Finding the Right BI Tool for You
There are some main criteria that need to be considered when choosing a BI tool, and using the advice of other business owners who have used the very tools you are researching can help quiet the marketing cacophony that is bombarding your brain and hampering your decision making capacities. Whether you’re researching Qlik, Tableau, Microsoft, Verix, BIME or other solutions, learn what our top members and commenters have to say about choosing a BI tool.
Getting Everyone on the Same Page
Possibly the most profound and elementary statement that was said in all of our site BI discussions was made by Jonathan Ford when he commented “When it comes to BI, unless the business sees the need, it will forever say no.” His comment breaks the issue down to its core, that unless the management sees and understands the value of a BI solution, then it doesn’t matter how many charts, how much data and how efficient a service you show them, it will all be for naught, for management will turn it down.
Steps to Choosing the Ideal BI Solution
Once you have management on board, however, Ford continues to outline a stellar plan for finding your fits-like-a-glove BI tool. He spells out the steps, which include outlining a goal, assessing functionality, choosing between an off the shelf solution and customization, and determining a timeframe for implementation, that will assist a buyer in purchasing the correct tool for his or her specific business needs.
Many others, including user Beconne27, insisted that “cost and functionality” were key to finding your perfect BI tool. Of course, you have to work within your budget, and understanding the workload that you will be tasking the tool with will help you judge the suitability of that tool for your work environment.
Pretty much everyone feels that there is a highly customizable solution for the tool that will work with your company. Reviewer93135 encourages business owners to ask themselves, “Are you aggregating data from multiple sources? Are you migrating an existing reporting system for which you already have all the SQL and you don’t want to re-invent the wheel? Do you have the resources to spend 6 months getting an “end to end” tool implemented?” There are other good questions relating to in-memory technology, performance, caching SQL database compatibility, and more – all worth exploring when choosing your ideal BI tool.
More BI Evaluation Resources
If you’re in the process of evaluating BI solutions, here’s a helpful set of matrices from the IT Central Station community that many of our members have found useful: https://www.itcentralstation.com/articles/bi-evaluation-criteria-matrix
If you want an even more exhaustive discussion, read BI expert Jhornber’s piece on the topic here: https://www.itcentralstation.com/articles/i-evaluated-business-objects-tibco-spotfire-tableau-qlikview-sisense-prism-and-pentaho
This is only the beginning of the conversation, though. Everyone at IT Central Station wants to hear what you have to say, so drop a comment in our BI matrix discussion, or answer one that has already been left, and see where it leads.