The Top 7 Data Visualization Tools (Plus 1 Bonus Option)

Top Data Visualization Tools

Data visualization is quickly becoming a more critical part of every businesses metrics. Everything we do is tracked, and there are definitive numbers to back up every move we make. More data is not always a good thing if we do not understand how to use it properly.

The growth of data has led to a more substantial need for advanced data visualization tools. These tools allow businesses to understand better how their day-to-day actions affect their results. Data visualization tools can cover metrics like sales, website conversions, customer demographics, and more.

We believe the most important thing about data visualization is a complete and honest understanding of what these services can do for you. That is why we remain truthful and transparent when providing information because we want you to make the best decision for your business needs.

In this article, we’re taking a look at the top seven data visualization tools to help you better understand your options.

1. Tableau

This business intelligence system connects and visualizes data seamlessly from desktop to mobile. With Tableau, you can drag and drop metrics live and quickly share them with your entire team. The tool offers a variety of different approaches that allow you to create a unique data management system that works for your business. For security purposes, you can set certain users in your organization to limited access or complete access so they can work within their own fields.

The main advantage that Tableau has over some of its competitors is the ease of use of the software. Without any experience or knowledge, a business owner can drag and drop and drill-down into charts without much effort or assistance. This is incredibly important for people who are looking to save time and get down to business.

However, many users have told us that Tableau still requires a power user skill level to get the most from it and it assumes you have a properly structured dataset to start with. We’re often told that while it’s great for the power user segment of their users, it’s not the right tool for general business use or for partners looking to embed within their product.

2. Sisense

Sisense is a business intelligence platform that helps you make informed business decisions through the use of visual data. They offer a full range of services including drag and drop dashboards and seamless movement from desktop to mobile. The software is fast-paced and uses an all-in-one tool that does not require additional purchases or add-ons as you scale up. Sisense also offers an on-premise or cloud-based option for your data.

Something that separates Sisense from the competition is their ability to work well with large data sets. They use a columnar approach instead of using rows which grants them the ability to pull large queries. Sisense does this by not only using system memory but the CPU as well to provide additional speed. If you are analyzing large data sets and don’t want to spend a ton of money on expensive hardware, Sisense seems like a solid option.

The key piece of info we consistently get regarding Sisense is that it’s super expensive and most of the potential customers we talk to don’t really have the amount of data or resources needed to justify that extra cost for the benefits provided.

Click here to download “10 Signs You Need A New BI Solution”

3. Domo

Domo focuses on social collaboration and can provide you with real-time data in an easy to use dashboard. You get widgets, sparklines, and indicators that make things easy to understand for business owners and team members. You can also integrate Domo with software like Google Analytics for a more thorough aggregation. The software offers live messaging and notifications that you can sync with your smartphone which makes communication easy.

With Domo, you choose who has access to what information and you can control the capabilities of each in your organization. Lastly, Domo offers a free trial, so you have the opportunity to try the service out before committing.

The primary advantage with see with Domo is the social integration and connectivity that is available to your right away. Many of these integrations are already installed like Google Analytics or Shopify, so you don’t need to purchase any add-ons. Domo also has a fully functional and easy to use app that allows you to view charts from anywhere and send messages throughout the company.

What to watch out for with Domo is if you are looking to connect to your on-premise databases and need data level security features or have lots of data. Because everything eventually gets into their cloud, integrating on-premise data triggers steep implementation costs, security concerns and storage fees. Plus, the role and data level security bumps you into their higher price tiers.

4. Yellowfin BI

Yellowfin offers a variety of different data visualization tools to meet the needs of every growing business. The tools allow you to visualize and explore your company data without having to code or run through complicated systems. They provide over 50 different interactive charts and infographics that you can use internally for your employees or externally for your marketing. You can embed and share all the charts as well. Yellowfin also offers Location Intelligence which gives you the ability to merge your spatial and traditional data to find opportunities in your market. The company offers a 30-day free trial as well.

We don’t interact with a lot of customers using Yellowfin so we don’t have a lot of experience with them. Most of our interactions is via BMC Smart Reporting which is a white-labeled version of Yellowfin BI and many point to limitations in the construction of ad-hoc queries in BMC that we solve in Yurbi. However, this could be a limit of BMC’s implementation of Yellowfin, not an inherit issue.

5. Microsoft Power BI

This data visualization tool comes with a suite of different tools that turn your data into comprehensive visuals that are easy for employees and potential customers to understand. They offer unlimited access to on-site and in-cloud data, so you have a centralized data hub. Like with many Microsoft products; they also provide a thorough tutorial system that takes you through the product so you can fully understand how to implement it. Since it’s a Microsoft product, it integrates well with a variety of other software and it is cost effective at only $9.99.

A lot of firms have turned to Power BI because it seems like a natural fit with their existing Microsoft infrastructure. Plus, for users of Excel it seems like Power BI would be a perfect BI tool. What we find is that businesses quickly figure out that there’s a big leap from being advanced in Excel and being proficient in Power BI, which requires learning DAX.

Many companies also get turned away by the fact all their SaaS data or on-premise data has to flow through the Azure cloud and that was a step more than they were willing to take.

6. Chartio

Chartio specializes in focusing on the data that really matters for your business. They understand that many companies spend so much time sifting through reports of data that mean nothing for the profitability of the business. Chartio connects seamlessly with so many databases like Google Analytics, Amazon Redshift, and Oracle. Chartio’s system Visual SQL allows you to drag and drop data to design dashboards without having any knowledge. You can layer your data and take snapshots at any point to make comparisons and projections.

We don’t often run into Chartio, but the few customers we have interacted like the product a lot. The primary concern is the pricing, both the cost, and the way it is somehow tied into how many queries you do and size of your data. Our approach is that cost should never be tied to something so variable and unpredictable.

7. Looker

Looker was recently purchased by Google for $2.6 billion (wow). So clearly there was a lot to like about the software. Looker offers its own modeling language known as LookML. Looker is heavily involved and maintainable but more challenging to learn than some of the previous tools. This tool offers a wide assortment of advanced integration options as well like a max number of connections, but the system overall is a bit clunky. There is also some terminology involved with setting up your visuals in Looker that are not easily understood by someone with no experience in data analytics.

We suspect that Google will tie it in very tightly and perhaps replace Google Data Studio with Looker in the future. It’s hard to tell with Google if they will make the price less or more for Looker, but I’m sure they will figure out a way to monetize the data for advertising revenue in some way.

One More Data Visualization Option

As we said earlier, we believe in transparency and honesty. That is why we wanted to provide you with seven of the best choices for data visualization tools without including ourselves in that list.

Although we’re not on the list, we at Yurbi provides a complete Business Intelligence platform that includes data visualizations, interactive dashboards, a central repository of reports that support self-service scheduling, ad-hoc reporting, embedded analytics, and advanced security and data governance.

Plus for organizations that need a helping hand implementing BI, we offer expert “done for you” services that matches or exceeds the expectations of our customers. We take all the thinking out of the equation, so you simply tell us about the data that matters to your business, and we take over.

Most of our customers find us via blog articles just like this, after researching 4-5 of the products listed above. And we often hear:

“Yurbi is the best thing we’ve seen so much and it’s actually affordable.”

If you’re currently researching a data visualization and BI tool, take a closer look at a demo of Yurbi and contact us so we can discuss your requirements to see if we’re a good fit.

Click here to download “10 Signs You Need A New BI Solution”

7 Signs You Need to Partner with a New Business Intelligence Vendor

7 Signs You Need to Partner with a New Business Intelligence Vendor

If you’ve ever dealt with BI software vendors, you know they’re not exactly a breeze to get along with (yeah, we’re talking about Tableau, Qlik, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, the list is long).

As much as you, as a consultant, VAR, or a managed service partner need their business intelligence tools, their approach often has more flaws than advantages.

In fact, how do your current BI software partnerships make you feel? While you’re out there jumping hurdles to please your clients, does your BI partner give you the support you need that makes you want to high five them, or is there another hand gesture in mind?

Chances are, it’s the latter.

Today, we’re looking at 7 signs that will tell you if you need to partner with a new business intelligence tool.

How many checkmarks do you have?

1. Their Software Price Is Costing You Opportunities

Most customers think their projects are unique, and they’re expecting you to meet them halfway.

And the thing is: you want to.

You want to offer additional support, modify the software to their liking, and even give them a discount.

But your business intelligence tool provider isn’t letting you.

In worst cases, you have to make do with what you’ve got. Often, it’s the client’s budget and the cost of the software can be so much that you just flat out lose the deal.

Even if you’re doing most of the work.

When we were creating Yurbi business model, we were aware of these problems. We’ve been partners with a lot of software vendors over the last 20 years. It ain’t easy.

Because we don’t have all the overhead, locations, and high pressured sales teams as the other guys, we have a lower price than them.

Yurbi costs less than our larger competitors so our partners can get more revenue from their clients. If our software is good for your business, then the more you sell, the more you make.

It’s a win-win.

You can give your customers the technology you need while getting the profits you need to grow your business.

And speaking of growing the business…

2. You Need More than One Tool in Your Toolkit

When a BI vendor rises in popularity, being tied to them is awesome. The software practically sells itself, and the hype keeps your business going.

However, once the customers start using it and it’s not the right fit for their needs, your reputation is at a stake if you don’t have an alternative.

You need the best tool in the toolkit to be the customer’s advocate and advisor, instead of just selling them a hot solution.

And since no two customers are the same, sometimes even all-encompassing software like Qlik, Business Objects and Tableau may be square pegs trying to fit into circles.

This is one of the benefits that Yurbi brings to the table.

It can be the right fit at the right time for your customers, and you don’t have to feel reluctant to recommend it because of low-profit margins.

Instead, do what you’ve always wanted to do: focus on the success of your clients and your company.

We’ll just do the heavy lifting.

3. They Give You No Support

You can’t put a price tag on support, but some software vendors certainly try to.

Even though you’re selling their software just like their internal sales team, they treat you worse than free trial users. Their business intelligence tool may be useful, but their approach really isn’t.

If your engineers or clients are struggling with a bug, you don’t want to find out that partner support is just a buzzword.

And when your sales reps need help closing a deal, your software vendor shouldn’t do as magicians do and vanish.

This is where we want to do better with Yurbi.

Our BI software partnership includes resources and support.

Our partners are the same as our internal team for us because we know that when you’re successful, we’re successful too.

4. Your Software Vendors Aren’t Flexible In Anything

Flexibility may have to go through 20 levels of approval at major software companies, but for a managed service partner all that means is:

“I can’t do what my clients are asking me to do. I’m going to lose a great opportunity.”

As a small, agile company, we have the time and the desire to listen to your and your customers’ needs.

Our decisions happen lightning fast.

And even though our tech has the size and strength to compete against larger firms, we keep our team cohesive and flexible.

We can’t forget the adrenaline of finding a way to close a good deal. And we know how important it is to you, too.

5. They Expect You to Do Everything

Every BI software partnership should be exactly that: partnership.

And sometimes, as a partner, you need a helping hand.

Regardless of whether it’s the first couple of services engagements, sales demos or putting together a proposal, you need someone reliable on the other side.

Most software vendors don’t (or can’t) understand that. Every deal is your responsibility.

Yurbi business intelligence partnership does things differently.

We can support your sales calls and implementations, and we can represent your brand. We’ll even wear T-shirts to show how proud we are you’re our partner!

And if you need more resources but aren’t in a position to get them, we can virtually expand the size of your team with our people and tech.

6. Software Updates Take Too Long

Raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to chuck your BI partner off a cliff because you needed a software update yesterday, and they’re telling you it can be done in 18-24 months.

(Did you raise your hand? We sure did.)

At Yurbi, we know the feeling. We typically implement requests for new features within 3 months.

If you need a highly-customized feature, you can get our “Done for You” services team who’ll get you up and running quicker than you can say: “I need it now!”

7. They Put Their Brands before Yours

Finally, we both know that if you’re using business intelligence software you haven’t created, you have to be ready to constantly promote their brand.

Even if the other 99% of the solution is completely yours.

From colors and logos to the interface and dashboard, software vendors are putting their brands first.

But what about partners?

With all that competition, you need to have a sustaining business and a brand name. This means white labeling solutions while also selling integrated services.

The customers should only see you when they see the solution.

The technology stack should be where it’s its natural place: in the background.

At Yurbi, this is not a problem. We support the white-labeling model and allow our partners to brand Yurbi as a part of their business.

We’re not in the business of stealing the show.

We’re in the business of helping you shine.

Contact us to discover how Yurbi can become your go-to partner.

What Is Ad-hoc Reporting (And How Can It Help Your Business)?

What is ad-hoc reporting?

Ad hoc reporting is a business intelligence (BI) model that enables the creation and distribution of reports by non-technical BI resources. If you are responsible for tracking metrics and KPIs for your organization but don’t have a background in coding or IT, you’re the perfect candidate to benefit from the ease and intelligence of ad hoc reporting and ad hoc analysis.

What are ad-hoc analysis and ad-hoc reporting?

“Ad hoc” is a Latin phrase, and means “when needed.” In other words, ad hoc reports aren’t ones that you’ll schedule and run every single day like clockwork. Sure, you can recreate ad hoc reports as often as you’d like, but they are really designed to find quick answers to business questions as they come up, and without the need to wait on IT to build a report for you. After the initial setup of connecting the BI solution to the data sources, the business users have all of the information they need to create and analyze their own reports.

Don’t assume that just because ad hoc reporting is easy, that the reports themselves are too basic to be of value. They can be as simple or complex as you want and need–from a single page of data to in-depth tools like heat maps, dashboards, and cross-tab reports.

The primary goal of ad hoc reporting is to help business users access the information they need when they need it. It helps streamline decision making, provides transparency to multiple user groups at once, and relieves IT teams of the burden of creating hundreds of reports for lots of different stakeholders.

Click here to download “5 Mistakes Executives Make When Buying BI”

Ad-hoc reporting vs. canned and managed reporting

If you know that you have to report on a specific data set or group of metrics every hour, day, week, etc. then you’ll most likely want to create a prebuilt or “canned” report. Unlike ad hoc reports that are flexible, self-service, and available as needed, canned reports may need the help of a technical resource to create or maintain. Canned reports are also usually pre-defined and limited to a certain set of variables.

Managed reporting depends on the help of a technical resource to design, distribute and maintain each report. This type of reporting consumes the bandwidth of a dedicated resource and is less able to flex fast when reports need to be changed to meet business needs.

Of the three reporting types, ad hoc reporting is the most agile and user-friendly, giving even non-technical users the information they need to make fast, data-based business decisions.

What are the business benefits of ad-hoc reporting?

Ad hoc reporting supports a self-service model that answers questions in near real-time. No matter the industry, businesses have to remain flexible to stay competitive. If you have to wait for IT intervention to get to the information you need, you might not get it in time to make a real impact on business outcomes. Ad hoc reporting takes the “wait” out of reporting.

Another benefit of ad hoc reporting that will certainly appeal to your finance team is the potential to save money on training cost and unproductive downtime. Because of its simplicity, business users of all technical skill levels can start creating reports immediately and using data to drive their actions.

Because ad hoc reporting alleviates the workload of your IT team, they will be free to focus on other, more strategic projects to support your business. And as a bonus, teams will be more likely to take ownership of data and share information across the organization when they realize how simple it is to create the reports they need.

When you’re ready to choose an ad hoc reporting solution, first survey your team about their specific data and reporting needs. It should be easy to use, accessible from anywhere they happen to be working, and able to display information in a variety of ways to suit many different audiences.

And to see if Yurbi is a good fit or not, contact us for a demo and discussion of your use cases.

Click here to download “5 Mistakes Executives Make When Buying BI”

Straight Talk Review: The Pros and Cons of Google Data Studio

Straight Talk Review: The Pros and Cons of Google Data Studio

Many digital marketers have found analytics to be a challenging aspect. Analytics can be overwhelming and confusing for both the digital marketers and the customers to comprehend.

As a result, the analytical part is often ignored to avoid information overload and complex data. However, it should be noted that if the analytics are understood properly, it can do wonders for the business.

Since Yurbi is in the data analytics space and Google Data Studio is as well, we sometimes get an inquiry to compare the two products. While there is some overlap, Google Data Studio has a strong footprint in reporting on the Google suite of data sources and Yurbi’s primary focus is database-driven reporting.

In this article, we’ll give you our take on the pros and cons of Google Data Studio so you can better determine if it’s right for you.

What is the Google Data Studio?

Google Data Studio is an integral part of Google Analytics 360 Suite. It gives you a suite of powerful tools to convert analytics data from their other solutions into easy-to-understand informational reports with the help of data visualization. Reports created by Google Data Studio are easy to understand and they can be customized.

The best thing about Google Data Studio is that it allows the users to import anything as long it is in Google Sheets. That’s right! If you can store your data in Google Sheets, you can use Google Data Studio on that data. And you can also share reports directly with your team, and your team members can even edit it like any other Google Docs.

So as you can see, if you are tied in tightly with the Google infrastructure, Google Data Studio is a solid fit. Here are some additional pros and cons as we see it.

Pros of Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio can prove to be an excellent tool for a beginner who has just started dealing with the analytics. Here’s why:

1. Customize Reports To Match Up With Your Brand

Google Data Studio creates reports which can be easily customized by the users. There are enough options available here to experiment with colors, fonts, size, labels, and borders. Also, all the charts and graphs created looks neat. The metrics of charts can be dragged and fitted as per your requirements. You can even add the logo of your company in the reports which are being created, and the color palette can also be chosen according to it.

2. Unlimited Data

Google Data Studio houses unlimited tables and pages. To make things easy, one can label the pages by either category or theme. It also supports unlimited dimensions and metrics. A summary row can be added and you can decide the number of rows that you want to see in a page. Then, you can go ahead with the pagination option which enables the users to scroll through the data. This comes especially handy when you have to take a glance at the report.

3. Add Comments and Notes

If you are presenting the report to a client who is new to reading reports, you can go ahead to add notes and comments to draw their attention to the critical features, tables or any other external data in the report.

4. Access and Speed

The hallmark of Google Data Studio is its speed and accessibility. It is largely because of the connection that exists between Google Data Studio and other Google services. Google Data Studio imports all the data from other Google services with all the default metrics and dimension effortlessly.

5. Embedded Dashboards

You can integrate the dashboard in an ecosystem that is capable of reading HTML and that too by simply copying and pasting the iframe snippet. This saves the intended audience from the hassle of logging into the Data Studio. We don’t pose this as a solution for embedding into a multi-tenant SaaS application, but for internal use, it works nicely.

Click here to download “10 Signs You Need A New BI Solution”

Cons of Google Data Studio

Though Google Data Studio is popular among the newbies, serious marketing data analysts do not prefer it because:

1. Reports can be read-only online

The major drawback of Google Data Studio is that it allows the users to view the reports only online. This means the report created through it cannot be exported as a CSV, PDF or any other file type. The only way of sharing the reports created in Google Data Studio is by sharing the URL.

2. Report delivery automation is absent

In other services like Analytics, one has the option of delivering the data daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly but this kind of delivery automation is absent in Google Data Studio.

3. Supports Single Data Source

When coming to other dashboard tools, Google Data Studio might be a bit limited because it supports only a single data source. It means for creating tables, graphs, and charts, you can extract data from a single source instead of multiple channels. Data blending is not possible in Google Data Studio. Although Google can connect to many disparate sources, it can only report on 1 at a time.

4. Developer resources will be needed

If your company focuses and relies highly on metrics, then Google Data Source might not be the best tool. It is because pulling data-in becomes very difficult for Google Data Source and a developer resource will most likely be needed to automate the prep of the data.

5. Limited Connections

It cannot be denied that Google Data Source works seamlessly with other Google services. But it should be noted that Google products are only a fraction of plenty of data sources which are available out there. While they show over 180 connecters and more than 500+ data sets, they are very marketing and social media oriented. And while you can bring in any data via Google Sheets, that goes back to point 4 above, it requires expertise.

6. Limited Visualizations

Even though Data Studio allows the users to customize, it isn’t great with visualizations. When compared to other BI tools, one can rate the visualization offered by Data Studio pretty average.

Bottom Line

Compared to other BI tools, Data Studio has a very strong fit for the Google set of tools, but not as a broader BI solution. For more traditional database-driven data sources and the ability to combine data from multiple sources into metrics that help drive your business, Google Data Studio is not the right choice.

One of the biggest differentiators between Yurbi and Google Data Studio, is Yurbi is on-premise and therefore, you can keep all your data behind your firewall. If you do not want it to be in the cloud, and you have direct access to your databases, Yurbi allows you to maintain control of that data.

And unlike Google Data Studio that needs a developer resource, Yurbi doesn’t require a lot of technical expertise to build reports because it is a codeless ad-hoc report building.

Yurbi also provides a BI platform approach with report scheduling, multi-data source data blending, multi-tenant data-level security, dashboards, a centralized report library, data governance, and more. And Yurbi is a great choice for software vendors looking for embedded white label dashboards and reports.

Ultimately it comes down to your requirements. If you are tied into the Google Analytics platform and looking to provide customized reports for Google Analytics, Ads, YouTube, Google Cloud data, and have more of a marketing analytics slant to your data sources, Google Data Studio is a great fit. For use cases that require more on-premise database access or blending of data, contact us for a demo of Yurbi and let’s see if Yurbi is the best fit.

What are your thoughts? Leave us your feedback in the comments for or against Google Data Studio to help other readers.

Click here to download “10 Signs You Need A New BI Solution”

How Businesses Can Utilize Data to Improve the Shipping Process

Although shipping involves the transportation of physical goods over long distances, intangible assets like data are actually among the industry’s most valuable commodities. Big data offers businesses and customers oversight of their products from anywhere in the world. And by analyzing data, companies can reduce costs and improve shipping times by creating new efficiencies in the system.

Managing Expectations

Data analytics is a natural fit for the shipping industry. Since delays are common, and shipping is frequently exposed to random vagaries outside of anyone’s control, companies naturally want to know as much information as possible, so they can make accurate predictions for their customers. Big data can provide companies with real-time route optimization, risk evaluation, service improvement, and more by incorporating nearly instantaneous updates on all kinds of information, including shipping delays, oil prices, or damaged products. It can also optimize the hard to reach last mile of operations, which is one of the most difficult aspects of the business. Companies can, therefore, manage expectations within their organization and with customers.

Click here to download “10 Signs You Need A New BI Solution”

Determining Shipping Method

Data analytics is all about extracting useful insights that can be applied to the business. The information is typically gathered from sensors or GPS devices and then analyzed with mathematical and statistical models. This can help companies determine the best method for shipping, as well as the carrier and the mode of transportation. Depending on the quantity of goods needing to be shipped, it can be beneficial to companies to share shipping trucks to cut down on costs for all parties. For example, if companies utilize LTL shipping, which stands for less than load, then they can group their packages together.

How to Make Use of the Data Available

Unfortunately, data collection alone is not enough to unlock savings. Executives need to translate that data into actionable plans. That begins with incorporating data analytics directly into the organizational structure. Businesses need to make the data transparent and available, identify patterns within the data, and then move quickly to change course as needed. A rigorous but nimble organization can provide the speed and efficacy needed to improve its shipping capabilities.

The shipping industry generates millions of data points every single day. If shipping companies can put this data to work, then they can potentially generate useful insights that will improve the quality of their business for their customers.

Click here to download “10 Signs You Need A New BI Solution”

4 Basic Accounting Concepts Every Small Business Owner Should Know

Small businesses face unique accounting needs, and often small business owners would rather take care of these things themselves.

Consistency

When it comes to accounting, it’s immediately evident when someone has changed their system or methods. Have set rules in place that will guide any new employee who handles expenses, income, or manages the books.

Rules such as:

  • Record all expenses immediately
  • Record income to the term it effects
  • All reimbursements run on a set schedule

Along with having rules, you should decide your accounting method and stick to it. Take some time to decide which accounting method is best for you, as you should be using it for many years to come.

Never Do Your Own Taxes

Small business taxes are full of difficulties.  That’s why CPAs continue to be in high-demand, no matter what shape the economy is in. If you did not pay out on your quarterly estimates or properly put aside a reserve for unexpected penalties taxes can end up closing your business.

Hiring a CPA, even if it’s just for your tax preparation and handling can ensure that taxes aren’t an overwhelming aspect of your business.

Your Business is an Economic Entity

It is a common mistake that business owners run their business expenses, income, and personal expenses together. Doing this goes against the basic accounting principle that your business is an economic entity.

Always keep your personal finances separate, pay yourself a wage, and protect your business from any personal debts.

Conservation

Have you ever expected a bill to come through and when it arrives it’s much less than you expected? It’s a wonderful feeling, all of a sudden you have some extra cash that in your mind was already spent.

But what happens when it’s the other way around? When a customer refuses to pay a bill, or your binding quote was only a fraction of what you should have charged.

The concept of conservative accounting says that you should always recognize an expense the moment that it’s a possibility. But that you should only recognize revenue when you are absolutely sure that all expenses have been paid.

Core accounting concepts can severely impact any business owner. It’s not just about hiring a third party to take over all the accounting needs. With the basic understanding of core accounting concepts, any small business owner can manage themselves.

Understanding your business data can bring your business to the next level. Check out our Business Intelligence Services here.

The Art of Reeling in a New Client

If you want to be successful in business, continually gaining new clients is going to be essential. The first step is making them aware of you, and the final step is making them trust and like you. That’s how you’ll increase your customer base and grow your sales.

The Cast

There is no better advertisement than a customer’s referral. Every time a client tells others about you, the recommendation enhances your reputation. The first step toward achieving this is simply giving the client good service, but you’ll also want to ensure others hear about it. The best way to accomplish that is by offering clients incentives. You need to give them a good and valuable reason to refer others to you. Whether it is a prize, a discount or an improved membership, rewarding your customers for their loyalty is the surest way to retain it.

Click here to download “5 Productivity Strategies to Transform Your Business”

The Bait

You can’t get new clients if they can’t find you. There are plenty of methods for doing this, but the vital part is their awareness. If potential clients don’t know your company exists, they will never come to your door. Gaining some recognition sets you on the path to becoming a household name. It allows your brand to build. Social media is an effective and inexpensive way to advertise, and it lets you target any community or demographic directly. Giving potential customers a good reason to visit you for the first time, such as vouchers or a free gift, will also build up your customer base. Baiting the hook is how you begin.

The Landing

Acquiring a client’s business begins the moment they walk in the door. If you want your company to stick out from your competitors, you market what makes you different and unique from your competition. One way to do this is to show that you are professional and organized. If you have a lobby, make it welcoming, simple, and straightforward. This will put the potential client at ease, which is the only way they will give you their business. An anxious customer does not spend, so it’s all about building on that comfort and trust. Learn the client’s name, and show some genuine interest. Talk a little about your personal life and ask about theirs. If you want to make someone your customer, start by making them your friend.

Finding and landing new clients may seem difficult in the beginning, but it is an art you can master. If you do, the success you achieve will sustain itself.

You bring the data, then we help you convert it to information and share it securely with people who need it. Try a demo today!

Click here to download “5 Productivity Strategies to Transform Your Business”

5 Sources of Essential Data That Can Inform Business Decisions

Making informed decisions is critical to your business success. Compiling and reviewing essential information allows managers and workers to say “yay or nay” with less worry about making a judgment error. Today, scores of different data sources make it easier for someone to perform critical research before making any decisions. Overlooking any of these sources could be an incredibly unnecessary mistake. The data is right there. There’s no reason to miss any of it. If you are wondering what data sources to check out, here are five easy-to-find ones.

Customer Reviews

The opinion that matters most is the one from a customer. It matters not whether the customer liked or disliked a product or service. Both positive and negative feedback provides business owners with the essential information necessary for making improvements. Customers provide reviews without any prodding, so online reviews become quite cost-effective. With a little strategizing, your Google reviews can serve as de facto survey responses.

Be mindful of one unfortunate fact. Customers are more likely to leave negative reviews than positive ones. Displeased customers like to vent. Happy customers don’t always take the time to say how they feel, so you have to work a little harder to target them to get their opinions.

Surveys

A tried-and-true customer survey gives business owners specific feedback about equally particular topics. A review can often veer into different subjects. When you craft a survey with definitive questions, the completed survey gives you sought after, targeted information. Of course, this outcome is only possible when you put together an excellent survey.

Think carefully about the information you seek. Make sure all the questions on the survey appear with clarity. This way, the customer won’t have any trouble responding accurately.

Competing Products And Services

Keeping up with competitors can be a little perplexing for some business owners. Some may not want to check out the competition because they don’t want to become copycats. Ignoring your competitors is a bad plan from many angles including a data collection one. Researching a competitor’s products and services could prove eye-opening.

Has a competitor decided to perform an upgrade to offerings? Have prices dropped without warning? Actions such as these tell a tale. You can only learn the lesson of the tale by following what a competitor does.

YouTube Channels

YouTube is home to millions of videos that entertain people all over the world. Entertainment, however, isn’t the only purpose of various videos. Quite a few intend to inform and promote. Businesses find video production serves as a reliable means of informational marketing. Find as many quality channels related to your business as possible. Subscribe to them, and stay on top of all the new videos.

This research process might be the least difficult of all. Playing YouTube videos while you work allows you to absorb info while performing other tasks. If something catches your eyes and ears, review the footage once again at a later time. YouTube represents such “low hanging fruit” for data collectors that some may ignore it. Don’t make that mistake. Important data is right there on YouTube. Watch those channels and their related videos.

Government Entities

Various government agencies compile a great deal of information about enterprise and commerce. Government websites publish the not-so-secret information federal employees acquire. Several government offices exist solely to help business owners or consumers. Check out these websites and read through them. The amount of available information on them may prove surprising.

And don’t look solely at domestic websites. Someone in the United States may find Canadian, Australian, U.K., and other countries’ government websites loaded with interesting data.

Data is out there. The data exists for business owners to take advantage of what it reveals. These five sources are just that: five. There are many more, and all are worth discovering.

Need a hand making the most of your data? If you don’t have the resources or if your resources are already too busy, our team of Yurbi experts can help you get the benefits of data reporting and dashboards quickly and affordably.

What Is Self-Service BI (And Is It Right For Your Business)?

Yurbi - Self-Service BI Tool

Self-Service business intelligence can certainly be a game changer for a company. Are you thinking of implementing new strategies and changes in the way you access, analyze, and treat data? Looking into self-service business intelligence may be a good option for you and your business.

You must be wondering what’s the difference between self-service and traditional business intelligence. In this post, we’ll get into that and demystify it all for you.

What Exactly Is Self-Service Business Intelligence

Let’s take a look at what self-service BI actually is, what it isn’t, and how it can change the way you find, analyze, and use business data.

Definition Of Self-Service BI

There is no actual definition in the dictionary for self-service BI and it can actually encompass several activities.

In a nutshell, self-service BI lets employees and individuals who are not technically data analysts by profession to have access to business data without any assistance from the information technology department.

It’s about user independence where some individuals will use the data to perform simple tasks while others may require more extensive and sensitive information to complete their work.

What That Means For Your Company

What that means is that employees in a variety of departments can easily and rapidly gain access to business information that they need without waiting for it from the IT department. They can manage, organize, and treat what they want in a self-reliant way through reports and dashboards.

That also gives more responsibility and self-sufficiency to individual employees and departments. They can have access, analyze, modify, and personalize data.

  • Less wasted time
  • Keep up with the competition
  • Flexibility
  • Gained efficiency
  • Independence

Who Is Self Service BI For?

Self-service BI is obviously not for everyone and can’t be implemented in certain business formats. Self-service BI is usually a dependable and suitable solution for smaller to medium-sized companies.

  • Companies who require information at any time and anywhere can benefit from self-service BI.
  • Companies whose IT departments can substantially benefit in a reduction of the business data processing workload.

Easy, Reliable, And Cost Effective

Many companies could profit tremendously by cutting the middle man and letting some key employees have direct access to certain data. These individuals don’t need to wait on the IT department and can meet deadlines more quickly.

Self-Service Business Intelligence Vs Traditional Business Intelligence

Of course, some situations and certain businesses can’t take advantage of self-service BI for a variety of reasons and still rely solely on traditional BI.

Some businesses are simply deep-rooted in their processes and are afraid to take risks or to shake things up. By having the proper knowledge on hand and analyzing individual business strategies, some would undeniably benefit moving from a traditional BI to a self-service BI.

What Is Traditional BI?

In traditional business information, data is usually analyzed, processed, modified, and distributed through the information technology department. The data is not collectively accessible and is only issued at the demand of employees when needed.

Some companies believe that this is the safest way to guard sensitive information and to keep control over what data gets processed. But with the growing success stories of self-service BI, this thought process is becoming less accurate.

What’s The Difference Between Self-Service And Traditional?

Traditional BI has only one department in charge of all data and dispenses it as needed.

When set up with self-service BI, a company usually assigns roles and tasks to specific users. A business will usually set up casual users of self-service BI and power users who have access to more options like modifying and changing data.

Traditional BI

  • Exclusive department
  • Data is distributed more slowly
  • Rigid
  • Safe

Self-Service BI

  • Efficient distribution of data.
  • Self-reliance
  • Flexible
  • Safe

Which Is Right For Your Business?

Your type of business, the number of employees, and nature of data requirements will determine which type of business information distribution is best for you.

More and more businesses qualify for self-service BI and build dashboards and reports that are custom-made for their specific business needs.

Learn More About Yurbi

The name Yurbi itself comes from its roots as a self-service business intelligence tool. Yurbi, or “Your Business Intelligence” was designed to allow business users to Bring Their Data to Life.

However, from the beginning, the focus of Yurbi was to ensure that IT and data owners were completely satisfied that data was protected and securely delivered even when making it easier for end users to access data.

Take a look at a live demo of Yurbi or start a free trial and see how Yurbi can enable your business to leverage data more effectively via self-service business intelligence.

Use Case: We Need A Business Intelligence and Data Integration Tool That We Can Integrate With Via An API

Use Case: We Need A Business Intelligence and Data Integration Tool That We Can Integrate With Via An API

Data is likely one of your most valuable assets that your company has (the other being your team), but unfortunately, sharing that data with the people who need it, is a more complicated task than it seems.

In many cases, data is spread across multiple databases and security is of the utmost importance. Any data access needs to ensure the end user only has access to the information they are authorized to see.

For software vendors and SaaS providers, this use case is called embedded analytics, and they need a business intelligence tool that not only provides multi-tenant security but also allows them to seamlessly embed reports into their software without additional friction placed on their customers.

That’s not always an easy task though, and if you have very specific report layout requirements, it’s unlikely that any BI tool would be able to work out of the box. You’ll need a highly flexible system with automation capabilities to make data integration play nice with your custom reports.

For large businesses and IT departments, they are faced with the need to share data from multiple databases and to provide single-sign-on capabilities and in many cases to integrate data between applications in a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA).

To maintain work efficiency, automation is extremely important, and all of this happens through APIs. You need a data integration tool that can pull together data from multiple sources and make it available to other applications securely.

What if we could create a data reporting solution that allows access to data, and automation of common tasks that doesn’t need any manual steps to work, and is easy to use?

BI Tools Without APIs Won’t Solve Your Problems

There are still a number of business applications which do not provide easy ways to integrate with other applications. These become data silos in your organization and create massive holes in workflow automation.

If a customer were to compare two tools, and one of them provided data integration features, they would be likely to choose the one with API capabilities, because that opens up the possibility of tight integration with the rest of their infrastructure, even if it’s just something they want to keep as a possibility for the future.

Business Intelligence tools are known for providing a great front-end for display and querying of data sources, but many don’t offer a robust API so that the BI tool can provide data integration and data broker services. The ones that do tend to be overly complicated and expensive.

As a consequence, many software vendors looking to embed BI are faced with tools that look great but don’t make it easy to integrate into their software, and many internal IT managers are faced with BI tools that provide a front-end to their data silos but don’t allow tight integration of data.

Business Intelligence With API Level Integration

Yurbi offers both software companies and IT managers access to a powerful BI tool that was built from the ground up as a web application, designed to meet both of their use cases.

Yurbi not only provides an agile, self-service business intelligence solution for end users, but on the backend, a robust API that can be used for user provisioning, secure data feeds, embedded analytics, and more.

Yurbi can integrate with your data or software using a couple of different API methods.

Restful API

The Yurbi interface uses an HTML5/Javascript interface. Which is great as it can work on any modern desktop, tablet, or mobile browser without requiring a client to be installed. Everything you can do in our interface can also be done via our Rest API (the API can actually do a lot more).

This includes user and security provisioning, retrieving and passing secure data sets to other applications in JSON or XML, configuring scheduled reports and binding secure data sets to your own custom report layouts and output methods. We call our Rest API our mid-tier.

Soap API

Yurbi also has a back-end API, that can only be accessed on the Yurbi server for additional security. The back-end API is SOAP based. Yurbi’s SOAP-based API can be used at the server level for integrations and automation such as bulk import of user and security information, copying or syncing Yurbi Apps, dashboards, reports, and folders between Dev, QA, and Production server environments.

Yurbi is extremely flexible, and the use cases for our APIs are nearly endless. You can even insert custom javascript into the Yurbi interface to connect with other software as you see fit. Add buttons or triggers which manually pushes data from Yurbi to your other applications!

Yurbi – BI solution For Modern Businesses

Yurbi is a business intelligence software tool that integrates with your existing automated processes. Software providers and internal IT teams can finally offer their users seamless integrations that combine ease of use with powerful features that you’d expect to find in much more complicated enterprise-level products.

Data security is not just maintained but also greatly improved by using Yurbi. This keeps everyone happy, the end users that have seamless access to data, the data owners who require tight security, and the IT managers who demand work efficiency all around.

Want to learn more about Yurbi? Contact us today to see what Yurbi’s powerful APIs can do for your business.