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Top 5 questions to ask when choosing a Business Intelligence tool

The drive of the digital age has resulted in ‘big data’ – vast data volumes being created that are possibly one of the most valuable resources of the modern age. Business Intelligence – or BI – is a range of tools that allow your business to transform raw data into actionable insights which influence business decision-making. Through BI, the data is displayed effectively and easily digested, even by those outside the IT department. If you’re considering the worthwhile investment into BI, then here are 5 questions worth asking your BI vendor.

5 Questions to ask when choosing a Business Intelligence tool

 

1. Can this BI tool integrate with other data sources?

If you’re looking to make a seamless transition to BI – and no doubt you are – then it’s important to ask your vendor about the BI integration capabilities so that it’s easier for you to collect the necessary data. The flexibility of the BI tool will allow you to get data into and out of the warehouse system much easier. This way, you can pull up all the information from various sources, and then dashboard it for a more holistic overview.

 

2. What visualisation capabilities does the BI have?

The ability to represent the data in a visual form is key to BI effectiveness. You need to ask your BI vendor about the visualisation options available on your BI tool. The data can be visualised on reports, summaries, dashboards, charts and maps so you need to clarify exactly what capabilities the BI has, and what will work better for your particular industry.

 

3. What is the cost of the BI?

This is obviously a big contributing factor to the overall decision of whether or not to invest in this particular BI tool. However, as with any investment, it’s not necessarily the price tag, but the value you’re getting with that price tag. Ask your BI vendor about the value for money you’re actually getting with this tool, the features, the cost savings and the useability.

 

4. Do you provide a BI product demonstration?

While product demos can be a time-consuming undertaking, when it comes to a BI tool, they’re worth investing the time. A good BI vendor will be able to demonstrate the platform’s capabilities, as well as taking you through a personalised live demonstration – rather than a pre-recorded demo. That way, you’re able to experience the actual BI using real-time data. This highlights any challenges you could face, and the ease of implementation.

 

5. What support do you provide?

Even with a great demonstration, implementing the BI tool in business will require regular clarification and training. This is why asking your BI vendor about training and support provided is absolutely vital. If they’re able to offer personalised, step-by-step service and can show that they’re actually invested in the success or your BI tool, then they’re certainly worth considering. Great vendor relations will drastically improve the value of your BI tool. One of the easiest ways to get a real answer to this question is to ask other clients. A reputable vendor will be happy to share references with you.

 

A great BI vendor, like Canvas Intelligence, will ensure your business is completely equipped to achieve a competitive advantage. They can also walk you through the other steps