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

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Posted by: briansittley Comments: 0 0 Post Date: February 18, 2016

BI_TipsIn our previous two posts we looked at one Business Intelligence (BI) provider’s advice (Solver, Inc.) when it comes to picking a BI reporting tool.  In those two posts we looked at “access” and “alignment.”  In today’s concluding post we’ll review their comments on “acceleration,” the third leg of their BI tool selection criteria.  Once again, the full text of their white paper may be found here.
Solver is a bit self-serving insofar as their advice is obviously intended to guide you to their solution.  With that in mind, here are a few points (which we’ve reduced and edited) they suggest you keep in mind of “things that might regularly get in the way of your decision-making processes”:

  • On-premises data management and analysis software that requires users to be in the office to get their hands on company information
  • Lack of a supported web portal and/or mobile application to extend the BI functionalities for the on-the-go team member
  • Relying on multiple data sources that are not integrated to store different types of data as opposed to having one platform, like a configurable data warehouse
  • Using proprietary, hard-to learn software designed to run financial reports
  • Designing and running reports, budgets, and/or dashboards from stand-alone BI tools that are not part of a fully integrated suite of tools
  • No platform to truly organize and streamline it all

Our takeaway:
While self-serving to Solver, the above considerations are offered with the intent of making you aware that there are such tools out there, able to consolidate a wide range of data from an even wider range of sources than ever before.  These tools certainly represent an investment in both time and money.
But they are also intended to move companies from the status quo (old style reporting and even new style dashboards) into an entire new realm of business intelligence, data gathering and decision-making capabilities.
These new collaboration tools are aimed at bringing you the most flexible access to your data ever available to business.  Tools like Solver’s BI360 and Jet Reports (from Jet Reports, Inc.) are today’s most advanced means of extracting, analyzing and making good business use of the enormous trove of data that is growing in most companies’ databases today, especially those using today’s more modern ERP systems.
With that “investment” (of time and money) consideration in mind, BI tools are definitely worth looking into for companies seeking a competitive edge – as the byproduct of understanding their own operational results better than they ever could before.
Just remember, it’s not a single step, decision or product purchase so much as it is a journey to improved business intelligence and analytics within your own firm.  And as your instinct will probably tell you, this won’t happen overnight.
Still, you might want to start investigating tomorrow.

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