What’s the IBM i Community Saying About Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence (BI) continues to be a hot topic—and for good reason. With the vast troves of data most businesses now collect and store, deriving value from it can mean making better business decisions and even getting a leg up on the competition.

If you know how to do it.

With so many companies relying on IBM i/AS400/iSeries technology to run their operations, we thought you’d be interested in hearing from this community about the role of business intelligence and what it means today.

The IBM Community Weighs in on Business Intelligence

Each year, HelpSystems surveys the global IBM i community to understand how they leverage this trusted platform to support their business initiatives and what their plans are. The 2019 IBM i Marketplace Survey marked the fifth edition of this industry snapshot, and it’s chock-full of interesting statistics and insights into ways the IBM i is being used across diverse industries. Make sure to check it out if you haven’t seen it.

While security remains a pressing concern for all users surveyed, there are four main areas of interest when it comes to business intelligence on the IBM i platform:

  • Modernization and mobility
  • Data growth and analytics
  • Depletion of skills
  • ROI

Modernization and Mobility

Modernization can pay major dividends because it can introduce new functionality as well as enable the latest security measures to be applied. The infamous IBM i green screen lives on as 35% of users in the marketplace survey still rely on it exclusively. But as many know, modernizing applications is becoming commonplace on IBM i—all without making security take a back seat.

There are plenty of options for modernization with an eye on security even if you use Query/400 or SQL programming to query data. Interactive interfaces enable virtually anyone to access the data required to improve business decisions or get their jobs done faster.

Web-based interfaces ultimately save a great deal of time for IT teams as they eliminate the need for staff to install and maintain software on individual PCs. This also supports mobile deployment and the ability to access information from any device, a requirement for businesses today. Another important component is dashboards, which help non-technical employees and leaders make more sense of data and identify trends, key metrics, or required actions with ease.

For those who rely on Microsoft Excel day in and day out, you can rest assured that modernization doesn’t hamper your ability to leverage this powerful application. It’s just a matter of identifying the right tool for simplifying the export task.

Data Growth and Analytics

It’s no secret that big data is a double-edged sword, its volume is growing at record speeds. While effective use of data can reveal new opportunities and insights, it’s incredibly overwhelming to try and make sense of it all without the right tools.

Instead of having users request reports through your IT team, empower them to make informed decisions with intuitive graphics available at their fingertips. These can be easily configured to query data from any number of applications and present it in an intelligent, meaningful way.

The Depletion of Skills

As valued IBM i experts reach retirement age, backfilling their positions with qualified talent is a challenge for many organizations. The good news is these platforms can often be maintained by a low number of administrators and developers. Developing a strategic partnership with an IBM i expert like HelpSystems can also help you minimize disruption as key personnel retire.

IBM i Continues to Deliver the Best ROI

IBM i users remain loyal to the platform because they believe it provides a solid return on their investment. In fact, 92% of those in the marketplace survey believe it provides better ROI than competing options. This is an important consideration because 78% of those surveyed have multiple operating systems in place and can make an informed decision when it comes to perceived ROI.

BI initiatives are well supported on IBM i due to its inherent scalability, which minimizes the need to manage an increased number of servers. The IBM i platform also supports vast data warehouses which can be accessed without the latency issues that often plague users with other servers.

The Future Is Bright for BI on IBM i

As the recent IBM i marketplace survey underscores, this powerhouse technology is a mainstay in IT departments the world over. Its reliability and security make it an excellent choice for running business-critical applications including business intelligence initiatives.

Sequel Data Access and Insite Analytics are both valuable options for tapping into data in any relational database. Each features a secure, modern interface that enables you to make sense of your data from anywhere—with complete security in mind.

Find out which business intelligence tool is right for you.