When trying to choose the right BI solution, many organisations believe that BI platforms are too complex for their needs. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
When you consider the data integration, warehousing and end user training costs associated with BI tools, the BI Platform is a far superior solution. Not only is it no more complicated than any of the best BI tools on the market, it’s usually easier and less expensive.
What is the difference between a BI Tool and a BI Platform you are wondering?
A BI Tool is a piece of software designed to retrieve, analyse and report on Business Intelligence.
A BI Platform on the other hand, encompasses a range of tools making it more of a “full-stack solution”. It will typically include the following components:
The problem with an individual tool is that it may not be compatible with other programs you use in your day to day business administration. The BI Platform offers a much more comprehensive system solution for your organisation.
One way to think about the differences between the two options is to think about something like the Microsoft Office suite. The suite provides several programs that are all compatible together and work together for different purposes. In much the same way, a BI Platform provides a suite of compatible applications working together, whereas individual BI Tools only give you one piece of the puzzle.
The most critical success factor of any application is how the end users respond, use and embrace it. If the tool is too complicated, end users will simply not use it.
And this is one of the major problems with most BI Tools on the market. The functionality that end users need is only a 10th of the functionality available. Most of the application remains unused, but the company still has to pay a very large sum in order to only use a very small fraction of it.
When selecting a BI Platform or Tool, look at the functionality your end users actually need and will use. A BI Tool on its own may not be enough to satisfy your needs; a Platform may be more then you need.
There are many BI Platforms on the market with some fancy intricate functionality and they will promote those features, but if your end users don’t need them, then it’s a waste of money. If you are going to choose a Platform, know what functionality your end users need and then you will be able to make an informed decision on what Platform to purchase.