IT expert Mintivo launches business intelligence service to help firms harness the power of their data

IT support expert Mintivo has launched a new business intelligence service aimed at helping firms unleash the power of their data to help shape their decision making.

The six-year-old Chippenham company said the move is partly as a response to clients’ requests for help in developing a better understanding of their data and, in turn, their business.

Head of business intelligence Dave Berrill said: “The notion of Business Intelligence has been around for more than 50 years but, for many businesses, it’s only in the last five years or so that a sophisticated tool like Microsoft Power BI has given directors and managers the ability to really understand and interpret the information hidden away in their data.”

Because the Power BI is cloud-based and can work with virtually any existing system there is little or no hardware investment and the data preparation work could be done in weeks.

Mintivo is already working with clients to provide bespoke dashboards that give real-time, granular analysis into sales performance, profit, productivity, costs, cashflow or any other information stream.

“Of course companies already have this information but it is having to be produced manually from many different Excel spreadsheets from systems that don’t talk to each other. Because of the time it takes it is always looking backwards and if you want to update it someone has to do it all over again,” said Dave.

“This is about stopping spending your time producing the report and instead using that time to learn from it and act on the outcomes. It’s about getting to really useful and valuable insights that you can act on quickly.”

Once Mintivo has spent time with a client understanding the information it needs, it sets about ensuring all of the data sets dotted around the business, such as accounts or CRM, are melded together seamlessly to produce one validated, reliable and consistent set of data that can work with the BI system to produce detailed, easy-to-interpret reports at the touch of a key.

“People like the data visualisation you get from a tool like Microsoft Power BI because with the user-friendly graphs and charts it’s an accessible way of seeing their data,” said Dave.

“But the real power is that it has machine learning capability built in so that you can ask it to just go and look at your data and present insights to you. It will go and look for oddities or patterns in the data and tell you about them. It might be that a customer has bought less than you were expecting or a specific item was above its sales target.

“It really opens the door to people using information to make good, evidenced and nuanced decisions rather than by gut instinct alone.”

The simplicity of having an easily accessible set of data that permeates every nook and cranny of the business means each ebb and flow can be monitored, measured and understood. “It’s all about speeding up the way you interrogate data and makes understanding your data completely accessible,” said Dave. Once the structure is there anyone can do it, you don’t need any technical skills to interrogate it.”

The company says its BI service is best suited to SMEs, especially if they are looking to grow in size or complexity. “Within those organisations our services can really help people like finance directors as they tend to be the people who grow a business who need to get some control and understanding of the business,” said Dave.

“But equally operational teams need to understand what is working and how long staff are spending on tasks so there is just as much to be gained for them.”

Mintivo’s dedicated BI website has a working dashboard demo to showcase some of the information and interpretation that can be presented in graphs, maps and insights.

Source: Business Biscuit

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