In the ever-evolving landscape of cloud computing, choosing the right platform for your business’s data management needs is critical. Microsoft Azure, a prominent cloud service player, offers a compelling suite of tools and services for cloud data management. But is it the right fit for your organization? 

Learn more as we delve into the pros and cons of Azure for cloud data management, providing valuable insights to help you make an informed choice that aligns with your business objectives

What is Azure?

Microsoft Azure is a versatile cloud computing platform developed by Microsoft, renowned for its widespread adoption across the industry. As a robust cloud service for businesses of all sizes, Azure offers a comprehensive range of computing, storage, databases, networking, and more services. 

With its global network of data centers, Azure services enable organizations to build, deploy, and manage applications and services in a highly scalable and secure environment, making it a go-to choice for businesses seeking reliable cloud solutions to fuel their digital transformation journeys.

Why Consider Azure for Cloud Data Management? (The Pros)

Scalability and Flexibility

One of the key advantages of considering Azure for cloud data management is its exceptional scalability and flexibility. Microsoft Azure services empower businesses to effortlessly scale their resources up or down in response to changing demand, ensuring optimal performance without overprovisioning. This dynamic scaling capability enhances efficiency and translates into significant cost savings by eliminating the need for constant, costly infrastructure adjustments. 

With Azure’s flexible approach, organizations can seamlessly adapt to evolving data requirements, maintaining a competitive edge in an ever-changing landscape.

Global Reach and Availability

Another compelling reason to consider Azure for cloud data management is its impressive global reach and availability. Azure boasts an expansive network of data centers strategically positioned worldwide, enabling businesses to serve their customers and users with unparalleled speed and reliability. This widespread presence minimizes latency, ensuring that data and applications are accessible swiftly from virtually anywhere on the globe. 

This translates to improved performance and enhanced reliability for global enterprises, fostering a seamless and responsive user experience. Azure’s global infrastructure empowers businesses to expand their reach effortlessly, capturing new markets and maintaining a competitive edge in today’s interconnected world.

You can store and recover vital company data.

When it comes to storing and recovering vital data, Azure excels as a cloud computing platform. At its core, Azure offers robust data storage solutions that allow businesses to store their critical information on Azure’s online servers securely. Its adaptability to cater to your specific business needs sets Azure’s cloud services apart.

With Azure’s storage capabilities, you can choose from various options such as Blob Storage, File Storage, and Azure SQL Database, tailoring your data storage strategy to align perfectly with your requirements. This flexibility allows you to decide when and how you access your data, ensuring that it suits your business’s operational and cost considerations.

Comprehensive Security Features

Azure’s commitment to security is a fundamental reason businesses turn to it for their private cloud data management needs. Azure provides a multi-layered security approach encompassing encryption, identity management, threat detection, and regulatory compliance, ensuring comprehensive protection for your data.


Azure employs encryption at rest and in transit to safeguard data. Data stored in Azure is automatically encrypted, and Azure Key Vault allows you to manage and control access to encryption keys. This ensures that the data remains unreadable even if unauthorized access occurs without the proper encryption keys.

Identity Management

Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is a robust identity and access management solution that enables businesses to manage user identities and control access to resources. Multi-factor authentication and conditional access policies add an extra layer of security to verify user identities and ensure that only authorized individuals can access sensitive data.

Threat Detection

Azure Security Center provides advanced threat detection and protection. It continuously monitors your Azure resources, detects potential threats and vulnerabilities, and offers recommendations for remediation. It can even help you respond to security incidents effectively.

Regulatory Compliance

Azure offers a wide range of compliance certifications, including GDPR, HIPAA, SOC 2, and more. These certifications demonstrate Azure’s adherence to industry-specific regulations, making it easier for businesses to meet compliance requirements without the need for extensive, costly audits. Azure also provides compliance guides and tools to help businesses understand and implement compliance controls.

Cost-Effective Solutions

Cloud migration service providers require a much smaller investment when developing and maintaining your IT infrastructure. With a cloud environment such as Azure, you do not need to cover hardware and maintenance costs. Instead, you only pay for what you use and when you use it.

Advanced Analytics and AI Capabilities

Azure offers a rich ecosystem of tools and services for data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI), empowering businesses to extract valuable insights from their data and make data-driven decisions. 

Here are some key capabilities and examples of how businesses can leverage them:

  • Azure Synapse Analytics: This powerful analytics service allows businesses to analyze large volumes of data in real time. For example, an e-commerce company can use Synapse Analytics to analyze customer behavior data to identify trends, optimize product recommendations, and enhance the customer shopping experience.
  • Azure Machine Learning: Azure provides a comprehensive platform for building, training, and deploying machine learning models. In healthcare, organizations can leverage Azure Machine Learning to develop predictive models that identify patient readmission risks, helping hospitals allocate resources more efficiently and improve patient outcomes.
  • Azure Databricks: Businesses can use Databricks to process big data and perform advanced analytics. For instance, a financial institution can use Databricks to detect fraudulent transactions by analyzing large datasets for unusual patterns or anomalies.
  • Azure Data Factory: This service simplifies data integration and transformation processes. A manufacturing company can use Data Factory to consolidate data from various sources, perform data cleansing, and create a unified, reliable dataset for better production planning and optimization.

Considerations and Potential Drawbacks (The Cons)

Learning Curve

Transitioning to Azure does come with its set of challenges. One significant consideration is the potential need for staff training, particularly for those who may not be familiar with the platform. This learning curve can be a hurdle for organizations aiming to make a seamless migration to Azure.

Azure Consultants

As a trusted partner in your cloud journey, WCI can play a pivotal role in helping your organization overcome this obstacle. By offering comprehensive training programs and resources tailored to Azure, WCI can equip your staff with the knowledge and skills to navigate and utilize the Azure environment effectively. This support ensures that your team is prepared to maximize the benefits of Azure while minimizing any disruptions during the migration process.

It’s also important to note that Azure’s complexity requires expertise and ongoing management to ensure all components work harmoniously. This means that businesses may need to invest in or partner with professionals who possess Azure-specific skills to configure, optimize, and secure their Azure deployments. This expertise is crucial to maintain your cloud infrastructure’s stability, security, and efficiency over time.

Requires Ongoing Management Or Azure Data Platform Consulting

While Azure allows you to lower costs for purchasing hardware and locally maintaining infrastructure, it still needs you to handle data management. It does not assist in managing cloud-based data centers, so you will still need to hire people who know how to use Microsoft Azure and can handle server monitoring and patching. 

Migrating to Azure

Partnering with WCI as your trusted experts in Azure Consulting helps you navigate the complexities of the Azure platform and unlock the full potential of cloud technology for your business. Learn more about our tailored Azure solutions, training, and ongoing support to ensure a seamless experience. Focus on what matters most—driving innovation and growth. 

Get Started Today 

The experts at WCI can help your organization determine if Microsoft Azure is the right cloud solution for your business or if other hybrid solutions would better suit you. Learn more about the pros and cons of using Microsoft Azure by requesting a free consultation today!

Choose WCI as your strategic ally in the Azure journey, and let us empower your business for success in the cloud era.

As organizations continue to adopt agile and lean methodologies, business intelligence has become a critical component in optimizing data management strategies that provide valuable insights for informed decision-making. 

In today’s world, very few organizations aren’t leveraging the power of agile and lean methods within some of their software development teams. Not only is agile popular amongst IT departments it’s being applied, but agile is being incorporated into all aspects of many businesses. This trend began in 2001 and has steadily grown since then. 

Data Management is a crucial process component, and it promotes a pragmatic, streamlined approach to data management that fits into the rest of an IT process. Consequently, there is a need to optimize a Data Management strategy within the overall workflow of organizational processes. Disciplined Agile Data Management does just that evolutionarily and collaboratively, offering concrete data management strategies that provide the right data to the right people at the right time.

What is an agile mindset?

At the basic level, Agile refers to continuous and incremental improvement through small and frequent releases. The term Agile data is commonly associated with software development as a project management methodology and breaks down large projects into weekly “sprints.”

Rather than forming a business intelligence strategy that you plan to roll out in six months, an agile approach would break down those 6 months’ worth of work and organize them into weekly lists of tasks to build on. These short increments are often referred to as sprints. 

An agile mindset allows for constant feedback from your business staff and creates shorter development cycles. If one aspect is not meeting the business need, it can be identified and remedied quickly before spending too much time and effort on something that doesn’t work. If you use an agile approach, the collaboration will be at the core of your team’s work to ensure the deliverables are met. As a result, you’ll be able to see results quickly and gain momentum in your overall business intelligence strategy versus other traditional approaches.

An agile data mindset emphasizes the following:

  • Open collaboration, both within the product team and with stakeholders
  • Rapid iteration that delivers small incremental usable items of value
  • Continuous inspection and improvement to improve the team’s velocity over time
  • Empowering the department team to self-manage

Key Factors in Adopting an agile mindset for BI

1. Keep your eyes on the big picture

You may have an immediate problem that you need to solve and want to use BI to get there. This may work as a short-term solution. However, you may also find that you put a lot of time and energy into addressing one issue, only to find that it will not help with future problems.

Part of your business intelligence strategy should focus on solutions that can answer many questions over time. In addition, your business intelligence should be adaptable as your company grows and goals change.

Most importantly, your business intelligence should align with your overall business strategy. Whether you are looking to improve operations, increase sales, or provide more efficient service to your customers, your business intelligence analytics should be able to identify the relevant data for your goals.

2. Involve the right people

No matter the size of your business intelligence team, you need to involve a group willing to put changes into practice. 

Your team should include several roles:

  • People who are experts at using tools to retrieve and display data
  • People with the right insights to interpret the data
  • People who can support the organization by putting the data into practice

Your organization may need training across multiple departments. Your business staff has to understand that the data will help them make better business decisions. If you maintain a strong relationship between your business staff and your business intelligence team, you will have the most success from your business intelligence strategy. 

Depending on the size of your organization, some of these roles may overlap, or you may also find that you need outside business intelligence consulting

3. Identify the pain points 

You may have business staff that already know what data they need to make informed decisions within their departments. They may be manually compiling data in Excel or preparing reports independently. Unless this is brought to the attention of the business intelligence team, no improvements can be made. The BI team should talk with leaders within each department and find out what questions exist today and how BI solutions can help. 

If the “workarounds” that staff use are needed for their jobs or part of overall company goals, they should be implemented into the BI strategy. These one-off methods can be replaced with more robust analytics and reporting.

Successful implement and optimize BI Solutions

Incorporating agile into your organization’s practice may sound challenging, but getting started may be easier than you think. The first step is reviewing your current process and identifying how to break down large projects into smaller ones. Next, review the team and roles that support each task and begin scheduling weekly meetings to keep everyone on the same page. 

As each project progresses, an agile approach allows you the flexibility to adjust, change course, and optimize at all stages as you need. Export support can also help make agile a reality for your team. 

Get the right business intelligence experts in your corner

Our team of BI experts at WCI will design and develop systems to help you leverage the power of your data:

  • Stay proactive using real-time data
  • Empower your team with easy-to-use dashboards
  • Access your data anywhere with mobile intelligence solutions
  • Make smarter decisions with predictive data models
  • Stay productive with fewer interruptions and quicker answers
  • All on the best platforms and technology for you (including cloud business intelligence on AWS, Azure, Power BI, and more…)

Get started today

WCI is a business intelligence consulting company with a team of experts based 100% in the USA. If you’re ready to implement agile and begin working smarter, WCI is here to help. Talk with our experts today to learn more. 

Data is the most powerful tool a business can use to assess how its performance is doing, predict upcoming trends, and benchmark goals for the future. Business intelligence dashboards help companies interpret this often complex data and use it to forward their business.

While dashboards make it easy for a company to visualize its data by displaying metrics, graphs, gauges, maps, percentages, and comparisons of all the information streaming in and out of the company, being creative with how one leverages these numbers can be a challenge. By viewing data in new and innovative ways, companies can better understand where they stand and how to improve certain areas of the business. 

We’re sharing 6 ways you can get started in this department.

1. Monitor metrics and KPIs from different departments

By using BI dashboards to assess metrics and KPIs across your entire business, you can better understand where opportunities for improvement exist. Siloed data can be hard to connect to other departments – but BI helps you see how everything is connected and plays into different areas. 

Better understand the entire lifecycle of products, customer journeys, and more from start to finish with BI dashboards and connect the dots across all departments. Not only does your business better understand its customers and products, but you can cultivate more collaboration within your company in the same breath. 

2. Use interactive filters

Interactive dashboards ensure the analysis experience is as efficient and intuitive as possible for anyone interpreting data. Static dashboards are no longer efficient to use. When building interactive dashboards, always keep interactivity in mind. This can be achieved using various filters that make your data easier to navigate and view. 

Some common interactivity filters that you may want to try include the following:

  • Drill-downs: A drill-down filter allows you to visualize lower levels of hierarchical data all in one chart. The value of drill-downs lies in the fact that you don’t need to overcrowd your dashboards to get a more detailed view; you can do everything in one single chart.
  • Drill-through: Similar to a drill-down, a drill-through filter allows you to visualize additional, more detailed views about a specific KPI. The difference is that a drill-through will show you the additional data in a pop-up instead of the same chart.
  • Click-to-filter: Another useful filter to enhance interactivity is the click-to-filter. As its name suggests, to use this filter, all you need to do is click on a specific graph, and the entire dashboard will be filtered based on it. Applying it lets you explore your data and instantly extract deeper understandings.

The Linking feature allows you to use elements within a report (a table or chart) to act as input controls for a selection performed in another component (a table, chart, or the entire report). In addition, you can specify whether one or all of the element dimensions will be used as selectors.

3. Explore demographics and trends

Demographics and trends can be critical in simplifying complex data using charts, maps, infographics, and graphs. These visual data representations of things you may not immediately notice are that strictly numbers and text reports can be highly revealing. As a result, it becomes easier to detect trends, patterns, and data relations essential for decision-making. Leverage this real-time data to unveil actionable insights and visually represent trends that can change how your company is doing things for the better. 

4. Use storytelling 

While storytelling is a powerful best practice any business can use, regardless of industry or sector, it is particularly helpful when interpreting data. A compelling narrative will capture your audience’s attention and break down your findings in an inspirational and digestible way. In addition, storytelling with BI can show you new information about your customers and community you didn’t already know. 

This approach will result in increased success across the board. Not only can you see trends and patterns within your data, but storytelling using a larger narrative can paint the big picture, which may help you visualize larger metrics, set long-term goals, and more.

5. Make data part of your everyday workflow 

Creating a culture of using data and making decisions solely based on it will strongly encourage employees to use advanced BI solutions daily. Spreading data culture will help workers be aware of – and understand – BI products and their features. And they are then more likely to use these products effectively every day. 

A company can also appoint a specific team to play the role of early adopters who can later share their knowledge and experiences with their peers on forums and in training. Announcing a successful BI project may also kindle other teams’ enthusiasm for new data solutions. Setting up a website for communication purposes can inform the rest of the staff and be part of a training program to help get them started with their BI-powered projects.

6. See a different perspective and discover new insights

Business intelligence dashboards come in different forms and cover various topics based on your industry. With an increasing number of chart types and more and more data being visualized, the possibilities of how the data can be displayed and the stories they can tell us are virtually endless. Finding a system that works for your needs and abilities is key.

Start getting creative with your data 

At WCI, our business intelligence consulting helps companies organize, optimize, and analyze their business data to make more informed and profitable data-driven decisions. If you’re ready to tie together business data from your entire company to inform you better and discover opportunities, we’re here to help.  

Get started today with our experts.

5 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Business Intelligence Consulting Firm At Wci Consulting

Businesses looking to leverage the power of their data and analytics often turn to business intelligence consulting to help them make sense of their information and gain a competitive edge. Companies can make more informed decisions by analyzing business analytics and industry trends, leading to increased profits and efficiency. 

Business intelligence (BI) can be used to track customer behavior, understand how products are selling, predict future needs, and so much more. Businesses are learning that their most valuable asset is already at their fingertips – their data. 

BI can give companies a competitive edge by providing managers and decision-makers with timely, accurate information about their customers, operations, and financial performance. As a result, BI can help these businesses make better-informed decisions that improve overall outcomes.

By partnering with a knowledgeable business intelligence consulting firm, you can ensure they have access to the latest tools and techniques needed to effectively collect, analyze, and interpret data for strategic decision-making. But how do you choose the right one, and what questions should you be asking? Here are 5 questions you may want to consider asking when choosing a business intelligence consulting firm

1. What is your definition of “business intelligence?”

Asking this question will give you insight into how your potential consultant views business intelligence and its power. 

For WCI, we believe that business intelligence refers to the technologies, processes, and practices used to analyze and make sense of an organization’s data to gain insights that inform business decisions. Business intelligence aims to turn data into actionable information, giving business leaders a deeper understanding of their organization’s performance, market trends, and opportunities.

BI solutions may involve data gathering and management, data analysis and reporting, visualization and dashboarding tools, and predictive analytics. The insights BI tools provide can help organizations optimize their operations, identify growth opportunities, and stay ahead of competitors. Business intelligence is widely used in various industries, including finance, healthcare, retail, and manufacturing.

2. What are the most common uses or applications of Power BI?

In 2019, Forbes reported that an overwhelming 95% of businesses faced challenges with unstructured data – data that is unorganized and unprepared for analysis.

Power BI is a powerful business intelligence tool developed by Microsoft, which provides a wide range of features for data visualization, exploration, and analysis. The right business intelligence consulting service will help you take advantage of these areas and more for your business. 

Here are some of the most common uses or applications of Power BI that we leverage at WCI:

  1. Data analysis and visualization: Power BI provides a variety of visualizations, including charts, graphs, tables, and maps, which make it easy to analyze and understand complex data sets.
  2. Business reporting: Power BI allows users to create custom reports and dashboards, which can be shared with others in real time. This enables organizations to make data-driven decisions based on current and accurate information.
  3. Data modeling: Power BI includes tools for data modeling, which help users to prepare and transform data for analysis. This involves cleaning, transforming, and shaping data into a format ready for analysis.
  4. Forecasting: Power BI includes predictive analytics features that enable users to create forecasts based on historical data. This can help organizations to identify trends and make more accurate predictions about future outcomes.
  5. Mobile reporting: Power BI has mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows, which allow users to access and interact with reports and dashboards from their mobile devices.
  6. Integration with other Microsoft tools: Power BI integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft tools, such as MS Team and Azure, allowing users to leverage data from multiple sources.

3. What BI platforms do you work with?

The platforms a business intelligence consulting company works with can make or break your decision to partner with them. You’ll want to find a partner familiar with the platforms you already know and love – and not be put in a box that makes you switch what you’re already familiar with. 

We work with all the best platforms and technology for different businesses, including cloud business intelligence on AWS, Azure, Power BI, and more.

4. How long have you been working in my industry?

The right business intelligence solution should consistently deliver more than you expect. So should your business intelligence and data management consulting partner. At WCI Consulting, we’ve done just that since 1998. Our reputation speaks for itself, thanks to our team of highly mastered data management AWS and cloud consultants who are available to help you reach new levels of success, day in and day out.

At WCI, we help businesses organize, optimize, and analyze their business data to make more informed and profitable data-driven decisions. In addition, we help you better tie together business data from your entire company to inform better and discover opportunities.

We have worked with dozens of organizations to help them gain better insight into their business through Microsoft Power BI dashboards. However, setting up a dashboard doesn’t mean you get the needed numbers. Read more about our experiences working with businesses like yours in our case studies over the years. 

5. What BI consulting services do you provide?

Power BI is a suite of business intelligence tools developed by Microsoft that offer a wide range of services to help users analyze and gain insights from their data. While each consultant provides different services, partnering with a business intelligence consulting company that offers exactly what you need – today and for the future is essential. 

Here are some of the key services we offer:

We work with companies to identify actionable insights and key performance indicators that make performance improvements a reality. Our dedicated professionals live and breathe BI. 

Find the perfect partner for you

At WCI, we believe in true partnerships and work hard to support our clients in every way possible. If you’re ready to harness the power of your data through business intelligence services, our team is ready to help. 

In today’s increasingly data-driven world, it’s more important than ever to have accessible ways to view and understand data and leverage it to make informed business decisions. Business analytics and data visualization provide insights into how things have historically played out, possibilities for new scenarios, and much more. 

It’s no surprise businesses today have gravitated toward wanting to understand and leverage data visualization capabilities as an efficient way to help make sense of business-critical information and large sets of complex data at scale. Across all industries, business leaders today understand the importance of data and how to use it to its fullest potential – with the help of analytic dashboards and data visualization tools

In this post, we’re breaking down analytics dashboards, data visualization, what each is, their advantages, and how they can impact your business in significant ways. Let’s dive in!

Why is data visualization important?

Business intelligence aims to collect and turn data into actionable information that fulfills operational and strategic objectives and supports a person’s decision-making. Why is it important? Because it helps people see, interact with, and better understand their organization’s data. Whether simple or complex, effective visualization and BI tools can bring everyone together on the same page, regardless of their expertise with data or daily interaction with these numbers. 

Not only is the actual data necessary, but the ways BI display them are just as crucial. According to MIT, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. This means that the better we can represent complex numbers like big data, the easier it becomes for all stakeholders and employees to understand. Data visualization ultimately helps provide more people who use BI tools and analytics solutions with a familiar, engaging, interactive way to absorb information at a glance and understand the insights hidden beneath the numbers.

These data visualization tools and processes provide a quick and effective way to communicate and share information in an easy-to-read manner using visual information. 

See data visualization services offered by WCI >>>

What is a data visualization dashboard?

What Is A Data Visualization Dashboard | Power Bi Dashboard Example
Power BI Dashboard Example

Data visualization, also known as data exploration or Business Intelligence (BI), is often referred to as dashboarding. The data visualization industry has garnered much attention over recent years because of the easy-to-understand format in which complex data is delivered. Dashboards, in turn, present this complex data in an easy-to-interpret format. 

These dashboards allow those viewing them to easily track, analyze, and display KPIs, metrics, and critical data points. A good dashboard helps both technical and non-technical users understand and interpret business intelligence to make more informed business decisions. They can actively participate in the analytics process by compiling data, visualizing trends or occurrences, and uncovering an objective view of performance metrics that can be immediately understood.

As BI has become a priority in the past decade, analytics solutions increasingly support newer options to visualize complex data sets and realize effective data visualization. Today, there are many types of data visualization to show and represent data in a more engaging way, with the exact output dependent on the analytics solution in question. 

  • Make data easier to understand for all
  • Increase accessibility and collaboration on data points
  • Create quick overviews of complex numbers

The benefits of using BI dashboards

For many organizations, multiple tools are used to track KPIs and metrics, such as marketing platforms, email platforms, and CRM tools. Monitoring and analyzing the data from each tool individually takes a lot of time and effort to compile. It’s often disjointed and hard to put together, too. 

The solution? A data visualization dashboard with a graphical representation of your data. 

Dashboards are used for data visualization so that users can glimpse a bird’s eye view of the data from each of their business platforms in one centralized location, gaining the ability to understand what it means for the business quickly. Businesses can also drill down deeper into any aspect of the data with a few clicks. This is great for specific departments to compare year-over KPIs, projections, and more. 

Who is Analytics Dashboards and Data Visualization for?

Analytics dashboards and data visualization can be helpful in many different industries and uses. Many in these fields utilize data visualization for business operations and data-driven decision-making: 

  • Financial services 
  • Healthcare
  • Life sciences
  • Manufacturing 
  • Media and communications
  • Public and social impact 
  • Retail and consumer goods
  • Technology 
  • Transportation 
  • Education
  • And more

Whether it’s a sales department manager in a media company wanting to make their quarterly KPI report more engaging for executives or a C-suite in finance using visualizations to represent their total investments, data visualization is equally essential.

How Do I Get Started With a Data Visualization Consultation?

Getting started is fast and easy with the experts at WCI. 

  1. Start with a Free On-site Discovery Session — During the discovery session, you will meet with a senior data analytics consultant from WCI and share your data challenges and goals with us.
  2. Next, we Review the Proposed Solutions — After the session, we’ll summarize, evaluate, and provide a list of data management solutions and a project outline custom to you.
  3. After that, we start the Solution Development Process — After the agreement is signed, WCI and your team work together to develop the right solution that meets your project goals and supports your business. 
  4. Lastly, we move into Training and Support — This is a key stage of our solution and crucial to your data. 

Is your business leveraging data to its fullest potential?

Find out by spending half a day with someone who knows data and can help you answer this question. 

At WCI, our data visualization consultants help businesses organize, optimize, and analyze their business data in ways that help them make informed and profitable data-driven decisions. We help you tie together business data from your entire company to better inform and discover opportunities. 

Start your data visualization journey today with WCI

With an ever-increasing amount of data available at our fingertips, knowing what information is relevant to problems you need to solve or decisions you need to make can be challenging. But with the help of business intelligence software platforms, the data noise can be calmed, and you can gain clarity in what you’re looking at. 

Business intelligence software platforms are designed to make sense of vast volumes of data and offer insights into ways to leverage this knowledge. Business intelligence can help create something meaningful from all that nondescript data when used correctly. BI solutions assemble all the discrete data for analysis and then group and shape them for any business’s use. 

How do you know which BI software platform is right for your needs? Learn more about the top 3 BI platforms and what makes each unique. 

What exactly is business intelligence software?

Business intelligence (BI) is a set of business analytics solutions companies use to retrieve, analyze, and transform data into meaningful business insights. These reports are often compiled into easy-to-read visualization such as charts, graphs, and real-time dashboards. 

BI tools often include data visualization, data warehouses, interactive dashboards, and reporting tools. These BI solutions pull internal data that a business produces into an analytics platform, allowing for deep insights into how different parts of the company affect one another.

So what options do you have to choose from for BI software? AWS, Azure, and Power BI are hands down the three most popular. 


Aws Business Intelligence Software

AWS (Amazing Web Services) allows application providers and vendors to securely and quickly host applications. You can use AWS or well-documented web services APIs to access AWS’s application hosting platform features and tools.

AWS also provides servers, networking, storage, remote computing, email, mobile development, and security for its users. 

Features and Benefits

  • Easy-To-Use – AWS allows application providers, ISVs, and vendors to quickly and securely host any applications. 
  • Flexible – AWS enables users to select the operating system, web application platform, programming language, database, and other needed services according to their business. 
  • Cost-Effective – You only pay for the computing storage, power, and other resources you need, with no long-term contracts or commitments.
  • Reliable – Take advantage of a scalable, reliable, and secure global computing infrastructure when using AWS. 
  • Scalable and high-performance – Applications can scale up or down based on demand using AWS tools, Auto Scaling, and Elastic Load Balancing.  
  • Secure – AWS’s end-to-end approach securely protects infrastructure, including physical, operational, and software measures, in one single source. 

Who should use AWS

Because AWS’s pricing is modified based on a customer’s usage, start-ups and small businesses often choose AWS and can see the benefits of using AWS for their immediate computing needs. For existing companies, Amazon provides low-cost migration services so your existing infrastructure can seamlessly move over to AWS. As a company grows, AWS also provides resources to aid in expansion. 


Azure Business Intelligence Software

Microsoft Azure, along with AWS, is one of the top Infrastructure as Services (IaaS) providers, also known as “the Cloud.” Formerly known as Windows Azure, is Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform. It provides a broad range of cloud services, including computing, analytics, storage, and networking.

Microsoft Azure has over 200 applications that offer over 1,000 technical capabilities in the past year alone. All applications are designed to serve businesses from the cloud or over the internet. Companies can offload resources to Microsoft Azure rather than storing and managing data on their own. Azure also helps businesses process data on their computers and servers.

Features and Benefits

  • Speed: Microsoft Azure’s speed is a top benefit, and it emphasizes placing data centers worldwide, giving users the best chance of getting their data when they need it.
  • Automated solutions: Microsoft has developed some of the most fully-automated solutions that can change when needed, without notice required. 
  • Robust templates: Microsoft also provides pre-built tools, such as templates and best practice guides, so you don’t have to create anything from scratch, resulting in a quicker time to market. 
  • Enhanced flexibility: Azure offers immense flexibility with its simplified scalability.
  • Flexible service levels: Because companies pay for only what they use, there’s a sense of freedom for companies to move between tiers and maximize budgets. 

Who should use Azure

Azure is a fast, flexible, and affordable platform, and its pricing and capabilities make it a significant public cloud offering on the market. Companies needing a deep and wide tool interplay with many other services should consider Azure as their BI software. 

Power BI (Microsoft Power BI)

Microsoft Power Bi Business Intelligence Software

Power BI is a collection of software services, connectors, and apps that combine to turn a business’s unrelated data sources into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. 

Features and Benefits

  • Data visualization – Power BI offers a variety of easy-to-read and interpret visualizations, including charts, graphs, dashboards, and more. 
  • Machine-learning pattern predictions – Allow Power BI to harness your data’s power and provide future projections based on trends. 
  • Great for complex, large data – Power BI is an excellent option for businesses working with vast amounts of complex data. 
  • Easy creation of reports and dashboards – You don’t need to create custom dashboards unless you want to because many pre-built options are accessible. 

Who should use Power BI

Power BI is an excellent option for those wanting data visualizations. This software is especially relevant for those in the following industries: software or IT companies, the hospitality industry, the financial industry, management consulting services, retail sectors, staffing & recruitment industry.

Finding the right business intelligence solutions

In the race between top cloud providers, it will be exciting to see what new initiatives these three providers embrace in the future. If you’re ready to get started or have more questions about BI or finding the right business intelligence software platform, WCI Consulting is here to help. Contact our team today to get started with your training. 

As a business leader, you may understand that data management and business intelligence are essential to your organization’s success. Business analytics enable you to make informed, fast decisions, react to market changes efficiently, and always stay one step ahead of the competition. Companies that successfully implemented master data management continually grow, but how can you ensure that your business’s intelligence is optimized and working for what you need?

If you’re looking to tie together business data from all areas of your company to inform and discover opportunities but aren’t sure how, we’ve got the answer for you.

So What Does Business Intelligence (BI) Include?

Business intelligence refers to the technology that enables businesses to organize, analyze, and contextualize their organization’s data from all aspects of the company in one single source. BI includes multiple tools and techniques that help transform raw data into meaningful and actionable information.

How Is BI Used?

When used correctly, BI can be leveraged by many different organizational departments. For example, sales, marketing, finance, and operations departments can harness business intelligence to help guide their strategies.

For example, various teams and departments may use business intelligence for the following:

  • Data scientists and analysts: Analysts are usually very familiar with BI and use the centralized data to understand where opportunities for improvement exist and what strategic recommendations should be made to company leadership.
  • Finance: Finance departments can blend financial data with operations, marketing, and sales reporting to offer insights into which decisions make the most sense regarding profit and loss.
  • Marketing: BI can help marketers track campaign metrics and efforts from one centralized place. These systems also offer real-time tracking, measure each effort’s performance, and allow marketers to better plan for future campaigns.
  • Sales: Sales data analysts and operation managers often use BI dashboards and key performance indicators (KPIs) to quickly access complex information like discount analysis, customer profitability, and customer lifetime value.

Explore three easy ways your business can start maximizing business analytics, data management, and business intelligence for ongoing success.

1. Evaluate your data management and business intelligence ecosystem

To create a path towards success, you first need to evaluate where you currently stand. Identify how your business uses analytics to drive decisions and communicate across departments. Your marketing, sales, customer service, and other teams are all probably using data analytics in one way or another. Ask yourself if these departments are siloed or collaborative in data management and sharing.

And if you’re not using data at all but seem to be succeeding, the wave you’re riding will only last so long. Without data to drive your decisions, strategy, and path forward, you’re taking shots in the dark and guessing what will work.

As you evaluate your team and how they’re using BI currently, try to keep the following questions in mind:

  • What’s your BI vision, and do you have any? How is that vision aligned with your IT and corporate strategy?
  • Who are your BI players, and how coordinated are they? Is there function overlap?
  • How do you handle data management and data governance? How do you support BI users?
  • What factors do you use to make business decisions?

As you uncover answers about your current business processes and how your team utilizes them across departments, you should see where improvements can be made in areas that cause frustration or hold-ups.

2. Create a strategy

Deliver actionable business insights by creating a business-aligned reporting and analytics strategy. Well-designed data management processes can help your business benefit from productivity improvements, cost efficiencies, and a flexible ability to respond quickly to changing needs.

When your data is well organized and managed, you can reduce data movement, uncover performance breakdowns, and better empower your users to access the information they need in one simple click. In addition, with data management in place, companies like yours can avoid unnecessary duplications, and employees won’t conduct the same research or fulfill the same tasks repeatedly.

A company’s success depends heavily on its ability to make the right decisions quickly. If it takes too long to react to market shifts or activities of competitors, businesses are likely to lose money, miss opportunities, and fall behind the competition. The solution is in organized data, allowing decision-makers to acquire vital information faster and respond appropriately.

3. Emphasize the big picture to employees

It’s essential to train your employees to think critically and make decisions quickly. While all businesses rely on their employees to make critical decisions, in today’s fast-paced economy, it is more important than ever.

The ability to think critically involves analyzing information, interpreting its meaning, and identifying key issues. It also requires seeing both sides of an issue and evaluating the implications that different decisions can create. The ability to make quick decisions depends on how employees can weigh out the pros and cons of various options quickly and efficiently. When employees do learn these skills, businesses gain a competitive edge.

Moreover, they can help ensure that their employees are better equipped to handle the challenges of the modern workplace.

Start achieving success through data management and business intelligence today.

If you’re ready to provide real-time insights and solutions to your team, WCI Consulting can help you make that happen. Learn more about our business intelligence consulting services and how they can help grow and support your business.