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Key Features To Look For When Choosing A BI System

Competition in the business intelligence market is heating up. Research shows that the industry is expected to nearly double in value from over $15 billion in 2016 to nearly $30 billion in 2022. This means corporations are faced with a steadily increasing number of business intelligence systems to choose from, especially as technology continues its rapid advancement. 

As a decision-maker looking for the best BI system to fit your company, how can you choose which will work best? What are the key features that you should be looking for in an effective BI system? 

Objectives and Technologies Behind Business Intelligence

In order to determine which features of a product are important, it’s necessary to first list down the objectives driving your decision to use it. According to a study conducted by Dresner Advisory Service, the hierarchy of business intelligence objectives has remained mostly steady since 2017. The 2020 Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study gives the following ranking:  

  1. Making Better Business Decisions
  2. Improved Operational Efficiency/Cost Savings
  3. Growth in Revenues
  4. Increased Competitive Advantage
  5. Enhanced Customer Service
  6. Compliance/Risk Management

The study surveyed people spread out across geographies, functions, organization sizes, and vertical industries, who chose several qualities that would determine if a product is mature: completeness of functionality, integration with third-party technologies, overall usability, and reliability of technology. The same study found that the following features are considered most important by companies: 

  • Reporting. Making better business decisions relies heavily on having actionable, up-to-date data. The ability to create accurate, personalized reports is therefore a crucial feature of an effective BI system.  Not only that, a good system must be able to create unified reports and prevent duplicate reporting. All these would increase your productivity, as well as improve collaboration and interaction between team members.
  • Dashboards. Visibility is another critical part of running a business. Using dashboards, teams can adjust and streamline their performance according to what they are seeing on the analytics. An ideal dashboard is sleek and easy to use, and reliable and accurate.
  • Data Integration, Warehousing, Preparation and Blending. Rounding out the top five technologies and initiatives strategic to business intelligence, these show just how much of a data-driven world we live in right now. It’s not enough to generate or gather data anymore. What matters is the ability to store, process, organize, and analyze these data using a single system.

The 2020 Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study further lists dozens of other features ranked according to respondents’ assessments. Aside from those listed above, among the top priorities are self-service, advanced visualization, data discovery, data storytelling, and cloud. In contrast, the lowest priorities in 2020 are voice and video analytics, RPA, edge computing, complex event processing, IoT, and social media analysis. Take note that these are just the top features according to statistics; in the end, it would be up to you to determine what kind of functionality your company needs the most. 

Choosing an Effective BI System

If it hasn’t been stressed enough before, business intelligence matters. And how you go about navigating this complex world can determine your success or failure. Every company, corporation, or business is different, and the “perfect” BI system depends on your own specific needs. So ask yourself, what is important to you?  

Solutions offered by ZenOptics are tailor-fit to your specific needs. The ZenOptics analytics catalog offers powerful and easy-to-use tools that enable productivity, collaboration, manageability, and governance. In a single interface, you get direct access to all your analytics assets, including reports, dashboards, spreadsheets, applications, and data.

All Enterprise Reporting in ONE PLACE

BI Steward - Governance
Business User - Productivity
IT Management - Cost Optimization

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