Choosing the Right Business Intelligence

  • 16 June 2014
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It is common that when choices are plenty, one is bound to get confused wondering which one to select. There are chances of one making a hasty decision ending-up buying the wrong product. Let us talk about business intelligence here. There is no scarcity of business intelligence solutions that are available in the market, for example, QlikView services. Taking out time to evaluate every available product and comparing them can be quite strenuous. However, in case of choosing the wrong BI solution, the consequences are felt for longer terms.

Business intelligence sounds as a single product. But the truth is that every business intelligence solution is defined differently. Each BI solution is intended to target different audience or market group. They are designed in a way to approach different companies in different ways. So it is important to compare BI solutions on the basis of the company requirements instead of comparing the features independently. This is where you need to ask some basic questions.

  • Which is the business intelligence functionality that matters the most to your company?
  • Which is the set of business intelligence solutions that comes closest to satisfy the company needs?

Once these preliminary questions are answered, you will get a relatively fair idea of the right business solution to opt for. For example, this is when you can judge if QlikView implementation will be a good idea for your company or not. Focusing on these two questions will help you narrow down the choices significantly and you would be one step closer to narrowing down the business solution that is perfect for you. When you are focusing on which functionality matters the most to you, there are some key requirements on which you should pay attention to. Remember that these functionalities will vary from one company to another. So, while it is good to keep a check on the solution that your rivals are using, choosing the same or something close to that would not be enough. If it isn’t suitable for your company and doesn’t cater to the goals that have been defined for it, then no matter how incredible the product is, it will be of little or no use to you.

The functionalities which can be focussed upon are – self service reporting, data visualization, various types of relevant dashboards or different types of scheduling ability to create reports. You may also consider how well and easily can it be integrated with Microsoft Office tools. A seamless integration will make your work really easy. If the solution can support mobile devices, then without a doubt it gets more brownie points. Infact, this functionality is a must have for any company. In all this, make sure that security isn’t compromised. After all, when a solution is dealing with large amounts of data, make sure that its security isn’t compromised at any stage.

Once the functionalities are defined properly, it is time to look into the ‘type’ of solution that would be suitable for you. There are enterprise grade business intelligence solutions that can be scaled for any industry, big or small. You need to consider if you want BI solutions that support data visualization tools or report writing tools. You can either choose ‘home-grown’ solutions or cloud based solutions.  Cost and time to implement are the big factors here that may affect your decisions. Some of these solutions are expensive, some aren’t. You may need to spend more time in implementing some solution and less time if you choose other. The buck literally stops at the bucks and time you can afford to spend.  Carefully weigh in all your options, consult the experts, discuss with the concerned team members and arrive at a planned conclusion. BI practices like QlikView implementation are quite popular. Decide if the popular options are well suited for you and only then proceed to buy a BI solution. Don’t take chances with the success of your company.

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    Nidhi Batra

    About the author

    Nidhi Batra is a marketing and brand communication professional with 10 years of experience working in the dynamic B2B marketing environment. She strategizes, writes, reviews a variety of content for demand generation and sales support activities. Having a Master’s in English from Delhi University, she knows how to navigate her readers on insightful journeys with her SAP published blogs and thought leadership content.