Is your organization, bogged down with expense control, having trouble "breathing?" Does it feel stuffy and somewhat nauseous? Does it cough a bit while not able to perform what, under other circumstances, would be normal activities? There are some effective and not-too-costly business intelligence (BI) initiatives that may cure this general feeling of malaise and get your company back to feeling like its old self again. After a careful diagnosis of the malady, a judiciously placed packaged data mart or BI application might return organizations to optimal health.

In a "data mart in a box" or packaged BI application, the data model (for the most part), dimensions and data interaction are programmed by the vendor, with prebuilt applications reflecting typical queries needed to manage a particular function. Examples are financial consolidation applications, enterprise network and server monitoring applications, workforce analytical applications (e.g., call center optimization, training/skills assessment, worker productivity, etc.) and supplier or procurement management applications. These applications typically provide predefined reports and queries based on deep domain knowledge of one particular functional area. They can save your organization time and money through a buy-versus-build strategy.

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