The Race to Realization

To survive in today’s ever-changing business environment, you need to make decisions and act quickly. To thrive, you need to do so more quickly than your competitors. Business intelligence (BI) solutions can support your ability to identify business opportunities and challenges, and to address them fast. Learn about a BI product that can help you identify challenges and opportunities and take action to capitalize on them.

Executive Summary

To survive in today’s constantly changing business environment, you need to be able to make decisions and take action quickly. To thrive in today’s business environment, you need to be able to make decisions and take action more quickly than your competitors. This is the essence of what TARGIT offers: the ability to identify business opportunities and challenges, and address them more quickly than your competitors. TARGIT has achieved this by maintaining a laser-sharp focus on the objective of identifying opportunities and challenges, understanding what these mean for the business, and taking action to capitalize on the opportunities and address the challenges.

Traditional business intelligence (BI) vendors provide different solutions for different user groups that require different data-access methods. There has been some effort in the marketplace to consolidate these various methods of accessing and working with data to present a single platform for all methods. The primary drivers for this, however, are to provide a single platform for IT administrators to work with—thus reducing the diversity of skills required, resulting in reduced workload—and for the customer to have a single “throat to choke” for any commercial or technical issues. The objective has not been to provide a single, seamless experience for a single user to work with data in many different ways.

TARGIT is a company with a focus on providing a single, seamless experience of working with data. Its approach to the challenge within BI has resulted in one of the most homogenous platforms on the market. Its platform has two distinct features: the seamless transition from one way of working with data to another; and built-in “intelligence” within the platform. The combination of these features results in what TARGIT describes as “the fastest way to better decisions.”

As a result of this focus, the TARGIT BI platform is best suited to decision makers within an organization. From the C-level executive to the production manager, anybody that needs to understand the business environment and make decisions or take action will benefit from the TARGIT BI platform.

The main BI areas that the TARGIT BI platform hasn’t been designed to address are production reporting— where hundreds of thousands or millions of reports need to be produced (and potentially printed) in a short period of time; complex reports—reports that need some complex data manipulation within the report, or a custom (often graphical) layout; and embedded BI—applications that need reporting or analytics as a part of the application. Given the maturity of the TARGIT BI platform, these areas can be addressed to a point—and indeed, TARGIT has customers using its platform to generate relatively complex reports for thousands of users—but the platform has not been designed to address these BI requirements directly.

Introduction

Colonel John Boyd was a US Air Force fighter pilot and military strategist in the late twentieth century. He is well known for the “OODA loop” (observe, orient, decide, and act) concept. The OODA loop is a process that every one of us goes through before we take action. We observe the environment, understand the context of the environment (i.e., the implications of our observations, or orientation), decide on the action to take as a result of the orientation, and then finally take this action. The results of the action taken and the impact on the environment is fed back into the observation and orientation phases of the next loop.

Boyd used the OODA loop to describe how to overcome an enemy in a dogfight without the use of brute force. Essentially, his idea was that the key to victory is to be able to create situations where one can make appropriate decisions more quickly than one’s opponent. If a fighter pilot can iterate through this OODA loop faster than his opponent, he can make decisions faster, keeping one step ahead of the enemy, causing confusion and ultimately “psychological paralysis.”

Companies need to focus on iterating through this OODA loop faster than ever, not just to stay one step ahead of the competition, but also to adapt to a business environment that is changing faster than ever.

TARGIT has focused all its efforts on one objective: to help companies iterate through the OODA loop as quickly as possible. Appreciating the benefits that the TARGIT BI platform delivers depends on appreciating this concept. In this paper, we outline some of the methods TARGIT uses to achieve its objective.

Single, Seamless Platform

Virtually every BI vendor has some claim to a “single platform” for BI. However, the vast majority of BI vendors use this single platform as the foundation for disparate sets of BI technology that are targeted at different types of user groups. They have the data mining tools for the analysts, the ad hoc report development tools for the “techies” within the lines of business, the dashboards for the executives, and so on. The “single platform” is just a technology platform. Of course, this does have its advantages: a single vendor to contact if something should go wrong, reduced investment in hardware, and one set of IT skills to administer and maintain the platform, for example.
 

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