Business Intelligence
Published July 04th, 2016 by

Things to Consider Before Buying a Business Intelligence Software

things-to-consider-before-buying-a-business-intelligence-softwareAny tool that deals with producing Business Intelligence is a business intelligence software. If BI data helps the company to adapt to the developing business environment, BI software ensures that every change made by the firm is correctly reported and identified to help in making decisions. These apps, sort and analyze such changes, which was stored in your database.

There are many brands, claiming that they offer the best business intelligence software on the market. Before you believe them, you have to read this article, as it will tell you the things that you must consider when buying a business intelligence tool.

The Type of BI Software Your Company Needs

Most of the top business intelligence software applications offer similar functionality and features, but what makes them different from one another is the way the provider applies the solution in making crucial decisions for the business. Below are some of the widely used business intelligence tools.

  1. Executive Scoreboards and Dashboards – Managers don’t have the time to make ad-hoc reports. Thus, business intelligence software companies created dashboards so they can watch crucial metrics and performance indicators in real-time.

Dashboards are one of the widely used software applications when it comes to making important decisions for the business. It displays critical data; however, its primary benefit is it allows the user to customize the dashboard, making it easier to hide some information.

  1. Online Analytical Processing Analysis – Business analysts and other professionals who have similar work must reveal the most advanced trends and analyze them down to the smallest details. It is where OLAP analysis comes into the picture. The purpose of this software is to help users to examine multidimensional data, which come from different perspectives.

OLAP has three major operations. First is the consolidation process, which sums up all the received data to start the analysis in different dimensions. Next is the drill-down procedure, which allows the user to sort out and find related variables. Last is the slice ‘n’ dice method wherein users can remove a set of data to allow a thorough inspection of the chosen set. Software with OLAP analysis supports a fast performance of ad-hoc and sophisticated analytical queries.

  1. Ad Hoc Reporting – Keeping the content fresh is enough to fulfill the worker’s information need. However, there are times in which you should produce urgent reports. It is where this BI software comes in handy. It allows both technical and non-technical users to create and build custom reports.
  2. Operational Reporting – Every business performs thousands of operational tasks every day. A mistake can greatly affect the company. With the help of this software, you can identify those mistakes and avoid bigger problems to occur.

Different BI Software Features That You Have to Check

There are many software applications to choose from, making things more complicated since all of them claim that they’re the best. To help you choose the right business intelligence BI software, you have to consider the following features:

Great BI Tools Are Great Reporters

Business intelligence tools are more than just data analysis. This tool aims to provide reports so that entrepreneurs can see the development of their company. Hence, if the business intelligence reporting software can’t provide great reports, you won’t be able to point out the cause of the problem.

There are two features dedicated to giving reports. First: the interactive reports. This feature helps its users to transform data into knowledge. Moreover, it allows the user to understand the analytical reports and implicit data where the tool based the records. Lastly, interactive reports help users to make better decisions for the company.

An example of the tool that has this feature is the OLAP analysis. It consolidates data and sorts out the relevant variables, helping you in making the right choice.

Last: the ranking reports. As the name suggests, it allows you to produce reports that order information from least to greatest, depending on their category. This feature provides an overview of the best and worst aspects of your business.

For instance, if you own an e-commerce business, you can list the ten most in-demand products on your online shop. You can include where you get the most sales, how much profit you can get from each product and region, etc.

How much can your BI software analyze?

As the years went by, businesses receive large quantities of data, which is why conventional software and databases are not in use anymore. For this reason, most consumers are looking for paid and free business intelligence software that can analyze large data.

Let’s use EBay as an example to explain it further. The online retailer sells more than 9,000,000 products. These items fall into 50,000 categories. All these commodities will be bought and sold to their 100 million users from different parts of the globe. These amounts are equivalent to nine petabytes of data; that’s so much data to manage, store, and process.

Thus, business intelligence software vendors continuously create tools that can analyze large data.

So how much can the BI software analyze? It depends on the platform you are using. Some can examine thousands of quantities while others can analyze millions of data. Thus, when buying a BI tool, you have to consider the size of your company. Hence, if you own a big corporation, you need to get a business intelligence service that can accommodate and analyze millions of data, and if you’re running a small-scale enterprise, getting a solution that can examine hundreds of thousands of data is enough for your business.

A BI Tool Must Know How to Collaborate

Apart from reporting and analysis, you also need to look for software that lets you collaborate with your teammates. The collaborative BI tool is the latest innovation in business intelligence. This platform is a combination of BI software and the latest web technologies to give better decision-making. Since it uses collaboration tools, sharing the dashboard to your group members is easier. Moreover, it promotes interaction with the team, making it more accessible to discuss the data without setting up a place of meeting.

But if there’s one thing that this tool supports, that would be keeping the environment in unison. With this feature, you can bring peace and order in the company’s chaotic surrounding.

However, collaborative BI software doesn’t have a large data. Hence, if you think that this is the best choice for keeping order in your business, you have to compromise other features.

When choosing this feature, make sure that you read reviews of business intelligence software. These writeups, not only provide customers’ feedback on some products, but they also offer  . They provide the pros and cons, descriptions, and the features of each item. With these articles, you can choose a BI tool that is perfect for your business.

BI Software Is Nothing If Not Secure

Security is a must, especially nowadays. Everything you put in your computer and on the web is prone to get hacked. As a business owner, you want to keep everything in private to avoid data leakage. Hence, you need to get a BI software that has security features to enhance the protection of your information.

There are many BI platforms on the market. Some of them use advanced protection, while others don’t provide the security that your data needs. Unfortunately, many people choose the latter option because of two reasons – one, they think that all BI software applications are the same, and two, they are less expensive than those that have advanced protection. What they don’t realize is that they’re putting the company in jeopardy since they’re not using a system that doesn’t have the most sophisticated security features.

When getting a platform that has security features, make sure that you read their policy first. That’s the only way to find out if the software can provide the security that your business needs. Moreover, make sure that the platform uses a highly sophisticated password complexity. Meaning, the tool should not only ask for alphanumeric codes. It should be case sensitive, as well.

Which business intelligence advantages will benefit your company most?

BI software offers numerous benefits. These advantages are for all types of businesses. Some of the perks are as follows:

  1. Quickly distinguishes and acknowledges the latest trends. If your company is more on making sales and inventory, you need to track the sales and turns made by your business. With the BI program, you don’t need to track them manually, as it monitors and saves changes on its own.
  2. It provides empowerment to your staff. One of the purposes of this software is it produces information that will improve the efficiency of the company. If you give it with proper care, it can not only benefit one depart but the entire organization. So if one section goes up, other departments come along.
  3. It allows you to extract the latest summaries. The BI system doesn’t only allow the employees to create urgent reports, but it also helps the executives to make critical decisions. Once they open the dashboard, they can view the reports and analyze them. Thus, they can make better judgment and choose the right decision.
  4. It allows you to get to know your customers better. The reason companies use this system is to store, manage, and consolidate data. However, you can use it to get to know your consumers, and if you’ve been using it for months, you can see a behavioral pattern of your customers. This benefit is ideal for any business who wants to use different campaigns to promote their company.
  5. Consolidates data from various databases, departments, and organizations. Budgeting and planning give a major headache. Apart from distributing the budget to different sections of the company, you also need to update your spreadsheet. However, no matter how clever you are, you tend to forget to do this stuff because of the workload. But if you use a BI solution, you don’t need to do this work as the software does it for you.
  6. It reduces manual work. We live in a digital world where everything works fast. Despite this day and age, doing administrative tasks seem to be stuck. Though there are computers that you can use to encode data, it would take a lot of time, but not anymore. BI solutions help eliminate repetitive, manual work.

Once the platform is in place, you don’t need to encode everything. The system is synchronous in nature so what you see on the dashboard is also in the spreadsheet; thus, reducing administrative work.

There are several websites dedicated to giving tips for buying a BI software. But if you are looking for business intelligence software reviews, then is the right place to visit. With this website, you can get the right product for your business.

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.

Our rankings are completely independent, transparent, and community driven; they are based on user reviews and client sentiment. These business intelligence companies had to earn their way up and didn't just pay their way up.

View Rankings of Best Business Intelligence Companies