(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.
Most BI software vendors have a small professional services team to support new customers with implementation and existing customers with critical support. If you ask any of them, they will admit they want this team to be as small as possible so they can focus on building the product.
This is where companies like Mashey come in – we are preferred services partners for lots of data analytics, engineering and data science tools. Still, when selecting a BI tool, it’s worth looking into what their professional services and maintenance commitments are to their customers.
Here are the top professional services and maintenance things to consider as part of your evaluation.
1. Implementation Services
Does the vendor offer software implementation services, including solution evaluation and installation, to minimize the on-premise expertise required to implement the solution?
2. Maintenance Contracts
Does the vendor offer maintenance contracts for supported software to ensure that updates, upgrades, and maintenance services are regularly received?
3. On-premise Maintenance
Does the vendor provide on-premise maintenance support?
4. Partner Network
Does the vendor have an extensive network of partners, within my region or time-zone, and are those partners evaluated for product knowledge and capabilities?
5. Price Capping
Can the implementation costs be capped and based on a fixed scope?
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.