What You Need to Know About Popular Software – Business Software
Business software can be divided into several categories depending on company size. Small business software tends to be accounting software and office productivity suites such as Microsoft Office or OpenOffice, a free solution. Medium size businesses make use of a wider range of software applications that include customer relationship management, human resources software, and shopping cart software. Ideally these applications are integrated, exchanging data with each other.
Large businesses require the preceding applications plus a host of other applications including business process management, enterprise resource planning, and product lifecycle management. These software applications are typically customized to meet the organization's specific needs and way of doing business. Among business software tools are business performance management, data mining, digital dashboards, online analytical processing, and reporting software.
Let's take a look at each of these applications in turn. Business performance management (other names are popular as well) is a set of processes destined to help companies optimize performance by analyzing how things are done and suggesting system improvements. Business performance management doesn't replace human managers but it enables them to manage better. It is a framework for organizing, automating and analyzing business methodologies, metrics, processes and systems that drive business performance.
Data mining is the extraction of consumer information by identifying patterns or trends in huge databases. Another article in this series discusses data mining in greater detail. Digital dashboards are visual summaries of business data that provide management with a rapid but clear understanding of key performance indicators (KPIs). At a glance managers and executives who aren't computer specialists will be able to measure efficiencies and inefficiencies and spot trends. They will be able to redefine company goals. At least that's the theory.
Online analytical processing, commonly known as OLAP, enables interested parties to ask ad-hoc multidimensional queries such as Which five products had the highest ratio of sales to sales cost in the Saint Louis region last winter? As the system responds managers can refine their queries, honing in on the information that they really want. Unlike relational databases such as those processed by SQL, OLAP cubes are multidimensional and, we are told, are more flexible while being more rapid. Reporting software generates aggregated views of data to keep the management informed about the state of their business. It's like a less sophisticated, more detailed version of digital dashboards.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet. He loves the occasional glass of wine as exemplified by his wine websites including Http://www.theworldwidewine.com with his new weekly column reviewing $10 wines. He teaches Linux and Windows operating systems plus other computer courses at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his new website Http://www.linux4windows.com which teaches you how to download and run Damn Small Linux on Windows computers, even if they are "obsolete."
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