Do you need embedded BI analytics to track business activity and help your business grow? Or do you provide embedded BI to clients in diverse vertical markets?
Determining the BI requirements for your organization can help you choose the best solution. For example, if you need a multi-tenancy approach or operational reporting that integrates with the applications your team members regularly use, outlining your BI requirements is the first step to choosing a solution that provides seamless information delivery and a superior end user experience.
Evaluating Your BI Requirements to Find the Best BI Solution for Your Organization
Consider these questions before you choose a BI solution:
What programs need to integrate with the BI reporting tools?
How much customization do we need?
Who will be using the BI software?
How often will you need to modify the approach to BI or change the dashboard functionality?
Answering these questions will lead you to consider BI solutions that offer the following features, to a greater or lesser degree.
Offers Robust Reporting Capabilities
Nearly every organization seeking BI solutions looks for an application that will be easy for those in their organization, as well as their customers, to use. One of the top requirements for most organizations is a flexible information delivery system and easy-to-read operational dashboards that access the operational data source used by your application.
Look for a solution with robust reporting capabilities that provides basic analytics, real-time reporting features, and predictive analytics.
Just as important as the business insights available is how they are delivered. Flexible operational reporting dashboards, along with data visualization capabilities, ensure your employees and clients can get the information they need with ease.
The right solution should also offer multiple levels of reporting. Users should be able to find top-level presentation at a glance and be able to drill down to access deeper analytics, comparisons, historical data, and visualizations with just a few clicks.
Provides a Flexible End User Experience
Not every employee or client needs access to the data and analysis that are part of a deeper dive. However, it should be available, as needed and as appropriate, with minimal intervention from IT.
A multi-tenancy approach to BI and operational dashboards provides the flexibility to customize dashboards and visualizations for specific customers or end users. Consider how much power and control you want to give end users. Do you want users to be able to create their own queries to access data, generate their own data visualizations, and deploy analytics functions for a deeper analysis? Offering these capabilities delivers greater value to users while reducing dependency on your IT team for BI functions.
Operates Within Your Organization’s Existing Data Environments
Rather than forcing your IT department to create additional data silos, your BI solution should operate within existing data environments, integrating seamlessly with other applications and APIs.
Easy-to-Apply Analytics Embeddability and Customization
The most useful BI solutions break down data silos to make information management easy. Multi-tenancy embedded BI solutions should also be easy for your team members to adopt, because they work within the existing data infrastructure, providing real-time reporting or in-depth insights on-demand within existing data silos.
If getting employees to use analytics functions when they were part of separate programs has been a challenge, consider a BI solution that embeds analytics into existing applications and provides greater levels of customization to give users the data and analysis they need to take action and make improvements.
Users should be able to choose custom KPIs, historical data, and other analytics in order to access actionable insights when they need it without leaving their core programs.
If your organization provides BI reports and visualizations to third-party customers, you may want the capability to personalize and customize reports, not just with user-specific data but also customized company branding. This should be easy to accomplish without requiring assistance from the IT staff.
Fast Development and Deployment
Your company doesn’t have weeks or months to wait for customized business intelligence data and operational reports. Even if you are creating customized analytics for a variety of verticals, your IT team should be able to quickly and easily deploy the right solution, fulfilling the above four BI requirements and easily modifying reports for each end user or customer. Customization capabilities can give your IT team even more flexibility to create a superior user experience that is visually pleasing and easy to navigate.
Putting It All Together
Does your BI solution deliver the analytics you need, while reducing dependency on your IT staff and fostering a sense of independence amongst users? Once you are clear about your organization’s requirements for BI software and have detailed your “must-haves” versus those features you would like but could live without, it’s time to establish a realistic budget and evaluate solutions based on the feature-sets.
A multi-tenancy approach to BI makes it easier for your IT team to fulfill BI requirements for a variety of users, while giving end users the power to create their own custom experience. Delivering real-time reporting, overview dashboards, deep analytics, and even prescriptive insights allows users to implement actionable insights and track their progress to stay on a growth trajectory.