GURUS Cloud Connect Ep. 11
What Are BI (Business Intelligence) Tools for NetSuite ERP? |
November 2020


Episode Topics:

What is BI for NetSuite?
What Are the BI Tools for NetSuite and how do they work?
How has BI (Business Intelligence) become a game-changer for businesses?
What kind of companies really profit from having BI heavy capabilities?
What are some common misconceptions around buzzwords like BI and AI?
Introducing the GURUS Solutions’ NetSuite Data Power Toolkit for NetSuite Users

Request More Info or Pricing on Google BI (Adavnced Reporting, Visualization and Data Warehousing) for NetSuite.


Episode Overview:

Business Intelligence (BI), AI and Machine Learning, Data Warehousing and real-time data accessibility have all become staple discussion points for rapidly growing companies in 2020 and going into 2021.

Companies across all industries today want to be able to make informed decisions that will rapidly impact their bottom line, and are actively looking for ways to accelerate their processes with new technologies.

In this latest segment of the GURUS Solutions sponsored Tech-Talk & NetSuite podcast, GURUS Cloud Connect, we’ll be sitting in with subject matter experts and explaining how NetSuite users can leverage BI Tools available to complement their ERP. 

We have two speakers joining this episode - with Neil Stolovitsky leading the conversation around Business Intelligence (BI) and how to master your NetSuite Data. Neil is the Product Manager behind GURUS’ own suite of Data Power Tools geared towards NetSuite Cloud ERP customers across North America, with solutions for business intelligence and machine learning. In addition, we’re also joined by Martin McNicoll, Founder and CEO of GURUS Solutions (North America’s largest NetSuite partner) and author of “Scale Up Your Business with Cloud Technology”.

Our guests for this segment are:
  • Martin McNicoll, Founder & President of GURUS Solutions. In 2015, he wrote the ultimate guide to Cloud Technology, ERP and system integrations for growing businesses, titled “Scale Up Your Business with Cloud Technology: A Practical Guide to Building a Future-Proof Enterprise”.
  • Neil Stolovitsky, NetSuite BI Product Manager at GURUS Solutions. He has a unique perspective on new and evolving business technologies and how to adapt them to specific industries for long-term growth. Joining us today, he’ll be talking about Google BI for NetSuite, AI for ERP, The GURUS Data Exporter, an upcoming Data Processing Tool, and more, as part of a sneak peek into the launch of a new suite of NetSuite Data Power Tools.

Episode Takeaways (Q&A with Neil Stolovitsky):

What are some common misconceptions around buzzwords like BI and AI?

The primary misconception of BI (Business Intelligence) is that it requires deep pockets and a team of BAs to take advantage of true BI. When in reality, Small and Mid-sized businesses alike are employing BI tactics daily with their existing systems (and dare I say -- even with basic spreadsheets). 

The reality is, BI is about getting the right information to the right people at the right time, so they can make the right decisions.  And having the ability to use this information to make actionable strategic decisions.

Moreover, with today’s cloud technologies, BI solutions are way more accessible than ever before. We are seeing a similar trend with the AI (Artificial Intelligence) buzzword as well.  The past complexity of leveraging technologies like AI no longer exists.  With the powerful yet affordable cloud ML and AI solutions delivered by vendors like Google, these technologies are surprisingly accessible and can be applied to build amazing predictive models with the right resources.

How has BI become a game-changer for businesses?

Where, at one time, BI was really designed for data-intensive industries with large IT teams, Business Intelligence is now available to all segments of the marketplace. Today, we are living through an Information Revolution where we have more data at our fingertips than we ever had before.

Leading companies across all industries are effectively leveraging this information to stay ahead of their competition, predict buyer’s behaviors and streamline their operations. The concept of working smart vs. working hard has never been more true today and BI strategies and technologies are at the heart of this new economy.

What kind of companies really profit from having BI heavy capabilities?

Although any company can benefit from improving their decision making process with BI, we’re seeing a real need for these types of solutions with data-intensive industries that rely heavily on understanding the ebb and flow of the cost structures that impact their business.

For example, seasonal businesses in retail and e-tail or Warehouse/Distribution companies that need to manage thin margins. A BI solution and strategy can become critical in increasing profits, ensuring optimized stock levels, and understanding which products, services, customers and suppliers will most likely contribute to a company’s growth and failures.

How does BI impact different users, at various levels of a company structure?

A solid BI strategy will positively impact all levels of an organization.  It will start at the top with the C-Suite, where executives will be able to make Big Picture decisions, and trickle down to operations, middle management and the customer support folks. It’ll provide access to the best raw data and information for taking action in line with the corporate goals set by the executive team.  

Many organizations fall into the habit of making important decisions impacting the business based on siloed pockets of available information within a specific group or department.  The idea of a robust BI strategy is to provide visibility at the macro and micro levels across the entire organization so all stakeholders can better execute their roles.

What is GURUS’ Business Intelligence for ERP Solution?

Based on our customers’ feedback from its predecessor (the popular NetSuite Data Exporter Tool), Google BI for NetSuite was born to help the NetSuite community with the challenges of mining historical data from NetSuite and, in some cases, coupling the data with external sources (other enterprise systems - from CRM to Marketplaces, or a warehouse management system, for example) to better analyze and visualize the valuable information generated by NetSuite ERP.

NetSuite being a cloud solution, we chose to build our BI offering on the Google Cloud Platform that allows for a powerful Cloud BI stack with BigQuery and Google Data Studio fully integrated with the NetSuite data model at an affordable price point in line with the NetSuite customer.

How did Google BI for NetSuite Evolve from The NetSuite Data Exporter?

The Data Exporter is an excellent example of how a simple problem our NetSuite customers face has led to our decision to develop a complete BI stack for the NetSuite community.

A number of years ago, we started to get many requests from existing and new customers to easily extract “Saved Searches” (which are Excel-like reports built in NetSuite) into spreadsheets for further manipulation and analysis. With this new demand, we decided to build a Google Sheets Add-In (keeping it all in the Cloud) that would automatically extract these searches on a set schedule.

This simple product started from an equally simple idea: Helping many of our customers easily extract their data from NetSuite. Many of our customers using this product were also engaged with the NetSuite professional services we offer as an Oracle NetSuite solution provider.  Engaging with our customers on a regular basis provided us with the opportunity to uncover that, in most cases, the Data Exporter only solved a small part of the larger obstacle they were facing.  Like most data-intensive companies, our customers were constantly seeking better ways to optimize their ERP data.  It did not take us very long to realize that the larger Data issues our customers were facing required a BI strategy/solution.  

Being experts in NetSuite and its data model, we decided to take our 15 years of experience in the NetSuite space and build out a BI solution that would best benefit the typical NetSuite customer -- and here we are today!

What are some other upcoming products? What can we expect from the NetSuite Data Power Tools Suite?

The overall strategy is to deliver a suite of cloud based solutions that we have branded “GURUS NetSuite Data Power Tools.”  This generation of tools will aim to solve the data challenges of today’s NetSuite consumer.  

In the not too far distant future, we will be launching an AI solution that will provide enhanced capabilities to our BI offering, especially in the areas of predictive analytics and forecasting where we see our customers heading.  Following the release of our AI offering, our next step will be to work closely with our customers to leverage our BI and AI tech stack to build out complex and high volume transactional processes with the Data Processor for NetSuite solution which will address business-specific challenges, such as a verticalized billing and commissions engines difficult to achieve in their current system.

Read our blog on How BI Works with NetSuite ERP

Written in collaboration with Neil

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