Top 6 Technical Requirements for Your BI Tool Evaluation

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.

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What do we mean by Technical Requirements?

Technical Requirements is a category of capabilities about how the tools are deployed, accesses, and secured.

This is likely the category of requirements that your IT and Engineering Teams are most interested in.

Top Technical Requirements to Evaluate

1. Availability & Scalability

Features related to the stability and reliability of the system such as how it scales in data size and concurrent users, fault tolerance, and high availability.

2. Data Source Connectivity

What data sources does the system connect to natively and how does it connect to those systems (ODBC, JDBC, SFTP, flat files)?

3. Deployment Options

How and where the system deployed and managed.

4. Extensibility

How the tool supports augmenting their native functionality, either through APIs or IDEs.

5. OS Support

What operating systems the software can be deployed on (e.g. Windows, MacOS, Linux) which can have a large impact on infrastructure costs and maintenance.

6. Security

A combination of data security (how to manage what users can see) and application security (encryption, activity tracking, SSO, security audits, and penetration testing.

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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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