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Power BI Pro vs. Premium Comparison Chart

Should you go with Microsoft’s Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium? Both have benefits and flaws. The best version is a matter of personal preference and business strategy. Some companies rely on the advanced analytic capabilities of Power BI Premium, whereas others are perfectly happy with the beautiful visuals they can create using Power BI Pro.

To help you find the version that fits your company’s strategy, we’ve put together a handy Power BI Pro vs. Premium comparison chart. With this information at your fingertips, you can decide which system will help you leverage your data most effectively.

Power BI Pro vs. Premium: A Comparison Chart 

There are three versions of Power BI: free, Pro, and Premium. Each version brings something different and helps you analyze your data from multiple perspectives.

Power BI Pro is nearly identical to the free version of the software. You have access to all of the standard visualization tools and a limited amount of data storage. The main difference between the free and Pro versions is that with the Pro version you can also share and collaborate on reports and visuals with other Pro users.

By comparison, the Premium version of the software is substantially different from the free and Pro versions. It includes more advanced data analytics tools, larger data storage limits, cloud computing, greater processing control, and on-premise data storage connectivity and support.

For an in-depth look at how these two versions differ, consult the detailed Power BI Pro vs. Premium comparison chart below:

Features Power BI Pro Power BI Premium 
Cost $9.99 per user per month $4,995 per storage resource per month
Maximum data set size 1 gigabyte 10 gigabytes 
Maximum total storage 10 gigabytes per user 100 terabytes per storage resource
On-premise options and a dedicated processing environmentNoYes 
Report sharing optionsOnly with other Pro users Share with anyone 
Connects to Power BI Report Server NoYes 
Data refresh rate Eight times per day 48 times per day 
Cloud storage options Yes Yes 
Data encryption Yes Yes 
Create visuals and reportsYes Yes 
Connected to Microsoft Excel, SharePoint, and other supported systemsYesYes
Mobile and desktop apps available YesYes

 

Using this Power BI Pro vs. Premium comparison chart, you can decide which version is right for your company.

Which Version Best Suits Your Needs?  

It’s important to think carefully about the pros and cons of each Power BI version before you invest in a new system. To make this decision, ask three questions.

1. Does the system meet your current data analytics needs?

Why waste valuable resources and funds on a system that can only store some of your data and perform a limited number of tasks? If you need advanced data analytics and a great amount of cloud storage space, then you should use Power BI Premium or hire a third-party data analytics services firm. Large enterprises in particular benefit from these types of tools because they offer more direct control over data storage and security. The Premium software version also handles larger data sets, which is important for many large-scale businesses.

However, Power BI Premium isn’t the best tool for every business. This system has many features you may never use. Take another look at the Power BI Pro vs. Premium comparison chart above. Are there any features of Power BI Premium or Pro that you don’t plan on using? If so, then it may be better to hire a third-party data analytics firm to create a custom system for you from scratch. As a general rule, you should never spend more than you have to on the best data analytics tools.

2. How fast can you deploy the new system?

For more advanced tools like Power BI Premium, there may be some additional costs and time involved in implementing the software and hardware into your existing system. Ideally, the tool you pick should still be easy to integrate into your infrastructure and ready to use soon after you pay for the service. This also increases your return on investment (ROI), as you can start generating insights almost immediately.

When you compare Power BI Pro with Power BI Premium, the Pro version is much faster to deploy. You won’t need any special hardware or other equipment to get started. As long as you have a device that connects to the cloud, you can generate robust visuals and reports instantly. However, the drawback of such a simple system is that it’s not as customizable or comprehensive as a more elaborate system like Power BI Premium. You have to balance ease of use with the software’s data analytics capabilities.

3. How much does the system cost?

Power BI Pro also has a leg up on Power BI Premium in terms of price. The Pro version only costs $9.99 per user per month. This is well within the budget of small businesses that only plan on getting a Pro license for a handful of employees or managers in the office.

Power BI Pro becomes less cost-effective when you scale up your operations. For example, if you need to generate insights from very large data sets and have multiple team members collaborate on large reports together, then Power BI Pro is pricey and limited in scope. Not only will you only be able to store a small amount of data at a time, but you also would have to buy a license for dozens or even hundreds of users, depending on your needs. These costs add up quickly.

However, a Power BI Premium license isn’t necessarily the most budget-friendly choice for large enterprises either. You may have to build your own infrastructure and manage on-site servers. Alternatively, you could hire a third-party data analytics firm at a lower monthly cost. As an added benefit, these firms can customize the system to fit your exact needs so that you’ll only pay for the features you’re currently using. You can scale the system up or down quickly as your needs change.

The Limitations of Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium 

A simple Power BI Pro vs. Premium comparison only tells you so much. Both of these systems have flaws, so to pick the right one, it takes a nuanced decision-making process.

Remember that there are many more tools available than just Power BI Pro or Premium. When you compare these two systems, keep in mind that there may be a third solution that offers all of the benefits of Power BI without any of the downsides.

custom data analytics and visualization system may be a better fit for your company than either Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium. This type of system is less expensive than Power BI Premium, yet it offers many of the same features and services. A third-party vendor can offer you more than just baseline features. You also get a detailed BI roadmap, a thorough BI audit, custom portals and dashboards, and visual aids designed specifically for the type of data you collect and track.

If you’re in the market for a new data analytics and report generation system, look beyond Power BI alone. Weigh all of your options to weed out the least effective tools and narrow your search down to the most advanced and cost-effective systems on the market.


To start generating powerful visuals and reports, contact Tek Leaders today. We build custom interactive dashboards and visualizations using the most advanced data analytics tools. If you have questions or would like to request a free business intelligence audit, you can reach us by email directly.

Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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SharePoint Migration Tool Pros and Cons

Copying data from on-premise servers to the cloud is a hassle for most organizations. It’s time-consuming and can be very complicated. To simplify it, Microsoft’s SharePoint Migration Tool lets users copy data from a SharePoint server to SharePoint Online. It’s a one-step process that takes the headache out of data migration.

However, not all organizations can use the free tool. If you want to copy your data over to the cloud, you’ll need to decide whether the SharePoint Migration Tool is the right option, or if there are other more comprehensive tools that you should use instead.

What is the SharePoint Migration Tool?

The SharePoint Migration Tool copies data from SharePoint on-premise sites or on-site libraries over to SharePoint Online. It’s mainly used to share information between these two versions of SharePoint and bridge the gap between on-premise and cloud storage.

To use this tool, you have to:

  1. Download and install the free tool from Microsoft.
  2. Sign in to your SharePoint Server account from the main SharePoint Migration Tool dashboard.
  3. Select the data source you wish to copy to the cloud: Either all of the data from a SharePoint Server site or a specific JSON or CSV file).
  4. Pick a cloud destination for the data.
  5. Customize the data migration process from the options that the SharePoint Migration Tool provides (this step is optional, as you can also use the default migration settings).
  6. Click “migrate” and wait for the tool to finish the process.

If you already have a SharePoint Server license and you want to quickly and easily transition to cloud storage, then this tool is helpful. However, the tool also has a number of limitations. It doesn’t work for every organization, particularly those that rely on complex metadata structures. To determine whether the SharePoint Migration Tool is right for you, consider the pros and cons.

The Pros of Using SharePoint Migration Tool 

The main benefit of SharePoint Migration Tool is that it’s simple to use and completely free. Even organizations with very strict budgets can download this tool and start migrating their data to the cloud immediately.

The tool’s simple user interface is also specifically designed for users who have little to no experience with data migration. You only need to know:

  • Your Microsoft login information;
  • Where the data is located (e.g. the specific file source on the main server or desktop computer);
  • The desired destination (e.g. the specific file location in the SharePoint Online storage system).

Another major benefit of the SharePoint Migration Tool is that it offers advanced migration options for greater control over the data transfer process. You can:

  • Perform incremental migration: The data is automatically replaced or updated at the destination. If on-site information changes, then the SharePoint Migration Tool will make sure that the cloud version has the newest information.
  • Control which files you upload to the cloud: You can select a custom date range specifying which files you want to transfer over to SharePoint Online. For example, you can apply a filter that copies all data created or modified after a certain date over to the cloud.
  • Automatically filter out bad data: The tool won’t copy over files unless they are formatted properly and supported by SharePoint Online.

SharePoint Migration Tool is a great choice for copying simple data from an on-premise server to the cloud. The fast installation process, coupled with the clean user interface, makes the process far less complicated and time-consuming than moving data to the cloud manually.

However, SharePoint Migration Tool is limited. Although the tool is free and easy to use, it may be a waste of time if it doesn’t perform all of the tasks your organization requires. To decide whether the tool is worth downloading, take a look at some of its cons.

The Cons of Using the SharePoint Migration Tool

If your organization needs to do anything beyond simple data migration then you may feel frustrated by the SharePoint Migration Tool’s lack of advanced features. This tool doesn’t support:

  • Complex or extremely large data sets (like those used in the banking or healthcare industries)
  • Metadata
  • SharePoint Server 2016 or 2019 (currently, the tool only supports 2010 and 2013 licenses)
  • Advanced migration options beyond incremental migration, basic data filters, and user permissions;
  • Data replacement or suggested changes (if the file name contains an illegal character or is flawed in other ways, the SharePoint Migration Tool will automatically leave out this file but won’t ask whether you’d like to modify the data or clean it up); 
  • Migration scheduling designed around your company’s uptime and downtime; 
  • Custom workflows or user interfaces (if you use a custom on-premise site, the tool can’t copy data over to the cloud in this exact format, which may confuse end users).

Many of these unsupported features are essential. If you can’t afford to lose track of any of your data, then the SharePoint Migration Tool is risky because it will filter out unsupported files. You may not even realize that the file is missing until you try to access it in the cloud later. That can be a big problem when it’s time for reporting or data analysis, as you can’t be sure whether key data points are missing.

To prevent this problem, you could use the additional SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool (SMAT), which scans all of your files stored on premise and identifies potential problems like corrupted data, illegal characters, or normalization issues. However, you will have to take this extra step every time you want to migrate data to the cloud.

Even if your data is well-managed and straightforward in structure (you don’t have to transfer over any metadata and everything is normalized and named properly), the SharePoint Migration Tool still isn’t an option for every organization. Organizations that have the latest SharePoint Server 2016 or 2019 licenses will have to wait for the tool to support these new editions. In the meantime, you will need an alternative tool for migrating your on-premise data to the cloud.

The Best Way to Move Your Data to SharePoint Online 

The SharePoint Migration Tool isn’t the only option for copying data between SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online. Whether you work with metadata or you recently upgraded to a 2016 or 2019 SharePoint license, data experts can help you migrate these files safely and easily between an on-premise server and a cloud storage system.

Hiring data specialists to copy your data to the cloud is a better option than using the SharePoint Migration Tool because:

  • Experts can build custom systems with special rules for copying over metadata and complex data sets
  • You can create more data filters based on the type of data you collect (e.g. filtering by customer survey responses or invoices)
  • The system could automatically flag problematic files or data for review, ensuring that no files get lost in the migration
  • You can set up migration schedules during times when your servers are least used (such as the middle of the night or over the weekend)
  • A data analytics firm can design a custom user portal that connects to SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online. Your staff can then manage data from just one location, rather than learning how to use the on-premise and cloud user interfaces separately
  • A custom system can be designed to support all editions of SharePoint, including 2016 and 2019

While a system like this costs more than the free SharePoint Migration Tool and takes more time to set up, the added cost and effort are usually worthwhile. You’ll copy all of your data over to the cloud safely and create a system that will continue to serve your needs in the future.

Are you ready to copy your data from SharePoint Server to SharePoint Online? If so, contact Tek Leaders today. Our data consultants will perform a free business intelligence and data analytics audit to help you decide whether SharePoint Migration Tool is the best option for your needs. If you’d like to learn more about designing a custom migration system from scratch, you can reach us by email directly.

Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

October 1, 2019

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Power BI Report Server On Premise vs. Cloud

f you want to improve your business intelligence (BI) and data analytics, then Microsoft’s dynamic Power BI platform is a viable and flexible option. It lets you generate attractive report visualsI It also helps you make strategic choices based on precise business data analysis. 

However, to migrate to the Power BI system, you have to make a few tough decisions. First, you should decide whether you want to invest in Power BI Report Server on premise vs. cloud services. Both systems have many useful features, but they also have a number of potential drawbacks. This guide will help you find the Power BI system that makes the most sense for your organization so that you can leverage your data more effectively. 

Which Power BI Options Are Available? 

Power BI is a versatile data analytics and visualization tool. Microsoft offers multiple Power BI services, including free, Pro, and Premium versions, each with different sets of features. Each version gives you different levels of control over your visuals, reports, and data. 

Before you can select one of these three versions of Power BI, you have to decide how you want Power BI to access your data in the first place. 

Power BI works by taking data from a source—either onsite or from a cloud-based storage warehouse—and processes it so that users can generate visuals or reports from this information. Microsoft offers two options for accessing data: Power BI Report Server on premise vs. cloud services. 

Power BI Report Server On Premise

Power BI Report Server on premise lets you store all of your data onsite or on your organization’s own cloud servers behind a firewall. You can then host reports and share them with other members of your team through the Power BI desktop or mobile applications.

Power BI Report Server is also based on the SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) framework. This means that you can track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), connect to existing Excel workbooks, and access paginated or mobile reports. Your organization will have full control over its data from end to end. 

Power BI Cloud Services

Unlike Power BI Report Server on premise, Power BI’s cloud-based service requires no installation or onsite data storage. Power BI’s cloud services work by accessing data that has already been uploaded to the cloud.

When you sign up for a Power BI cloud service license, you’ll gain access to a user-friendly dashboard with everything you need to create engaging visuals and reports right out of the box. You won’t have to configure the system at all. Because this information is located in the cloud and not behind a firewall, you’ll be able to access data from a web browser at offsite locations.

The differences between Power BI Report Server on premise vs. cloud don’t end here. To verify that you’re making the right decision, you should look carefully at both. 

Power BI Report Server On Premise vs. Cloud: A Comparison 

Some of the other key differences between Power BI Report Server vs. cloud are: 

FeaturePower BI Cloud ServicesPower BI Report Server On Premise
Installation In the cloud on any device On site 
Requires onsite infrastructure and maintenance No Yes
Data can be stored and processed behind a firewallNoYes
Hybrid cloud and on premise services available No (cloud only)Yes 
Is included with other Microsoft licenses Yes (Power BI Pro or Premium)Yes (Power BI Premium or SQL Server)
Uses the Power BI desktop and mobile application  Yes Yes 
Can use web-based applicationsYesNo
Generates custom visuals and reports YesYes 
Includes a user-friendly dashboardYesNo 
CostIncluded in Pro and Premium licenses. Pro costs $9.99 per user per month; Premium costs about $5,000 per resource per monthIncluded in a Power BI Premium license for about $5,000 per resource per month 

 

These are the main differences, but the list is not comprehensive. To select the right system for your organization, make a list of must-have features. If you want to generate reports on-the-go from multiple locations, you should choose cloud services over Power BI Report Server. If you’re in the banking industry or work with sensitive information such as health records, data security is often a much higher priority. Power BI Report Server on premise offers greater control over data permissions and end-to-end encryption. 

There are pros and cons to both of these systems, which is why you should consult with Power BI experts before you make your final decision. 

Choosing Between Power BI Report Server On Premise vs. Cloud

Tthe main difference between Power BI Report Server on premise vs. cloud services is that Report Server is more complicated to install and configure. That often makes the time to deployment and ROI longer. If fast ROI is a core goal in your business strategy, then this system is likely not the right choice. 

Power BI Report Server also isn’t as user-friendly as the cloud service, and it requires more frequent maintenance and updates. Cloud-based systems are easier to use, and are updated and patched frequently. Moving to a cloud-based system can help you prepare for future innovations. The future is in the cloud, so migrating to Power BI cloud services now is an important first step to full cloud storage migration. 

However, Power BI’s cloud services aren’t a perfect solution. While the cloud storage system is secure, it’s not as secure as data that’s stored, processed, and managed behind a firewall like Power BI Report Server on premise. 

If you’re still unsure which system is right for you, an IT consulting firm can help you decide between Power BI Report Server on premise vs. cloud services. 

Get Help from the Experts 

When you enlist the help of one of these firms, you’ll gain the knowledge and experience of an entire team of data scientists. These experts have advanced degrees in data analytics and computer science, along with firsthand experience with Power BI, including on premise and cloud services. 

The firm will perform a comprehensive audit of your business intelligence practices and come up with a detailed BI roadmap with all the data analysis tools you need. They can also build custom systems from scratch, including powerful interactive dashboards fine-tuned to your workflow. There is no one-size-fits-all visualization tool that works perfectly for every organization. These custom systems fill in any service gaps leftover by Power BI or other BI software, allowing you to optimize your reports and visualizations. 


To discover the right system for your organization’s needs, contact Tek Leaders. Our skilled data analysts work with the most popular visualization tools on the market, including Power BI services and licenses. If you want to learn more about custom data analysis and visualization system, you can reach us by email directly.

Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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SharePoint 2019 vs. SharePoint Online

Now that Microsoft has released updates to SharePoint 2019, you may be wondering which system will offer you the biggest bang for your buck: On-premise SharePoint 2019 vs. SharePoint Online. There are pros and cons to each, so the answer isn’t cut and dried. To find the right system for your business, you’ll have to take a closer look at all of the ways they differ.

Sharepoint 2019 vs Sharepoint Online

What is SharePoint 2019?

SharePoint 2019 is an umbrella term for Microsoft’s latest edition of the web-based platform that helps organizations manage information. There are actually three versions of SharePoint: Online, Server, and a hybrid of the two. 

When organizations want to compare the features of SharePoint 2019 vs. SharePoint Online, they’re usually looking for information about how the 2019 edition of SharePoint Server differs from SharePoint Online. This is a common question in industries that collect and organize large amounts of data, such as healthcare facilities and financial service providers. These organizations want to know which tool will help them manage sensitive data effectively while maintaining low overhead. 

You may be asking this question now because the SharePoint Server edition changed in 2019. Some of the features that were once only available in SharePoint Online are now offered in the latest Server edition, prompting some organizations to make the switch from Online to Server. 

To make this decision, you first need to consider the differences between the on-premises version of SharePoint 2019 vs. SharePoint Online. 

What is SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online?

SharePoint Server is installed directly on your existing infrastructure. It’s an on-premise data management tool that requires you to maintain your own servers. There are two editions of this service: Enterprise and Standard. The free edition, called Foundation, was discontinued in 2016 and isn’t supported by the latest SharePoint update. 

By comparison, SharePoint Online is an off-premise version of the service that offers many of the same functions and features as the Server edition but doesn’t require you to manage any servers of your own. 

In 2018, Microsoft updated the features of SharePoint Online, including improvements to communication sites, cloud searches, and a sleeker user interface (UI) for its dashboards and portals. Later that year, Microsoft also rolled out changes to SharePoint Server with its 2019 edition. For the first time, users could build and access communication sites with the on-premise service. Users also had access to more file and folder sharing options, cloud connectivity (including hybrid systems), and a modern UI. 

Although SharePoint Server 2019 and SharePoint Online now share some core functionalities, they’re still radically different tools. To make an apples-to-apples comparison, you should look at the differences between Enterprise SharePoint 2019 vs. SharePoint Online. The Enterprise version of SharePoint 2019 Server is more similar to SharePoint Online than the Standard version because the Enterprise version has more features and cloud search options.

SharePoint 2019 vs. SharePoint Online: The Key Differences 

Both SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online have these features in common: 

  • Template creation options;
  • Mobile and cross-browser support;
  • Permissions management;
  • Document sets and management options;
  • Online server access;
  • User authorizations and cloud security;
  • Design manager tools;
  • Content search portals and managed navigation;
  • A simple user interface; and more.

However, there are differences between an Enterprise license of SharePoint 2019 vs. SharePoint Online:
 

Feature Enterprise SharePoint 2019SharePoint Online
Distributed cache supportYes No
Database supportYes No
Host-named site collectionYes No
Personal sites Yes No
A business intelligence centerYes No
Custom site provisioning and definitionsYes No
Works out of the boxNo (requires some installation)Yes 

 

In general, SharePoint Server can do almost everything that SharePoint Online can do. The main drawback to using SharePoint Online is that administrative and publishing tasks are much more limited.

It’s also important to consider prices.

You can purchase SharePoint Online on its own or bundle it with another Microsoft tool like Office 365. If you buy a standalone license, the service costs between $5 per user per month and $20 per user per month, depending on if you’re buying the basic service or a more extensive package that includes more features.

An Enterprise SharePoint Server license costs approximately $7,000 per server. However, that varies depending on your location and other installation factors. You’ll pay about $100 per user for this service. The cost of keeping the servers running (air conditioning and other infrastructure) is also higher overall. 

SharePoint Online is much cheaper than SharePoint Server. Some organizations will find the extra cost of SharePoint Server worthwhile. 

Choosing Between SharePoint 2019 vs. SharePoint Online

Both the Server and Online editions are robust systems that will help you share and organize your information effectively. If you want to customize the system, then the Server edition is the best option because it offers greater flexibility. 

The Server edition is also generally more secure than the Online edition. You have complete control over your data and can implement additional precautions like firewalls to prevent data breaches. However, SharePoint Online is also a very secure system, with the latest cloud security best practices to protect sensitive data.

If you’re on a tight budget, SharePoint Online is the best choice. It’s far less expensive than either the Standard or Enterprise editions of SharePoint Server. It’s also a cost-effective option for small and large enterprises alike. Small businesses can run a lean, agile system at very little cost. Large enterprises won’t have to pay for dozens or even hundreds of individual user licenses for the SharePoint server. The more users you have, the less cost-effective SharePoint Server is overall.

To help you make a final decision, ask an experienced IT services firm for advice on whether to choose on-premise SharePoint 2019 vs. SharePoint online. A team of data scientists and IT experts will explain the strengths and weaknesses of each system for your specific organization and assist you with making this transition without losing any important data.

Alternatively, you can ask the firm whether it supports features that neither of these SharePoint editions have. For example, if you’re simply looking to organize your data more effectively, communicate and collaborate on projects with your peers, and locate your data from a user-friendly dashboard, then an experienced IT services firm can create a custom system that includes all of these features.

A system like this is more customizable than SharePoint Online and may be more cost-effective than SharePoint Server. By exploring all of your options, you’ll find a system that makes data management easy.


Contact Tek Leaders today to learn more about the pros and cons of on-premise SharePoint 2019 vs. SharePoint Online. We’ll offer you advice on how to create the most effective data management system for your company. If you want to hear more about the custom data management systems we offer, you can reach us by email directly.

Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

September 24, 2019

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SharePoint for Healthcare: Pros and Cons

The healthcare industry is going digital. The most modern and innovative medical organizations are using the latest software and online platforms to run facilities more efficiently and improve patient treatment plans.

SharePoint for healthcare is one of the most practical tools for this purpose. Its features and simple user interface make it a popular choice in hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers, and other healthcare facilities.

Implementing this system for the first time can be complicated, time-consuming, and even risky if security isn’t prioritized. In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of the greatest benefits of SharePoint for healthcare as well as some of the risks. Armed with this information, you’ll make the best possible decision for your healthcare organization.

The Benefits of SharePoint for Healthcare Organizations 

Microsoft’s SharePoint is a comprehensive web platform used to store and organize information. The platform has multiple editions and applications, and is used in a wide range of industries to perform a diverse number of tasks. It’s a very flexible system. With this tool, healthcare organizations can easily collaborate on complex projects, improve staff workflows, and distribute important training materials. It keeps all of the facility’s information well-organized so that staff can focus on patient care.

The following are some of the most important benefits of SharePoint for healthcare organizations:

Information Storage

  • Up-to-date patient information. Patient treatments and medications are all tracked and are very easy to find. 
  • Simple forms and templates. Patient intake forms, contracts, reports, and other frequently-used documents exist as templates in the system and can be programmed to autofill based on a patient or physician’s records. This saves staff a lot of time. 
  • Supply orders. The database can store information on the number of supplies the facility currently has in stock and automatically flag low supplies for re-ordering.

Communication

  • Making content searchable. Authorized users can search the entire system by keyword. When patients need to be treated quickly, medical professionals don’t have time to sift through mountains of paperwork or digital files.
  • Collaboration with other facilities. SharePoint’s extranet allows medical professionals to communicate with each other without having to make a phone call or send an email. Patient information is up-to-date and physicians can leave notes for each other about treatment plans or medications from within the private, secure network.

Patient Experience

Staff Workflows

    • Improved scheduling. Your staff shifts are documented in the system. You can track between-shift breaks to ensure your staff is getting enough rest. This is also useful for tracking who’s on call. 
    • Automated workflows. Recurring events, department budgets, and equipment maintenance appointments are automated. SharePoint is programmed to send out alerts to people who need to be in the facility for these events or who need to sign important documents so they can be approved.
    • Efficient staff training. SharePoint for healthcare automatically sets up periodic trainings, such as reminders for staff to complete continuing education courses. It will also notify all staff when a new protocol is put in place that requires additional training.
    • Performance reviews. Staff attendance and performance is logged in the system and can be quickly brought up during performance reviews. You can also use a visualization tool to track performance over time.

Security

  • Emergency alerts. SharePoint color-codes updates by urgency. If something needs immediate action, the right person receive a color-coded notification. You can also program SharePoint to link to emergency contacts directly, saving precious time.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance. SharePoint for healthcare doesn’t automatically follow all HIPAA regulations out of the box, but it can be set up to do so. Private networks and authorizations ensure that data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
  • User authorization. Each user has an authorized login that only gives them access to the information they have permission to see. All other information is unavailable to them, keeping the system secure.

With SharePoint, operations become much more efficient overall, saving your organization time and money.

The Cons of Using SharePoint for Healthcare 

There are a lot of benefits of SharePoint for healthcare, but it does have a few limitations.

One challenge is that SharePoint offers many different applications and features which can be difficult to navigate for first-time users. Without training, your staff may input data incorrectly or feel overwhelmed by the new system. As a result, your staff may not know where to find the latest patient information, leading to potential health risks and liabilities. Some staff members also find that the system is too time-consuming to use on a daily basis. These issues can be resolved with training and better planning.

Another problem with SharePoint for healthcare is that it’s often difficult to know where to start. It has massive number of features and it isn’t always clear one is appropriate for your organization’s needs. This is why many healthcare facilities hire an IT consulting firm to help them seamlessly migrate to a SharePoint system.

Security is another potential problem with SharePoint for healthcare. The more authorized users you have, the more security vulnerabilities exist within the system. This is especially true if you fail to identify these vulnerabilities or train your staff on security best practices. Security problems may even lead to HIPAA violations down the line.

When you identify the specific features that your organization will use, train your staff on how to use them, and close common security loopholes, your new SharePoint system will run smoothly.

Do You Need Something Besides SharePoint? 

SharePoint is a great tool for many organizations in the healthcare industry, but it won’t transform your facilities and operations by itself. Many healthcare companies hire firms that specialize in data storage, user dashboards, and documentation. Working with a third-party firm is superior to using SharePoint alone because:

  • Data experts will assess every aspect of your data collection and storage process, ensuring you’re collecting high-quality data and keeping it secure. 
  • The firm will come up with a custom business strategy, including a new data analysis system that helps you identify areas where you can improve. 
  • Web platform designers will make custom dashboards for your staff and patients that are intuitive and require no additional training to use. 
  • You can generate detailed visuals from all of the data you collect to make more accurate business decisions. 
  • You’ll rest easy knowing that the firm is aware of all current HIPAA regulations and data security best practices. The firm will take all necessary steps to protect sensitive patient information.

You can also ask an experienced data management firm to train your staff on how to use SharePoint. The firm will ensure that you make this transition with minimal operational disruptions and that you’re making the most out of the platform’s features and functionalities. With an experienced team by your side, you’ll have all of the resources you need to promote wellness and provide excellent care to local communities.

Tek Leaders offers free data management audits to healthcare organizations. To sign up for your free audit, contact Tek Leaders today. If you have more questions about SharePoint for healthcare or the services we provide, you can reach us by email directly.

    Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

    Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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    sharepoint2019-on-premise-off-premise-or-hybrid

    SharePoint 2019: On Premise, Off Premise, or Hybrid?

    Microsoft’s latest SharePoint 2019 update is out, and its new features are making it easier than ever to store information and communicate internally. With the new update, you can create communication sites, generate new sites faster, store more files, and integrate SharePoint with other cloud-based data applications.

    To take advantage of these new SharePoint 2019 options, you need to select the right edition for your business. Microsoft offers on-premise, off-premise, and hybrid options—each with its own benefits and trade-offs. This guide will help you find the appropriate version of SharePoint 2019 so that you can leverage your data and communications more effectively.

    The Benefits of SharePoint 2019 On-Premise Services

    SharePoint 2019 is an online platform that business owners use to keep critical documents and information organized. However, it isn’t just a web-based service. Business owners also have the option to store information on-premise.

    SharePoint on-premise requires you to store data in a secure location of your choice. This means purchasing and maintaining SharePoint servers onsite and hiring an IT team to update the system periodically.

    The benefits of using SharePoint on-premise depend on whether you purchase a Standard or Enterprise version.

    SharePoint 2019 Standard allows you to:

    • Regulate data governance;
    • Store data securely;
    • Target key audiences;
    • Perform web analytics;
    • Manage user profiles;
    • Organize metadata and content;
    • Search existing data; and more.

    By comparison, SharePoint 2019 Enterprise offers all of the features above as well as:

    • Rich web indexing;
    • Custom dashboards; and
    • Integration with business intelligence tools like Power BI.

    SharePoint Enterprise is the best option for organizations that manage a large amount of data or that want to maximize business intelligence. The features are more robust than the Standard version.

    The main benefit of using SharePoint on-premise is that you have greater direct control over data security. It’s also helpful if you want to customize the system to fit your staff’s workflows.

    However, there are also downsides to going on-premise. It costs more to maintain the servers onsite and hire a full-time staff to keep the system operating at peak efficiency. It also requires more physical space. If you have a small office, you may not have the infrastructure required to make the system work. It also takes time to set up a server onsite, so your return on investment (ROI) may be delayed.

    This is why many business owners opt for SharePoint 2019’s off-premise services instead.

    The Benefits of SharePoint 2019 Off-Premise Services 

    SharePoint 2019’s off-premise, cloud-based option doesn’t require any existing infrastructure. Microsoft stores your data securely in the cloud. You access it using a web-based portal. SharePoint online allows you to perform all of the same tasks as the on-premise Enterprise version.

    The off-premise version is also less complicated and sometimes less expensive. You won’t have to hire an IT staff to maintain servers or find a secure physical location to store your data. You’ll receive frequent software patches directly from Microsoft whenever they’re available. Plus, you’ll see a faster ROI. Once your data has been uploaded into SharePoint’s servers, you’ll have immediate access to it from any authorized device.

    However, there are also a few downsides of SharePoint 2019’s off-premise option. It isn’t as customizable as the on-premise version. You don’t have any control over the software patches or the look of the dashboard user interface. Some business owners also feel more comfortable controlling their own data, rather than trusting a third party with it. While modern cloud data storage is very secure, you may still wish to have your own security protocols in place.

    SharePoint 2019 also offers a hybrid option that combines features from both versions.

    Should You Go with Hybrid Services? 

    Business owners who want to continue to store their data locally but also want to have access to this data from any location can choose SharePoint 2019’s hybrid services. This option includes:

    • The ability to access locally-stored data in the cloud from a secure sign-in;
    • Monthly and annual patches and important cloud updates (which saves your IT team time); and
    • Cloud backups of locally-stored data (and vice versa).

    You’ll still have the added cost of maintaining servers onsite and hiring IT staff to maintain them, but a hybrid system takes some of the pressure off of your team. They can focus more of their time and attention on servers and security issues without worrying about updating the software side or making new user dashboards. You also have greater access to your data. Staff can locate data in the cloud from any location and aren’t limited to using computers on site.

    How to Choose the Best SharePoint 2019 Plan 

    The choice you make ultimately depends on your goals and existing infrastructure. Generally, SharePoint 2019’s on-premise option is best for large organizations that want to control every aspect of data security themselves. Larger enterprises can afford multiple servers and IT teams on site. They also often have more unused physical space to store it all.

    If you’re a small enterprise, a cloud-based version is most beneficial. Not only does it cost less up-front, but it also is easier to manage over time and more flexible. With all of your data stored in the cloud, you can quickly scale up or down without making adjustments to your physical infrastructure.

    If you want both the flexibility of a cloud-based system and a local backup of all of your critical data, then a hybrid version is a great choice.

    No matter which SharePoint 2019 version you’re considering, an experienced IT services firm can make the migration seamless. Knowledgeable data scientists are very familiar with the pros and cons of each SharePoint version and can help you choose the option that works best for your organization’s needs.

    Another reason to hire an IT services firm is that they can offer you additional features that SharePoint doesn’t currently support. If you need a cloud-based system but also want custom user dashboards, an IT firm can do both. The firm will help you upload your data into SharePoint online and will create user-friendly portals that connect with your data in the cloud. You don’t have to choose between customization and secure cloud storage. An IT firm will offer you all of the benefits of these SharePoint versions without any of the drawbacks.

    If you want advice on transitioning to SharePoint 2019, contact Tek Leaders today. We offer a free business intelligence audit. If you have more questions about the cloud storage and dashboard services we offer, you can reach us by email directly.

      Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

      Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

      Read more
      What-the-Best-Managed-Services-IT-Companies-Have-in-Common

      What the Best Managed Services IT Companies Have in Common

        If you’re looking for comprehensive, long-term technical support for your business, a managed services IT company is the ideal choice. These companies specialize in getting businesses up to speed with the latest technology and giving them the tools they need to compete in their respective industries.

        However, not all managed services IT companies perform at the same level. Some offer a much longer list of services than others. There are four qualities in particular that the best companies use to help them stand out from the crowd. By choosing a company that leads in these areas, you’ll get the greatest support.

        Managed Services IT Companies vs. Other Service Companies

        Managed services IT companies all have one thing in common: Their services are open-ended. This differs from other types of IT services, like professional service companies, which are more rigid in their approach.

        A professional service company usually asks you what specific project you’re currently working on and will charge you based on how long it takes to complete the project. This is a perfectly good option for some businesses, but for many, it’s too inflexible. Professional service companies don’t leave room for last-minute changes and won’t help you maintain the project once it’s done. When you hire one of these companies, you must be absolutely certain about the project’s direction from the start. The more changes you make, the more expensive it becomes.

        This is why most businesses turn to managed services IT companies instead. These companies provide a much wider range of technical support services. They’re not narrowly-focused on just one project at a time. When you hire one of these companies, you are essentially hiring an on-call IT team to handle any project or troubleshooting issue that you need resolved on any given day.

        While all managed services IT companies are flexible, some are particularly experienced and skilled. The best managed services IT companies go a step further, leading in four key areas.

        What Great Managed Services IT Companies Have in Common

        There are four main qualities that separate an average managed services IT company from a truly great one. They are:

        • Cost. A top-quality managed services IT company will offer comprehensive IT support for a predictable fee each month. In other words, they won’t charge you more based on the number of projects you need to complete or whether it took them more time to finish a task than they expected. The best companies listen to what you require and come up with a custom fee that is fair from the start. If your needs change, the company will negotiate a new fee with you. This is especially beneficial for small businesses because you can predict exactly how much you’ll spend on the IT budget and plan accordingly. 
        • Stability. The best-managed services IT companies offer certain guarantees of quality service and stability over time. The Service Level Agreement (SLA) may include a guarantee of very little downtime (typically <1%). The company may guarantee that it will always have staff ready to take troubleshooting calls and work on tight deadlines. The specific guarantees vary from company to company, but they all achieve the same goal: Ensure your projects are completed on time and that quality of service remains high.
        • Long-term support. Great managed services IT companies will perform an audit after a new project is complete to determine whether it was successful. They also provide support long after the project is finished, looking for ways to improve your existing systems and find software patches and other updates that keep your business moving forward.
        • Business intelligence consultations. The best companies look beyond simple IT support, helping you decide which business decisions are right for your enterprise. These companies recognize that IT and business intelligence are closely linked. You need both if you want to be successful. BI consultations and roadmaps give you the tools you need to decide which technical areas to focus on and whether you should prioritize certain IT projects—like transitioning to cloud storage—sooner than later.

        These four services aren’t guaranteed by every managed services IT company. Only a handful of exceptional firms do all of this. However, when you find a company that cares about all of these points, you’ll hire the best partner for your IT business needs. 

        The Best Company Approaches Every Client Differently 

        Some managed services IT companies take this process to yet another level. Not only do they offer all of the four benefits above; they tailor their services specifically to each client. Customization is very important when you hire a managed services provider. They need to adjust their services constantly based on client feedback. They don’t work on specific projects with precise start and end dates. Consider that when sourcing managed service providers. If the company charges a monthly fee that rarely or never changes, then you may pay more for services you aren’t currently using.

        IT companies that take time to understand their clients and solve their greatest challenges make the best long-term business partners. Whether you’re a new customer or a well-established client, your managed services IT company should work equally hard to push your business forward and keep you on the cutting edge of the latest technology.

        If you’re ready to work with an experienced managed services IT company that offers fully customized options, contact Tek Leaders today. We listen to our clients’ needs and come up with novel solutions for each. If you have more questions about managed services, you can reach us by email directly.

          Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

          Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

          Read more
          the-pros-and-cons-of-hiring-an-in-house-business-analyst

          The Pros and Cons of Hiring an In-House Business Analyst

            An in-house business analyst isn’t just a luxury afforded to successful Fortune 500 companies. These knowledgeable experts can help even the smallest enterprises become more efficient and successful.

            But how do you know whether you need an analyst? There are pros and cons of hiring these experts full-time. We’ll explain some of the benefits and downsides of having a business analyst on staff and help you decide which business strategy is best for your company.

            What Does a Business Analyst Do? 

            Business analysts help enterprises incorporate new technologies into existing systems and ensure that everything operates smoothly. They are essentially specialized project managers who have a deep knowledge of technical systems and data analysis best practices. Some analysts manage projects themselves, whereas others oversee the project manager’s tasks and focus on the bigger picture.

            In-house business analysts are salaried employees who work on projects full-time. This differs from outsourced business analysts who work for third-party IT firms. If you hire a third-party analyst, you pay the firm a monthly or annual fee (not a salary) to use the analyst’s services.

            Whether you hire someone in-house or use a third-party service, good business analysts are important. They not only understand how technology works but can also decide whether that technology is an appropriate fit for your business. Additionally, hands-on analysts may handle operational details like infrastructure, IT staffing needs, and internal communications. It’s a complex job that only a limited supply of qualified people can do well.

            A business analyst’s job may include many roles and responsibilities, such as:

            • Assessing the efficacy of the company’s existing technology
            • Creating a detailed business strategy to drive the company forward 
            • Finding new technologies or systems that improve efficiency 
            • Using data analysis and models to predict how new systems will impact the company 
            • Setting clear operational goals
            • Overseeing staff training
            • Hiring new IT staff or negotiating contracts with IT staffing firms 
            • Deciding which software and hardware to purchase 
            • Integrating new technologies 
            • Documenting and tracking changes 
            • Communicating with stakeholders and upper management 
            • Constantly reassessing systems and making improvements

            This is why many enterprises find business analysts so valuable. They take ownership of complicated technical projects and lead teams to success. However, deciding between an in-house or third-party business analyst can be a challenge. There are pros and cons of having an in-house analyst on staff. This guide will help you decide whether you need a full-time business analyst on your team.

            The Pros of Hiring an In-House Business Analyst 

            In-house business analysts can add a ton of value to a company. Some of the most notable benefits of hiring an in-house business analyst are:

            • Lower operational costs. The main reason why enterprises hire in-house business analysts is because they can save the company money. Part of their job is to find places to cut costs and maintain a lean budget. They also reduce costs by ensuring that projects are done correctly the first time, so you won’t waste money on repairs, last-minute changes, or relaunches. Additionally, analysts are experienced with managing IT departments, so they keep your IT staff on task. You’ll get higher-quality work out of your salaried employees for the same cost.
            • Faster and higher returns on investment (ROI). Your profit margins will likely increase with help from a business analyst. They accomplish this by improving operational efficiency and speed, only choosing to work on projects that they know will be profitable, and finding the most cost-effective tools to complete the project. You’ll see results faster. 
            • Greater employee satisfaction. Unorganized office spaces are stressful environments. Without a clear leader, IT departments can feel isolated from the rest of the company. It’s hard to stay on task and feel motivated when workers aren’t sure what they’re supposed to be doing or why their work matters. Business analysts solve this problem by stepping in as leaders and holding workers accountable. Effective business analysts communicate why certain tasks are important and help employees feel part of the process. 
            • Improved communication between IT and upper management. Many managers don’t understand how technology works and, as a result, they’ll accidentally cut important IT resources from the budget. This puts strain on the relationship between IT and management. The IT department won’t have the tools they need to do their jobs and management will feel frustrated that the IT department isn’t working fast enough. Business analysts speak the IT department’s language, so they’re less likely to make this mistake. They understand how the technology works and which tools are essential to keep. Analysts are also savvy business leaders. They can talk about sales funnels and ROI with stakeholders just as effectively as they talk about cloud computing and predictive modeling with IT staff. They make sure everyone’s on the same page.
            • Easier scalability. With help from a business analyst, you can pivot to a new strategy as quickly as possible. Great analysts won’t hesitate to change direction if they think it will lead to greater profits or efficiency. Your business will evolve with the times and stay on top of important tech trends.

            Almost all of these benefits also apply to third-party business analysts. The only difference is that third-party analysts usually don’t perform their tasks onsite. They manage teams remotely or assign tasks to their own IT experts. It comes down to personal preference. Some business owners prefer to work with analysts onsite throughout the work day, whereas others simply want to see results. Both types of analysts provide the same level of care and attention to detail. 

            The Cons of Hiring an In-House Business Analyst 

            Hiring an in-house business analyst isn’t necessarily the best choice for every company. Not only do some analysts lack the experience and leadership skills required, but a full-time analyst may not be in the budget for smaller enterprises.

            Hiring an in-house business analyst isn’t as beneficial if:

            • Your company doesn’t have any IT infrastructure. An in-house analyst can help you create an IT department from scratch or outsource your IT staff, but this is difficult. It may take longer to complete projects.
            • The analyst doesn’t have a clear strategy. Before you hire an in-house analyst, make sure that they have a detailed methodology or plan. They should have qualification measures, training tools or templates, quantifiable ways of tracking results, and defined goals for everyone they will supervise. You should never have to supply these systems or tools for the analyst—it’s their responsibility to handle these details. 
            • You have a very limited budget. A skilled business analyst may expect a competitive salary and benefits package. Top analysts earn $80,000 per year and up. However, the average salary is about $59,000 per year. This is well worth the investment for most companies, as the analyst can save you more money than you’ll spend on their salary. Still, this is a steep price for some smaller enterprises, especially those with very few people on staff full-time. 
            • You change direction infrequently. Some industries are slower to change than others. While all businesses benefit from routine business analysis and business intelligence (BI) audits, you may only have to do this once every year or so. Hiring a full-time in-house analyst may not be the best choice in this situation because the analyst won’t have enough to do. In this case, it’s wiser to hire a third-party consultant for one-off projects or occasional audits as needed.

            Not every company needs a full-time business analyst on staff. The good news is that you have a lot of options, even if you choose not to hire a salaried analyst. IT consultant firms that specialize in business analysis and BI strategies can help you achieve the same results as a full-time analyst, often at a lower cost.

            Do You Need an In-House Business Analyst? 

            Whether to hire an in-house business analyst depends on a number of factors, including your industry, budget, short-term goals, and long-term goals. In general, if you have a large in-house IT department and want to manage multiple projects at the same time, then an in-house business analyst can be very beneficial. The analyst will help you get your IT department organized and keep all of your projects on track. The analyst can also work closely with a third-party IT firm to complete projects quickly and efficiently.

            However, if you prefer to focus on just one project at a time, or you don’t have a large IT infrastructure in place, outsourcing your business analysis is a better option. You can hire a third-party business analyst that provides managed or professional services. Some analysts offer their professional services for one-off projects that you pay for per project or by the hour. Another option is to hire a third-party IT firm that has business analysts on staff. The firm’s business analysts communicate with you and direct their IT teams to complete tasks. You get all of the benefits of a large IT department without having to manage it or hire full-time employees.

            Regardless of which option you choose, thorough business analysis is essential for every company. When you assess your technology strategy and find ways to make your system more efficient, you’ll reap some fantastic rewards. 

            To learn more about the business analysis services we provide, contact Tek Leaders today. We offer multiple options, including business strategy consultations, full business intelligence audits, and managed IT services. If you have more questions about our team’s expertise, you can reach us by email directly.

              Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

              Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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              data-integration-vs-etl

              Data Integration vs. ETL: What You Need to Know

                You’re probably aware that data analysis is important. But how do you work with large amounts of data from multiple sources? 

                This is where data integration and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) come in. The relationship between data integration vs. ETL is a strong one. They both handle multiple types of data and encourage business owners to make better data-driven decisions. However, they also differ in a number of ways. This guide will explain what some of these differences are and walk you through the steps to improve your data collection and analytics. 

                Data Integration vs. ETL: What’s the Difference? 

                There is a massive difference between data integration vs. ETL. While you need both to maximize your data, it’s important to know when and how you should use each. 

                Data integration is the process of taking data from many different sources and combining it into a single form or view. For example, you could take different types of data (such as customer surveys, sales figures, and demographics) and integrate it so that you can display it all on one visual graph for your business’ stakeholders. 

                ETL is a subset of data integration. It’s the process that occurs before the data is fully unified. Extract, transform, and load; that’s what it does. 

                When you use ETL, you start by extracting data from every source. You can either fully extract or partially extract the data depending on your needs. Next, you transform the data by converting it to the most efficient format, removing duplicates, and organizing it. Finally, you load the data into a data warehouse where it can be integrated and displayed visually later. 

                You can think of data integration vs. ETL like the relationship between a manufacturer and a distributor. The manufacturer (ETL) packages the product (the data), while the distributor (data integration) makes sure that the product is seen and understood. It’s a symbiotic relationship that enables business owners to do more with their data. 

                How to Use ETL 

                The ETL process is almost always performed by data experts, often by data scientists or dedicated IT departments. There’s also ETL software available for businesses that don’t have data experts on staff. Regardless of which method you use, you have to make a few preparations first: 

                1. Collect quality data from multiple trustworthy sources. If you don’t have a data expert on staff, then you can hire an IT firm to help you come up with a business intelligence strategy to improve the quality of your data. 
                2. Find an ETL tool that is capable of processing and storing your data. Or, you can have an in-house data scientist create a customized ETL tool from scratch. 
                3. Create a secure storage warehouse that includes a data backup plan. Or, select an ETL tool that includes a storage option. This isn’t always possible, as some tools only have a limited amount of available storage space. 
                4. Train your staff on how to use this system and ensure that all future data is cleansed and stored properly using the ETL tool.

                This can be a complicated and time-consuming process, which is why many business owners ask data experts for advice on how to use an ETL system for the first time. However, once you have this system in place and you use it consistently, your data will be well-organized and ready to analyze. The ETL process does approximately 80 percent of the work required to integrate your data, so it’s important to perform these steps correctly. 

                How to Use Data Integration 

                After your data is cleansed and stored, data integration takes care of the other 20 percent of the process. If you’re unsure whether you need data integration vs. ETL, you should know that most businesses use both systems whenever possible. That’s because ETL alone is only the first step toward full data integration. If you want to see the best results from your data analysis, then you need a post-ETL data integration strategy. 

                After the ETL process is complete, your data is then:

                1. Filtered based on what you want to analyze or the patterns you want to see. 
                2. Retrieved from the warehouse and uploaded into an analysis, visualization, or report generation tool. 
                3. Unified into whatever form you choose. This could be a scatter plot, heat map, predictive analytics model, or any other tool that you have available. 
                4. Translated into actionable results. Visual aids can help you see which findings are most important. If you use more advanced predictive analytics or machine learning tools, you can determine possible outcomes based on the decisions you make today.

                ETL helps your business stay organized and maintain your data properly, but full data integration allows you to see your results and take swift action. It changes your data from numbers on a chart into real business decisions. 

                How Do You Fully Integrate Your Data?  

                If you already have an ETL system in place or you plan on using one, the next step is to contact an experienced data analytics and business intelligence firm. These firms will show you how to use the data you collect and will provide multiple tools for in-depth analysis and visualization. Some firms also offer customized platforms that make the data integration process simple for your staff, even those with little or no experience working with data. The best firms offer: 

                • Data warehousing and secure cloud storage 
                • Cloud computing and other advanced data processing methods 
                • Detailed visualization options 
                • Report templates and automatic reporting for certain data sets 
                • Predictive analytics, including those based on machine learning 
                • Advice on how to improve the quality of your data 
                • Complete data governance 
                • Customized user-friendly platforms that are accessible from any device 
                • Reliable data security measures and backups

                Moreover, because these features are all customizable, you can choose the services that you want. With these comprehensive options, you won’t have to choose between ETL vs. full data integration. You can have the best of both.

                To take the next step, contact Tek Leaders today. Our team of data experts can help you set up an ETL and data integration system that is perfect for your business. If you have more questions about ETL vs. data integration, you can reach us by email directly.

                  Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

                  Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

                  Read more
                  how-small-businesses-benefit-from-data-analytics-and-business-intelligence

                  How Small Businesses Benefit from Data Analytics and Business Intelligence

                      When you run a small business, sometimes it feels like you’re David battling Goliath. Industries like banking, healthcare, and insurance are especially competitive, making it difficult for smaller companies to gain a foothold. However, there is one thing that small business owners can do to increase their share of the market: Invest in data analytics and business intelligence.

                      Business intelligence and data analytics help small businesses streamline daily operations, run leanly, and provide better products to their customers. Focusing on these two strategies will improve the services you offer locally and give your business room to grow.

                      Data Analytics and Business Intelligence: What’s the Difference?

                      To understand how data analytics and business intelligence (BI) can benefit your business, it’s important to know exactly what these systems do.  

                      Data Analytics is the process of analyzing big data to identify patterns and make data-driven decisions. However, data analytics is only a very small piece of the puzzle. If you want your small business to run as efficiently as possible, then you also need a comprehensive business intelligence plan.

                      Business intelligence (or BI) is a broad system of data tracking tools that help you make the most of your data analysis. This system includes technologies like data visualization, reporting, and user-friendly platforms that let you interact with the data in innovative ways.

                      So data analytics is just one part of a larger BI strategy. These systems work in tandem to help your business succeed. Without a BI roadmap, it would be difficult to organize the data and make use of it. You’d generate insights but wouldn’t know which actions to take in response. Likewise, without data analytics, a BI system is incomplete. You’d have to guess which decisions are right for your business rather than basing these decisions on reliable data.

                      By improving both your data analytics and BI strategies, you’ll maximize your small business resources and set your enterprise up for future growth.

                      How Data Analytics Benefits Small Businesses

                      There are many subcategories of data analytics that small businesses will find useful, including:

                      • Consumer analytics: You can collect and analyze information about your customers to improve the services you offer and foster greater customer loyalty. Having a complete picture of your customer’s behavior and needs makes it easy to see what steps will earn trust and draw interest in your product. Data preparation and blending is a key part of this strategy, as it helps you organize all of this information and find hidden patterns.
                      • Spatial analytics: Make your business run more smoothly by improving your office layout and organization. Spatial analysis deals specifically with how people behave in a given area. You can collect data about how your customers move through your store and place certain products at prime locations with great foot traffic. You could also analyze how well your staff navigates the office and make adjustments based on their preferred workflows. An organized office is a happy, productive office.
                      • Fraud preventive analytics: You can analyze past fraudulent incidents and identify vulnerabilities in your system. Small businesses in particular cannot afford to lose any money to fraud, as it has a major impact on financial results. You can stop many of these incidents before they happen using advanced preventative analytics technologies, including machine learning.
                      • Predictive analytics: Use data to pivot in new business directions and improve efficiency. In the past, predictive modeling was expensive and time-consuming. It was beyond the budget and expertise of small businesses. Today, you have access to state-of-the-art predictive models and tools at a low cost. Moreover, you can hire an IT firm to perform predictive analytics for you, saving you time and effort.

                      Data analytics also improves small business logistics. With the right analytics tools, you will:

                      • Save money: If you hire an analytics firm, you’ll have access to expensive data analytics tools at a fraction of the cost. You can also use data analytics to find areas where you can safely cut spending without compromising the quality of your products or customer satisfaction.
                      • Save time: You won’t have to crunch numbers manually or keep long spreadsheets up to date. Many of today’s best data analytics tools are fully automated and intuitive to use.
                      • Stretch limited space and resources: There’s no need to hire an in-house IT staff to perform data analysis. Offshore data analytics offers you the same results and don’t take up any space in your office.
                      • Scale up or down quickly: Using data analysis, you can decide what your next business move should be. This allows you to stay ahead of market trends. With cloud-based data analytics tools, you can change locations without losing any important data. It’s a portable solution that can expand or contract according to your needs.

                      The Benefits of Business Intelligence for Small Enterprises

                      Many of the benefits of data analytics for small businesses also apply to business intelligence. However, there are also a few benefits that are unique to BI that will help your business really succeed. Those advantages are:

                      • Identifying hidden inefficiencies: When you create a new BI system from scratch, you have to perform a full business audit. This will help you find problem areas that you may have missed over the years. Every business benefits from an occasional operational audit, but small business will notice the biggest difference after the audit is complete. Even the smallest changes to your system will have a ripple effect throughout the entire company.
                      • Generating better data visualizations: Collecting and processing data isn’t useful if only a few people in your company understand what the data means. Visualizations encourage your staff to interact with the data. They don’t just see a series of random numbers–they see what these numbers actually mean.
                      • Creating a better data culture in the workplace: The problem many small businesses face is that their staff feel ambivalent about data analytics. Why should a sales representative care about predictive modeling? Apathy leads to poor data governance, as your staff won’t care enough to upload data properly. When you make a BI user portal, it’s easier for your staff to manage data. They become part of the process because they know how to use these tools themselves. It makes data empowering, not confusing.
                      • Selecting the right analytics tools: An effective BI strategy suggests the best tools to use for your business’ specific needs. You won’t pay for services you don’t use.

                      How to Maximize Data Analytics and BI

                      Small businesses don’t have access to the same resources as Fortune 500 companies. While a huge conglomerate can hire dozens of analytics experts to work on-premise full time, a small business usually doesn’t have this luxury.

                      However, you can get all of the same benefits of data analytics for your small business when you outsource the process. A data analytics firm will walk you through every step of the process, from performing a BI audit and coming up with an effective BI strategy to teaching your staff how to use data visualization tools and process data. 

                      If you’re ready to make the most of data analytics and BI, contact Tek Leaders today. We create custom BI strategies and data analytics tools for our customers based on their unique needs. If you have more questions about the benefits of BI and data analytics for small businesses, you can reach us by email directly.

                        Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

                        Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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