The ISM, Inc. Blog

The Power of Knowing: Self-Service Data Analytics for SMBs

Enterprise companies often enjoy the advantages of a having a large in-house IT department to extrapolate insights from multiple data sources. Traditionally, they’d help line-of-business owners make smarter, faster business decisions. Innovations in technology, along with more competitive pricing models have enabled small business owners to access business intelligence insights without involving IT or enlisting the help of a data analyst.

Modern business intelligence analyzes and transforms data from up to 80 sources into highly visual charts, reports, and dashboards in a matter of minutes. These insights are no longer constrained to the back-office desktop they are accessible online anytime and across a host of mobile devices and native apps.

Modern BI is capable of integrating seamlessly with third-party, cloud-based services or legacy systems, and Microsoft’s Power BI is one of the premier options for companies running Acumatics, NDesk, SweetIQ, Web APIs, UserVoice, Github, Twilio and others. User-defined dashboards combined with customized visuals, live streaming, and interactive features make it an even more attractive option.

Business leaders already know they can’t afford to ignore the treasure trove of data that flows constantly. The challenge lies in accessing those insights quickly and easily without interrupting productivity. Business Intelligence by itself has limited predictive capabilities; however, embedding machine learning like Microsoft's Azure can help companies predict trends with surprising accuracy. With the help of R language, an open-source language for statistical computing and data visualization, users can create their own desired output.

These insights can be used to optimize future behavior and improve an organization’s products and services. Small businesses can now leverage user-centric analytical tools with robust capabilities such as:

  • > SaaS analytics and virtualization
  • > Desktop analytics and visualization application
  • > Intuitive mobile apps for tablets and smartphones
  • > Embedded API to surface Power BI visualization in third-party applications


Cloud-based Power BI empowers teams to pull data from operational systems, sensors, and external sources – explore relationships between them, spot trends and predict ends – and then share routinely updated visual and statistical reports to multiple recipients whenever and wherever they are.

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