Covali attended the Fly Higher 2013 Enterprise awards on the 2nd May and are delighted to announce that they picked up the coveted award for ‘Most Promising Start-Up’. The award finals showcased the best-in-class of local micro-enterprises for Dún Laoghaire Rathdown county.
Covali’s achievement in being highlighted as the most promising start up out of the six contending companies demonstrates that they have something really special to offer the European and wider business marketplace today. Our expertise and experience in the business intelligence sector is vast. However one major point of difference between Covali and competitors in the marketplace is their recent diversification of providing a BI solution in 'the Cloud'.
In fact, the level of interest in Covali's GoodData Cloud BI solution proves that the market is ready for a new dynamic offering - something that won't break the bank. The good news is that Covali's partnership with GoodData offers a welcoming retreat for companies who are typically bogged down with traditional and overpriced on-premise business intelligence platforms that may be surplus to their requirements.
Noel Shannon the MD of Covali said: “We have put a serious amount of work into establishing a company that gives the client the ultimate choice - a solution that can be on-premise (licence model) or in the cloud (subscription model). I must say though our cloud BI solution is something really special. We got into this space as we saw a niche in the market for a viable and cost effective BI solution. As expected we have seen a huge amount of interest from a range of different industries given the price point and the ability of the GoodData platform itself".
Covali enjoyed meeting the other contenders at the awards ceremony and wish them continued success for 2013. In addition to hearing and learning from the guest speaker Paul McNieve who gave an inspiring talk, we would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Enterprise Board for all of their support over the past couple of years.
Covali are delighted to announce that they are extending their operations once again. This time pastures new takes this dynamic BI Analytics company to the continent of Africa, and the beautiful city of Capetown. As a continent Africa is already well known for leapfrogging the rest of the world in use of mobile money. But African countries now have another big leapfrogging opportunity: Big Data Analytics. In South Africa, there’s a tremendous potential for using data analytics in powerful new ways in a wide range of industries, from telecommunications and banking to transportation and healthcare. African companies are already harnessing big data to transform their businesses but Covali want to communicate the benefits of capturing Big Data in the Cloud.
As a result, they are positioning themselves in a market where they believe they can capture a significant part of the market that is looking to or is open to moving their business intelligence projects to the Cloud. Noel Shannon Managing Director of Covali explains that “expanding our BI Analytics software to South Africa serves to demonstrate how determined we are to conquer external markets. Covali’s range of Cloud BI Apps are suitable for companies in a range of industries – location is purely incidental”.
Noel will be travelling to Capetown in May to officially declare the new office open for business. He will be meeting with local companies who are interested in discussing BI analytics in the Cloud. Looking ahead, there are promising big data opportunities for South Africa within a range of industries. “Businesses that find opportunities in data will do better with BI Analytics working at the forefront,” says Noel Shannon.
For contact details click here.
So you have made the decision to implement your new Business Intelligence solution and after an exhaustive search and evaluation process you have decided to go with QlikView. You have even decided on the first application to be rolled out to the users and you are looking forward to a hugely enthusiastic reaction from the users which will vindicate the decsion to go with QlikView. Now comes the tricky bit - the bit where you have no idea what's going to happen - when you rollout the first application - will they actually use it? what will they think? have they ever even heard of QlikView ? etc etc
One of the most common reasons for BI project failures is lack of user acceptance. The Users just don't like the solution for some reason - or they haven been involved in the process and they're just not bothered and so they're not going to use it.
So Training is critical in gaining user acceptance so it's important to get it right - you have a number of options:-
Free On-line training
Private on-site Training
Free On-Line Training: available here
Introductory: QlikView offer short 30 minute sessions on How Does QlikView Work? and Navigating in QlikView. They are an excellent introduction for business users who want to learn to navigate and get started in QlikView.
You can also learn from a series of self paced videos on
How to Build Your First QlikView App, What's New in QlikView 11, What's New in QlikView Desktop, What's New in the QlikView Ajax Client, and What's New in QlikView Server and Publisher.
There is also a QlikView Tutorial - a self-study course in three parts. In part 1 you learn about working with the different sheet objects in QlikView. In part 2 you build your own application based on the data sources included in the course. Part 3 gives you a short introduction to some more advanced features in QlikView. The entire course takes approximately 8 hours.
The advantage of On-Line Training is that it's free and the content is usually very good. The disadvantage is that you dont know how well the students have learned the topics, wheteher or whether thay have developed any kind of affection or distaste for the product.
QlikView Education Services offers expertly-designed coursework and materials to give your organization the knowledge and skills needed to develop, deploy and adopt powerful QlikView applications. These courses are available to book here
You will undoubtedly get the best results from Private on-site training and these courses are available from QlikView and from experienced partners such as Covali. The reason these courses tend to be better is because they focus on your organisation's data and applications - you do not spend your time building a mythical application for a mythical company using made up data - which is invariably what you get on public courses - no you decide on the application area for the course and also the real data that you want to work with. This has several advantages:-
- An experienced Professional Consultant will ensure that everyone is on board as to who and what QlikView is all about
- The Course partcipants will always be more interested in their own data than a sample company's data.
- You get to build an application that might be useful to roll out straight away.
- The course instructor is generally more experienced in building real life applications rather than just delivering the course.
- You get to deal with problem data areas (which always exist) right there on the course and you have an expert on hand to deal with any issues.
- These courses are often less expensive than Public Courses.
For more information contact Covali on +353 1 2939302 or email email@example.com
Spock was a clever man and he knew a thing or two about a lot of stuff. Cloud computing is big business these days and I am quite certain that Spock would be advocating its direct benefits for the Star-ship Enterprise! But first let me begin by clearing up all the confusion that surrounds the term “the cloud”. In truth it is the “buzz word” of the moment! Surprisingly though, lots of people look at you with a little wild stare in their eye when you refer to it in a business context. This is quite funny considering that these very same people use cloud services every day but are not aware that they are doing so. Think online banking, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn et al – all of which reside in the cloud. This blog article will get to the bottom of this omnipotent phrase and will attempt to highlight the direct benefits of cloud computing in terms of business intelligence/analytics.
In simple terms the cloud is a term used to explain “the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet)” Wikipedia.
So over to you Mr Spock! What in your opinion are the direct benefits of a BI application operating in the Cloud?
1. Ease of Access: Well the great thing about the Cloud is that services are accessed through any web browser (Chrome, IE, and Firefox). Also, employees no matter where they are located in the world can access the cloud, provided they have an Internet connection. This means everyone can access the same BI dashboards thereby facilitating business discovery for all, regardless of location. It is also great when employees are travelling and need access to timely and critical business information on the fly. This is not going to be a problem as they can access the information via any mobile device (iPad, iPhone, Laptop) etc!
2. Economies of Scale: Another significant benefit of cloud BI is that it facilitates much greater economies of scale. Your company has the ability to analyse data with minimal upfront spending, paying as you go (monthly) based on your demand for the service! I am a big fan of the cloud BI model and will shout its benefits from the rooftops - as it allows enterprises to get their applications up and running. much quicker, with improved manageability and far less maintenance. This allows IT departments to focus on other pressing and demanding projects.
3. Timely Monitoring: BI in the Cloud allows you to analyse up to the minute performance of how all departments are performing. The service also facilitates analysis on-the-fly given cloud BI dashboards can be accessed via mobile devices. Monitor your sales across different territories and see how sales reps are performing against targets. But analyse more than sales data - use it to monitor success. Ask yourself the important questions. Are you well positioned to meet sales goals? Is the pipeline changing as expected? Analyse accounts receivable to see that you collect payments efficiently and improve cash flow? Ad hoc analysis of your data can be performed across each dashboard
4. Ease of Use: Less personnel training is required as it takes fewer people to do more work on a cloud, with a minimal learning curve on the usability of the application. It also means that you can get much more work done but in less time with less people. Covali’s BI dashboards are intuitive and very easy to use and promote self-service.
5. Cost Savings: Traditional business intelligence projects are very expensive and take a long time to implement. Cloud BI has changed all of that. With the aid of a cloud business intelligence platform, a company can have a BI solution up in running in no time and at a much reduced cost. This is one of the great technological advances over the last number of years, and is really defining BI as SaaS (Software as a Service). The business software in addition to the users data are all stored on servers at a remote location. So the money men within your company will be a lot happier with a cloud BI service as there is no need to spend big money on traditional BI software and the exorbitant licensing fees. A subscription BI model also gives companies the ability to stretch and grow without the need to buy expensive software licenses or programs. This is great news for the Finance department. As a result, this facilitates massive cost savings as hardware costs are now exempt.
6. Flexibility: A Cloud BI service also facilitates greater flexibility. You can change direction without serious “people” or “financial” issues being at stake. Covali were quick off the mark when they spotted a niche in the marketplace for dynamic cloud based business intelligence applications. Given companies requirements for a comprehensive 360 degree overview of how their business is performing – they have built a range of apps to suit various departmental requirements i.e. accounts receivable, accounts payable, sales and profitability, marketing, and even an executive dashboard for the MD/CEO.
Ok I think you now understand why a move to the cloud in terms of business intelligence is the way to go! Think Covali when you think of the Cloud! Beam me up Scotty!
Business intelligence came into the marketplace over twenty years ago as a tool for aiding decision-making. Originally it was the domain of analysts and board-level executives. However in recent years it has slowly evolved into a much more egalitarian mechanism as companies and organisations have come to realise that decision-makers at all levels and in all departments need access to timely and relevant business information.
We all know that the job of a manager is to manage in addition to making decisions. At best, we hope that these decisions are well-informed. But these judgements are only as good as the information that is available to business managers at the time. Most managers are engaged in some aspect of decision making on a daily basis: either exchanging information, reviewing data, brainstorming, implementing directives, and following up. At times they may struggle to make decisions especially when the data is disparately dispersed across a multitude of internal company systems, ranging from various databases, CRM systems, and applications like excel etc. However, it is crucial that managers at all levels are involved in the role of decision maker.
The act of decision making though can be hindered when companies are not using any formal BI tool to assist with the analysis of their data. In most cases, business people are familiar with excel and rely on it heavily to help them make crucial business decisions. But it is well known to be prone to error, resulting in different versions of the truth, depending on who within the organisation is inputting the data. In fact close to 90% of excel spread-sheets are prone to error within organisations.
Due to the fact that most company systems do not provide data in a dynamic format (which QlikView does) it has a hindering effect on decision making, as it slows down the decision making process greatly. In the majority of cases, companies do not have one system in place in order to comprehensively analyse all of this collective data in a systemised format to assist or aid with the decision making process. This is where businesses are failing to capture deeply insightful information about their business.
Defining Decision Styles
Wikipedia defines decision making as “the mental processes (cognitive process) resulting in the selection of a course of action among several alternative scenarios. Every decision making process produces a final choice. The output can be an action or an opinion of choice.”
In fact, decision styles are known to differ in two fundamental ways; how information is used and how options are created. When it comes to information use, some people want to ponder over piles and piles of data before they come to any form of decision. These people are known as “maximizers.” They can’t rest until they are certain they have found the very best answer. Now this is where QlikView really can help this kind of decision maker. As a BI platform QlikView enhances business discovery with its in-memory approach and associative analysis, aiding the more ‘self-service’ approach to reporting and analysis. As a result, non-technical executives can combine previously disconnected information for a complete view and analysis on the fly – and this is all without help from the IT department! QlikView will provide this decision maker with a well-informed decision, and it won’t cost in terms of time and efficiency either.
QlikView is an absolute necessity for executives who are operating at a more senior level. In order to see how this BI tool can assist decision makers it is helpful to review the different decision making styles in order to capture how the different personalities can utilise it to the utmost according to their style of decision making.
The Different Styles of Decision Making
Decisive: People using the decisive style value action, speed, and efficiency. These very words describe the QlikView platform, which is the fastest most intuitive BI tool in the marketplace today. Put QlikView into the hands of the decisive decision maker and it won't be long before they see the results they are looking for.
Flexible: Like the decisive style, the flexible style focuses upon speed, but the emphasis is more focused on adaptability. QlikView is ideal for this type of decision maker as it facilitates quick business discovery given that the application is a dynamic and intuitive tool – the more you drill into the data, the more you discover.
Hierarchic: People in the hierarchic style do not rush when it comes to making decisions. Instead, they analyse a huge amount of information whilst also expecting their subordinates and team colleagues to contribute. QlikView would be ideal for this kind of decision maker as it facilitates note sharing within the application, so he/she can share and make notes on the data to other team-members and they can review and reply.
In conclusion, QlikView as a business intelligence tool helps decision makers do one fundamental thing – make an informed and timely decision. This is not to be taken for granted as many people in top positions in corporations and organisations across the world often struggle to do just that. For further information on QlikView, speak to Covali the dedicated QlikView specialists. Not knowing about QlikView and all it's inherent benefits actually inhibits your decision making style. Be proative by calling Covali today on +353 1 2939302 or +44 207 5588 029.
Cloud-based business intelligence company Covali is looking for suitably qualified business partners in the UK and Ireland, and across Europe and South Africa, to resell its cloud based business intelligence applications using a revenue sharing model. Covali is based in Dublin, Ireland and the appplications run from global data centres hosted on Amazon and Rackspace.
Covali also have offices operating in London and the US, and will shortly open an office in South Africa.
No infrastructure or management services are required. Based on the GoodData platform, Covali's applications can be utilised by global decision makers using a variety of electronic devices, such as smartphones or desktop PCs. The applications are integrated with on-site ERP solutions such as Sage and Microsoft dynamics.
Covali has developed a range of dynamic dashboards for margin analysis, accounts receivable and payable, inventory management and an executive dashboard for immediate access to the latest indicators. Partners will have the chance to design custom solutions for customers who wish to develop specific big data applications for re-sale to new and existing customers.
More information on the partnership is available here. Qualified and knowledgeable parties are encouraged to respond. Please make contact with firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our exciting Partner Program.
It is fair to say that sales and marketing teams up and down the breath of this country in addition to the UK are being challenged on a variety of levels. I won’t go into those challenges per se but will reflect upon one which I believe has a fundamental risk of undermining sales revenue streams for companies and organisations today. This challenge relates specifically to Big Data and in particular to how sales teams are managing to cope with the levels of data streams within their company.
According to a 2012 CSO insights survey, 82% of sales managers feel their sales team are being challenged by the amount of data available to them. In addition, 88% of participants surveyed felt that that they had missed business opportunities due to not being able to leverage external and internal information available to them.
So in truth companies are falling short of providing their sales teams with beneficial tools in order to analyse all of this data – which is complete madness when it so crucial to increasing sales revenue streams.
So what does this buzz word ‘Big Data’ actually mean?
Big data refers to the immense amounts of data available from all sorts of different sources. In simplified terms it can be broken down into three components.
• Volume of data: The large amount of data being stored in data warehouses
• Velocity of data: Where the data is coming from
• Variety of data: Structured and unstructured data
Interestingly 71% of businesses expect big data to have a noteworthy impact on sales. However only 16% have big data strategies in place in order to improve their sales revenue stream! Furthermore only 80% have communicated that they have implemented a CRM system. A pitiful 35% of all companies surveyed have implemented the technology to support their sales teams with internal and external social information.
Let this be a warning to Sales Management teams – be worried – but be proactive about it. If you want to increase sales revenue – then be on the war path for a comprehensive Business Intelligence application in order to help you perform your job more effectively and that of your teams.
Impact of Big Data for Sales
So what is the impact of Big Data for sales teams? On average sales teams leverage information from as many as 15 external and internal data resources such as search engines, social media (mainly Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and CRM systems to collect valuable information about customers and prospects. This demonstrates that Big Data possesses a great potential for sales and businesses to concentrate the effort to cope with the overload of data. It seems to be a curse for many that are unable to manage and leverage it in a more valuable and beneficial manner.
In a McKinsey Global Institute study about Big Data, it confirmed that large amounts of data are being “captured, stored, analysed, and aggregated” explicitly to serve the sales revenue stream. However the CSO report proposes that 80% of sales employees feel that their CRM system is not effective in collecting external data and 40% say that about internal data sources. Overall, a staggering 90% trust in Big Data being the solution that brings time saving and a sales increase.
Getting Ahead with BI
Traditional technology does not cope with the social and data-intensive world that companies find themselves confronted with today. To understand the trends and gain deep insight into your data – it is necessary to implement a Business Intelligence solution. Big data analytics provide real-time information that enables the sales rep to contact the right client at the exact time they are researching for new products.
Where social media is concerned - companies need to be seriously on their game when it comes to tracking what is being communicated about them online. The rise in this form of communication is nothing short of staggering, and it has a very strong hold over the way people around the world are receiving and sharing information.
In Ireland today, there are 2,225,720 Facebook users. A lot of these users are also on LinkedIn and Twitter. In a recent TNS Digital Life study into how consumers use social media to share product opinions, the following statistics were extrapolated.
- 51% of Irish people like to write about brands on social media
When asked about the motivation to write about brands;
- 74% did so because of a special offer or promotion
- 47% did so seeking advice
A study by Accenture into the Irish market found
- 67% of Irish people use social media to explore their options before making a purchase decision
- 46% of us will write about our purchase/product experience
- 36% of us trust comments about brands that come from people we know
- 26% say negative comments affect the purchase decision
- 30% of us have posted negative comments online
In the past year in Ireland there has been steady growth in the numbers using Google +, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. Twitter has almost doubled its users to 22% of the Irish population. It still lags behind Facebooks 53%, but it is growing at a much faster rate. Given the above statistics it is true to say that the implications for business are profound as social media channels like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and countless others are attracting millions of people every day. In order to communicate with families and friends they engage with Facebook and interact with Twitter for instant news snippets. For networking and business information, they go to LinkedIn. So it is extremely important for companies to know what is being said about them on the various social media platforms. Anyone anywhere with access to a mobile device can be commenting on the quality of a company’s products or service moments of having received said product or service. So news of a bad meal in a restaurant or bad service from a particular company can be out in the twitter sphere causing PR havoc for companies.
So it is crucial that companies start to keep track of what is being said about them across the various social media platforms. But how can you do that – you may ask? Well with the help of our trusting and reliable friend QlikView. A social media QlikView dashboard can help you track and analyse your presence on the aforementioned platforms. A tracker of this kind is THE ONLY and best way to analyse Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. At Covali a QlikView social media dashboard can be setup with specific social media KPI’s. So in order to better your social media campaigns and understand your audience, six main views help you to see the following:
- COMMUNITY: Discover who is your community
- COMPETITION: Compare your KPIs with your competitors
- ENGAGE : Discover how your community interact with you
- TOP 10: Discover your best post, ambassadors and much more
- SEARCH: Discover what people say about you and your competitors
The nice thing about QlikView is that you will have access to a dashboard view but will be also able to focus on a specific media.
Social media monitoring helps to keep your corporate image intact. Data may not be cool, but it provides your business with insights that can help you deploy resources more efficiently and develop a competitive advantage. At Covali we have the expertise to develop a dashboard that can help you analyse your social media performance. Call us today on +353 1 2939302 or 0044 207 5588 029.
Isn’t it crazy to think that over 69% of IT administrators have considered switching careers due to job stress?! Now I would say a lot of that stress is related to dealing with managers and end users who are trying to print reports from ERP/CRM systems. In fact IT admins spend a lot of their time assisting staff with queries to the most basic of IT questions/queries in relation to printing reports. So how can companies really help alleviate or reduce the stress levels of their IT staff?
The answer lies in the Cloud. Moving or implementing a cloud based business intelligence solution will empower your staff and decrease stress levels amongst IT staff. By providing access to an online BI platform, users from various divisions will be able to access business reports pertaining to their department.
Everyone will have the ability to access and analyse business reports via a dashboard over the web. The nice thing about a cloud BI solution is staff can easily access reports from any mobile device, iPad, iPhone, Laptop.
Almost everybody has heard of the omnipotent Cloud – and a lot of companies are now using cloud based email programs like Google’s Gmail for their company email. The benefits of moving your data to the Cloud are multifold – and it is a lot cheaper to do so. In addition, think of the C-O-S-T S-A-V-I-N-G-S!
Users love having access to a cloud system – as workers are often on the go, hopping from meeting to meeting. Open up internet explorer or any browser for that matter and within seconds you are visualizing your data in the form of a groovy dashboard.
Having access to a cloud based reporting system for management meetings facilitates easier access of your data for everyone attending the meeting. So why not consider looking at analysing your data from the Cloud? Security is not an issue when the right controls have been put in place. Big corporations like Revlon a giant in the beauty industry, achieved $70m in cost avoidance and cost savings by moving to the Cloud.
Covali builds dashboards for the Cloud on the GoodData platform, and have a range of apps (BI applications) for a multitude of functions. To name but a few, there is a Sales and Profitability app, GoodMarketing app, GoodSales app, and an Accounts receivable app. Covali’s applications analyse and interpret data in real-time from any ERP/CRM system. These turn-key dashboards, reports and ad-hoc analytics remove the hassle and dial up the business value of deep analytics which is fundamental to accurate reporting on your data.
Going to management meetings will be a lot easier when everyone is singing from the same hymn-sheet so-to-speak. So no more IT staff stress! So given the lack of IT computer knowledge in the workforce (you would be amazed) I think it would be prudent practice for companies to implement a comprehensive BI model in order to comprehensively analyse all of the Big Data streams. It is a well-known fact that excel is highly prone to errors – and no one version of the truth is furnished at management meetings when it is in use. Everyone comes to the meeting with a different set of figures/facts. Empower your staff with Cloud BI.
So get your head around the idea of the Cloud by calling Covali on +353 1 2939302 | +44 207 5588 029.
They say a picture paints a thousand words. How true this maxim is! Take a look at the graph below taken from Google trends. The companies being analysed are IBM (blue), Business Objects (red) and QlikView (yellow). This graph demonstrates how QlikView has garnered interest slowly but steadily in the marketplace. It is forever on an upward trajectory incline unlike its competitors who are now showing a decline in interest from business consumer’s year on year. In ten short years the chart shows us that QlikView is building momentum as it is trending more and more as time goes on.
This demonstrates that the word has got out into the marketplace and decision makers and IT management have realised the strength and depth this business intelligence platform brings. It is fair to say that QlikView is a serious and significant player in the business intelligence market and is without doubt the go-to business intelligence tool for decision makers. As a company QlikTech was only founded in Sweden in 1993. So their incline and foothold in the marketplace within a short period of twenty years is nothing short of impressive. As a company they have more than 27,000 customers in 100 countries, and are quoted on the stock exchange as Qlik. These statistics are impressive.
A lot changes in the business technology world, and it changes fast! Ten years ago the likes of IBM (blue) and Business Objects (red) were the companies to go to when you wanted to analyse your data. It’s a lot different today, as QlikTech is rated one of America’s 25 fastest-growing tech companies, alongside Apple and LinkedIn. Their success has been nothing short of impressive.
The majority of companies are now finding they are struggling to make sense out of all their data. So it is critical that they develop a process whereby they have set procedures/processes in place to collect and analyse insights from their ERP systems and CRM systems. Data as we all know comes in different sizes, varieties and formats which for obvious reasons cannot be easily collated or compared. This is what is known as ‘big data’. The solution to Big data is intuitive business discovery software – step in QlikView. The great thing about the QlikView bi model is that it makes data associative, creating easily-understandable visual relationships across multiple, complex data sources. It’s also mobile, social and collaborative.
So why the steady incline for QlikView in comparison to the downward trajectory of its competitors? What company wants to spend months implementing a costly BI model? Not many and this is where QlikView stands head and shoulders over its competitors. Apart from being a lot cheaper – it is also a much quicker solution to implement. This reminds me of Microsoft when they were THE major power player in the IT software market. Alas, things change – they are not longer the trailblazer they used to be. The hotshots in this world today are now the likes of Google, eBay, and Amazon. So for those looking to implement a business intelligence solution I would hasten to digress that the player in the market is qlikview. If you don’t take my word for it, you only have to glance at the chart again and take confidence in the upward trend that qlikview is demonstrating. Qlikview are the significant game-changers to look out for.
The great thing about QlikView is that it can be up and running in no time – so call Covali today on +353 1 2939302 for further information.