How Does a BI (Business Intelligence) Tool Work With NetSuite ERP? The GURUS Guide

By: Athen Bozoglu

Table Of Contents

Cloud BI for the Mid-Market: Partners Lead the way

The Long Journey to Mid-Market Business Intelligence

For the past 30 years, the concept of Business Intelligence (BI) has evolved as a discipline primarily aimed at the IT departments and business executives in industries that are confronted with massive amounts of data. These businesses will deal with large volumes of data, which in turn will require quick analysis that impacts both tactical, operational, and strategic decisions across the organizations they serve.

Although BI as a discipline has been around since the 20th century and is an outgrowth of the Decision Support Systems (DSS) of the 1960s, only recently (in the last 15 years or so) has BI entered the vernacular of the “everyday” business who is heavily dependent on a data-driven economy to remain competitive. Long gone are the days of a BI world where only large organizations with significant IT resources at hand are required to support the data marts, data warehouses, and analytics tools to mine the data locked in disparate systems.

In today’s world, Cloud Technology has asserted itself as the great equalizer in connecting and housing business data. Consequently, BI software has become accessible to any business that invests its efforts in building a Business Intelligence practice.

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Cloud BI:  The Great Equalizer

So, how has the application of Business Intelligence tools in businesses impacted the enterprise software market?  

With SaaS and Cloud solutions serving businesses up and down market, Mid-Market ERP vendors like Oracle NetSuite have been evolving their offerings to include “BI-like” capabilities to meet customer demands with more robust analytics.  Although the expectations of BI and its purpose has not changed, the increasing demand for this new mid-market audience has muddied the waters of what can be categorized as BI and what it should deliver.  Businesses are not only looking to have quicker and better insights into their data within the confines of their ERP systems, but they are also seeking to have these insights extend to their other corporate systems (e.g. CRM, HRIS, PLM, etc.). 

Breaking Down the Term: Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence is not “Reporting on Steroids!”  BI solutions need to provide a flexible platform where large volumes of data from multiple systems and sources can be quickly processed, accessed, and visualized.  They need to empower the business user to achieve the “Hard Stuff” companies cannot generate from their current systems.  It's these difficult activities aimed at forecasting and predictive analytics where single systems fall short and where Enterprise BI needs to come to the forefront.

In light of this new reality, there remains a gap in the mid-market.  Now that affordable true Business Intelligence is within arm’s length to the everyday business, Cloud providers like Google are offering solutions that deliver enterprise-grade solutions to all those who are willing to invest in their BI practice.   Still, there remains a knowledge gap in successfully deploying these solutions and effectively getting the most of the captured data. Fortunately, major mid-market cloud vendors like Oracle NetSuite and Google have developed a strong partner ecosystem to guide the mid-market customer through these unchartered waters.  Where NetSuite and Oracle will keep focusing on delivering powerful solutions, partners with a strong focus on system integration, product knowledge, and industry expertise will allow SMB organizations to remain competitive in a data-driven economy.

Google BI for NetSuite: A Model for the Mid-Market

As NetSuite leads the pack in delivering Cloud ERP to the Mid-Market, the need for stronger analytics and Business Intelligence has become a strategic factor in business automation. This is especially true for data-intensive industries that are being onboarded to NetSuite who heavily rely on historical data to remain competitive.

For example, many Mid-Market distribution and e-tail NetSuite customers are continuously adjusting inventory levels, SKUs, and pricing models to stay ahead of the game. Although traditional reporting is excellent for tracking day-to-day operations, many businesses are seeking robust BI solutions to address demand planning, forecasting and predictive analytics requirements critical for today’s fast-moving digital economy.

The Best Adapted ERP Business Intelligence Module for NetSuite ERP

Mid-Market companies now have the opportunity to build a BI strategy without investing millions in resources and technology to achieve their goals.  With the maturity of the NetSuite platform, there are many mid-sized companies that are faced with multiple years of data residing in the Cloud with the inability to easily analyze the data at hand.  

Much in line with NetSuite, Google provides an affordable and minimal maintenance Cloud platform to house voluminous data sets in Google’s BigQuery data warehouse and generate analytics via multiple visualization options, such Google Data Studio and other popular visualization solutions in the marketplace (Looker, Tableau, Power BI, etc.).  

The challenge remains in effectively aligning ERP data with these systems.  Consequently, ERP insiders (such as experienced Netsuite partners) have become a necessary component in building an effective BI solution for many mid-market businesses.  For most organizations interested in taking on BI data tools, they do not have the ERP data model expertise to build a feasible and successful business intelligence systems for their business. Fortunately, both NetSuite and Google have a strong partner ecosystem to bridge the gap between BI and ERP.

To learn how GURUS solutions can assist your organization in your BI initiative please check out our latest NetSuite BI Solution.

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Article Written in Collaboration with Neil Stolovitsky (ERP Professional at GURUS Solutions)

About Athen Bozoglu

Athen Bozoglu is a horror film fanatic, country music buff and a content marketer for Cloud ERP Solutions, in precisely that order. Not enough detail? Read more about him here.

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