5 Applications that Can Improve Your Business
Tags: Dashboard   ERP   Reporting  
29/01/2012 11:00 PM

These days, software is about more than just entertainment – it can have very real benefits for your business. In this article, we'll take a look at five of the most useful categories of business software, from digital dashboards to enterprise resource planning applications.

Digital dashboard software
A digital dashboard offers views of key performance indicators (KPIs) at a glance. These KPIs vary depending on the business or objective – for example, it may involve sales KPIs or, on the other hand, it may involve KPIs relating to human resources.

Essentially, the aim of a dashboard is to inform the decision-making process for any business, as well as advising you if something isn't going as hoped or planned. Digital dashboard software was named because it mimics the dashboards that can be seen in most vehicles, which advise the driver of that vehicle's major functions.

Online analytical processing software
Online analytical processing (OLAP) software allows business owners the opportunity to analyse data from a range of perspectives. All OLAP systems are designed to support the complex analysis requirements of the organisation's decision makers, as well as performing complex analyses against sizeable input data sets. Each OLAP database is divided into cubes, and each cube has its own administrator. Each cube provides a different perspective, allowing decision makers to receive insight into important data quickly, consistently and interactively.

Reporting software
With so much information being stored in company databases, analysis and interpretation of this data can be difficult. Reporting software plays the role of creating aggregated data views in order to keep key decision-makers informed about the state of their business. Basically, it allows you to make the most of your company's data.

Generally, a report will be created, delivered and managed by a program in an easy-to-understand style that can be interpreted by knowledge workers in various departments, depending on the report. Some examples of reports you might generate with reporting software include stock reports, management reports, accounts-based reports, object and function reports, and even Top "X" reports -- for example, the top 10 customers by value or profit.

Data mining software
Data mining involves the analysis of data in order to produce outcomes that lead to cost cutting. A good example of data mining software at work can be seen with a supermarket chain that realised, with the use of the software, that men who bought diapers on Thursdays and Saturdays were also likely to buy beer. As a result, the supermarket made the decision to put its beer point of sale closer to the diaper point of sale – something they may not have considered previously. This led to even greater revenue down the line. Data mining involves the use of powerful computers that search through the available data to help come to these conclusions

Enterprise resource planning software
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software generally involves an over-arching application that considers finance and accounting, manufacturing, human resources, sales, marketing and an abundance of other business functions as part of a unified package. ERP software works to integrate both internal and external information for the benefit of the entire organisation, breaking down the barriers between various departments and bringing all the critical data of a business into one easy-to-use software interface.

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