Your Next BI Solution: the 7 Business Intelligence Questions To Ask

  • Ed Thompson, CTO
  • June 26, 2014

Your Next BI Solution: the 7 BI Questions To AskThere are many questions your company should be asking when looking for a new BI solution. When investing in new software, it is natural and important for this to be the case. We have compiled a list of some of the most important Business Intelligence questions your company should consider.

1. IT or business-led?

Should the Business Intelligence project be driven from a user point of view or from the IT team? Recently, this has become one of the more important Business Intelligence questions. With IT teams failing to deliver on promises of a BI suite that business users cannot put down, Business Intelligence projects are becoming more and more business-led.

Certainly, when business users are involved from the beginning and define the criteria they want to see, there should be little reason why they will not be fully engaged once the tool is live.

2. On-Premise or Cloud BI?

With the rise of Cloud BI and SaaS BI, this is one of the many Business Intelligence questions that have been brought to the forefront. The new technologies have undoubtedly made executives ponder over which will be right for their business. We here at Matillion are always going to be pro-Cloud BI for obvious reasons.

3. Who are the users?

Is our BI solution for the finance team? The sales team? Or is it just for senior executives to monitor and overview the business. Each BI tool has different features designed for different users. Whether it is advanced reporting for power users, self-serve reporting for business users or simple Dashboard tools for the CEO and other directs to get a snapshot view of the business.

4. How will the users access the BI solution?

Will it be accessed by laptop and desktop PCs or will people be on the move, accessing it on their mobile or tablet? A major influencer in today’s mobile-driven market.

5. Where is the data coming from?

Is the data stored in a single ERP? Do you have budgets and rebates tied up in spreadsheets? Possibly you have six ERPs, two accounting systems and a CRM dotted over different areas of your business? This is a common problem that has been created over the last 20 years for a lot of businesses. Cloud BI is a solution to multiple ERPs since it is able to take data from numerous areas and consolidate it easily.

6. How long?

One of the most common Business Intelligence questions is how long implementation will take. When investing thousands into new software, you wouldn’t want to wait months or years in some cases. New technologies like the Cloud have allowed BI to be live in weeks.

7. How much?

Arguably this is the most asked of the Business Intelligence questions. History has it that a company has to spend hundreds of thousands to get a BI suite – and that came with a high failure rate. This is no longer the case. With new businesses offering a faster, more cost-effective solution, On-Premise software is no longer the first/only choice companies have.

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