The Business Buyer’s Guide to Self-Service BI Solutions

Posted by tina on February 27, 2017 Business Intelligence, Product, Data Analytics

According to research conducted by IDC, “big data and business analytics worldwide revenues will grow to more than $187B in 2019, an increase of more than 50% over the five-year forecast period.” As data proliferation becomes increasingly cost efficient and voluminous with each passing year, it’s no wonder that the Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics market saw such exponential growth.

BI market Grid (Source: G2 Crowd )

A Snapshot of the current Business Intelligence market. (Source: G2 Crowd)

Just looking at the grid above is overwhelming. This is years and years worth of BI solutions evolving and new ones entering the market.

While the BI market shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, it’s only natural that the BI market evolves to meet the ever changing needs of the buyer. With so many solutions on the market promising to “turning data into insights,” the BI market is fraught with competition—which puts the buyer at both an advantage and disadvantage.

  • Advantage: BI companies will offer competitive pricing just to remain in the running with the buyer. Second, BI companies will continue to release feature after feature to remain a leader amongst the competition.
  • Disadvantages: The pool is so vast that it’s easy for buyers to get lost, making the buying process difficult. Second, BI evaluations have traditionally been the responsibility of technical-focused roles (data, IT, analyst, engineering) with little to no input from the business end user.

In recent years, there has been an evolutionary shift from legacy, on-premise BI solutions to cloud-based, self-service solutions. This shift from has been revolutionary in opening up the data floodgates to a wider user base and providing data transparency.

This shift can be attributed to a multitude of factors:

  • The growing need to make business decisions faster, rather than waiting around for IT to create a report
  • The need to democratize data across an entire organization
  • Business users wanting faster access to data, so they can become data-driven

Even though BI has been around for years, cloud-based BI is a more recent development. Having said that, evaluating a cloud-based BI solution is not simple—even for the most seasoned decision-makers. Much like legacy BI solutions, cloud-based BI is fraught with competition. The competition can be overwhelming for those of us in a business-oriented role because we might not know where to start.

As a business user, you don’t need IT or an analyst to run a BI evaluation for you. As someone who understands the inner workings, metrics and responsibilities of your team, it only makes sense that you’re leading the charge in choosing the solution that will answer your business questions.

Although industry analyst reviews can be a great starting point, they’re often too technical and don’t have the business user’s needs in mind. Instead of providing more of those findings, we’ve written a white paper that will outline the entire evaluation process for self-service BI, provide a list of appropriate vendors and present case studies and use cases.

In an effort to avoid comparing apples to oranges, we’re limiting the scope of this white paper to leading cloud-based, self-service solutions as defined by G2 Crowd as able to:

  • Consume data from any source through file uploads, database querying and application connectors
  • Transform data into a useful and reliable model
  • Support data modeling, blending and discovery processes
  • Create reports and visualizations with business utility
  • Be configured and used by average business users with little IT involvement

Our White Paper

If you have yet to invest in Business Intelligence, our white paper will be the core to your evaluation process. Download The Business Buyer’s Guide to Self-Service Business Intelligence for more insight into how to evaluate your buying process and ultimately choose a solution and to learn:

  • The state of Self-Service Business Intelligence
  • The business benefits in implementing an organization-wide BI solution
  • An evaluation action plan for choosing a BI solution that fits your needs
  • A list of leading self-service BI vendors
  • Use case for using BI from a fast-growing and innovative company