Business Intelligence using Platform as a Service

Business intelligence (BI) is all about making better decisions. Better decision-making requires the right tools, the right people and the right processes to acquire, preprocess and standardize data in the back-end, for presentation and consumption in the front-end. Known Factors uses Platform as a Service (PaaS) to host your BI project. With PaaS, development, testing and deployment occurs in an integrated, cloud environment allowing for rapid time-to-production at a lower cost. PaaS is a multi-tenant architecture that provides built-in scalability, load balancing and failover so that technical effort can focus on rapid development and deployment of web-based BI. The Known Factors visualization platform and data platform complement each other in a complete BI solution.

Visualization Platform – The Known Factors visualization platform, or front-end, provides state-of-the-art visualization tools for custom dashboards containing graphs and charts, key performance indicators, balanced scorecards, maps, word clouds and more. Visualization tools can give individuals in an organization the resources they need to build their own analytics.

Data Platform – The Known Factors data platform, or back-end is where the data collection, aggregation, cleansing, and deduping processes are developed by data scientists, data modelers, and extract, transform and load (ETL) specialists. The Known Factors data platform components integrate with a cloud-based data warehouse to support reliable and accurate data visualization applications.

Known Factors is an end-to-end business intelligence solution that uses a four-step process:


Data Intake – The data intake process uses SmartConnectors. SmartConnectors are one of our most powerful features. Once a SmartConnector is connected to a data source, it pulls and optimizes data from the source, making the data join-ready with data from other systems. SmartConnectors are developed using seasoned data analytics and proprietary algorithms so that the connectors are configured and optimized constantly. In other words, the connectors are smart. Our SmartConnectors seamlessly attach to billing data, finance data, electronic health records (EHR), customer relationship management (CRM) data, phone data, data from other websites, social media and more.

Transformation – Once data has successfully cleared the intake process, it proceeds to the next step, data transformation. Data transformation takes place in the Known Factors centralized processing platform. Data from multiple sources may have different formats, keys and relationships and is often plagued with missing or ‘dirty’ values. Data transformation is a complex process that involves cleaning the data, repairing data and restructuring data. Errors in data are addressed in the transformation process providing a high level of data quality and accuracy. Once the data are preprocessed, additional transformations are necessary to organize and join varied source data for loading into the data warehouse.

Data Storage – We equip every client with their own custom built, cloud-based enterprise-class data warehouse. PaaS handles the data servers and storage, database management systems (DBMSs), operating systems, networking and middleware freeing up the time usually required to manage servers and storage, as well as time and staff to support DBMS backup, recovery and scaling. In this step, service level agreements and data refresh requirements are addressed to provide the necessary data at the frequency you need it. The PaaS data warehouse captures data over time and is designed to support trending, forecasting, analysis and reporting. The data warehouse data model is built using industry standard techniques that include facts (invoices, claims, transactions) and dimensions (products, individuals, dates) to support analytical queries that will be generated by the visualization front-end application.


Data Visualization – We provide the most powerful visualization tool on the market. Custom dashboards and reports using our visualization tool have been implemented to analyze demographics, develop customer targeting strategies, geotag maps, analyze revenues, expenses, booking and occupancy rates, as well as evaluating marketing efficacy and complex financial analyses. But if you already have your own visualization tool, keep using it. We’ve realized that building reports can be difficult for the non-tech savvy, which is why we create custom reports for our clients. Many of our clients lack the internal staff capable of developing the reports they desire. When you are ready to create your own visualizations, our experienced data scientists help you learn to build your own reports.

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