How To Choose The Right Business Intelligence Tool
Making a product or providing a service is not enough to maintain a business anymore. Consumers now demand personalized services and benefits. The long-functioning companies are employing various tools to make this possible. Central to all their operations are the different types of data they acquire from their customers.
Data is now available and collected by the companies from various sources- emails, websites, social media, customer data platforms, and more. However, without the proper tool to access and assimilate related data, the information remains unutilized. With appropriate business intelligence tools, you can use these data to give your business an edge over its competitors.
Business intelligence tools- what is it?
A business intelligence (BI) tool is software – primarily online- that provides an interface to the data available. They give modeling, analysis, and reporting capabilities to its user on the dissimilar data available. The software is usually designed to combine all the available information from various sources – Google, analytics, CRM, SaaS products, and data warehouses.
The business analytics tools essentially analyze different unrelated data easily, which would not have been so if you used only a spreadsheet. The overall BI market is slated to increase to $29.48 billion by 2022, with an 11.1% CAGR. Essentially, it helps to find a pattern among the available data - like the relation between the sale of two different products and the trend of preference of the customer over various products.
How do you choose the appropriate BI tools?
The main target of your business for using the business intelligence platform should be the simplification of data analysis and provision of better insights. Each of them has some strong points, so choosing them should be more requirement-oriented than because of its popularity. Here are the questions you should ask before selecting the BI tool for your business:
What is its purpose?
One can get confused with the options available while comparing the different business intelligence and data analytics tools available for use. So, when you choose it, you should only keep in mind its primary use and ignore the extensive list of features it’s offering. Moreover, concentrate on the area where your current data analytics needs improvement. The tools should work to provide clear insights. When comparing the different BI tools, keep in mind the questions you want to answer and the areas you wish to improve.
Who are the users?
The choice of business intelligence reporting tools should consider the end-users and the ones who will be maintaining it. Some of the tools are easy to use, while others perform composite queries by the data analyst. Let us discuss in short the general types of BI tools available:
Tools focused on business-user : These tools require some technical expertise for the setup at first. They allow the business user to generate their analysis without creating SQL. User-friendly interface, drill-downs, drag-and-drop queries, filtering, and computed fields are some of the generic features available in them.
Tools dedicated to Analysts : This software requires knowledge of coding. Business users can avail some of the functions; however, you will need coding knowledge to create and customize reports. These business intelligence analytics software allow the analytics team to be the explorers instead of the DB maintainers and run refined ad-hoc reporting searches when needed. Usually, an SQL-efficient team member will be required to extract valuable insights.
Is data transformation needed?
The tools prepared for business users tend not to have the capability of data transformation. However, there may be issues later if the data is not clean. Customer data platforms like Segment, well-known among functional business intelligence reporting tools, standardize data as it collects from the source, making clean data available for the agency to analyze. SQL, R, and Python are more fitting if you require advanced analytic capabilities.
Integrating the data source
It is more beneficial to choose a business intelligence analytics software that integrates with the data source – cloud or on-site. Determine the data source properly-; tools can integrate with data warehouses, but that will mean the inclusion of non-current data or directly to data sources where you can achieve real-time data. It would be prudent to choose something that builds and maintains data sources itself and reduces your workload.
According to Forbes magazine, choosing the appropriate BI tools is vital as usability, product quality, and reliability are now at an all-time high.
Utility of using BI tools
So, why go for the best business intelligence software in the market? The primary benefit is evident. Having better insight into the business will let you reach your goals faster. The need for performing guesswork is eliminated in determining the strategy with any business intelligence solution. Other than that, the following benefits are possible with the BI tools:
BI tools enable better decision-making by combining different datasets. You can have clear insights about the problem areas of the customers and determine the reasons for the loss of customers. This information can allow you to change your product or business strategies accordingly.
BI tools can harness the power of big data and allow you to predict customer behavior by analyzing their requirements at various stages. Due to their wide-reaching data sources, the BI tools can calculate customer preference trends, gearing towards effective engagement and successful customer conversion.
BI tools effectively increase the efficiency of data analysis. Big excel spreadsheets full of diverse data create room for error. Even forgetting to include a symbol in the formula will give rise to faulty analysis and incorrect strategies. Not to mention, you will need much time to organize the data source, some of which will reach considerable size. The best business intelligence tools automate and visualize queries, saving time and reduce errors in the process.
Business intelligence tools help make strategic business decisions validated with data by compiling unrelated data and finding a link between them. So, choosing the appropriate business intelligence software to achieve visual improvement and ultimately scalable growth in the required sectors is worthwhile.