Business Intelligence solutions have been used for data and trend analysis to process and make informed, real-time decisions from unwieldy data volumes. BI methodologies also help develop powerful tools for DSS teams (Decision Support Systems) for critical functions like Inventory management, Finance and supply chain.

Though most of the BI tools are quite expensive and complex and are most aptly used for organizations with huge data repositories but recently few vendors have introduced packaged BI offerings which can be used by firms with lower data volumes and a smaller budget.

While looking for the perfect BI solution to support the supply chain function, it’s important that internal IT teams look for the following features:

 

  • Advanced reporting: Reporting forms the key deliverable that BI tools have on offer. It is important that the right reports are generated and used by the intended audience to ensure better decision making. It is important that you identify the right users and the kind of supply chain reports they might require. Also the BI tool should be equipped enough so that the end users can create custom reports and display them in a variety of formats like maps, graphs or tables.

 

  • Usability: The BI tool should be easy to use so that the decision maker can easily collate data and interpret it in the format which is useful. It should provide functionalities for data sorting, data drilling, filtering, advanced reporting and supply chain access capabilities through web which can be utilized by partners or vendors spread across different locations.

 

  • Data integration capability: While supply chain decision makers access data through the BI tool, it is important that the BI tool is able to converge or present data from different manufacturing applications to one common or easily usable format. Issues like data security, data quality and data integration need to be dealt with rightly while building a solution for decision making needs.