5 Must-Have Features For Your Business Intelligence Tool

Read time: 8 minutes

Data is at our disposable more now than ever and that can often mean you’re wading in data overload. The truth is, data for data’s sake is useless. More isn’t necessarily better if it doesn’t lead to any meaningful conclusions you can use to make decisions.

Ensuring you have the right business intelligence tool at your disposal can make all the difference. Here are 5 features you want to look for when searching for one to compliment your agency’s creative project management software.

1. Real-Time Data

Old data isn’t all that useful for making real-time decisions. And in a day and age where ‘old’ could mean only a few hours, the most valuable tools ensure you’re only ever working with real-time data. At Function Point we know how quickly things can change with your projects and resources, which is why we help you manage your business intelligence reporting in the same place you store all your data about your projects, people and profits. Whether someone has just submitted a timesheet or updated a project’s budget, all that data lives in your creative project management software, so you know the report you’re pulling is using the most up-to-date data.

2. BI For the Whole Team

If it’s not easy, it won’t get used. Your team’s time is better spent on the work they love to do than on figuring out how to build a report. Being able to build reports in just a few clicks, having the ability to save reports so they’re at your fingertips whenever you need to run them, and drag and drop capabilities, can make the difference between your team using the BI tool or not. If you need to have a go-to person to create reports from your creative project management system because no one else can, it may be time to evaluate other tools.

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3. Pivot Tables

Pivot tables are excellent for analyzing information and uncovering trends. Sounds like something you’d want to do before making important business decisions, right? An obstacle that many face with pivot tables, though, is that they usually require a lot of manipulation in Excel, and sometimes you need the insights without time nor an expert on hand. A tool that offers pivot tables without requiring an Excel expert will ensure you’re getting the clarity you need around your business performance.

4. Powerful Visualizations

As humans we process visual data better than any other type of data, whether you consider yourself a “visual person” or not. Being able to simplify complex data, tell a compelling story and share knowledge between team members in a quick and easy way is invaluable. Look for a tool that helps you drive business decisions with confidence by allowing you to build and share beautiful reports in minutes.

5. Ad-Hoc Reports

Instead of leaning on one or two people at your agency to be responsible for creating reports, ad-hoc reports allow anyone on your team to generate their own on the fly. They also allow you the kind of customization that canned reports don’t. Your business has unique questions that need to be answered, and by empowering your whole team to make data-driven decisions, you’re helping them help the business. Select a BI tool that gives you the flexibility to choose what information you want to display, how you want to display it, and to add additional information (like calculated columns).

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Function Point’s BI Reporting makes it easy for your data to tell the story by giving you the power to turn data into the actionable insights that keep your agency profitable. From project and agency profitability to staff utilization and work efficiency, you have all the information you need to make profitable decisions right at your fingertips.