Top 6 License Types to Consider When Selecting a BI Tool

Post by 
Philip Lima
Reading time: 2 min

(This is a multipart series about how to evaluate and select the right BI tool for you and your team. To see the entire outline of the series and a framework for how to evaluate a BI tool, see How to Select the Best BI Tool for You.)

Like shopping for a car or a new electronic device, there are likely a lot of features that the average Jane won’t need. We aim to cover the breadth of features that the top tools and analysts in the market are talking about.

It’s important to focus on what’s right for you and your use case. We recommend buyers be careful to not let features creep onto their “Want to have” or “Mission critical” lists when doing your research. It can be really easy to learn about a cool feature and then think about all the cool and creative ways you could use it. Curiosity and creativity is to be human.

Remember: You started shopping to fill a specific need. Keep that front and center as you research while getting educated on other cool features and how you may use them after your initial set of requirements are delivered.


Here are the top license types of BI tools to consider as part of your evaluation.

1. Free Trial

Does the solution offer a free trial?

We consider this a must-have. On the low end, vendors should offer at least a 7-day trial with 14-days being pretty standard. With the most motivated vendors, flexible trial periods and/or a trial period of at least 30-days is ideal.

2. Open Source

Is the software available as an open-source, free to use license?

3. Admin users

The solution allows for users to manage everything end to end in the system.

4. Designer users

The solution allows for users who are able to modify calculations and configurations but not do system critical activities like changing security or implementation and deployment configurations

5. Viewers

The solution allows users to be limited to viewing dashboards and reports available to them, with ability to adjust filters and make selections but not allow them to change underlying calculations or configurations.

6. Free emailed reports

The solution can send emailed reports (flat data file or PDFs) to users and does not require an additional software license.


Follow the links above to read more about core functional requirements of a BI and analytics tool.

Did we miss something? Drop us a line and we’ll see about getting it added.

Need help with your BI tool selection? Book a call with us and we’ll see if we can help. If we can point you in the right direction with a short phone call, great! If you’d like to hire us to do an evaluation and selection for you, contact us and we’ll make a selection together.

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