Built for Business Users

Mercury was built with the business user in mind, which means making the best use of everyone’s time. Once the IT department does the technical backend setup, business users can adjust their analysis criteria and reports as often as they need to.

Objective

  • Everyone does what they do best
  • IT resources are used widely
  • Business users have the freedom to build what they need on the fly
  • Eliminate the back-and-forth iterations between IT and business users that cause delays and frustrations

Result

  • Improves employee morale
  • Stretches IT budget and resources
  • Reduces friction between users and IT
  • Work gets done faster and more efficiently

Many analytics tools depend on IT experts to create reports

The main problem with this approach is there often a significant time lag and communication gap between IT and business users. What typically happens is that the business user does their best to describe what they’re trying to accomplish. The IT team takes these specifications and builds the query and reports, only to discover that the specs weren’t quite right. Users need another field, or a different view. The back-and-forth iterations can go on for weeks, or even months, which is frustrating to both parties. What seems like a simple request ends up taking far too long and causes duplication of effort to rework reports that have already been delivered.  

Other tools imagine that end-users can create their own data-retrieval queries.

With point-and-click to select tables from a database, the user can simply join them together, and voila – who needs IT?

That sounds great in a business pitch, but the reality isn’t often so picture perfect.

First, it can take a lot of time for a business user to figure out exactly where the desired data is located. Real world databases are very often complicated and messy.  A database may have hundreds of tables, perhaps with cryptic names, and many of the tables have similar-sounding fields. It’s certainly possible for users to point-and-click their way to creating a query.  And the resulting query will probably run, and it will retrieve data. 

Then it comes to understanding database operators. (Is it AND or do I need to use OR? How do I capture the field only in certain conditions?) Business users don’t think like data analytics people. As a result, it can be very easy to pull the wrong data, and up with errors in your reports. When these errors aren’t obvious, users can go happily on their way, running reports that produce incorrect results – which in turn may drive bad business decisions.

Mercury takes a blended approach

For all the reasons listed above, Mercury does not offer a self-service data retrieval query mechanism.  It relies on IT to do what IT does best. IT retrieves the correct data from the database.  That’s it. The IT team doesn’t have to worry about creating report definitions or layouts. The business user can easily do that part.

With Mercury, everyone does what they do best. As a result, the entire organization wins.

What people have told us they like about Mercury BI

Business users

“Mercury BI is a simple, practical tool that I use almost daily. By being able to build the report myself, I’m able to get the answer I need and get back to work.”

“It used to take forever to get IT to work on our reports. Not only are they stretched thin, but I could tell how much they disliked creating reports. I get it. But I need this information to do my job. I love being able to do it myself.”

“The best thing about Mercury is that the analytics and reports are all in one place. It makes it so much easier to find what I’m looking for.”

“I was initially concerned about Mercury not having nice formatting, but I realized that I don’t really need that. I need answers. I love that I can send data to other report writers. For the price, there’s no excuse not to have Mercury. It’s so helpful for my job.”

IT & Development

“When accounting is stressed about getting reports they need ASAP, they make our jobs super stressful. Before Mercury, this happened all the time. Now, it’s much rarer and less critical because they can get the answers they need without us.”

“My team lived in constant frustration of not getting reports right. A field was missing. The formatting wasn’t right. They blamed users for not explaining themselves correctly; users blamed them. It felt like a constant tug-of-war. We were spending way too much time stopping and re-starting projects. Mercury put an end to that nonsense.”

“My IT team likes to do technical things. Mercury relieves them of all the diddly stuff that we’re not good at. Even our junior techs can run SQL queries. All we need to do is pull in the data. That works great for us.”

Executives

“We run a lean operation. Our industry is highly competitive, so margins are tight. I need tools that help my employees get answers. They like Mercury so I like Mercury.”

“What I like is that if I want to see a report a different way, like by vendor or warehouse instead of by category, my team can get me that information in minutes, not next week. Mercury helps us look more professional because we can be more responsive to customers and vendors.”  

“I don’t work hand-on with software, but even I can run reports in Mercury.”