2014-03-23 15:53:00 UTC

When evaluating Business Intelligence Tools, what aspect do you think is the most important to look for?


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166166 Answers
Vendor

Total cost of ownership is often overlooked during BI product selection. Cheap products do not equal cheap ownership experiences, whether it is missing functionality which must be provided by additional products, poor integration of modules which causes duplication of effort, weak support from the vendor, high cost of maintenance or constant changes to the product portfolio.

The key factors to consider are:

Is this product right for the intended user-base? It should not be necessary to purchase one product for IT, one for business analysts and one for 'end-users'. There are considerable cost savings associated with using a single platform (not a single vendor with many products they have built or bought).

Does the product have the depth of functionality needed, and foreseeably anticipated?
Is that functionality accessible? Can an expert easily access complex, deep functionality, without the occasional or new user being overwhelmed by the interface?

Can it reach all the necessary data sources? Both inside and outside the corporation.

How fast is the user experience, both in developing reports and dashboards and in retrieving the data? Speed of both allows iterative learning and development by new and occasional users, while ensuring high productivity for expert users.

Does it work with our real world data? Too often evaluation of products still relies on superficial test on restricted volumes of data, or the lower complexity data as "it would take too long to build a fully representative testing environment" - big mistake. Identify the product(s) you believe are suitable and then bear the cost of proving they can deliver in your own use case. Too often a poor acquisition is followed by increasing spend to "make it work", when money spent earlier on selecting and proving the right tool would lead to much lower overall cost of ownership and more importantly early success and hence ROI.

Does the company have a history of good backward compatibility? You will build a vast amount of intellectual property with a BI tool. You will become dependent on the insight it provides your organization. So investigate how well you chosen product has allowed users to migrate that IP forward through new revisions of their products. Rewriting IP is a good opportunity to clean it up and start over, but it's a massive unnecessary expense if you have built what you need and it is the vendor forcing you to rewrite your work.

2015-12-10 17:42:37 UTC10 December 15
Real User

It is really difficult to choose the right one, in my experience, the most important thing is not the tool that we choose. The most important thing is to design the correct scope, what we need to give us the tool based on two factors, the data we want to obtain and for whom that data will be. If a good approach is made, the chosen one will be the correct one.

2018-01-04 18:26:10 UTC04 January 18
Vendor

Use case! What and or for whom are you trying to provide reporting capabilities to and from what applications and data sources. What are the skill levels of these users - basic business users or analysts. Ease of use should be top of the list as well as a quality customer support experience.

There are many choices today around BI solutions (embedded, self-service, etc.) and finding the right one depends upon answering these questions.

2017-07-27 18:57:32 UTC27 July 17
Real UserELITE SQUADTOP 5

Easy to use, performs well, cost, and not going to send me insane integrating it with other systems. Everything else is gravy.

2016-06-29 13:01:58 UTC29 June 16
Real UserTOP 5

Key Evaluation Points for BI Tools:
1) Ease of use – Self-service analytics and data exploration, End-user report consumption and Time to develop new reports
2) User Interface and Visualization effectiveness – If it does not look good business will not use it
3) Styles of BI Supported – Scorecards Dashboards, Operational Reports, OLAP Reporting, Predictive Analysis, Notification and Alerting
4) License/TCO – Open Source vs Enterprise Software – support and maintenance structure – development and administration costs, environment deployment constraints, admin tools
5) Performance and data scalability – Depends on the business requirements and data volume
6) Data source connectivity – Depends on the source systems that need to be integrated and backend data integration
7) Security – Authentication, Authorization, Application, Object and Data level security
8) Extensibility and API/SDK – If integration with external applications is required
9) Feature Set/Product Roadmap – scope of product features, speed of platform innovation

2014-08-07 02:57:09 UTC07 August 14
Vendor

Most folks tend to think of UI and the flashy, sexy stuff. However, experience has proven that adopting a platform approach is key to success - a Platform that can access any data source and provide capabilities for internal and external users from the same platform, and not merely serve as a data visualization tool. The ability to do disconnected analytics cannot be discounted; Further having a platform that does NOT mandate creating a data warehouse as a prerequisite; i.e. It shoild have the ability to access operational data sources with minimal impact to the back-end systems.

2014-06-08 18:42:53 UTC08 June 14
Vendor

I believe you have to match product capabilities to company BI strategy first and then consider infrastructure standards and internal competencies. if you do these things you should get value. The type of BI solution is important but don't be fooled by the "it's all about data visualization or big data". it is not in most organizations...

2014-05-23 13:30:20 UTC23 May 14
Real UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

"Time to insight" is very important for me. Since the business questions arise non stop and need fast responses, going from raw data to answer a business question in the lesser time possible, with the easiest way of doing that, could be a huge differential in selecting a tool (set of tools).

2018-03-06 17:18:26 UTC06 March 18
Real UserTOP 20

User Friendly, Customization, Pricing

2017-09-28 18:23:54 UTC28 September 17
ConsultantTOP 20

1. Meet business needs
2.Total cost of ownership
3. Performance
4. Stability
5. Scalability
6. Easy to use/build reports/administration
7. Functionality/Visualization
8. Mobility
Along with
9. User friendly
10. Security
11. Method of implementation

2016-04-10 15:07:25 UTC10 April 16
Vendor

1) Organic Adoption
2) IT involvement in only data prep/mgt. not having to build anything
3) true Self Reliance not endless self service report runs

2016-02-22 13:46:27 UTC22 February 16
Consultant

In the following order :

Licensing Cost
Ease of Use for End User
Functional Capabilities
Performance

2015-08-12 19:41:18 UTC12 August 15
Consultant

1. First and foremost. Gather the detailed BI requirement from Organization needs. Answer the below questions,
a. How much GB (memory size) is required to hold / maintain organization data?
b. How much the data is going to increase by months and years?
c. How many BI users (Analyst) are going to use BI system?
d. How Critical would the BI system would be for End users?
e. What are the reporting requirements from End users? do they need simple report, visualized reports, Self service BI requirements
f. What is the Budget to build BI?
g. Is management ok to have Cloud BI?
........... like this much more information
Based on this above needs selection of BI would vary.

Typical BI tools features

1. Core BI features
DB Engine, Master Data Management, Data Quality Management, Scaleability, Performance, Hardware and Software Maintenance, Replication requirements
2. Additional features such as reporting, sharing, collaboration, visualization, etc
3. Ease of use (installation, operations, learning, etc)
4. User friendly design environment and run time environment
5. Customized Security features
6. Product Stability and Consistency
7. Good Product Support available
8. Ability to merge / mingle with Social Media.
9. Cost not significantly high/low with competitor products
10. High Productivity to develop and deploy
11. Forum / open support guidance availability

I see these are the basic BI selection criteria.

2015-08-11 08:22:45 UTC11 August 15
Real User

Security integration. My existing application already has a list of users and what products they have access to. Allow me to push this assignment to the BI tool or have the BI tool call out for access to a dimension. Don't make me duplicate permissions.
Ease of setting up the metadata layer (I would like to be able to manipulate it programmatically / via scripts)
Make it appear to be part of the existing application. No separate logon, run headless or allow significant LnF changes.
Licensing to match my usage not my hardware.

2015-07-23 13:34:38 UTC23 July 15
Vendor

Most important it is to support all End-User needs; Analyst, Management, Operational

2015-07-07 08:03:24 UTC07 July 15
Real User

The success or failure of any BI project depends on collecting and prioritizing Business requirements and must include the following:

1. A targeted business process

2. How BI can improve the process

3. When BI will be used

4. What kind of BI is needed

5. Who will use it

6. How improvements will be measured

In most cases, BI investments need to address:

Better alignment of BI with business strategy
Improved data quality
Better integration of BI systems with other systems, such as CRM or ERP
Better understanding of user needs and requirements
Improved user training
Brainstorm ideas - on how BI can be used
Identifying business questions - gaining more detail on requirements and information needed

2014-07-04 14:19:53 UTC04 July 14
Real User

The most important criteria for me would be it's ease of use for non-technical users. If you have to use data analysts to develop all the reports then keep looking.

2014-05-31 15:00:46 UTC31 May 14
Real UserTOP 20

Performance and Scalability. Ease of use goes without saying.

2014-04-15 17:14:22 UTC15 April 14
Real UserTOP 5

For us it normally comes down to a combination of the following:
1. Cost of implementation
2. Ease of use
3 Vendor lock in or does it use shared technology

2018-09-19 02:40:38 UTC19 September 18
Vendor

1. Cost of implementation & Licensing Price
2. Ease of use and drill down function
3. Ease to change the source of data, as data information is keep increasing
4. Can link to multiple datasource like mssql, MySQL, excel, csv.....
5. Speed of data present BI & Drill down
6. User access rights, since not all information should be publish to all level of people

2018-04-09 07:54:19 UTC09 April 18
Real UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

will the solution solve my present,past,and future problem. how about support should incase of downtime. performance and scalability

2018-01-04 20:30:52 UTC04 January 18
Real UserTOP 10

01> Fulfill the business requirements
02> Cost of the Implementation.
03> User friendly, ease to use
04> Real time Dashboard
05> Performance & Scalability
06> Troubleshooting and Support

2018-01-03 10:39:30 UTC03 January 18
Real UserTOP 20

“It’s better to have fewer things you trust than have a whole lot of things that are suspect,”

2017-12-14 06:14:55 UTC14 December 17
Real UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Support is the number one thing you think of before any other thing

2017-12-11 14:55:53 UTC11 December 17
ConsultantTOP REVIEWERTOP 5

Customization, Scalability, OnPrem or Cloud, Licence price v Functions you get and the resources the BI system demand in staffing.

2017-12-01 14:08:19 UTC01 December 17
User

Scalability, Performance, Security

2017-11-27 00:53:51 UTC27 November 17
Vendor

User experience, metadata support, Performance

2017-09-11 09:22:05 UTC11 September 17
Real User

Speed to market, User interface, scalability, performance, and many other depending on how bad your current BI situation actually is.

2017-08-16 13:18:14 UTC16 August 17
Real UserTOP 10

Definitely, ease of use, the real-time dashboards, performance, and stability. The fact that a relative novice to Cognos is able to utilize the tool on day 1 is impactful.

2017-05-02 02:36:40 UTC02 May 17
Real User

Connectivity
ETL
Visualization
Easy-to-build

2017-03-28 12:19:34 UTC28 March 17
Real UserTOP 20

Easy to use/build reports/administration

2017-03-17 14:17:07 UTC17 March 17
Real User

1) Integration capabilities to make complex solution (to bi built in the core systems / co-exist with core system)
2) Ability to get data from RDBMSs (from core system) easily

2017-02-15 12:55:12 UTC15 February 17
Vendor

1. Scalability
2. Self Service
3. Visualization
4. Mobility
5. Performance

2017-01-04 18:41:10 UTC04 January 17
Vendor

1:Functionality/Visualization
2: Mobility Along with User friendly
3:. Security

2016-10-01 17:50:25 UTC01 October 16
Consultant

When it comes to integration capabilities, which system-integrations are crucial to the solution performance, to the extent that users must be continuously informed/updated about their availability?

2016-09-28 12:20:07 UTC28 September 16
Real UserTOP 10

A package that can be used by Main Street. Too many of the BI Vendors only focus on enterprise. Organizations of all sizes have tons of data that important information can be gleaned from. Frankly, the smaller your organization, the more you need it because your risk threshold is lower.

2016-03-21 15:27:16 UTC21 March 16
Consultant

1) Functional capabilities
2) Scalability
3) Licensing /TOC

2016-02-19 11:12:19 UTC19 February 16
Consultant

Adaptability of the tool
Constant Development & investment
Ease of use for end consumers

2016-01-26 17:23:56 UTC26 January 16
Consultant

Data Analysis (Understanding of Data) after analysis you can discover pattern of data or you can extract fruitful data for the business process or business management automatically.

2016-01-20 05:38:04 UTC20 January 16
User

Clear experience for end users and have efficient integration wiht other systems and technologies

2016-01-08 18:42:24 UTC08 January 16
Real UserTOP 20

TCO and a set of features that you need for your work.

2016-01-06 05:38:29 UTC06 January 16
User

Ease of use

2015-12-21 13:50:22 UTC21 December 15
Real User

TCO
Ease of Use
Easy integration capabilities
Security

2015-12-15 12:57:36 UTC15 December 15
User

Scalability from dept level to corporate wide.

2015-11-18 14:52:20 UTC18 November 15
Real User

1. Meet business needs
2.Total cost of ownership
3. Performance
4. Stability
5. Scalability
6. Easy to use/build reports/administration
7. Functionality/Visualisation
8. Mobility

2015-11-10 21:59:21 UTC10 November 15
Real UserTOP 5

1. Unified Access & Connectivity
2. Discover & Explore
3. Collaborate
4. Administration

2015-11-07 00:43:01 UTC07 November 15
Real UserTOP 10

BI tools are not easy to implement unless:

1. you have done a business need analysis.
2. you develop an strategy that provide continue support to the end users.
3. you got executive management approval.
4. you have a product maintenance plan that allows to continue to update the products.
5. you have a daily backup/restore strategy in place.
6. you have a technical team trained.

2015-10-16 20:14:02 UTC16 October 15
Consultant

-Is BI Tool User Friendly for data modeling?
-Is Licensing Cost affordable?
-Is BI tool have ETL option?
-Is Web based?
-Can it produce charts on graphs? If yes then can we use it another application by just coping & pasting?
-Is it have auto ETL & auto report scheduling option?
-Is it have user management option?
-Is it have Export facility?
-Can we integrate different database in one table?
-can we connect flat files?

2015-10-14 07:42:15 UTC14 October 15
Real UserTOP 10

Implementation time/complexity
Ease of use (from implementation to user in a short amount of time)
Training and support availability
Shared knowledge boards (is there a community of users who share ideas and suggestions?)
Scalabilitly
Visualization tools - with ability to produce visually appealing, value added dashboards, charts, and standard reports
Can the tool produce interactive files (e.g. Xcelsius output) that are shared externally via .pdf, Excel, etc.?
Multiple file output options
Publication options
Cost

2015-10-08 11:34:33 UTC08 October 15
User

I think the most important criteria would consist the ease of use (user friendly), implementation and licensing.

2015-10-05 17:12:34 UTC05 October 15
User

- Architecture / Infrastructure
- Compatibility across platforms and devices
- Predictive Capability
- Data Mining - breadth / depth / reach
- Security Considerations
- Customization - Search
- Customization - Visualization
- Automated Updates to Information

2015-09-29 22:17:26 UTC29 September 15
User

-How little training is required to get end users (Non-IT) going.
- Scalability
-Ability to access multiple types of data sources
- Ability to integrate with OLTP databases with minimal footprint. (Im assuming OLAP integration is defacto)
-Data blending capabilities.

2015-09-25 11:35:35 UTC25 September 15
Real User

- Ease of use for IT and non-IT end users
- OLAP functions
- Performance: Creation and consumption of In-memory MOLAP cubes
- Accepting integration with other OLAP engines thru MDX queries
- Easy mapping of Logical views from physical datawarehouse tables/views.
- Creation of Dynamic Dashboards and Transparent way to expose them to Mobile applications
- Scalable solutions.
- Authorization Model at very low granularity level (attribute data) to allow multi-tenant solutions.
- License model and cost

2015-09-18 12:39:36 UTC18 September 15
Consultant

User Friendly, Feature richness, Scalability, Infrastructure requirement, Ease of Troubleshooting and Support.

2015-09-14 19:00:47 UTC14 September 15
User

User Friendly, Feature richness, Scalability, Infrastructure requirement, Ease of Troubleshooting and Support

2015-09-14 15:39:13 UTC14 September 15
Consultant

1. Licensing cost.
2. Infrastructure requirement.
3. Scalability.
4. Complexity/ Ease of Development effort as well as Customization.
5. Metadata support.
6. Mobility and Cloud based customizations.
7. Ease of Troubleshooting and Support

2015-09-09 22:24:59 UTC09 September 15
User

Integration Capabilities and User friendly

2015-09-04 04:55:53 UTC04 September 15
User

Licensing Cost
User Friendly
Low Maintenance Cost
Integration Capabilites

2015-09-03 14:45:19 UTC03 September 15
Consultant

Product roadmap, ease of use, performance and cost.

2015-09-01 21:49:35 UTC01 September 15
User

Usability, Speed to market, Manageability and scalability
Mainly Reports are Integrate with Web UI applications

2015-08-28 12:04:45 UTC28 August 15
Vendor

Easy to use and build the reports, scalability

2015-08-28 08:03:28 UTC28 August 15
Real User

Feature richness, Flexibility and Cost ( License and Support)

2015-08-16 13:53:09 UTC16 August 15
User

Performance
Time to market, agility
Ease of user (end users), user empowerment
Scalabilty
Hierarchies easy to build, maintain and navigate

2015-08-06 13:26:10 UTC06 August 15
User

Principalmente: Integración, facilidad de uso, visualización de información en tiempo real y costos de licenciamiento. Entre otras con menos peso como soporte, movilidad, documentación, etc.

2015-07-22 15:55:42 UTC22 July 15
User

Ease of use,
Integration with current analytics tool I am using: google analytics,
Cost

2015-07-21 12:04:12 UTC21 July 15
User

Integration, Licensing

2015-07-20 16:06:16 UTC20 July 15
Real UserTOP 20

Functional Capabilities

2015-07-16 22:57:36 UTC16 July 15
User

1) The most important is that the functionality meets the company requirements.
2) That the new functions required in the future can be easily implemented
3) Security
4) Stability
5) Performance
6) user - friendliness
7) TCO

2015-07-16 16:47:39 UTC16 July 15
User

Self Service capabilities; ease of use; documentation and developer community

2015-07-13 14:13:38 UTC13 July 15
Real UserTOP 10

Open API interface which allow you extend functionality not covered by default. If you take one of the TOP 10 BI tools every product has cons and pros. In my practice from many projects I haven't product which 100% satisfied customer requirements

2015-07-02 06:04:44 UTC02 July 15
User

Not in order of importance:
1. Licensing cost
2. Scalability
3. User friendly (I mean also for non technical user)
4. Good support (remote and on site)
5. Use of well known components (DB, OS, etc.)

2015-07-01 18:01:43 UTC01 July 15
Real User

1. Data Handling
2. Ease of use/implementation
3. License Cost
4. Latest technique & innovations
5. Connector - Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics

2015-07-01 10:21:09 UTC01 July 15
Consultant

- Turnaround time, the ability to meet the shrinking decision window
- Vizual / interactive BI structure, strong data vizualization with analitic dashboards
- Ease of use
- Cost of licensing and ownership
With respect to these criterias I prefer E-Kalite Software

2015-06-27 11:44:40 UTC27 June 15
Consultant

@ChaelChristopher i think still it means the singular. If he wanted to mean plural, the question would be "what are your most important criteria.. ".
Off course there are a lot of criteria to when you are researhing a BI tool. But every role can have different priorities. Power users or developers may want it to be easy to use, sponsor may want it not to cost too much.

2015-06-26 15:02:19 UTC26 June 15
Real User

@Mehmet Üskes -- Criteria is a plural concept, criterion is singular. I think the bulk of these answers are adequate...the reality being that no one selects a BI tool for just ONE reason. There are always strengths and weaknesses in a class of BI tools but if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. Selection should be based on the basic needs of a project or an organization, and the needs of a single business user will be different than the needs of an organization that needs to OEM a vendor's solution into their own offering.

2015-06-26 14:29:07 UTC26 June 15
Consultant

I wonder why most of people answered with writing more than one criteria and some of them have shared long lists. Is not it clear : "What is your most important criteria" ? It means you should say your MOST important criteria which has to be only one, Otherwise the question would be like "What are your important criterias.. " :)

2015-06-26 14:10:59 UTC26 June 15
Real UserTOP 10

Ease of use (UI/UX implementation & learning curve)
Ease of implementation
Stability
Performance & Scalibility
TCO
Other tools included in the package (reporting, ETL, analytics, db etc.)
Interoperability with other tools

2015-06-26 14:01:16 UTC26 June 15
User

1. Performance
2. Usability & UI
3. Maintenance and code
4.Reliability
5. Connectivity to Databases

2015-06-23 16:24:27 UTC23 June 15
Consultant

Cost

2015-06-23 07:49:15 UTC23 June 15
Real User

At présent time INTEROPERABILITY ....

2015-06-22 13:52:10 UTC22 June 15
User

Simplicity then scalability. Everything else is negotiable in BI

2015-06-15 09:01:28 UTC15 June 15
Real User

0.Security
1.Compatibility
2.Limitations
3.Ease of access
4.Visually Friendly
5.Simplicity

2015-06-11 15:03:19 UTC11 June 15
Vendor

Ease of use (Time from data to Insight) and the enterprise capabilities (single version of the truth within the company)

2015-06-08 09:54:21 UTC08 June 15
User

Ease of use, speed of implementation, ad hoc capabilities.

2015-06-03 20:44:02 UTC03 June 15
Real User

1) Cloud strategy of the product.
2) Ease of use when cloud based.

2015-05-22 05:44:51 UTC22 May 15
User

(1) Visualization capabilities

2015-05-21 06:55:55 UTC21 May 15
Real User

Easy use, fast implementation and search performance

2015-05-18 17:18:03 UTC18 May 15
Real User

Ease of user and data connectivity

2015-05-18 13:57:16 UTC18 May 15
User

1. Scalability 2. Simplicity and the power to end-users to analyse data 3. TCO

2015-05-18 09:00:35 UTC18 May 15
Real User

versatility
capacity to develop
user friendly
Does the tool integrate with many data sources

2015-05-11 12:36:59 UTC11 May 15
User

A lot depends on context but important factors I've seen influence people are:

- End-user ease of use (meaning self-service and integration into the desktop today)
- Enterprise features such as integration into enterprise security
- Ease of data acquisition and ingress into the platform
- Cost
- Existing vendor relationships
- Long term support costs (when people think of it ...)

2015-05-11 09:06:27 UTC11 May 15
User

The cost is important but having a tool that is simple enough for user to use and build on but also strong enough to support complex processing and provide strong performance is equally important.
Connectors are very important, being able to use various data sources.

2015-05-07 21:27:54 UTC07 May 15
Real User

Integration - applicable on many fronts...
Is the platform integrated as a whole (i.e., a report created for web renders correctly on a mobile device)
Does the tool integrate with many data sources, including RDBMSs, cubes, spreadsheets, APIs...
Importing SAS, R, or PMML packages?
Integration with Office?
Does the BI vendor provide well-documented and flexible APIs?
Can the the platform be integrated with SSO and portals?

2015-05-05 18:40:01 UTC05 May 15
Real User

And, in order:
1. Easy for non-technical users & UI
1. Ease of Troubleshooting and Support, and Security.
1. Reporting / Visualization - dashboard, cubes
4. Licensing cost / Infrastructure requirement /Scalability.
5. Complexity/ Ease of Development effort as well as Customization.
6. Metadata support.
7. Mobility and Cloud based accessibility.

The top three are '1' as the order would change depending on the budget and size of the organization.

2015-04-30 12:17:19 UTC30 April 15
Real User

Ease of tapping into DB, ease of use, and available industry benchmark.

2015-04-30 06:15:43 UTC30 April 15
Real UserTOP 10

I am a user, but I compare Bi tools. In my understanding,
1. Cost
2. Complexity and time in installation
3. Security
4. Compatibility
5. ETL - Issues around it
6. Support
7. Responsiveness (Device compatibility for end users)
I guess, there will be more, but these are on top of my mind.

2015-04-14 13:06:36 UTC14 April 15
ConsultantTOP 10

Easy for Development
Provide all Information to all levels of management.
Easy for publishing
Security

2015-04-14 11:31:41 UTC14 April 15
User

- User Friendly
- Ease of adaptation
- Security
- Cost

2015-04-13 06:33:37 UTC13 April 15
UserTOP 20

1. Interoperability
2. Ease of Use
3. Security
4. Cost

2015-04-10 21:45:34 UTC10 April 15
User

1 - user friendly & high performance
2- cost
3-perfect database to access Tables
4 - ((((( TRUST )))))

2015-04-02 02:46:20 UTC02 April 15
User

1. Total Cost of ownership.
2. Infrastructure requirement.
3. Scalability.
4. Complexity/ Ease of Development effort as well as Customization.
5. Mobility and Cloud based customizations.
6. Ease of Troubleshooting and Support.
7. Resource (employee/contractor) availability to execute and maintain

2015-04-01 17:50:01 UTC01 April 15
Real User

Ease of implementing and user friendly visuals.

2015-03-30 16:53:49 UTC30 March 15
User

Ease of use, scalable

2015-03-23 16:41:35 UTC23 March 15
Real User

Flexibilty and suitability to requirements

2015-03-20 19:57:34 UTC20 March 15
Consultant

After more then 15 years experience in BI Consulting,
I see as most important is:

1. Completeness of the solution (is it possible to cover all business requirements with a single BI platform )
2. Centralized administration and unified semantic layer
3. Ability to integrate with a variety of data sources
4. Scalability
5. Support and maintainable upgrades

2015-03-02 12:10:15 UTC02 March 15
Real User

License model fitting our startup requirements; dashboarding incl collaboration functionality; cloud based, sass capability and multi tenant; integrated lite dwh plus mdm functionality

2015-03-01 07:11:38 UTC01 March 15
Real User

Flexibility it gives to the end user to discover and explore without being constrained by (by IT) pre-defined 'search trajectories' / access paths

2015-02-26 18:24:27 UTC26 February 15
Real UserTOP 10

Licensing cost
User Interface
Scalability
Flexibility
Performance
User experience
Customization
Support
Mobility

2015-02-25 19:06:33 UTC25 February 15
User

competitive differentiators

2015-02-25 16:27:17 UTC25 February 15
Real User

Integration with current systems

2015-02-24 02:24:23 UTC24 February 15
User

Visualisations of data to make sense of them

2015-02-19 15:57:50 UTC19 February 15
Real User

(1) Ease of use
(2) Ability to integrate with a variety of data sources
(3) Company reputation

2015-02-17 03:47:01 UTC17 February 15
ConsultantTOP 10

The answers already provided cover much of what I would recommend, so let me add a few items that are not mentioned:

1) Company track record. Have they delivered in the past on new features and new functions?
2) Is there a product roadmap for future development?
3) Is there native driver support for your data source(s)? Relying on ODBC for your BI tools is going to guarantee slow performance.
4) Are the major modules/functions web-based or PC-based? If you have to install software on every PC it will cost more to maintain and be more difficult to upgrade.

I hope those are helpful.

2015-02-05 23:11:15 UTC05 February 15
User

How quickly it can crunch millions of records.

2015-02-04 02:16:31 UTC04 February 15
User

Cost Effective

2015-01-30 15:14:20 UTC30 January 15
User

1. Data visualizing capability
2. Tools for ETL and Reporting
3. Ease of use
4. Implementation cost
5. Development cost

2015-01-23 07:14:44 UTC23 January 15
Real User

Functionality and cost. Cost to include license, infrastructure, training and ongoing support.

2015-01-21 18:49:35 UTC21 January 15
User

Ease of use, Visualization options, Interactive, accuracy when combining data from multiple data sources, alerts

2015-01-19 07:50:26 UTC19 January 15
Real UserTOP 10

You need:
type of storage: MOLAP; ROLAP HOLAP
Architecture: Stage, Landing, Reports
Integration, Analysis and Reports Tools

2015-01-16 22:47:43 UTC16 January 15
User

TCO / Functionality trade offs for the current environment with an eye on the longer term.

2015-01-14 15:24:20 UTC14 January 15
Writer

I am a news writer at TechTarget.com and am interested in interviewing users of BI solutions. If you are willing to be interviewed, I can assure you that I will fact check before publishing. If you found BI software that performs well or not so well, and your company will allow an on-the-record interview for a story, or if you know someone I can contact at your company for a story, I would be pleased to speak with you. Please email at dring@techtarget.com

2015-01-03 01:57:19 UTC03 January 15
User

Apart from sufficient functionality: readiness and ease to deploy and upgrade.

2014-12-31 11:01:31 UTC31 December 14
Real User

Whether the adequately meet the needs of the business.

2014-12-29 20:46:26 UTC29 December 14
Real User

1. Find good use cases
2. Ease of integration
3. Have mobile versions
4. Security aspect when used with mobile devices.

2014-12-29 16:50:38 UTC29 December 14
Vendor

1. Easy to Use
2. Scalable
3. Free Support
4. cost effective
5. Business Requirement

2014-12-24 06:16:58 UTC24 December 14
Consultant

Flexible intergrating with existing systems, ease of use, maintenance and good technical support

2014-12-23 11:11:35 UTC23 December 14
Real UserTOP 20

1-Business ( Answer from the Business Users)
2-Development Effort.
3-Cost of the product
4-Maintenance.
5-Technical Support.

2014-12-18 07:46:09 UTC18 December 14
Real User

1 - Self-Service : Empower everyone with reports that are easy to build and share customize reports
2 - Unify disparate data sources : use data from multiple sources in a single report, (Excel, text/CSV files, any database, Web, etc.)
3 - Real-time business intelligence : makes data available on demand rather than on regularly scheduled annual, quarterly or monthly
4 - Maintenance issues and easy to implement. : centralized data management and implementing a generic solution to meet specific challenges often becomes difficult and costly
4 - TCO : have the lowest ownership costs (pricing Licensing + installation & maintenance costs + Infrastructure requirement)

2014-12-11 15:42:22 UTC11 December 14
User

1. Self Service / Ease of Use
2. Performance and Scalability to handle Big Data
3. Database agnostic
4. Good Product support and TCO

2014-12-10 01:07:35 UTC10 December 14
Real User

Knowing what you want to achieve with that tool

2014-12-02 01:37:59 UTC02 December 14
Real User

for BI platforms;
1. ease of use from end user point of view, and ability to manage flexibility for different user groups
2. ease of maintenance
3. visual capabilities
4. performance

2014-11-28 07:59:16 UTC28 November 14
ConsultantTOP 10

I think the most Important criteria Is not specific feature, it's actually the matching between the customer's needs and the features of the tool. So you can write ease of use for example but if the solution is a dashboard that hangs in the CEO / CTO / CFO office then it's not relevant.
If the need is to analyze the data by only the economic department then you need a tool that is great at analyzing like Sisense or Tableau.
On the other hand if the requirements is a full-scale large-company business intelligence solution for thousands of users that maybe you Can go with more general solutions like Yellowfin.
The requirement could be embedded business intelligence then you can consider tools that made for that (yellowfin / pentaho) and don't forget Big-data That can change the picture altogether.

So, in other words, first know what your customers need then you can pick the right set of tools:
data integration, data warehouse, business intelligence GUI tool.
And you also can combine several of them for example:
1. Pentaho data integration, exasol , yellowfin
2. MySQL and Sisense (that has an internal in memory database)

Our website: http://www.inflow-systems.com
Also I am the author of the course: Pentaho kettle tutorial at http://pentahokettletutorial.com

2014-11-23 09:17:07 UTC23 November 14
Real User

Ease of Use - ability to train a 'power' user. Flexible and performance options.

2014-11-17 19:46:08 UTC17 November 14
Real UserTOP 20

#1 - Ease of use without the need to know how to code as a business user. Should simply be able to search for answers or drag and drop fields to get insights.

2014-11-05 00:17:20 UTC05 November 14
Real User

Following this order:
1. Comprehensive, Easy & Intuitive User Interface (Scorecards Dashboards, Reports, OLAP, ...)
2. Licencing->Installation->Maintenance Costs + Infrastructure requirement (TCO)
3. Performance, scalability & Connectivity (data sources)

2014-11-04 20:36:09 UTC04 November 14
User

Business user friendly

2014-10-30 11:57:10 UTC30 October 14
User

1. Flexibility
2. Cost
3. Ease of Use
4. Mobile

2014-10-22 22:44:24 UTC22 October 14
Real User

Ease of use is key.

2014-10-10 08:29:29 UTC10 October 14
Real User

Usability, Integration, Performance & Scalability

2014-09-29 21:31:59 UTC29 September 14
Real User

1. Ease of use
2. Help/Support

2014-09-28 22:21:10 UTC28 September 14
Real User

1) Simplicity / Ease Of Use
2) Integration / Ease Of Integrating
3) Supportability / Maintainability Over Time
4) Performance & Scalability

2014-09-25 01:04:15 UTC25 September 14
Consultant

All above and flexibility of integration with existing corporate systems

2014-09-23 10:09:22 UTC23 September 14
User

Cost, Performance, Ease of Use, Visualizations

2014-09-18 21:30:02 UTC18 September 14
Vendor

Performance, Licensing Cost and User Friendly

2014-09-12 07:12:58 UTC12 September 14
Real UserTOP 10

We have found that a easy-to-use UI, Integration with our ERP/DW, and speedy performance are favored by our business users. Otherwise, the BI tool will end up being a burden of our IT team with less-than-stellar gains by the users.

2014-09-08 10:16:52 UTC08 September 14
Vendor

It depends on the environment where you are implementing the BI solution. If you are implementing a solution in a 100% commercial company you want something very easy to use. If you are facing an organization full of geeks you want something that can be twisted in every single way... And so on.

2014-09-03 09:31:11 UTC03 September 14
User

I would start by saying that there is not a single criteria that will magically make you decide on which BI tool to use. First things first, requirements should be analyzed in the perspective of scalability(that will lead to performance as well), licensing/maintenance/training cost, target audience and tools available. In regards to the last point, analysis on the data source connectivity provided, ETL processes made available, semantic layer and reporting/analysis tools provided should be considered. It can be that not only tools from one vendor will do the job for you so integration with other tools should also be considered.

2014-09-02 07:02:11 UTC02 September 14
User

Good Feedback.

SO based on feedback, all I can add is evaluate
SCALABILITY :
1) Your need : How much Data
2) usage: just for a few months or Long term example : 15 years
3) IS the data model going to change over the years or period.
4) will their be new feeds over time.
EASE OF USE
3) How many reports : this is where ease of use,dash boards come in picture
ETL:
1) extract , transform load functionality . This is important , if your ETL guy or girl leaves the company , you are screwed , unless tool is able to simplify the ETL process , that you can do reverse engineering.

COST:
1) based on your answers above you can choose the appropriate BI tools out there.

PERFORMANCE : Non related to tool
1) this depends upon your HARDWARE, Data model and architecture , and fine tuning of queries...in addition maybe populating the Data marts or views and / or Reporting universe.

2014-08-26 16:28:51 UTC26 August 14
User

Check support for Analytics, Data Insights, Visualization and data as service

2014-08-12 12:53:49 UTC12 August 14
User

1. Easy of Use
2. Licensing cost

2014-08-12 12:06:16 UTC12 August 14
ConsultantTOP 20

At risk of repeating others, ease of use, scalability, security (user and row level for example) and TCO are probably top of my shopping list. Compatibility with other tools also quite important (for example R or hosting visulisations on intranet/internet)

2014-08-08 08:25:55 UTC08 August 14
User

Scalability and Performance
Maintenance Requirements
TCO
Product Roadmap

2014-07-15 20:38:25 UTC15 July 14
Real User

Feature Set, Ease of use, mass deployment capabilities, and licensing costs..

2014-07-14 21:40:50 UTC14 July 14
Real User

Performance, understandability and user-friendly

2014-07-03 15:14:41 UTC03 July 14
Real User

The scale at which you are going to implement the BI tool. Everything else has a solution But you can't go using in memory tools for a Global enterprise.

2014-06-27 08:36:27 UTC27 June 14
Real User

It is important that a Business Intelligence solution supports the principle of ‘create a report once; run on every device’. People today use tablets, smartphones very very often.
Second, performance? a good response time is also important.

2014-06-20 17:58:01 UTC20 June 14
Real UserTOP 5

Following this order:
1-Licence cost
2-Visualization data (dashboard, reporting,..)
3-Performance (Load/process data)
4-Security
5-Easy for non-technical users

2014-06-20 02:44:10 UTC20 June 14
User

Integration with existing portfolio

2014-06-19 23:54:23 UTC19 June 14
Real UserTOP 10

User friendly and very good dashboards

2014-06-19 18:23:57 UTC19 June 14
Vendor

Flexibility, ease of use, scalabilty

2014-06-19 15:42:39 UTC19 June 14
User

User friendliness is at the top of my criteria list!

2014-06-19 14:36:02 UTC19 June 14
Real UserTOP 10

Simplicity ~ Scaleablity ~ Sensiblity

2014-05-16 13:50:54 UTC16 May 14
User

The following is the order I follow when I research BI tools:
1. Scalability and Performance
2. Usability & UI
3. Mobile and Cloud Based integration and accessibility
4. Maintenance and code
5. Connectivity to Databases and Big Data

2014-05-15 18:05:55 UTC15 May 14
Real User

User Friendly
IT Maintenance Friendly

2014-05-13 16:28:23 UTC13 May 14
Consultant

The following are important when researching BI Tools:

1. Licensing cost.
2. Infrastructure requirement.
3. Scalability.
4. Complexity/ Ease of Development effort as well as Customization.
5. Metadata support.
6. Mobility and Cloud based customizations.
7. Ease of Troubleshooting and Support.

2014-04-24 16:33:57 UTC24 April 14
Real User

Ease of use, implementation, adaptability licensing.

2014-04-08 17:51:23 UTC08 April 14
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