If your goal is to drive the company to a new level of success, it matters to learn everything you can about BI (Business Intelligence). BI is crucial because it can accelerate or improve decision-making, optimise business processes, intensify operational efficiency, push new revenues, identify market trends and gain competitive advantages.

These are realised because of the set of tools, technologies, and software that seek to prepare, present, collect and analyse data. The set of business intelligence software is widely diverse depending on the solution. If you are just starting, determining the right solution can be confusing. To help you get started, you should ask the following questions:

What type of pricing structure is best for my business?

The pricing structure will depend on your departments or the number of users. The right BI software provider should be able to give you pricing structure whether you need licensing per CPU, server or named user.

Do you keep data secure?

In the age of data breach, security should be a priority. You need to ask this so the provider will share the kind of technology they employ when it comes to data security. Ideally, the BI solution should employ state-of-the-art security measure to keep your business data secure.

What about maintenance and ad hoc reporting needs?

You need to ask this question to determine if you need to increase IT resources dependency or not. You need to find a BI partner that you can depend on for set-up and maintenance.

Can I have a single platform?

The ideal BI platform can provide you with a comprehensive view of business in a single platform. You just have to ensure that you choose a solution with the ability to extract data from all sources and process them in a sensible way.

Will it allow to scale affordably?

As with any integration, you need to consider scalability. This is to accommodate an increase in the number of users. In the case of BI software, you have to determine if it will allow scaling affordably or if you need to add large investments in the process.

Buying Business Intelligence Software

Can the users access BI reports from anywhere?

You should determine if the users could access BI reports from anywhere. Cloud data storage allows you to access reports from anywhere. While remote access is a big game changer, it can pose a security risk. With this, you need to go back and check the security measures of the BI provider.

Does it support a wide variety of distribution mechanisms?

Making data accessible is great but you have to consider sharing the reports. When it comes to sharing, you should know how people want to receive information – is it through published reports, scheduled emails or embedded application? While you are at it, make sure that the solution can export reports in different file formats from Excel to CSV, XML, and PDF.

Do you provide lifetime satisfaction?

A good BI solution offers lifetime satisfaction through a subscription model, training and support. If the provider offers additional services, it is a good indicator that they are secure and stable. With this, you can work confidently.

Final words

BI will always have a place in any business. With its capabilities, it will surely take your company to a new level of success. As a business leader, you should pave the way to implementing BI. When you decide, the key is simplicity. This will ensure that end-users will embrace any tool that can help them achieve results.