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April 24, 2017

5 things to consider when choosing a business intelligence tool for your business

by Colin Quinn

Selecting the right BI technology has never been more important.

As Gartner indicated, there is shift away from IT-led Business Intelligence to Self-Service Analytics. That trend continues into 2017. Today’s tech-savvy workers are more comfortable then ever using cloud-based and mobile solutions. We live in an instant-gratification society, which means access needs to be available anytime, anywhere. Your staff doesn't want to have to submit requests for reports and then wait for an email with static, outdated spreadsheet reports. They want to see what is happening right now, in real-time, and they want the information presented in easy that is easy to understand.

While company culture, data quality, global sponsorship and engaged stakeholders play vital roles in a successful BI initiative, ultimately, the underlying technology is what will make it work.

When considering what BI tools to implement, here are five key questions to ask:

1. Is it flexible?

A quality BI tool must be deployed across a variety of platforms, from on-prem to mobile.

Users expect to have access to their data from wherever they are and from whatever device they choose. Your BI selection should not create boundaries when it comes to data access and analysis.

2. Is it secure?

If data is one of your most important assets (which it is), then security should be mission critical.

Your users will expect administrative levels of protection, as well as being able to allow secure access to the correct users from the top down.

3. Will it scale?

If business is going well, then your business is will constantly be growing, which means your reporting needs will change over time.

Your BI tools should scale and grow with your users, data, and resources.

4. Will my team use it?

An effective BI tool will be built with the end-user in mind, and what users want is access to real-time information when they want it.

The user experience must be intuitive, and information must be easy to find and convert into visual, actionable insights. Users will then need to share data with others in the company and schedule reports for better forecasting and analysis. (We can help with that)

5. Will it help my business?

If you have positively answered the previous four questions, there is a good chance that you are moving in the right direction..

The right BI tool will make it easier for your team to utilize your data to draw actionable insights. You will no longer have to wonder what is contained in your raw data, and you can finally empower everyone with the ability to make data-driven decisions.

By harnessing the analytical capabilities of your BI tool, you can maximize the opportunities for your organization.

With the right solution, you will be able to access your data in seconds, compare sales across your businesses or regions, address key inventory and logistics challenges, analyze budgets and use data to develop a plan to keep you in front of the competition.

For more information on BI tools and choosing the right solution for your data driven business, feel free to contact us.

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