Checklist for BI software
What is important when deciding on business intelligence software? The selection process has many participants: IT and the specialist department, management and controlling, administrators, users and report recipients – they all have their own ideas and requirements that the new system must meet. And even if we already have a clear recommendation for you: A systematic vendor comparison is part of the process.
We have compiled the most important criteria for you here, as inspiration for your requirements catalog and at the same time our positioning. You should pay attention to these features and functions when evaluating and comparing business intelligence software. And when you have acquired a taste for it, the best thing to do is to see for yourself live what DeltaMaster can do for you!
01 Intelligent dashboards
A dashboard in DeltaMaster serves as a gateway to all your analysis and reporting applications. You can assign a main KPI – for example, incoming orders, gross margin, pipeline, or close rates – to every application. DeltaMaster will then transform it into an impressive, color-coded overview of your current business performance so you know which topics you should focus on first. DeltaMaster even takes care of the parameterization, configuration, and layout for you.
02 Standard reporting
Every company needs standard reports to steer performance, analyze variances, and forecast future business activities. With DeltaMaster, you can generate them in minutes with the help of the start wizard. Using drag-and-drop functions, you simply choose the desired methods to measure performance – for example, gross margin calculations, P&L, or input-output calculations in short- and long-term views. The wizard will automatically integrate all necessary structures to dynamically calculate cumulations and variances to the budget or previous year into your data model. Many other so-called BI tools can’t even do that manually, let alone automatically.
03 Integrated forecast
With a single click, you can create forecasts and projections for all actuals in DeltaMaster. Choose from simple, robust methods such as exponential smoothing and linear regression, values calculated from external modules, or a custom method developed by our forecasting experts. You can also create custom forecast models with the help of simple dialog boxes and powerful MDX queries.
04 Open data storage
For enterprise reporting and KPI monitoring, you use the interfaces to the usual data warehouse systems of the major vendors. Unlike other products, DeltaMaster does not use proprietary data storage. Many of our clients value this independency. We support the following databases: Microsoft SQL Server/ Analysis Services, SAP BW/Netweaver BI/HANA, IBM Cognos TM1, Oracle Essbase, Infor.
With DeltaMaster, you can design highly individualized applications for sales, purchasing, production, logistics, finance, marketing, CRM, after sales, sales planning, quality assurance, field sales management, etc. Since it is a standard product, all clients receive the exact same software and all existing applications stay compatible following a system update. We get to the bottom of individual client needs and extend our products in a generalized way so that our entire client base profits from the added functionality.
DeltaMaster helps you share insights quickly and easily. Add extensive comments, send a report spontaneously, or work with the DeltaMaster Repository, which facilitates the division of labor between report editors and report recipients.
07 Role-based access
DeltaMaster manages data usage and access in a role-base access model. Executives and supervisory board members love DeltaMaster for its clear, precise, performance control templates and reports that work just as well on paper or a tablet as on a PC. Managing directors and department managers appreciate the option to explore details – either through pre-defined analysis paths or automatically
generated paths in the result hierarchies. Heads of department and cost center managers appreciate the flexible filter and search functions. When asked to look into more specific questions, executive assistants and support teams are pleased that they can probe even deeper or switch perspectives all within the same tool. This supports the smooth transition between roles and responsibilities that is typical in modern companies. DeltaMaster RepositoryService ensures that data and roles fit together.
08 Ad hoc analysis
DeltaMaster gives your management support teams the leeway they need to conduct creative, experimental analyses. This includes slice-and-dice or pivoting functions to compare and analyze customers, regions, products, or other attributes on any level. You can group and classify objects by attributes dynamically or with fixed thresholds – regardless of their values. Wizards help you calculate quotients, sums, variances, or multivariate statistical values. Using drag-and-drop functions, you can visualize the results with circle, bar, or column elements, or with the particularly appealing typographically scaled Bissantz‘Numbers. You can even apply budget-actual variances, or deviations from previous years, and other complex calculations to existing data with just a click of a button.
09 Business methods
DeltaMaster offers a selection of tried-and-tested business methods. These include rankings, time series, portfolio, concentration, map, location, and cross-table analyses, early warning signals, and drill-through functions to individual postings. These methods require no parametrization and are designed to work on every data model.
DeltaMaster flexibly accommodates the unique features of modern output media. Most people, for example, view mobile devices in portrait mode but standard computer screens in landscape mode. Both the design templates and functional concepts in DeltaMaster take this into account. The reports of DeltaMaster look just as impressive on the big screens of laptops, desktops, kiosk systems, and business control centers as the smaller displays of smartphones and tablets. You can centrally store data and applications in the cloud and use them both online or offline.
11 Data mining
DeltaMaster brings the power of data mining to business users. This helps you conduct analyses without knowing the objective beforehand. Instead, the data should reveal it. With DeltaMaster, setting the necessary parameters is simple. You get results and clear explanations that you can simply pass on to management without any additional work. Supported methods include multidimensional rankings, component comparisons, shopping cart analyses, and Bayes method.
12 Self-service BI
DeltaMaster supports spontaneous self-service analysis – even on new pools of data. Once you have imported your Excel, Access, or other relational sources, you can get right to work. During the modeling process, DeltaMaster automatically suggests measures and dimensions. You can build hierarchical structures with just a few movements of the mouse. Best of all, users don’t require IT support or special technical skills. In no time, they can access their data in a clean, structured model for further analysis.
13 Guided analytics
DeltaMaster automatically enters the suitable charts in your evaluations and suggests the correct graphical visualization for any tables. An analysis wizard examines cross tables for outliers using cluster analysis and other methods. To apply more complex methods such as distribution or regression analysis, you only need a few prior instructions. No programming is necessary.
The improved signaling in DeltaMaster helps you find your whereabouts quickly. It avoids the ambiguity of traffic-light functions, uses more effective colors from a physiological standpoint, and requires no parameters. DeltaMaster colors all values and graphic elements in shades of blue and red – depending on if they have a positive or negative effect on a specific KPI or your business as a whole. It applies this same principle to the program interface, background of the screen, report lists, headlines, and other elements. This communicates a clear message that you cannot miss – even with just a quick glance at your desk or from afar on a kiosk system or business control center. What’s more, DeltaMaster always lists the values that are primarily responsible for the respective coloring.
15 Analysis paths
Starting from the KPIs of your dashboard, DeltaMaster will guide you to those areas where there is room for improvement – whether in your product range, organization, suppliers, clients, or cost centers. DeltaMaster applies award-winning methods, for example, that document a chain of underlying causes. You can define typical paths as a predefined succession of clicks and keep sight of both the starting point and path travelled.
DeltaMaster contains the statistical functions you need to conduct special analyses on campaigns, web visits, quality, or customer surveys. Using wizards you can create univariate and multivariate KPIs. Box plots help visualize prices and other ranges. DeltaMaster draws trend arrows and concentration curves – correctly, neatly, and fully automatically. Separate modules for distribution and regression analyses are also available.
17 Easy handling
DeltaMaster is a drag-and-drop product. All important steps you need to use and create reports work with simple, intuitive mouse movements. Our menus have very few icons. Instead, they display the effect of a command in plain words. Whereas other vendors cannot make up their minds, we work with robust, tried-and-tested default settings for colors, scales, captions, layout, etc. DeltaMaster requires fewer buttons and clicks than other BI products – on all user levels.
18 Visual analytics
The patented Hyperbrowser of DeltaMaster sheds light on complex structures – quickly and securely. You simply drag and drop a measure into the data model, and DeltaMaster will color code it to show if it has a positive or negative effect on the result. This instantly reveals compensating effects hidden in your data. The Graphical Tables in DeltaMaster make data-dense reports understandable at a glance. Interactive in-cell charts such as zoomable sparklines deliver more details as they grow larger.
The integrated planning functionality in DeltaMaster completes the cycle of planning, analysis, and reporting. The software supports top-down and bottom-up data entry on cell and aggregated levels as well as fixed values and multi-level cell comments. Intelligent cells „know“ how to allocate entries. You can instantly integrate multidimensional, real-time analyses in the planning application to test the plausibility during the data-entry process and gauge the effects on the results. You can also display the planning status of different organizational units in the dashboard.
20 Report distribution
DeltaMaster automatically generates personalized reports – even for hundreds of users. Based on templates that you have generated, DeltaMaster reloads the data, applies colors and warning signals,
adapts reports to user-specific criteria, and takes care of exporting, emailing, or storing the file. You can trigger this process with a click of a button, at a set time (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly), or by periodically evaluating conditions in order to respond to events
(e.g. exception reporting).
You can display all DeltaMaster applications centrally in a separate, automatically configured portal or integrate them in leading portal systems such as Microsoft SharePoint. In combination with DeltaMaster Repository, the portal applies the valid permissions and roles for individual users. Singlesign-on options are supported.
22 Cloud BI
DeltaMaster in the Microsoft Azure cloud makes Business Intelligence solutions even easier and quicker for you to access. In a very short time, you can test and directly use workshop results, studies and proofs of concept live in DeltaMaster. In the pilot phase, you can access your DeltaMaster reports on the web (browser) and in the app from the first day. There are no server components for you to configure. Costs are transparent and easy to calculate.
23 Kiosk systems and
business control centers
DeltaMaster makes the information in your company accessible and instantly usable without any setup times and little to no interaction. We offer solutions for kiosk systems, monitor walls, and business control centers. Mobile users do not need to take their devices with them – there are devices ready where you need them. You can also integrate images, films, Web sites, and video streams as part of a multimedia corporate communications concept.
24 Office integration
You can export DeltaMaster analyses and reports to HTML, PDF, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. For writing-intensive reports with custom designs, DeltaMaster also offers a live integration in Word. With this add-in, you can transfer reports and report elements down to individual cells and update them dynamically. This functionality is also available for
In cooperation with Germany’s largest corporations and midsize companies, we conduct research in a variety of fields including executive management, employee motivation, perception/visualization, and data analysis/forecasting. These insights flow into best practice applications that serve as prototypes for new solutions. To ensure that our R&D profits from scientific findings, we conduct our own basic research and participate in cooperative research projects. Our analytic and visualization methods have received multiple patents as well as the innovation award from the German Informatics Society (GI).
26 Information design
DeltaMaster is a pioneer in visualization and design. Sparklines, Graphical Tables, and performance-based color coding are just a few examples of the visual standards that DeltaMaster sets. We synchronize our layout, color, structures, and warning concepts with scientific laws of perception that apply to the brain, eyes, and ears – regardless of personal preferences and customs. This ensures that even new users quickly feel comfortable working with DeltaMaster reports.
27 Product design from
Studio F. A. Porsche
We have perfected the reports and analyses in DeltaMaster in cooperation with the experts at Studio F. A. Porsche. The results are a high-resolution feast for your eyes. DeltaMaster always complements the available data and presents a dramatic, intuitive overview or precise detail.
28 Prebuilt functionality
65 to 80 percent of project steps are identical in all companies. That’s why we offer prebuilt functionality to simplify, unify, and automate these steps. Our ETL tools are designed for end users and even used by large clients.
29 Customer satisfaction
Studies such as the BI Survey and the Planning Survey from BARC regularly confirm that our clients are pleased with our product, service, and support. This is primarily due to the fact that our consultants answer many of our clients’ questions directly. They aren’t just fluent in BI, they are native speakers who offer their experience to tackle all your business, technical, and project-specific challenges. When you call our hotline, you are connected to our office – and not some call center
If you need support, our excellent team of consultants can help you configure or even operate continual, automated data management – even from heterogeneous sources. We invest one day a week in training our consultants.
To support special application topics, we work with certified partners who are tightly integrated with our development and shine in their fields of expertise. The offerings of our partners range from pre-configured DeltaMaster solutions that support specific industries or processes to long-term operations.
32 Awards and
Our clients use DeltaMaster to gear up for the fierce competition in their markets. Some have won prizes for their innovative applications – for example, the Best Practice Award of the BARC Institute or the Service Management Prize the German Customer Service Association (KVD). The German Informatics Society (GI) has also honored us with their Innovation Prize. DeltaMaster also receives top accolades from
our users as well. In the annual BI Survey conducted by BARC, DeltaMaster regularly earns first place rankings in a variety of categories.
33 Early recognition and
You cannot put counteractions into effect overnight. That’s why the analytic methods of DeltaMaster examine all changes in your organization down to their root causes. All reports contain variance signals that place each value in relation to your expectations, forecast, or budget. After all, you can only identify where you need to make changes, if they can work, or if you need to plan again from scratch if you have suitable comparisons. DeltaMaster tracks down the causes – even those buried deep in your data. This helps you see if specific product and customer attributes are the reasons behind your variances without losing sight of the big picture.