When it’s time to purchase business intelligence software for your organization, the dilemma always occurs with the decision makers. “Cheap and Easy” or “Robust and Expensive”.
Perform this simple homework before even you explore your options.
- Who is going to use this BI platform
The IT departments is always overwhelmed with numerous request asking for various reports. As things start going out of hands, CIOs and directors make a decision to go towards Business Intelligence route. But how can they choose the best platform from the thousands of products available out there? The very first step in this process is to identify the potential audience. Who are the beneficiaries of this project? Is it my high level executives such as CEO, CFO, COO, and Board of Directors? Is it for my specific departments and its users such as Finance Controllers, HR Managers, Store Managers?
If the stakeholders are going to be part of your beneficiaries, you can blindly make a decision to go towards enterprise wide solution vs. desktop based local solutions.
- What is the role of my BI software in making business decisions
Not just ‘Who’ but ‘Why’ is also important decision making point when it comes to business intelligence. Is BI going to be used mainly as a monitoring tool or does it mean much more than that? For monitoring day to day business, simple visual analyzer tools can work but when it comes to Trend Analysis, Predictive analysis, Forecasting and important decision making features, a robust solution is always recommended. The BI software you choose should have the scalability as your business grows. If there any mergers or acquisitions planned in future, think about how easily your platform can adopt to the new pattern of data.
2.How much data am I talking about?
Before choosing BI software, analyzing all you in-house and Cloud systems. The era of having single platform for all your transactional needs is gone long back. The more realistic picture any organization has these days portrays a minimum of 5 transactional system for 5 different business functions. While exploring your BI software options, identify how many business functions are going to be benefited, how much data each of them holds and how easy is it to integrate all your data sources in one BI platform. The goal of having a BI solution is presenting an enterprise wide single source of truth.
3.Does it make sense to go with Cloud technology?
With Cloud becoming the buzzword in every technical conference you attend, it is very easy to lean towards available cloud options. Before committing to any cloud option, explore the possibility of easy enterprise wide single source of truth. Though cloud is the easily adaptable, less infrastructure investment and less overheads, it may not be the best solution in every scenario. Most Cloud technologies are subscription based and if you are having a huge user base, you definitely need to analyze the cost vs. ROI factor. Not just the cost but all of the points mentioned above such as amount of data, integrating various data sources, beneficiaries play an important role in decision making.
4.What is my budget?
Last but not least, how much money my organization is ready to spend? To get a good, top of the line BI software it doesn’t cost a fortune but you definitely have to open up little bigger wallet. After all it is the one time investment you want to make and rake the benefits for next n number of years. Today’s Business Intelligence (BI) is more agile and ensures high-performance analysis and reporting. Deep-Dive technology allows businesses to dig out from under the mountain of data and find those few critical facts that will help them develop the next new product, or address customer needs better. Read the success story: Oracle Business Intelligence