For a successful BI project, organizations need to select the best analytics tool which will be the best fit for the organization. But this is one of the most critical thing to do. Now, this process will include gathering and prioritizing BI requirements, as well as determining use cases and tool categories and styles.
There are some important features and functions to be emphasized on while selecting best BI analytical tools. There are some must-have features to be taken in consideration.
Criteria to use BI analytics tool selection
When we are totally new to the overall market, industry analyst product reviews, is a very lucrative option available out there. While it comes to selecting a BI tool for organization, it should be selected on the basis of the budget and can be implemented given its resources and skills.
Just to simplify it, you should be looking for the features like, if the product doesn’t have a particular feature, it should be eliminated from further consideration. Many BI analytics tools have a list of features that your company may never use, so what is the use in buying it.
But only having all the features you need cannot be the perfect criteria. For example, if you buy a product, and it has custom coding or you need to purchase add-on products with it or it is a specific edition of a product just like an enterprise versus a basic edition, it will only add up in time and expense.
The must-have BI features
BI tool should have access to various databases and file types such as comma-separated values file, text, Excel and XML are basic staples of all BI products. It should enable the contents in a tabular report or visualization to be filtered by data values. Its client user interface for the BI consumer-role should be Web-based. When the BI style enables multiple visualizations, inclusive of tabular reports, to be displayed on a single screen, the software should allow for these visualizations to be either independent of each other or interconnected.
This tool should provide bar, line, pie, area and radar chart types, as well as the ability to mix and match various combinations. All BI products should have both user and user role-based security, designating who can create, modify, publish, use and administer the BI applications. It should also be able to import and export data with Microsoft Office products, especially Microsoft Excel. IT must allow for print visualizations and tabular reports to be exported to PDF or other graphics. Tabular reports need to be exportable to text files at a minimum and, preferably, to spreadsheets.
Self-service BI uses cases
There are various features that are specific to self-service BI use cases. It provides more data management functionality for the business person creating an analytical application than for an information consumer who is relying on pre-built BI applications with pre-built integrated data.
The BI analytic tools must allow the user to select the data used in analysis and present it as a pivot table-style interface where dimension attributes are placed in rows and columns, measures are selected and filters are applied. Not just that, but it should also allow users to blend data from various data sources.
It should also let the user to create and save measures or calculations for use in analysis. One can also create dimensional hierarchies, such as by geography or product, to group and summarize data, by using it. It should also allow the user to save the data filters, selections and drill-down paths used in an analysis so they can be reused.
All in all, nice-to-have features
Different BI tools have different features. This difference is the reason of its selection. That is why BI tools have a feature to let the user save and share his or her analysis with other BI consumers. There are context based features like visualization or advanced visualization is available in some. Some BI tools have collaboration and social interaction option available in them. Some BI tools also have storyboarding and Microsoft Office real-time integration in them.
Some more important factors to be contemplated
Data Consumption and Compatibility
Business intelligence is all about visualizing, understanding, and acting on data, which you already posses. The very first step should be, while gaining perspective on your business operations is finding that data. Applications, databases, inboxes, and spreadsheets are to be considered for the same. So, the BI tool you are having should be able to consume this data and give you relevant insights.
Find out if there are any out-of-the-box connections to your applications and databases you can take advantage of? Integrations between your existing tools is the best option you have, which should be built using APIs or import/export processes. Your tool should be one which will better incorporate into your existing current ecosystem.
Database and Data Warehousing
The most important component of BI compatibility is a tool’s compatibility with the existing hardware. A BI tool should consistently read and query your databases. It is the most important factor for the enterprises with big data and data warehousing infrastructure, because the user wants to have full access of the organization’s data.
The user wants to have the insights with the help of BI tool, and with an easy and pleasing process. That is why the usefulness of any BI tool depends on, how easily they help your users to interrogate their data and draw the conclusions that help them perform their jobs better. So, just look out for a tool that on the first, performs the necessary analyses, but also can be easily set up, trained on, and executed.
Performance and Scalability
All BI tools are created for different purposes. To perform its task, a BI tool’s ability is affected by the volume of data you will be querying and the number of queries that will eventually be running. Now, some of the BI tools will perform better while running these queries and also it can handle the amount of data you’re storing before purchasing. So, while choosing a tool, if your data volume is growing quickly, choose a tool that can scale accordingly.
Cloud & On-Premise
Cloud BI can boost collaboration and mobility, which will make the users able to build dashboards together and easily share insights across organizations. On the other hand, On-premise BI systems can give better performance, and the added security of residing behind corporate firewalls.
These tools should be able to differentiate between viewing BI applications on a Web browser on a mobile device versus a mobile BI application. It should also have In-memory analytics, Offline updates, Performance monitoring and BI platform administration.
For a successful organization, sorting out an ideal BI tool is the most important thing, because the success of an organization depends on the best BI tools it is having.