Business Analytics Blog

Top 10 Business Intelligence BI Software Considerations

Posted by Robert Trupe
Top Ten Issues to consider with Dashboard Software
  1. Windows Based Clients are Smarter
    • The bottom line is that Windows client software are Smarter. Does the dashboard software offer a very robust set of tools including Executive Dashboard Reporting Software, Data Reporting Tools, Analytics Calculation Engine (ACE), Seasonality Trend Forecasting, and Data Mining Software? Does it include an Enterprise Portal to tie relative data sources together as well as a Training Facilitator to share your Stored your Business Intelligence Advice relative to the status each of your Key Performance Indicators (KPI)?
  2. Flexibility, Connectivity & Scalability
    • Is the application scalable from a small business single user to enterprise with multiple users and multiple companies? Are there limitations to the number of custom dashboards, reports, and KPI you can build yourself? Can you connect to nearly any open data source in all of your other business applications and collaborate your Business intelligence into visualizations and automated reports? Is the dashboard software designed for Small and Medium sized businesses, and scalable for Enterprise companies who need full multi-location integration and access using the World Wide Web?
  3. Web Based “Cloud” Dashboards are not Interactive
    • With most web applications, you cannot drill down to details, graphs, change date ranges, open other local applications, export your data as easily, and build custom reports. In a Web environment, there are constraints by the Web browser and network environment.
  4. Are Dashboards accessible via the web
    • If you want to access your data via the Web, there are many secure tools to access your dashboard software and your other local applications. Secure VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol), GoToMyPC, and other remote access tools to view your sensitive business data. If you simply want your custom reports and dashboards sent to your Smart phone or Smart Pad device, can you send them automatically every day via e-mail with a built-in report Scheduler?
  5. Time and Money
    • Many business intelligence software licensing starts at $15,000 - $100,000 and take months for implementation. Can implementation be done in less than an hour (for use with QuickBooks Dashboard and QuickBooks Reporting) with predefined financial indicators, dashboards and reports? Can you build Custom Dashboards and Custom Reports as you go? Are there monthly subscription fees? If you want to stay updated each year, how much do you pay? Do you have to repurchase the entire software, or just a fraction of the price?
  6. Tighter security over your business data
    • With a local application, your data stays in your control behind your firewall at your business in an encrypted secure database. Is your data susceptible to hackers, internet service interruption, or a provider going out of business?
  7. Data Source Integration
    • Composite applications are the future. A composite application is simply a framework that ties together several existing applications. Integration of Data from applications such as QuickBooks, Multiple Company files, Sage Act, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Dynamics, Excel Spreadsheets, and Data bases are essential for financial and operational KPI and Reporting.
  8. Cross-platform issues
    • Are you forced to use a specific browser to access your data? If you are using a Macintosh, can you access your data on a Terminal server using Remote Desktop or other tools such as Go to My PC?
  9. Human resources
    • Will the dashboard software eliminate wasted countless hours of crunching redundant numbers in Excel? Excel continues to be one of the most important tools in business, but can you save time and money by reducing its usage? Does the application connect to Excel and collaborate spreadsheets? Can the days of manually cutting, pasting, and updating spreadsheets may be reduced or eliminated? Can you save human resources and help your employees get back to more productive tasks? Will the time savings return your investment for dashboard software in a short time?
  10. More for your Money
    • No other single application offers as much as CleverQ Analytics Software without spending tens of thousands of dollars for other Business Intelligence Platforms and multiple software packages. CleverQ is affordable for the small business, powerful enough for medium business, and scalable to enterprise.
Dashboard Software

Tags: QuickBooks Dashboard, Dashboard Software, Data Reporting Software, Executive Dashboard, QuickBooks Reporting

CleverQ Analytics Dashboard software Video

Posted by R&K Trupe

 Analytics Software Overview

The new CleverQ Analytics software & executive dashboard software video demo gives an overview of the software without going into the depth of technical training.

Executive Dashboard Software Video Demo

  • Balanced Scorecard software to print of for meetings
  • Report manager software to print metrics
  • Web Dashboard to share business metrics via the Web
  • Designed for use with QuickBooks
  • Basic setup in hours rather than weeks or Months
  • Combine data from multiple Quickbooks reports and other data sources
  • Tags: QuickBooks Dashboard, Analytics software, Data Visualization Technology

    CleverQ v1.55

    Posted by Robert Trupe

    CleverQ Release


    The following enhancements have been added to the CleverQ analytics software v1.55. Many improvements are for use with QuickBooks dashboard application. QuickBooks is a registered trademark of Intuit.

    • Added new Vertical 2 Bar Gauge. Vertical 2 bar gaugeThis meter is used to show two indicators. A single range is shown on the left for both bars so both indicators must have the same min and max values. The min and max values are displayed on the bottom and top of the bar. Nine intermediate values are calculated and displayed between the min and max values. A colored bar is drawn to indicate the value of each indicator. A dotted line shows the median value. The bar can take on as many as three colors. Colors are drawn based on the ranges. The actual value is displayed on the bottom of the bar and to the left the units. If the value is out of range, an out of range message will be displayed. A tip icon appears in the top right to indicate some advice is available based on the range the value is in.
    • Added * wildcard on filters when viewing extracted data.
    • Allow 30 day trial customers to get updates
    • Resized Navigator to fit in 1024x768
    • Add options for using filters on QuickBooks reports: Payroll Summary, Sales by Items Summary,
    • Inventory Evaluation. If a filter is specified, both the unfiltered and filtered reports will be extracted.
    • Add filter to Sales by Rep Summary
    • Added additional errorhandling for extracting QuickBooks data
    • Added Properties button on Pivot Charts in lieu of right-mousing clicking for runtime version. Button is always there for convienience.
    • Added new QuickBooks Report Extractions (Some with Filters):
    • P & L Budget Overview by Account
    • Sales by Item by Rep Summary
    • Sales by Customer Summary
    • Open Sales Orders by Item
    • Open Sales Orders by Rep
    • Open Sales Orders by Item by Rep
    • Inventory Stock Status
    • Added filters for QB Report Extractions: Profit & Loss, A/P Aging, A/R Aging

    Tags: QuickBooks Dashboard, CleverQ Release, Analytics software

    Business KPI strategy starts with Accounting 101

    Posted by Robert Trupe

    Successful Business KPI strategy starts with Accounting 101

    Developing KPI Strategy financial ratios starts with an Optimized Chart of Accounts and understanding that you can't spend more than you make. If you don't understand this concept, your company might be the next statistic. It all starts with understanding business accounting 101. Every manager, and Government elected official should be required to understand the following principle to be eligible for their position.  This is why some businesses and our Government are going broke.

     It starts with the chart of accounts. The methodology behind the groupings as shown simplifies the understanding of financial ratios. Parent accounts are totaling accounts for their child accounts. Quick Books chart of accounts does an excellent job aOperating Expense Dashboardllowing for this methodology.  Successful companies, study groups and consultants commonly use this format to measure business performance. Grouping the chart of accounts is also important to compare company performance to Industry aggregate ratios if industry benchmarking is desired.  Pay special attention to the following key points.

    • If a company spends more than it makes, it will become a statistic.
    • Gross Profit is what the company makes after paying its suppliers.
    • Gross Profit is Total Income less Total COGS
    • Gross Profit is the total revenue at the company's disposal to both pay expenses and keep as ordinary income.
    • Since Gross Profit is what the company has at its disposal for expenses, we can now take the approach that we cannot spend more than we make without having a loss or negative Net Ordinary Income.
    • Expenses are broke down into Logical groupings and are grouped into Variable, Fixed, & Personal. When added to Net Ordinary Income, the total will be 100% of the Gross Profit.
    • Gross Profit = Variable Expenses + Fixed Expenses + Personal Expenses + Ordinary Income
    • Variable Expenses = Semi-Fixed Other + Advertising + Other Important variable Expense
    • Accounting Consistency and History are Key to seasonal trend analysis for forecasting and budgeting
    • Seasonality Forecasting of Income & COGS is first necessary to know how much Gross Profit we will have to spend on expenses.
    • Once seasonal trends are calculated from history for each expense bucket, monthly forecasting & budgeting can be implemented to proactively operate profitably.
    • The profit centers or departments all have mirrored Inventory, Income, COGS, and Personal expense to allow for departmentalized KPI development.
    • Each Department now can be measured to see if it can financially stand on its own, without being subsidized by another department after personal expense. 

    Sample Chart of Accounts Framework:

    • 10000 Assets
      • Current Assets
        • Bank Accounts
        • Accounts Receivable
        • Other Current (Inventory)
          • Inventory Profit Center A
            • Inventory Product type 1
            • Inventory Product type 2
            • Inventory Product type 3
          • Inventory Profit Center B
        • Total Other Current (Inventory)
      • Total Current Assets
      • Fixed Assets
      • Other Assets
      • Working Assets Profit Center D (e.g. Reoccurring Revenue)
    • Total 10000 Assets
    • 20000 Liabilities
      • Accounts Payable
      • Credit Cards
      • Other Current Liabilities
      • Long Term Liabilities
    • Total 20000 Liabilities
    • 30000 Equity
    • 40000 Income Accounts
      • Profit Center A Income (Sales Dept)
        • Income Product type 1
        • Income Product type 2
        • Income Product type 3
      • Profit Center B Income (Parts Dept)
      • Profit Center C Income (Service Dept)
      • Profit Center D Income (e.g. Reoccurring Revenue)
    • Total 40000 Income
    • 50000 COGS Accounts
      • Profit Center A COGS (Sales Dept)
        • COGS Product type 1
        • COGS Product type 2
        • COGS Product type 3
      • Profit Center B COGS (Parts Dept)
      • Profit Center C COGS (Service Dept)
      • Profit Center D COGS (e.g. Reoccurring Revenue Dept)
    • Total 50000 COGS
    • Gross Profit
    • 60000 Variable
      • Other Important Variable Expense(e.g., Research & Development, Inventory Interest/Floor Plan etc.)
      • Advertising Expense (e.g., Web, Yellow Pages, TV, etc.)
      • Semi-Fixed Other (e.g., Good Will, Professional Fees, Repairs & Maintenance, Office Supplies, Continued Education, Misc Variable)
    • Total 60000 Variable
    • 66000 Employee Expense
      • Owner/GM/CEO
      • Administration
      • Profit Center A Wages
        • Management A Wages
        • Staff A Wages
      • Profit Center B Wages
        • Management B Wages
        • Staff B Wages
      • Profit Center C Wages
        • Management C Wages
        • Staff C Wages
      • Profit Center D Wages
        • Management D Wages
        • Staff D Wages
      • Payroll Expenses
    • Total 66000 Employee Expense
    • Total 69000 Fixed Expenses (e.g., Depreciation and Amortization, Insurance, Rent/Mortgage, Utilities, Data Processing, Business Loan Interest)
    • Total Expense
    • Net Ordinary Income
    • Total 70000 Other Income (Non Operating e.g, Insurance Proceeds, Interest Income, Earned Discounts, Proceeds from Sale of assets, Deposits forfeited
    • Total 80000 Other Expenses (Non Operating)
    • Total 90000 Taxes e.g., Provision for Income Tax
    • Net Other Income
    • Net Income

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    Tags: QuickBooks Dashboard, Business KPI Strategy, Financial KPI

    KPI examples included in CleverQ

    Posted by Robert Trupe

    The financial KPI in the CleverQ software sample file may be applied to most businesses. The sample file contains common financial indicators as well as examples of seasonal trend analysis, trend analysis, regression analysis and forecasting. The Key Performance Indicators KPI included are a good starting point for most companies. All data, ranges, benchmarks, and business advice is the purpose of example and should be tested, modified, and validated if a user adapts any KPI or Business metrics to their own business.

    Tags: QuickBooks Dashboard, Financial KPI