The business intelligence (BI) market has exploded. And as the number of vendors grows, it gets harder to make sense of it all. Sifting through hundreds of potential options for the best BI dashboard software—from free open-source solutions to cloud BI, traditional legacy BI, data discovery applications, and purpose-built embedded analytics—can quickly become overwhelming.
To find the best BI dashboard software for your needs, ask yourself these four questions when evaluating potential vendors:
1. What Types of Users Do I Need to Serve?
To determine the functionalities of your analytics software, you must first understand the users you need to serve. Most customers fall across a broad range. These include basic users who want easy-to-use, interactive BI dashboard software; data-savvy users who require drill-down analysis; and power users who demand visual data discovery that empowers them to answer their own questions in real time.
For instance, users in high-tech industries like hospitality and manufacturing will have different needs than those in highly regulated industries like insurance and financial services. Nearly every analytics customer will fall into one of these three categories:
- Information consumer
- Content creator
- Data analyst
2. Which Functions Fit My Customers?
The range of features and functions available in analytics tools means that some will be a better fit for your customers than others. When searching for the best BI dashboard software for your company, consider not only what your customers need (and are willing to pay for) today, but also what will satisfy them and win over new customers in the future. Successful embedded BI projects are not just appealing depictions of data; they generate insights and actions. Including must-have features as well as sophisticated capabilities will help you monetize your embedded BI now and into the future.
For many users, and especially for those who are just starting out, you should give them only the functionality and specific data they need to work smarter. Release more functionality and data as adoption grows and new questions arise. To determine which functionalities to provide in your BI dashboard software, first consider the most common analytics capabilities on the market, such as:
- Data visualizations
- Static and interactive reports
- Self-service analytics and ad-hoc querying
- Mobile reporting
- Visual workflows, write-backs, and processes
3. Should Analytics Be Integrated into an Existing Application?
Some companies are happy to use BI as a standalone tool or portal. But if you’re already providing an application to your end users, you’ll be better off embedding business intelligence into that existing application.
When it comes to embedded analytics, think about how BI capabilities will be integrated into the user experience for each of your user types. In order to satisfy your customers and grow revenue, the level of embedding analytics into your application should be a primary consideration when choosing the best BI dashboard software for your organization.
- How much emphasis do you place on customization and integration capabilities compared to standard BI implementations?
- Do you want to offer a seamless user experience within the context of an existing application?
- How will any new analytics features integrate with your existing security levels?
One way to look at embeddability is to focus on driving adoption. The deeper you integrate analytics into the fabric of your application, the higher your user adoption will be and the stickier your app will become. For instance, if you’re a salesperson and you spend most of your time using Salesforce, you don’t want to have to sign in to a different application that’s siloed from your daily work just to access the data you need. Organizations need to infuse that analytic workflow within users’ daily activities.
4. How Much Support Do I Need?
Choosing the best BI dashboard software is not just about the technology. It’s also about finding the level of vendor expertise you require for training, support, and services—as well as agreeing on the business terms that ensure shared success. When considering vendors for your BI dashboard software, think about:
- Software licensing terms. They should align the vendor with the value you provide to your customers.
- Completing your project on time and in the right way can require resources outside your team; take comfort from a full range of services options, even if you do not employ them.
- Customer success. Vendors should supply a process that maps your path to success and provide a wide array of resources to address any issues along the way.
- Leverage the vendor’s experience and commitment to making you and others like you successful.
Learn more about choosing the best BI dashboard software in our blog: Determining Business Intelligence Requirements That Will Delight Your Customers >
Choosing the Best BI Dashboard Software for Your Needs
As business intelligence continues to grow, selecting a vendor for your BI dashboard software is becoming increasingly complex, but it all comes down to what features and capabilities make the most sense for your business. If you’re interested in seeing how Logi can help with your BI software needs, check out a demo of our product here!