Welcome to the business intelligence (BI) software product directory. This directory is designed to be a valuable...
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resource for those getting started with the BI software evaluation process, completing a BI assessment or researching and evaluating BI platforms and tools in the market. Use this list to find the BI and analytics solution that will help your organization assess the full extent of its data and help with improving BI company-wide. Listings include: Vendor information, product name and website, short and long product descriptions and pricing details. Plus, the directory features an introduction from expert William McKnight, who offers unbiased advice on selecting the right BI software for your business. McKnight explains what questions to ask end-users and what information to gather during the business requirements gathering phase; how to pick the right BI tools for your organization; and he provides definitions of the different types of BI tools, so you can hit the ground running in your BI software search.
Download the business intelligence software product directory
This interactive product directory is a great resource for business intelligence vendor and product information. Whether you're just beginning the BI software evaluation process or looking to upgrade your BI system, you'll find valuable information about on-premise and on-demand BI software from a variety of vendors in the BI market.
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Selecting the best business intelligence tools for your business
By William McKnight, Partner, President at McKnight Consulting Group
@64098 The benefits of business intelligence (BI) have been proven repeatedly. BI strikes at the heart of the charter of a business—bottom-line improvement. No longer speculative, BI provides tangible benefits to an enterprise's revenue and expenses. BI is about getting the right data to the right people at the right time.
Historically, BI has meant whatever we do to data in our post-operational data warehouses. That is not entirely true anymore. BI is done everywhere—in our operational environments, such as ERP, supply chain and call center systems, as well as data warehouses and other post-operational analytical structures.
BI, of course, needs data to be viable, and sometimes that means setting up additional data stores with data in a prepared state for the access. Sometimes there is a data store where BI access is needed, and sometimes that store needs to be built. However, data access is the layer in the data architecture that BI addresses. If the plumbing is robust but the presentation layer is lacking, all is lost. This guide will look at business intelligence vendors and methods.
There is no best or one-size-fits-all tool on the market.Multiple BI tools will be trained on any viable data store over the course of time. It's an evolutionary progression, and there is no method of data access that is necessarily a "first port of call" for BI. Perhaps no technology term has been as overused as BI, so it is essential to dive much deeper than the label and figure out which tools you really need in your organization.
Selecting the right BI tool should start with requirements-gathering from those accessing data. These "users" need a BI tool like a hole in the head. What they need is data access through the right mechanism (reports, alerts, visualization, interaction, etc.). Dust is collecting on unused BI tools ("shelfware") the world over, while frustrated users live with what is "good enough." The end result is that Microsoft Excel is the most common BI tool. This is problematic.
Ideally, the requirements-gathering process begins not with "what do you want to see?" but with "what are your business goals?" Together, the BI expert and the user can then explore the robust possibilities that today's BI market offers.
Business requirements gathering
Other questions to be asked during the requirements-gathering phase for BI include:
- What are your short-term and long-term success criteria?
Read the rest of William's column by downloading the business intelligence product directory.