(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.
Whether you’re working directly with the tool vendor or with a certified partner like Mashey, it’s important to understand how your current and future team will be supported from a training perspective, and if that training will be delivered by people who really know what they’re doing.
Here are the top vendor-provided training components to consider as part of your evaluation.
Does the vendor offer testing and certification programs to certify professionals who have achieved specific qualifications in using, configuring, or customizing the product?
Usually these include certifications for Business Users (how to use the product), Developers (how to configure the product), and in some cases Admin / Server (how to manage the security, availability, and performance).
2. Free Live Training
Does the vendor provide free live training?
It’s pretty common for top vendors to do online training webinars weekly or every other week.
3. In-Product Help and Suggestions
Does the vendor offer in-product help and suggestions within the application to help the user to get started with using the product?
4. Training Material
Does the vendor offer training material to help in configuring and using various features and functionalities of the product?
This should be expected from any vendor. If they can’t provide access to documentation or training materials, would you really want to be tied to using that product? We like to see these materials available publicly so anyone on your team will be able to get quick and easy access to the materials they need on their own.
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.