Business Intelligence Tools for SMEs

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Business Intelligence Tools for SMEs
Jose Canarte, Project Manager, Ecuador, Member
For the last two years I have been working giving some advice on processes improvement to local companies from small to medium size and I have found that the level of business controls (reporting/dashboards) is very poor in most of companies that I have visited.
Most of them neither have a complete ERP which integrates their operations nor a structured system to collect business information. The average company only has two modules, the first one to register the accounting records and the other one is related to the payroll processes, the common practice is that these have been customized by an IT student or analyst.
So this situation could represent and opportunity to introduce some tools such as Business Intelligence but market costs are too high that sometimes arise the question from the customer perspective, do I have to invest in a BI tool which could help to exert better control on my business or it would be better to invest on developing the other modules do I need to integrate all my businesses on other words to complete their ERP.
What do you think about this or what would be your best advise?
 

 
Business Intelligence Tools for SMEs
Arthur Panton, Consultant, Kenya, Member
Jose, I am in total agreement with you. It has saddened me how so many SMEs have been disadvantaged by ERP systems which have delivered almost no value at all. I am in the midst of a project in association with my post graduate business school course in Nairobi.
The thrust is to deliver a full system which links the full pyramid from shareholder strategies down to the operational transaction level, starting with strategic management (before ERP implementation), through a dashboard to monitor the implementation progress, all tied in to the shareholder values. Using open source to really bring value to the SME. Another 12 months to go, wish me luck!
Regards.
 

 
Business Intelligence Tools for SME
Kamal Kalsi, Director, Denmark, Member
I am in complete agreement with Arthur. ERP systems have not been able to deliver simple and useful BI-tools and I do not see any big changes in the future.
So developing a system is a great idea. But one must ensure first that it is simple to use and cost efficient for SMEs to invest in.
 

 
Business Intelligence Tools for SMEs
Arthur Panton, Consultant, Kenya, Member
@Kamal Kalsi: yes Kamal, cost effectiveness is all. I anticipate the tools will be off the shelf open source with payment limited to education and any other support required. Aimed at the east African market initially, the world will follow... Regards.
 

 
BI for SMEs, a Big Challlenge
German Eliecer Rodriguez Melo, Professor, Colombia, Member
I have been working in Colombia on projects based on SME and Competitive Intelligence; the results are very frustrating. To start with, like it happens with ICT, in these enterprises people think it is not necessary to use it. However, the main problem is the perceived high cost. So we have two factors to work on.
One part of the solution is the creation of a model based on shared CI tools. With this, costs are reduced and business networks are created to generate advantages and better results.
 

     
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