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Earlier this quarter, IBM released Business Analytics Enterprise to meet the demands of new-era, data-driven businesses. The software suite includes IBM Planning Analytics with Watson, IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson and the new Analytics Content Hub.

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In this report, we’ll cover all of the latest features included in Business Analytics Enterprise as well as how this solution fits into the bigger picture of breaking down data silos and creating better analytics solutions for data-driven businesses.

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The challenges of becoming data-driven

Forrester’s 2022 report, The State Of The Insights-Driven Business, reveals that while advanced insights-driven organizations are 1.6 times more likely to differentiate themselves within the market, companies still face many challenges while trying to become more insights-driven.

Supply chain disruptions, economic slowdown and the necessity to rapidly pivot — sided with unpredictable global events, labor and skills shortages, and increasing regulatory complexities — are roadblocking many digital transformation opportunities and putting businesses at risk.

Furthermore, while most companies have migrated to the cloud or are running hybrid cloud environments, data silos still exist among internal and external business networks, partners and teams.

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Thus, being data-driven in this new age requires more than central data platforms for business-critical operations. The use of artificial intelligence, a robust data culture, and the unification and extension of all tools to create an enterprise-wide data analytics system are fundamental.

Dinesh Nirmal, general manager of data, AI and automation at IBM, believes that one of the most effective solutions to these data problems is rightsizing access to data analytics tools.

“To truly be data-driven, organizations need to be able to provide their different teams with more comprehensive access to analytics tools and a more complete picture of their business data, without jeopardizing their compliance, security or privacy programs,” Nirmal said. “IBM Business Analytics Enterprise offers a way to bring together analytics tools in a single view, regardless of which vendor it comes from or where the data resides.”

IBM Business Analytics Enterprise: What it can do

IBM Business Analytics Enterprise is IBM’s latest solution for delivering more widely accessible data analytics functionality to business users. It is designed to allow users to view planning and analytics dashboards from multiple vendors, including tools like IBM Cognos Analytics, IBM Planning Analytics and other common business intelligence tools.

Integrating data and elements into a single view, the solution features tailored dashboards that can be customized according to a company’s needs. It also has built-in algorithms that can recommend role-based content to help users surface new stories, reports and dashboards from across the organization to aid in decision-making processes.

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With the IBM suite, users can now factor multiple scenarios and seasons into their trend predictions, using the AI-powered BI solution and its integration with Cognos Analytics with Watson.

The main goal of the new technology is to break silos and drive collaboration between teams and partners by providing the right data at the right time. Companies can seamlessly share data and reporting across departments, avoiding the risks that arise when multiple solutions are not connected. Across the enterprise, IBM ensures quality, accessibility, consistency, usability and security are built into the software.

Business Analytics Enterprise key features

  • No-code content dashboard for multi-vendor business analytics discovery, personalization and recommendations
  • Combined reporting, data integration and predictive analytics
  • Data mining for real-time organizational planning, reporting and forecasting
  • Talent pipeline management
  • Data cleaning and visualization
  • AI-driven analytics
  • Continuous and integrated planning with managed and governed workflows

IBM designed its new software while keeping in mind the main challenges that data platforms face, including data unreliability and control as well as governance, compliance and cybersecurity issues. The company also considered the widespread shortages of skilled data science talent, taking a no-code approach to facilitate accessibility and usage for its customers.

IBM Analytics Content Hub: Making business analytics more collaborative

IBM compares how organizations manage their data with a video game, where most companies run single-player modes and each department or team plays its own “game.” This creates several problems.

As data flows throughout an organization, format changes, internal migration, data verification and shifting responsibilities can cost companies valuable time and resources. Furthermore, each data platform, while connected, becomes its own silo and may create confusion as each silo adjusts to meet individual department needs.

SEE: How to break down data silos: 4 obstacles and solutions (TechRepublic)

By the time data reaches the “boss” level, where data needs to be converted into actions, once again, data needs to be assessed, qualified and filtered according to “fit for business” standards. The data silos that were previously created by different departments make it challenging for executives to determine if the dataset in front of them is accurate and comprehensive.

To solve this single-player problem that many organizations face with their data, IBM created the IBM Analytics Content Hub as a “multiplayer” approach. The company’s multiplayer mode is a vision that allows users to combine insights from all of the different BI tools they use. It creates a centralized composite dashboard with elements from each department.

IBM Analytics Content Hub key features

The Analytics Content Hub can:

  • Create a clean streaming experience for visualization.
  • Pull content from IBM and other providers like Microsoft, Google and Tableau.
  • Enable multi-user collaboration, allowing them to provide feedback and score quality across content.
  • Provide a single sign-on and other security support.

The future of data-driven enterprises

As new technologies are developed and global socioeconomic factors shift, companies turn to new ways to manage their data. Some technology companies have not altered their solutions to meet these changing customer expectations, but IBM continues to evolve to meet the demands of the ever-changing data-driven era.

IBM Business Analytics Enterprise is designed to eliminate silos, provide complete visibility with continued security and compliance support, empower all-level workers, and drive rapid but effective solutions. Especially for companies that are looking to increase collaboration across their employees and departmental silos, this new software suite offers a possible solution for becoming more data-driven at scale.

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Learn the latest news and best practices about data science, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, data security, and more. Delivered Mondays and Thursdays