Finding the right, one might even say perfect, business intelligence system can be a daunting task. That being said, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. In this article, we offer some guidance on choosing the best one for your business.
When you think about a business intelligence system, what is the first thing that comes to mind? I’d be willing to wager that visions of complex lines of code, intensive computer systems that are near impossible to navigate quickly, all of which are attempting to run and manage difficult processes designed to make somehow your business more “efficient,” are probably popping into your heads, right? Indeed, this seems to be the gut reaction of those who don’t necessarily deal with the development of these pieces of technology, and it isn’t without cause. For years, that was the truth of business intelligence systems; they were designed to make things easier, but ultimately fell short of accomplishing this goal because of complex computational needs. Luckily, this is no longer the case.
Much of this change in scope can be attributed to the rise of high-powered mobile devices - pieces of equipment that shrank in physical size but became so, so much more capable in the process. Now, the primary source of software distribution isn’t a floppy disk or a CD from Best Buy; it’s the various app stores linked to the operating system of your mobile device. And business intelligence systems have not neglected this shift. In recent years, they have begun to leap into the world of mobile apps and the role that these apps and devices have played in the progression of the standard business model, especially for restaurants.
However, hand-in-hand with this progression came an explosion, an absurd boost in the shear rates of these apps being developed and released for public consumption. There is no build-up or anticipation of the next major release anymore; there is only the refreshing of the app store’s “Business” section. With this comes a slew of new, important challenges that need to be addressed. The biggest among these challenges? Figuring out which piece of software, which app, is the one best suited to meet the needs of your business.
That is what we are going to take a look at today. Specifically, we are going to address four tips for choosing the best business intelligence systems for your business. We hope that, in so doing, we will help to guide you through the intricacy of managing this process and making the right selection for your business intelligence system. We won’t be focusing on a specific kind here, but rather the broad strokes to help you figure out what you need and how you can attain it. With that being said, let’s get right into the four tips!
This is easily one of the biggest, if not the biggest consideration(s) that need to be made when considering different business intelligence systems. Now, it should be noted that price is not necessarily indicative of quality, so keep that in mind as you sift through the different options available in different price ranges. Still, you’re going to need to find a system that meets the needs of your business in the most cost-effective way imaginable. There are a few ways to do this, some of which we’ll discuss in just a minute, but the primary consideration is definitely how much the particular system will cost.
I’ve said this before, and I will repeat it for those just tuning in - don’t listen to every review but listen to all of them. In short, that means that each review may have some nuggets of useful information in it, but take everything with a grain of salt unless you see a theme that seems to constantly appear in nearly every review you come across. For example, if you come across a product where each of the reviews discusses a distinct, unpleasant smell, then it’s just about a guarantee that the product does, in fact, have such an odor, and this should factor into your consideration. If only one or two reviews say this, though, then it is probably just smells those reviewers aren’t used to, rather than an inherently unpleasant one.
You may also want to go onto sites like YouTube and look for any videos of people interacting with the business intelligence system you are considering to get a feel for how it works, looks, and behaves in real time, without having to piece it together from pieces of text and images. This can be incredibly useful for displaying things like the time it takes to complete a certain process, or if there is any lagging issue involved in the software’s performance and, if so, how long the lags tend to last or how severe they may be. These videos can also offer something that the other medium simply can’t - a sense of the actual mechanics of usage. With video, you get an exclusive look at the software’s use that only a hands-on trial of your own would otherwise be able to grant you. It may not be much, but it is miles ahead of some of the alternative methods of investigation.
Something that we have stressed numerous times on our related blogs is the importance of getting in touch with your colleagues and peers who have been using the particular software you are considering. Doing this presents some serious benefits, not the least of which is the chance to gain the perspective of someone in your field when it comes to measuring things like performance and usage. Only someone that owns a restaurant, for example, would be able to tell another restaurant owner how the software truly performs in the field, since they would be using it day in and day out. They will know best what kinds of quirks the software has if certain processes cause a slow-down and a range of other things that have the potential to be vital in your decision-making process.
Well, there you have it everyone - our top four tips for choosing the best business intelligence system for your business. We hope that these tips have helped to guide you through this complex, and occasionally stressful process and that you are now confident in your ability to make the right choice.