What to Look For When Choosing a Business Intelligence Solution

Phocas business intelligence software
Phocas business intelligence software

Businesses are increasingly turning to data to grow their profits, and finding a great business intelligence (BI) provider can be tricky.

A good BI provider will measure sales, finance, inventory and employee performance. This will help you make good business decisions based on facts.

In this blog, we will discuss some of the important functions of a good BI solution that you should consider.

Dynamic reporting

You should consider dynamic reporting when you are looking to implement a BI solution. Dynamic reports can be created, manipulated, and modified at will.

They are designed to give you the information you want when you want it. You control how you view your data by adding, filtering and changing the information at will.

When you analyze sales metrics with dynamic reporting, you can break down information by territory, product or customer.

Simply put, dynamic reporting is immediate and intuitive. Static analytical reports don’t offer the same flexibility. Once a static report is set up, you can’t change its basic structure.

This may be okay for things like monthly and quarterly reporting, however, you will not be able to dig into your data for deep analysis.

Self-service BI

Data analysis has traditionally only been available to experts capable of understanding complex reports.

BI on the other hand, makes it simple. Now users of any level can easily access data anytime. This is why Self-service BI is rising in popularity. It allows people to use a BI solution to study data in real-time and build accurate visual reports on their own.

According to Gartner research vice president, Rita Sallam, “self-service data will reduce the time and difficulty users face in preparing their data for analysis. It will shift much of the activity from the IT department to the end user.”

Choosing the right BI provider should include a solution that offers ease of use to people across the entire company.

Mobile BI

A good BI solution should give users access to information anywhere, anytime. The growth in mobile use and the ability of smartphones has led to the rise of Mobile Business Intelligence (Mobile BI).

According to the Aberdeen Group, companies using Mobile BI are 68 percent more likely to get business data on time than companies not using it. This is a competitive advantage because they are in a better position to make smart business decisions.

Industry recognition

You should check that the BI provider you’re considering is reputable. A good place to start would be a recognized BI user review like the BARC BI Survey.

This year’s BI Survey includes results from 3,066 users who answered various questions about their software.

The survey compared 42 leading BI vendors across 29 different performance areas including business value, customer satisfaction, and vendor support.

Reviewing results from the BI Survey is a great way to ensure your chosen product will deliver what you need, and how you need it.

An eye on the future

An investment in a BI solution is an investment in the future of your business.

If you choose a provider that is moving forward, your business will move forward too. Many vendors claim to have what you’re looking for, but in reality, they are playing catch up.

Does the BI provider you’re thinking of investing in have an eye on the future? One BI provider is currently developing a new product called Shopping Basket Analysis, which enables users an even greater opportunity to improve sales and increase ROI.

A good BI vendor should place a priority on innovation to stay ahead of the competition because that’s what you’re trying to do.

Getting it right

A good BI provider has invested heavily in delivering results for your entire business, not just sales.

The top vendors provide insight into customers’ buying patterns, stock levels, and financial data. They should even offer solutions to complex areas of your business, such as rebates.

You should choose a product that is user-friendly, and offers simple dashboards. The vendor should offer exceptional customer support that is willing to help you achieve your objectives. Because the best BI vendors want to create the happiest customers.

Phocas business intelligence software helps wholesale distributors, manufacturers, and retailers discover opportunities to increase sales, reduce costs and gain better visibility into their business.