In the current economic uncertainty, having insightful business information at your fingertips empowers your decision making. Measuring productivity and progress, assessing sales performance, and informing strategies are some of the benefits of installing business intelligence software in your company. What could you achieve with real-time insights into customer behavior, competitor intelligence, or analytics, or resource reports?
For all the ‘Business Intelligence’ out there, you would be forgiven for believing the process of selecting the right BI solution for your enterprise would be simple. However, that is not usually the case. Software options are constantly evolving to offer the latest features with vendors modernizing in different directions.
The process of finding the right solution is important but complex. Figuring out what you want and how the different options are going to work with and for your company is a good place to start. From there you can find a range of capable vendors or use comparison engines that may push the solution they receive the highest commission from. By the time you whittle your list down, you might be exhausted and 100s of hours have been lost to the process.
Olive cuts down the wastage of employee hours by starting out with your specific needs. We discuss your overall aims, priorities, and nice to haves and streamline the search process to options that suit you. We eliminate biased selling by not charging vendors to feature in our offerings. This means you get unbiased solutions that are not based on commissions for upselling like many of our competitors.
What are the risks in buying Business Intelligence software?
The sole purpose of business intelligence and analytics is informed empowerment. That might sound vague but the right software can be the difference between leading your market and being reactive.
Resource Inefficiency – Live reporting determines which departments operate efficiently and which need a second look. Are you feeling a drain of financial or human resources?
Poor Marketing Performance – Whether you advertise digitally, socially or traditionally, the point is to increase sales. Marketing materials need to strike a chord with your audience. How do you measure how many people view or click on your advertisements? How are they being measured for success?
Failed Strategy Continuation – Ineffective business intelligence rarely recognize strategy failures. How do you identify mistakes in your processes? Are you following through on a strategy that isn’t working? Are you advertising in the wrong place?
Missed Opportunities – One of the underrated capabilities of BIS is the ability to reveal and capitalize on opportunity. Has your customer age or demographic has shifted? Keeping track of the right metrics could shine a light on the demand to open a new location with high growth potential.
Losing Market Share – In the infamous words of Gorbachev “If you don’t move forward, sooner or later you move backwards”. Markets are volatile right now. The ability to remain agile and pivot puts previously safe market shares up for grabs. With the right analytics, competitors can exploit opportunities you simply don’t see and establish themselves as a market authority.
How to choose the best Business Intelligence solution for your unique business needs
Identify Your Needs
As mentioned, each and every business is different and needs software capable of solving specific problems. Informed decision making is the aim of your business intelligence software. The process begins with deciding what information you need the most and what exactly you are trying to achieve.
– Where could you make the biggest operational improvements?
– What critical decisions are being made with the least information available?
– What are the key metrics driving your business?
– Do you need analytical or process information or both?
– What department needs improved information for their decisions?
– What are the hopes for your BI solution? What does success look like?
Once you have answered the above questions, you will have focused your search to systems benefitting particular areas. With your new-found focus, it is easier to establish a list of your priorities in each system.
– What essential tasks do you need your software to do?
– What are you willing to compromise on?
– Does your BI solution need to be compatible with other software tools? If so, which ones?
– Does it need to generate reports that you can present to clients?
– What features will you need?
Typically, many stakeholders are involved in the decision and each person might value different pieces. Collecting suggestions from the team is advisable in order to get relevant software. There is no point in getting a tool that is great for one department but creates headaches for others.
When you have the suggestions gathered, you are in a prime position to rank your requirements accordingly. What are the top priorities your system must have and what can you cover using other tools?
Shortlisting and Evaluating
Armed with the criteria you need to satisfy and priority features, it becomes easier to generate a list of vendor options. The challenge is shortening this list to a manageable length.
Most technology buyers find the evaluation process pretty challenging. It is easy to cut corners but ultimately, your BI solution makes a huge difference in the long run. Some evaluation metrics are really helpful to have on hand.
– What is your budget? What is the potential ROI from installing each software? What are the costs for implementation, upgrades and maintenance?
– What type of data is generated with each software? What are you hoping to learn?
– Does it improve decision making?
– What are the user’s preferences? Do your team prefer reports, real time info or what is ideal for their purposes?
– Are all vendor options compatible with my current software?
– Can you manage it or do you need to have an external administrator on retainer?
– How secure are the vendors? Will your data be protected?
Choosing the best Business Intelligence Solution – based on your business needs
A shortlist of viable vendors puts you in the driving seat. On the home stretch, it is important to remember that you are looking for a solution specific to your needs. As you send RFPs to the shortlisted options and face into some sales pitches, your needs can get lost.
As a prospective buyer, use your leverage and ask for references, custom solution demos, and reviews. Ask about their work with your industry and try to glean what marquee clients they have for credibility. When you decide which vendors to bring to demo, enlist the help of your stakeholders and write out what questions you want answered.
– How well did the vendor address your specific requirements?
– What after sales services were mentioned?
– What ancillary benefits were mentioned that you overlooked?
– How did the test drivers feel about each option?
– Is it easy to envision the improvements you can make?
Trust the process
For so many buyers, this process is long and frustrating. Establishing mutual agreements on features from the team takes time as does finding a list of potential credible vendors. You are in it for your enhancement but many vendors are in it for the sale.
Olive guides you through the process, online in the app. Here you can id and rank requirements and project blockers, stakeholders can collaborate to rank the requirements online, and vendors can respond to these requirements directly in the app. As the buyer, your identity is anonymous so the vendors are not aware of who they are bidding for.
Olive is the fastest cloud-based technology evaluation platform developed specifically to help IT buyers. Most evaluation platforms earn a commission based on the sale of different vendor products but not Olive. We facilitate a collaborative IT buying process with options filtered based on your needs. We do not charge vendors or earn a reward from suggesting certain vendors so our results are free from any bias.
Olive gives you the best Business Intelligence solutions for YOUR enterprise
Olive helps you to circumvent the time-consuming process by locating the exact options that fit your needs. In fact, the motivation to start Olive was to address the bias in the IT market. Buyers shouldn’t be at the behest of a salesperson with their own agenda. Buyers should receive the solution that optimizes your enterprise and gives you the best results.
Skip the elongated sales cycle cutting it from months to weeks. We are here to reduce the risk of your decisions with zero market bias so you come away with the best solution for you. Consider Olive a branch of your team.
Learn more about how Olive works