Tips for Selecting a Business Intelligence (BI) Tool (Part 2 of a 3 Part Post)

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Posted by: briansittley Comments: 0 0 Post Date: February 16, 2016

BI_SolverIn our prior post we looked at one Business Intelligence (BI) provider’s advice when it comes to picking a BI reporting tool.  In that post, we looked at the first of Solver, Inc.’s three key selection criteria, ones they think make for ripe discussion at any company considering the selection of a BI tool.  (As we noted then, two key providers of these tools for the Microsoft Dynamics NAV community include a product called Jet Report, and Solver’s tool, dubbed BI360.  The full text of Solver’s white paper can be found here.)
As we noted, Solver suggests that “Today’s best financial reporting and budgeting tools are designed to access, align, and accelerate your data-driven decision-making.”  Our first post looked at “access.”  Today let’s look at what they have to say about “alignment.”
Solver uses the term “alignment” to acknowledge that in today’s collaborative business environment, “Collaboration has always been important, but because of the structure of business today and the impact of social networking on connecting the global community, the value of collaboration can be qualitatively summed up as alignment.”
As decision making generally has to happen within the context of teamwork – and as data and text communications (email, social media, and more) continue to grow in size and importance, you need to organize and streamline your collaborations.
Solver’s point is to have companies think about utilizing a single tool aimed at consolidating all this disparate information (and of course, they’d like that tool to be theirs).  They note that “When it comes to corporate decision-making made through financial reporting and/or budgeting, BI collaboration becomes a new product category.”
They add that… “The best tool designed to align your teamwork will bring everything you need to collaborate into one, single platform: strategic and budgetary discussions, project-specific communications, status updates and surveys, real-time data analysis and collaborative decision-making, web reporting and dashboards.  Instead of digging through your e-mail inbox (and the folders you have created to try to organize the staggering amount of e-mail correspondence you have to manage) to figure out what decision was made regarding a task at hand for you and your team, collaboration tools offer topic-specific conversation spaces that showcase the trail of communication exchanged.”
With the best collaboration tool, note the folks at Solver, you can access financial reports and dashboards “that empower you to analyze company data at the click of a button whenever you need data to discuss a company decision and wherever you have an internet connection.”
Their conclusion: Such a data delivery and reporting tool can accelerate your decision making process – a subtle nod to their third and final BI tool decision criteria, and the one we’ll close this topic with in our next post in this three-part series.

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