(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 pieces of vendor information to consider as part of your evaluation.
1. Financial Stability
Is the vendor financially stable, as evidenced by a Dun & Bradstreet or similar report?
2. Public Entity
Is the vendor a public company?
This might not matter at all to you since there doesn’t seem to be much correlation between being public or private and the chances of succeeding in the long term.
Is the vendor able to provide customer references?
This is a must-have, almost so obvious that we considered not including it. It’s a good reminder that references are important, but in our experience it’s less important to have references from your industry and more important to have references that match your company size and implementation complexity.
4. Vendor Financials
Are the vendor's financial statements such as P&L statement, balance sheet, cash flow statements, etc. available for review?
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.