What is most valuable?
The simply intuitive end user experience, as well as the data animation/visualization features of Information Builders Incorporated’s (IBI's) Business Intelligence (BI) system (a la Hans Rosling, of TED Talks) are a high priority for us.
Additionally, the drag and drop functionality that IBI does better than any of its competition takes away a lot of the custom graph and report work previously delegated to the folks in IT or in Finance. Leaders using IBI can quite easily do it themselves. This is a big win for both IT and it's end users because better graphs and more well thought out reports are the result, along with more time for the IT leaders to focus on their primary area of expertise, IT systems.
How has it helped my organization?
We searched high and low for the above-mentioned functionality in a product that was available to us on-premise (this is a must for us, because we simply can’t afford to use a SaaS/cloud-based solution due to the security/risk factors inherent in the oil industry), and looked at Domo, Qlikview, Tableau, SAP, Birst, SiSense, among many others before we stumbled onto the Information Builders’ BI solution at one of their lunch and learn events, in St. Petersburg, Florida.
What needs improvement?
IBI has now added the data animation/visualization features mentioned above. This is a must for our company, and we and IBI believe they will revolutionize the BI space.
Here’s the thing …
Wouldn’t anyone agree that a data presentation that shows the relationship between factors in a moving/animated way would be more powerful/convincing than the typically static data presentations we have become accustomed to seeing/victimized by in all of those seemingly endless corporate performance meetings? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the results for an organization simply jumped off the page and it was relatively obvious what was going on/what needs to be done? The cool part is that this future functionality will be free from IBI as part of their regular BI solution offering!
For how long have I used the solution?
We are a greenfield operation and are designing all of our IT, BPM and BI solutions to be the best available today, working on a collaborative business partnership level with all of our vendors/business partners collectively. As such, no systems have been purchased, tested, implemented and deployed as yet.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
As mentioned above, deployment hasn’t occurred as yet. However, we have designed and built into our lab testing, implementation, and deployment processes a healthy professional services component that is designed to accommodate for any bumps and stumbles that may occur.
How are customer service and technical support?
There were many meetings held at our offices, we also participated in their Customer Summit, in Orlando this summer where we met lots of good, solid professionals and customer-based professionals with whom we were able to learn and grow, as well. Technical Support
Fabulous so far
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We had been positioned to go with Domo, but because of the problems with purchasing Domo as an on-premise solution at the time, we ran across IBI, and the rest is history! Even though Domo has now told us that they would offer their BI solution to us on-premise, we feel that the intuitive, user friendly aspects of IBI far surpass what Domo has to offer, and as such will be going with IBI as a result.
How was the initial setup?
BI is complex. Anyone who imagines otherwise isn’t looking at the entire picture of what’s involved. Although we haven’t as yet deployed (as mentioned above), we believe that IBI’s implementation and testing process will be both thorough and illuminating for our staff in IT and enterprise-wide.
What about the implementation team?
In-house is planned, with IBI professional services directly.
What was our ROI?
Since we are a high risk environment, we have calculated that any core business down time will cost us ~$18K per minute (or ~$1M per hour, with our core business process’s reset time projected at ~9 hours = ~$9M or more). Similarly, any efficiencies gained will be realized at those same rates (~$18K per minute, etc.). As a result, we are expecting that our select BI solution will pay for itself many times over in both disasters averted and efficiencies gained through our core business’s continuous process improvement efforts.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
TBD. We have a cost proposal for both the solution and professional services broken out, but needless to say doing BI the right way can’t reasonably be done on the cheap. I would say that there is an economy of scale where IBI would not be affordable for just any business, as it would be with any IT solution, but for our sized and type of company (~700 staff, revenues projected in the $Bs per year, and both end user experience and continuous process improvement as key business values), we have decided that IBI makes the most sense for us. Guess it all comes down to how much your company has at stake, and how imbedded continuous improvement thinking is within your company’s culture.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Yes, see above. We looked at Domo, Qlikview, Tableau, SAP, Birst, SiSense, among many others before we stumbled onto the Information Builders’ BI solution.
What other advice do I have?
Participate in one of their lunch and learn events as we did, and see for yourself what IBI can do!