Forrester's 10-Step Methodology For Shortlisting Business Intelligence Vendors

BI is no longer a nice-to-have back-office application that counts widgets — it is now used as a key competitive differentiator by all leading organizations. For decades, most of the BI business cases were based on intangible benefits, but these days are over — today 41% of professionals, with knowledge of their firm's business case, base their business case on tangible benefits, like an increased margin or profitability. As a result, BI is front and center of most enterprise agendas, with North American data and analytics technology decision-makers who know their firm's technology budget telling Forrester in 2014 that 15% of their technology management budget will go toward BI-related purchases, initiatives, and projects.

But taking advantage of this trend by deploying a single centralized BI platform is easier said than done at most organizations. Legacy platforms, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), BI embedded into enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, and organizational silos are just a few reasons why no large organization out there has a single enterprise BI platform. Anecdotal evidence shows that most enterprises have three or more enterprise BI platforms and many more shadow IT BI platforms.

BI professionals spend numerous hours and resources navigating the complex BI landscape, rationalizing and selecting BI vendors. Forrester does not believe it's time well spent. While each vendor's technical architecture and user interface may be different, most leading BI vendors have been in the BI business for well over 10 years, resulting in products that are mature, robust, stable, and scalable and support very similar use cases. Forrester recommends that BI pros invest their resources more wisely in tasks that bring business value (like building industry-vertical- and business-domain-specific BI applications), not in increasingly commoditized technology selection. Follow pragmatic 10 steps defined in our report  to cut to the chase and rationalize your long list of BI vendors to a more manageable, smaller portfolio


Its interesting to know that

Its interesting to know that various organizations are using BI strategies and all believe they are creating "competitive differentiators"? How come same thing used across multiple organization create differentiators? Oh yes, I understand the gospel safe answer of its not "what" you use, but "how" you use. So does that mean, organization who have invested in BI strategies but still are unable to derive value, might have been better of not to invest in BI at all and save that money? Oh yes, the answer for this will be "they can learn and transform their processes to extract competitive advantage out of BI". Truth is successful companies will continue to leverage BI and be successful, whereas laggards will waste their money in these efforts. Problem is not technology, but lack of change agents and fundamentally bad people in the organization who just either don't care or don't want to work together as a team.

"Anecdotal evidence shows

"Anecdotal evidence shows that most enterprises have three or more enterprise BI platforms and many more shadow IT BI platforms"

I can only imagine the nightmare that data governance is for these enterprises. When information is scattered across BI platforms there is always the chance that data is going to be lost, duplicated, or incorrect. If you have multiple platforms how do you ensure that the people using your systems are using the right ones at the right time?

BI User Access and Productivity

One of the most critical factors in selecting a BI vendor is user access. While business intelligence has become more popular and most businesses now understand why they need it, there is still a large part of the BI market that does not support the idea of democratized data access. We at ElegantJ BI believe that if every user has appropriate access with multi-layered security and the ability to use the application on every type of device and screen size, the results will be much better. The organization will achieve more rapid ROI and low TCO and the employees will be more productive, empowered and accountable. To make that happen, the enterprise must include ease-of-use, length of implementation and training time and flexibility for simple customization so that every user can have a dashboard that gives them the summary and detail level information they need and allows them to share information and quickly analyze and create reports.