In principle, modern business intelligence techniques and technologies should be just as valuable to some of the smallest businesses as to the largest. In practice, most operations below a certain scale feel largely confined to the sidelines in this arena, as they lack the resources to develop their own in-house programs of this sort. Despite accumulating reams of valuable data almost by default and without trying, smaller operations can feel like they are unable to profitably leverage these assets, so that they instead lay fallow and unharvested. Modern SaaS business intelligence services, though, may have just what is needed in cases such as this.
Software-as-a-service (or SaaS) is a relatively new style of offering in the digital space. Instead of selling licenses for in-house use of particular software packages, vendors of this sort host their own platforms, allowing customers to access them over the network. This arrangement removes the issue of maintenance and upgrading from the customer’s side of things, and it allows vendors to tune and upgrade their software in real time, while also providing unprecedented levels of support at low cost.
In the case of business intelligence, this SaaS style of service allows specialists to host databases and other accumulations of business-relevant information in settings that make it easiest to exploit. Many smaller-scale operations, for example, nonetheless have large historical troves of production, sales, and revenue data but would not normally have the technical assets needed to efficiently analyze these stores.
Providers of SaaS, or cloud-based, business intelligence have the infrastructure, software tools, and workers necessary for this task. Getting started with a new SaaS provider of this sort is often as easy as opening an account and providing for the importing of existing business data. Most providers make a point of their flexibility in this regard, accepting a variety of formats, and automatically normalizing tables and data sets as needed.
With data having been made accessible to the service provider’s tools, decision makers can then manipulate and analyze it using the provided tools. Most business intelligence specialists of this sort will offer up a variety of pre-created analytical and reporting tools, and these can often be customized as desired quite simply through web-based or other interfaces. Thanks to their economies of scale, SaaS providers are also often able to offer these services at prices that would be a fraction of the costs for internal projects of the sort.