How do you choose a Business Intelligence and Data Analytics platform?
To make the correct decision, you must first have a clear idea of who should participate in this process. Several profiles will be involved and must provide points of view based on different interests.
These profiles are three: IT professionals, who are responsible for configuring and handling the system; the content creator, who will prepare the data (connecting to local or cloud sources), validate it and promote the content; and the information consumer, who will interact with the tool on a daily basis. However, thanks to current data creation tools, the content creator and the consumer are increasingly the same person.
What criteria should be applied to the assessment process?
In the first phase of the selection process, it may be advisable to obtain the advice of independent analysts who are familiar with the actual situation of the market. A good reference is Gartner,, which prepares its Magic Quadrant on Analytics and Business Intelligence platforms each year, analysing the relevance, the acceptance, and the innovation capacity of each player in this market.
Once that first filter has been applied, you can focus on five of the key aspects to be taken into account when selecting a modern analysis and Business Intelligence platform for your company. Let’s take a brief look at them, one by one:
- Accessibility and integration. The tool must allow the actual connection to the data and your independence from the IT department when accessing the said data. Among other requirements, for example: there should be no performance issues when handling substantial volumes of data, it should be possible to access local data in real-time when the solution is deployed in a cloud environment, and it should be possible to expand the platform through API or SDK to include additional features, etc.
- Deployment flexibility. Whether in Software as a Service (SaaS) mode – on a public or private cloud – or in physical facilities, etc, it must support a hybrid connectivity system to data sources. Take into account the expansion potential – at data and user levels – over time. In short: the platform must be scalable both vertically and horizontally.
- User-friendliness. This affects all levels: from its configuration and maintenance by IT professionals, to the level of user-friendliness for content users, and for the designers of panels and reports. If certain profiles require a high level of training or technical skills that they do not have, you could make the mistake of offering them a tool that will not be used.
- Training for users. You must be sure whether it includes training and self-learning resources, an extensive user community where one can go to find answers to queries or learn more, and you must have information on the quality of the day-to-day technical service (remember that many cloud-based solutions lack this coverage and that it is essential to have an available, solvent, and trustworthy partner).
- The pricing model and implementation. The total cost of ownership (TCO) is important. And we are not only talking about the price of the license, but also implementation, training, and maintenance. With regard to the price of licenses, there must be a clear acquisition or BI service-use model that is easy to understand and scalable as needed.
Tableau’s website includes a far more extensive document that will surely help you to research and consider all the necessary aspects to guide you in your choice. Aspects that are also arranged into sections and into the functions of the profiles we mentioned above.
En Intelligence Partner podemos ayudarte en estas tomas de decisiones. Disponemos de amplia experiencia en proyectos de BI, y confiamos en Tableau como herramienta de creación y visualización de datos caracterizada por su escalabilidad, facilidad de uso y capacidades tanto visuales como analíticas.
Intelligence Partner we can help you to make these decisions. We have extensive experience in BI projects and we trust Tableau as a data creating and viewing tool noted for its scalability, user-friendliness, and its visual and analytical capabilities.