sábado, 8 de septiembre de 2007

The best BI tool

As BI consultant, every week I have meetings with customers that have the need to analyze information to make better decisions.

In the 99,9% of the meetings, in any moment appear the same question; “which is the best BI tool for my company”. The years of experience, the common sense and the commitment to provide solutions with value added and that can be used for the companies to be more successful, to earn more money and to be better than competitors, makes me to answer always in the same way.

The best BI tool for your company, is the tool that after a detailed analysis of the processes, after to understand the needs, what information the company want to analyze, which is the frequency, level of significance, who will be the users, etc, fit better the company needs.

A mistake that unfortunately happened several times, is that companies select tools, thinking that are a Microsoft Office box, and at the end of the day, that situation produce a big frustration in the end user, because most of the times the user was not heard for the evaluation. The trends, show us that more than 80% of BI projects fail before the first year of the kick off day. When we’re talking about fail, we understand that users are not acceding to the solution and remain using the old tool that were installed before the installation of the BI project, screaming something like “I don’t trust in the new solution, is difficult to access, I don’t understand how to read the data”. If a person, access one time to the new tool (usually sold as the solution to solve any company problem), and didn’t see what is expecting, surely will access a second time and never more.

To finish, a BI tool could be a little bit nice, a little bit ugly, cheaper or expensive, with any additional feature, but if the process to analyze information is wrong, everything will be wrong. The tool is a commodity.

For this reason, before to make a decision about which BI tool will be selected and make a decision about which is the best, the users have to analyze the whole process that will be automated, and as I said before, this analysis evolve, from KPI’s, data sources, users needs, expectations, vision in a mid term and many things more.