7 Factors to Consider When Shopping for Business Intelligence Tools

There’s a lot to think about when you’re making decisions that impact your business operations. Choosing the right tools for the job is one of the biggest ones—in any industry. These are seven factors to consider when shopping for business intelligence tools.

Will It Drive Adoption of Analytics Throughout Your Organization?

Every organization wants to become data-driven. But many companies are finding that it’s a challenge not only to choose the best business intelligence tools, but to get employees to adopt them — the only way you’ll ever see a positive return on your investment.

Harvard Business Review cites a recent report of executives that found 77 percent report that analytics adoption is still a major challenge; higher than the previous year’s 65 percent. And it’s not even just a matter of the tech at hand, as 93 percent of respondents attributed adoption issues to people and processes.

It pays to evaluate whether the BI tools you’re about to buy will genuinely drive adoption. Evaluate the user-friendliness, as employees will be the ones interfacing with these tools on a daily basis. Consider how the tools will integrate with existing workflows, too. The less resistance a tool will meet in terms of people and processes, the higher adoption rates you’ll see.

How Difficult Will It Be to Implement?

You should consider any potential difficulties in adopting a new BI platform. There will be a variance in compatibility with your current data setup. Data integration is one area of concern here. It’s important to be able to easily and safely transfer your old data into the new system.

Does It Incorporate Advanced Analytics and AI Capabilities?

There are a couple layers to the BI tools on the market today. There’s the ad hoc reporting aspect, in which employees are able to ask questions and receive answers in the form of data visualization models. Employees can also create interactive business intelligence dashboards to keep everyone in the loop about their latest findings.

But platforms like ThoughtSpot offer more than just search-driven analytics; they enable users to uncover artificial intelligence-driven insights with a click. Choosing a tool with AI analytics capabilities allows users to uncover previously hidden insights from deep within data — nuggets of information that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. This goes a long way in helping users understand what’s happening in terms of performance and, more importantly, why.

Are Processes Transparent?

It’s great to be able to get answers to your questions through data—assuming those answers are correct. But what if some of your analytics get a bit out of line somewhere? How are you going to fix the problem if you can’t check the BI tool’s work?

This is why transparency is so essential in choosing BI tools. Without it, you’re going to be unsure what’s going wrong if something doesn’t make sense.

Is There Good Customer Support?

What happens when something goes wrong with your BI software? That totally depends on the customer support you receive from your provider. Without solid support behind you, it could be a long time before you get things back up and running again.

Make sure you ask about customer service availability before you sign any contracts.

Can You Afford It?

At the end of the day, price matters. Don’t opt for BI tools that are simply out of your budget. Even if you find one that exactly meets your needs, it doesn’t make sense to choose an option that’s going to endanger the financial viability of your enterprise. Scalable tools are your best bet for getting value from BI at any size.

Is It Scalable?

Scalability is an essential thing to consider when comparing BI platforms. The ability to quickly add more storage or features as you need them is highly relevant to rapidly growing businesses.

A lot of different BI tools exist on the market today. It’s difficult for executives to know exactly what’s the best for their organization—but evaluating as many of these factors as possible can provide a clearer picture.

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