobile deployment such as linking away un-used code.
IDE tools – The Xamarin Studio IDE and the Xamarin plug-in for Visual Studio allow you to create, build and deploy Xamarin projects.

In addition, because the underlying language is C# with the .NET framework, projects can be structured to share code that can also be deployed to Windows Phone.

Xamarin is the great tool for cross-platform development and delivers high performance compiled code with full access to all the native APIs so you can create native apps with device-specific experiences. Anything you can do in Objective-C or Java, can be done in C# with Xamarin. But at the same time Xamarin is not the same as mobile web/PhoneGap/flash or the other cross platform tools. As it is said Applications built in Xamarin keep and save all the Java features on Android ObjectiveC from iOS.

What features make Xamarin a number one choice for mobile development?

1/ If you’re already familiar with .Net or C#, you would be able to start using Xamarin immediately. It supplies full C# implementation and accurate implementation of the .NET class libraries. In case you are not well experienced developer anyway you will cut down time for learning the basic principles of this framework.
To work successfully on both Android and iOS with Xamarin you just need to learn C# and one core set of classes, while usually they need you be acquainted with two separate programming environments: Java and Objective-C respectively. Anything you can do in Objective-C or Java, can be done in C# with Xamarin.

2/ Using the same C# code base and integrating with SDKs of all of the different operating systems for different OS allow sharing code across multiple platforms so that you are no more in need to write several codes. As a result less code you write less support your app need. The ability to reuse major part of the code cuts the development time mostly in half. That is for sure saves time and money resources to both customers and service providing companies on the app’s multi-channel distribution.

3/ When building apps with Xamarin, developers are able to perform on device processing without creating additional plug-ins. Mobile applications developed with Xamarin, give us a better user experience across various mobile platforms, as these apps are created with standard UI controls. Plus such mobile programs give us a possibility to let platform-specific functionality like iBeacon and Android Fragment becomes a part on the mobile app. Thus, there is no need developing additional plug-ins for device processing.

4/ Xamarin TestCloud allows you to automatically test your iOS and Android apps immediately, on hundreds of devices, offering continuous integration, beautiful reports, test for fragmentation, and object-based UI testing.

5/ Also as it is mentioned by professionals unlike other cross-platform mobile development frameworks, Xamarin is suitable for creating large and complex projects. Since this tool allows developers writing code using only one programming language, companies are able to scale horizontally while not employing additional IT specialist.

Also great advantage is that using Xamarin give us a possibility to focus our efforts on building app features once and then shipping the app. Compare this to the native platform environments where we build the app features once for one platform, then we build them again for the other platform, and then finally we ship. In case of Xamarin we developer one code mostly for three mobile platforms saving time and budget which makes great value for large entities and start-ups.

So to sum up it is definitely the best cross-platform development environment available today and is attracting more and more developers to the community every day. Xamarin is gaining acceptance with large corporations. If you’re looking to develop a cross-platform, native mobile application and are willing to accept some minimal downside, then Xamarin may be just the right tool for you.

So what do you think about Xamarin? Do you use it for mobile-cross platform development? If it is so, can you please let know why do you decide to use it?

Look forward to getting your ideas and comments!

 

Natalia Kononchuk

Natalia Kononchuk
natalia.kononchuk@altabel.com
Business Development Manager
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

 

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The new trend for many medical practices is obtaining an EHR (Electronic Health Record) system. While there are many practitioners still using files and travel cards, EHR provides better efficiencies for billing, reimbursements, audits etc. Admittedly, there are more systems then doctors but acquiring an EHR allows better practice efficiencies and perhaps more money for the practice.
In this post we highlighted the most important EHR trends to see unfold this year. Thus, we expect wearables, telemedicine and mobile medicine to continue to advance. They’ll be joined by cloud computing, patient portals and big data.

Telemedicine and wearables plus EHR

The telemedicine market is forecasted to exceed $30 billion in the next five years, as providers increasingly see the need to reach seniors and patients in rural areas. Telemedicine offers tons of value to seniors. It improves care by getting it to remote patients who live far from hospitals. It also enables homebound patients to get high-quality care. It makes care cheaper, and allows seniors to stay at home longer. It benefits providers by making their jobs more flexible. And it also eliminates picking up new illnesses in a clinical care setting.

Wearables’ mass adoption has made store-and-forward telemedicine much easier. Devices like Fitbits automatically collect valuable health data. Store-and-forward telemedicine just means that data goes to a doctor or medical specialist so they can assess it when they have time.

EHRs are going mobile

More and more providers want to provide medical care from their smartphones, and more patients want to access data through mobile devices. Contributing factors to the popularity of mobile devices include their affordability, ease of use and portability (meaning they are easy to carry between patient exams to access electronic patient information). One of the other drivers of mobile technology in healthcare is the availability of myriad apps for smartphones and tablets. For each of the major smartphone operating systems, there is now an app for almost every conceivable healthcare need, ranging from drug dose calculators to fully functioning electronic medical records. Healthcare apps play a pivotal role in changing the utility of mobile devices. They’re transforming smartphones or tablets to medical instruments that capture blood test results, medication information, glucose readings, medical images, enabling physicians and patients to better manage and monitor health information. Healthcare apps are clearly taking on more mainstream health IT functions and have moved beyond sporadic use by early adopters.
From these facts we may conclude that EHRs will offer better mobile design and functionality.

More EHRs will move to the cloud

Start-up costs for EHRs can prove burdensome for some institutions, while cloud-based tools offer minimal start-up costs and can make better use of providers’ current resources. The cloud also enables better continuity of care. Cloud-based software means you can access records from outside the office. It makes mobile access possible. It makes transferring records a snap. And it makes updating software seamless for providers.

In the coming year, more and more EHRs will offer cloud services.

More EHRs will provide patient portals

Though patient portal usage got off to a slow start in 2013, in last two years it grew in popularity.

While about half of physicians offer patient portals right now, almost another fifth of them plan to offer one in the next 12 months. In a 2015 survey of more than 11,000 patients, 237 physicians, and nine payer organizations representing 47 million lives, almost a third of patients said they were interested in using a patient portal to engage with their physician, track their medical history and receive educational materials and patient support.

More providers will both offer and promote patient portals. Some may even have patients use the portals during office visits to begin getting their data into the system. And patients will start to see their value. Educating patients on how and why to use portals will be the key to getting them to use it.

Big data will reveal more connections

Personalized medicine enabled by big data is an emerging trend in healthcare. Innovation will continue apace in 2016.

Personalized medicine focuses on analyzing a person’s genome, environmental, social, biometrical, and religious influencers, and determining a treatment for the individual based on that data. It’s about moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to instead creating micro-buckets of patients by analyzing their medical records and genome sequences, and treating patients based on the research and records of how other patients in similar situations have reacted. Big data is working to identify the behaviors, risk factors, and early indicators of disease so doctors can prevent it more effectively.

Big data is only the first step. That data must be cleaned and structured so it can reveal patterns in factors that influence outcomes.

Conclusion

Moving forward, technology will continue to transform the healthcare industry as it plays a key role in new healthcare delivery models. EMR/EHR, mHealth, telemedicine, and many others identified will continue to increase their footprint in this growing industry. Where do you see Healthcare IT over this year? What EHR trends are you most excited about and what trends did I miss? Let me know in the comments!

 

Svetlana Pozdnyakova

Svetlana Pozdnyakova
svetlana.pozdnyakova@altabel.com 
Skype ID: Svetlana.pozdnyakova
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

 

IT Trends

Is Nordics pioneering IoT? From remote
control to autonomous connected things
and intelligent decision making. Initiatives from
Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland:
start-ups and industry leaders engaged.

 
Nordic countries are leading the way in the Internet of Things, the latest ‘Connected things’ study by TeliaSonera shows. There will be ~4 connected devices per person in the Nordics by 2018, Gartner Inc. predicts. Currently the Scandinavian region has 4 times as many connected “things” per person as the rest of the world.

map

The TeliaSonera report forecasts the Nordic market for IoT devices will grow by 23% annually, to €9.1bn by 2018: with Sweden placed first, Norway and Denmark – placed 2nd and 3rd,  and followed by Finland.

Connected vehicles, connected building and connected people are the three driving forces for developments in connected cars, smart homes and digital health.

 

internet of things

The fastest growing segment of IoT in Scandinavia is ‘connected people’ which includes not only people, but also animals. The market for connected people is expected to grow by 59% annually until 2018. ‘Connected vehicles’ (anything that transports passengers or cargo) sector is forecast to increase by 36% annually. ‘Connected buildings’ sector is expected to grow by 23% annually until 2018, when there will be, on average, 3 connected building devices, such as security, energy and HVAC, per household in the Nordics.

Impressive, but connected devices are only the first stage of IoT. “Enabling connected things to exchange and comprehend each other’s data, regardless of place, manufacturer or format, is key to realising the full potential of IoT, ” said Anders Elbak from IDC. So the aim is that “connected cars transform into intelligent transportation systems, connected medical devices into digital health and connected homes into smart cities.”

From the business prospective, Elbak pointed out  that “very few [companies] acknowledge the business transformation opportunities” – or how to best make use of the vast amounts of data ‘connected devices’ generate to enable intelligent decision making, research and development and predictive services.

In the study by Accenture the Nordics are placed among the countries with the most conducive environment for Industrial IoT, along with the US, Switzerland and the Netherlands; while China, Japan, and Germany are just mid-table performers.

Recently in the Scandinavian region there have been several promising practical initiatives in the field of IoT, on radar both in start-ups and industry leaders.

In Norway, Nornir’s ‘smart home’ project addresses the expected elderly boom problem by providing the opportunity for them to live at home. The smart home environment accommodates intelligent sensors that monitor changes in the environment and the security system which recognises individualized patterns deviations and gives instant alerts to the ‘stakeholders’ if smth happens out of the ordinary.

Also one of the first worldwide real-time data linking systems is being implemented in Norway by Synaptic Technologies, and their Real Time Web (RTW) ambitiously strives to be a world-wide open platform for everybody to share and exchange readable or writable machine data online and for intelligent objects to be connected.

In Sweden, the startup Automile is tapping into telematics and untraditional cloud-powered fleet management. CEO Jens Nylander explained old legacy solutions typically require quite expensive physical installations and modifications to the car – meaning dependency on retailers and installers. Targeting primarily at smaller business, Automile operates on a SaaS model where the device itself is free and users pay a subscription fee. Interesting that big names like ABB and Ricoh International are now among the customers.

Thingsquare, Swedish IoT pioneer, provides the software platform allowing you to connect all your products with smartphones wirelessly.

Also the Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has introduced a cloud-based communications system for road safety: the tech is piloted in Sweden and Norway, where weather conditions can be suitably extreme, and it’s hoped the system will be standard in Scandinavia already in 2016 and is even a part of the governmental program.

The Swedish multinational provider of communications Ericsson recognises “Networked Society” as its core directive to align with IoT thinking aiming at connecting 50 billion devices by 2020; all in order to benefit its subscribers.

In Finland the IoT initiative is represented by BaseN Platform – a highly scalable and easily distributed IoT platform, enabling required scalability for hosting millions of things.

These are just a few interesting starts, still many more to mention are: from Sweden – Yanzi Networks, one of Intel’s innovation labs,  Imagimob with Artificial Intelligence innovation for torso body tracking through embedded, wearables and mobile devices,  Connode with unique position in Smart Metering Market, Springworks known for its machine-to-humanity (M2H) connectivity innovaton, FarmDrones with a connected solution for farmers to increase productivity and crops yield,  Watty with the next generation energy product, Ewa Home, hidn Tempo, Minalyze; from Norway – Nordic (Semiconductor); from Finland – CyberLightning with its Smart city concept at the industrial scale, etc.

Have more interesting examples, or wish to share your point of view? You are welcome to leave your comment here.

 

Helen Boyarchuk

Helen Boyarchuk
helen.boyarchuk@altabel.com
Skype ID: helen_boyarchuk
Senior Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

BI

When a technical term is used more and more frequently the exact definition becomes “blurred” and its true meaning is usually greatly distorted.

This what happened to the term ‘business intelligence’ or BI. Ever since, when the term had only appeared, the development of technologies has substantially expanded our understanding of BI and of what advantage and benefit the company can retrieve from their available data.

So, what does ‘business intelligence’ mean today? How it could be useful for companies and how to apply its underlying ideas correctly to ensure the steady growth of efficiency and profitability of a business?

What is business intelligence? Why is it important?

BI consists of two completely diverse, but at the same time complementing one another aspects.

  1. Value for the business.

    Implies how companies can use the available information in order to multiply profit and efficiency and bring new products and services to the market successfully.

  2. IT strategy.

    Includes the idea of what technological solutions to apply in order to achieve greatest possible utility of BI.
    Presentation of data in a specific format for efficient usage by the company has always been a challenging task. For many organizations, it is quite complex to determine what particular information is required for a specific use.

Such business analysis requires certainty in methodologies and goals.

Earlier BI resources were limited by the lack of available data collection technologies. Nevertheless, modern technologies such as big data, analytics, mobile services and cloud computing in their combination allow obtaining a continuous flow of detailed information quite fast and with no serious investments.

Still, the current bottom line lies in extracting some valuable sense from these data and, in many respects, it is much more complicated than collecting information itself.

Five efficiency criteria of BI-system (and BI-strategy)

1. While selecting a BI-system one should be guided by the real needs of a particular company

The most common and at the same time the most dangerous mistake is when the BI-systems dictate the strategy of their usage. As a result, the company gets plenty of non-synchronized applications, awkward interface and the infrastructure that is already out of date, yet so entrenched in the IT system that could be barely substituted.

2. Be flexible

Flexible model of the integration of the appropriate software involves constant repetition of certain operations with the gradual development of the system. This allows companies to evaluate the success of the project at any point of time, to determine at what stage it is and towards what it moves.

As a rule, creating, testing and integration of BI-technologies goes much more smoothly when the company receives real-time feedbacks from all the running processes and is able to make required adjustments on the fly. It is vital for BI-systems!

3. User-friendly interface

BI-solutions focus on collection, visualization and management of the data.
Usually, when it comes to large amounts of numeric information companies face a risk to get exceptionally technical, inconvenient and incomprehensible data for the “illiterate” users of the system. This information is highly functional, but impractical, especially when it is badly integrated with other applications.

Integration is a key point in deploying BI-technologies. In case the interface is non-intuitive, complex and inconvenient for the end users, BI-system will definitely work inefficiently.

There is a tendency to allocate significant resources for the integration of the latest technologies promising unprecedented results. However, such investments potentially may do more harm than good. Intelligent, targeted and smooth integration is the key to avoid serious errors during implementation.

4. BI is a tool available to everyone

BI has been long used by completely different users, not only by experts with appropriate education and experience. BI-system should be simple and easy to understand to everyone.

For this purpose, companies have to attain the convenience of analytics and the reports drawn on its basis; it should be simple and demonstrative. The collected data should be presented in the way so that any user could easily make definite conclusions.

5. Centralize your data

The desire to achieve the result, based on useful information implies proper data handling. Receiving data from multiple sources and storing it in a centralized information DB, capable of filtering, sorting and removing the unnecessary is critical for the deployment of the applications involved into making business decisions. Apart from that, risk management also becomes more effective through transparency and structure.

General excitement over BI is evident

The role that IT plays in the world has significantly changed over the past few years thanks to the information ‘boom’. Still, construction of a technological infrastructure is not enough for successful data management.

That is why, ‘business intelligence’ it is not just a fashionable term it is a concept that demonstrates the need to move beyond the paradigm of a separate, isolated existence of data analysis and business goals.

In fact, BI reminds us that technologies and business must be closely linked, so that the business goals and business guidelines predetermine the choice of software and, the software in return would provide useful information leading business to success.

 

Tatyana Ogneva

Tatyana Ogneva
tatyana.ogneva@altabel.com
Skype ID: ognewatatyana
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

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