Traditional business intelligence tools may provide a powerful solution at the time of purchase, yet they are often static and fail to meet the dynamic requirements of a growing organisation. SaaS BI tools, on the other hand, offer much greater scalability, reducing restrictions on the growth of your analytics capabilities.
As companies expand, the amount of data they collect will grow exponentially and it is important that business intelligence tools can scale to meet the increased demand for analytics capabilities.
It is vital that these tools can handle an increased user base as well as an increasing volume and complexity of data. Without this scalability it is likely that bottlenecks will pose a serious problem for an organisation.
In this article, we take a look at how SaaS BI tools provide the perfect solution for a growing business.
Creating additional users
With traditional business intelligence tools, adding extra users to the system can often be a complex and time-consuming procedure. Increasing the number of users will often involve installing software onto a range of devices – and may even require substantial upgrades to the existing technology in order to run the latest versions of these tools.
The subscription-based payment structure offered by the majority of SaaS BI vendors allows companies to add or remove users with greater ease. Rather than purchasing additional software and hardware, users are simply provided with login credentials that allow them to access SaaS BI tools easily via a web browser.
As Margaret Rouse argues, SaaS BI allows companies to ‘expand their BI systems as usage grows without having to make any capital-equipment purchases’.
Some SaaS BI vendors even offer a subscription model which includes unlimited users.
Increasing data volumes
With the rise of big data and, more recently, the concept of the ’internet of things’, it has become increasingly important that business intelligence tools are able to handle data volumes on an unprecedented scale.
Concerns over these data volumes have traditionally led to mid-sized companies preferring to build their own data warehouse solutions on-premise. However, improvements in technology mean that SaaS BI tools are now robust enough to cope with the demanding requirements of these growing organisations.
This scalability allows an SaaS BI solution to better adapt to business needs, managing load levels at peak times and ensuring performance levels remain high even under the strain of greater data volumes.
As well as the exponential growth in data volumes, the complexity of data has also necessitated improvements in business intelligence tools over recent years. Big data is not only big, it is also messy, and it is therefore vital that these tools are capable of cleaning up the data and transforming it into actionable insight.
With traditional business intelligence tools often being difficult to use, the increased reporting requirements of a growing organisation will place greater strain on IT departments, causing bottlenecks to form.
In this position, companies might have to contemplate increased staffing in order to alleviate some of the pressure on these departments, but this significantly increases costs.
SaaS BI solutions, on the other hand, are designed with ease of use in mind and provide users with self-service business intelligence tools that allow them to conduct enterprise quality reporting without technical expertise.
Giving this power to business users results in fewer bottlenecks occurring in the reporting process and can allow IT departments to concentrate their resources on projects where a higher level of skill is necessary.