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Is there such a thing as a user-friendly ad hoc query tool for BI?

Can you find a user-friendly BI tool for ad hoc queries? Read what a BI expert thinks about ad hoc query tool needs and the BI software sold by business intelligence vendors.

I'm looking for a truly user-friendly business intelligence (BI) tool for enabling business users to perform genuinely...

ad hoc queries. What are your views? I find suppliers are often over-optimistic about ease of use.

I would agree that BI vendors typically will advertise their platforms as easy to use, but ease of use means something different to everyone. We find that only a small percentage of business users actually want or need ad hoc query capabilities. Most users only need interactive reporting or data discovery and/or data exploration capabilities. Most BI vendors have these tools, and I would argue that they are intuitive and easy to use, especially if they are configured properly with the correct user audience in mind. 

This was last published in May 2010

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