A Business Intelligence System allows an organization to centralize its data from one source and get a better understanding of important business metrics inspires more informed business decisions and movements. It brings meaningful insights to the members of the organization so that they could understand their business and the market it moves in much better and make forecasts in terms of direction and strategies.
It is very important to make the right selection when it comes to choosing your BI software. After all, this step could mean the difference between real growth for your business or a missed opportunity.
If you are in the process of selecting the right Business Intelligence platform for your company, here are 8 things to consider:
Almost all of the organizations today use data from multiple sources. Their users also access data from different locations. When choosing your BI software, make sure that it is able to not only support the sources for the data that you currently use but is also able to provide data across the different platforms which your users currently have.
According to a Gartner study, more than 50% of CFO’s need Business Intelligence to watch over their business performances in progress. Key stakeholders and decision makers such as C-level managers rely on real-time data to base their decisions on. A good BI system is one that can provide you with current and up-to-date information to help give your business performance a rapid boost. This feature will allow your people to find out what is going on in and around your business this instant without having to re-configure or re-build anything.
Business Intelligence promotes healthy and valuable insights from a given data. These insights, in turn, help trigger questions, feedback and discussions. Your BI software must therefore allow your users to collaborate and communicate with one another.
BI creators are generally different from the BI users. The creators are usually the developers, analysts or data scientists who do the data analysis while the users are the Executives or Managers who check the final reports. Your BI system must be able to provide features that allow collaboration to inspire the sharing of comments, insights and questions as well as provide the ability to share reports with each other on different formats.
BI solutions allow different deployment options. These are available as on-premise/ cloud-based/ standalone desktop applications. Cloud-based platforms allows for an easy-setup, management and sharing of Business Intelligence without too much dependence on IT. They also result to lower costs via reduced resources, fast deployments and are suited for small or medium businesses. These on-premise BI platforms are self-hosted systems that are deployed by the IT team over the intranet.
This is especially suitable if you have an IT team managing your solution and you deal with sensitive information that you are not comfortable about going beyond the network. Look for a BI solution that is in compliance with the IT rules of your company.
All organizations are driven by certain business metrics, which are regulated by a set of business rules. Good BI software must be able to equip you with the analytical features to calculate these business metrics. Creating a proof-of-concept is one great way to assess the qualities of a solution in complete detail. It will also help you find out the possible problems that your users may face, should a solution be elected.
Multiple decision makers and stakeholders use a BI system to collect insights from different data sources in your company. Therefore, it is very important to know and control which user has access to the available information and which kind. Your BI platform should allow you to assign and also to revoke permissions and give you control over who can look and who can do updates in your BI software.
The output of all BI systems is a set of dashboards or reports used to share insights and market trends to key decision makers. Without the ability to report, you may not be able to communicate insights with your key stakeholders correctly. Look for a BI system that will provide you with a variety of report generation features as well as data visualization. This will allow you to share different kinds of data to various users in your organization.
Different consumers use data on different devices and platforms. Developers and analysts will most likely use iMacs for their wide screen monitors while managers and executives might be depending on their mobile devices since they are always on the go. Look for BI software that is responsive to the user and on the device that he is using. A good BI solution will have a responsive user interface that allows you to view and use the data anywhere.
Remember to take selecting the right BI software for your organization seriously. After all, finding the most suitable one can help your business become more efficient, save you on money and even discover new ways to grow as a company.
About Benjamin Goewey
Founder, President, and Principal Consultant of Datamensional, LLC.
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Ben has been passionate about providing actionable, relevant, and timely information for decision makers to help them make decisions more quickly and effectively and helping transform organizations as a result. He has been a Business Analytics and data guru for nearly 11 years and enjoys seeing the positive impact an effective solution can have on an organization.
Ben currently leads a team to bring the best practices of Business Analytics as well as hands on implementation to companies big and small.
Specialties: Performance Management, Analytics Strategy, System Architecture, Sales Management, Sales Analytics, Marketing Analytics, Business Intelligence, Reporting, Data Integration, IT Management, Data Warehousing, Management Decision Support, Dashboards, KPIs, Automation.