Published July 07th, 2016 by

Eight Things to Consider When Buying a Business Intelligence Software

Eight Things to Consider When Buying a Business Intelligence SoftwaresThe number of benefits and features that a business intelligence software drive into a business made it a popular and useful business partner in long term basis. Key performance factors were able to be viewed and monitored efficiently, at the same time, it enables end users to derive credible and detailed reports that are important in seeing opportunities that aren’t normally seen in a simpler viewpoint. The application of a comprehensive set of technologies and foundational analysis creates different dimensions of business data, which a business utilizes in order to make predictive analysis of future market shifts and trends and get them ready. Raw business data can be effectively converted into knowledge of techniques, insights, procedures, and other useful information that can be used as a basis for decision making and sales driving marketing campaigns. A business intelligence software is a multi-faceted and dynamic business tool that gives leverage and ease in overall business operations and management.

Opportunities for growth and business development can be found in the cumulative business data from various sources, different communication channels, and period of history as well as in the present time. It isn’t a new technique in unearthing substantial information from both raw and structured data. It was only now that an effective application of technologies turned business intelligence into a monster machine capable of analyzing huge amounts of data and turn it into different forms of visualization and understanding in a business viewpoint. The rapid growth of the market urges businesses to speed up in realizing more opportunities and seize them before anybody does. There is tighter competition in all aspects, that even marketing isn’t just focusing on the product anymore but mostly on the brand already.

Employing business intelligence tools isn’t just a hype, or a momentary trend in business, so choosing the right one for your business will entail careful research and exhaustive BI tools comparison in order to specifically address common and unique needs of a business. There are many factors to consider in choosing the best BI software for you, but the good thing is that most BI tools providers have made their softwares flexible and scalable in order to meet certain qualifications and requirements of businesses before and during implementation. There are also predefined and equally important standard parameters to consider in buying a business intelligence software:

1. Data Sources and Environment

A BI software is most effective when made to analyze and process huge amounts of data from different and varied sources. But also, the integrity of these data sources should be guaranteed in order to yield relevant and accurate results. It should be integrated across all internal data sources, or directly to the data warehouse of the company, as well as in external sources like marketing campaigns and customer service center to be able to gather many types of data to work on. The single platform approach of business intelligence softwares makes data management and reporting convenient to access, as well as enabling streamlined workflows and multiple data contributors that makes everybody’s jobs aligned with common goals and one work language.

2. Real-Time, and On-Demand Business Intelligence

One of the most impressive features of a business intelligence software is its capability to deliver dependable reports from raw data in a faster way than when using traditional business intelligence methods. The incorporation of technologies enables this kind of speed in processing requests and report deliverables, without sacrificing its integrity and value. Real time business intelligence and analytics can also drive business performance in terms of response and action to on-demand problems that arise, or to opportunities that cannot wait to a higher level than ever before. According to a Gartner study in 2014, it showed that 59% believes that there is a need for technology investment in the area of analysis and decision making, 50% in business performance monitoring, and 45% (the lone element that decreased) in overall business management. The recognition of the impact brought about by technology in the business is nonetheless already widespread, and more businesses are already reaping its rewards and benefits.

3. Collaborative and Interactive Features

A business intelligence software should be able to trigger collaborative discussions and exchange of ideas from its users to be able to give rise to more insights and opportunities to tackle and consider. Working in a single platform environment grants ease in doing this, thus, encouraging more participants for brainstorming and analysis. Workflows and data inputs are streamlined and monitored for better recognition of data integrity, and resist redundant data. On the other hand, it isn’t just beneficial to end user relationships, but as well as business intelligence tools developers-to-end user relations. The collaborative efforts of both will ensure that the hierarchy of business needs and priorities are met, and at the same time, the creators are utilizing data from reliable and accurate sources and supplements.

4. BI Tool Deployment Options

A business intelligence software is a dynamic and flexible business tool that can be deployed in different working environments and in different formats for better viewing and easy monitoring. The widely used and standard deployment is within a dedicated desktop client interface, which is mostly web based for easier access and work collaborations. But due to advancements in the mobile technology, there have been BI vendors which effectively optimized the software to fit a smartphone or a tablet for wider accessibility and on-the-go use. The variations of deployment options have been subjected to many considerations like the security and privacy of data being integrated. Such is the case of its ability to be deployed in a network cloud assigned by a BI tool service provider, which omits the use of additional data storage for dedicated functionalities of BI implementation in a business system. Yet a considerable number of businesses still opt for an in-premise deployment option so they can access the data even without the use of web based interfaces. But as technology expands and develops, there came a third option for multi-platform deployment options, which can utilize all the advantages of implementation. The flexibility and scalability of the software ensure that there are no compromises when it comes to business matters.

5. Analytical Data Features

The core function of a business intelligence software is its powerhouse analytical feature that is capable of consuming huge amounts of data from different sources. The whole analytical data process is based on the science of data analytics, which is already a defacto standard in making in depth data analysis, which guarantees a realistic approach in data to come up with statistics and metrics based measurements of key performance factors that affect the overall business management and planning. Data analytics is associated with making executive level decision making and management performance evaluations, as well as in strategic planning and tactical operations. On the marketing and sales side, a business intelligence software is especially useful in lead generation, marketing campaign performance evaluations and predictive analysis. A business intelligence software has diverse performing functions that are all essential to business growth, development and leverage.

6. Selective and Role-Based Access

There are variable options in fine tuning much functionality of a business intelligence software, and this included concerns about its privacy and security. As we all know, the core performance function of a BI software is to utilize business data, which in most terms contain classified information as high as from the executive level. Many users who can access the software will create a compromise in its integrity. A business intelligence software addressed this loophole by enabling designation of access by a central manager, to supervise and control the users for a more manageable and secured data system. There are also certain reports which can be generated that aren’t meant for the viewing of everybody, and a user must be able to obtain permission to access first to utilize and consume the data inside the system. This also applies to the addition or modification of data across the system, and rendering permission based access will ensure monitored and honest data flowing through it.

7. Insightful and Critical Reporting Capabilities

If used for the sole basis of data gathering and analysis, reporting tools in business intelligence won’t become as beneficial unless it will be used for generating call to action reports that gives valuable insights, opportunities, and critical analysis for smarter business choices and decision making. Certain critical financial related information is valued most when the goal is to increase profits and annual revenue. The realization of ROI, is an uncommon, yet very important performance evaluation procedure because it entails overall effectiveness and sustainability of the business organization. It is subjective to many internal and external factors, but through the use of business intelligence tools, there is now a clearer picture about it, and the company goals and tracks can be aligned with how it fares. Dashboards are specialized visual representation of key performance factors in a business that results in better monitoring and responsive action according to indications it presents. Through the credible reporting capability of a business intelligence software, there are more accurate decisions concerning the company’s future endeavors and growth track.

8. Multi-access User Interface

A business intelligence software has an optimized user interface that configures itself to function in most monitoring platforms and devices, including mobile gadgets. It enables easy access for building and viewing purposes, subject for permission, from across a multitude of devices for enhanced mobility and real time update of reports and information.

Choosing the right business intelligence software will enable your business to maximize its full potential and reap its numerous benefits.  If used appropriately, it will be a first step towards cost efficiency in its deployment, most especially when integrated with other related business intelligence tools available. Before buying one, see first this’s list of the top business intelligence software to gain more insights for purchasing, as well as these comprehensive business intelligence software reviews given by both first time and long time professional users.

Jeev Trika

Jeev is an executive leader with successful experience building research portals which recommend the best products and services in various highly competitive verticals.

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