According to recent research and a report by BI review company Software Advice in their Business Intelligence Software BuyerView for 2014, the image above depicts the most sought-after features in the BI market right now.
There are a number of things to learn here:
1 – Buyers Want Customizable Dashboards and Reporting
Buyers overwhelmingly want to see their data in smart visual representations that allow them to digest information and make decisions quickly. People have had it with dashboards that are difficult to create, difficult to use, difficult to get data into, and, worst of all, need to be re-created every time it is needed. They need quick, easy, beautiful reporting that changes to answer their questions as quickly as they can think to ask them. Mostly these days, people don’t have useful dashboards because they don’t have good data to feed them with. The visualization may be pretty, but there isn’t updated, aggregated, relevant substance behind it, and it doesn’t have enough flexibility to be easily and sufficiently customized into reports.
2- Buyers Want a User-Friendly Interface
And who can blame them? No one likes moving around in clunky interfaces. Some of today’s most common BI tools, like PowerPivot, can’t even manage to list the months properly! Who wants to spend time struggling with something as menial as getting months to display in their natural order as opposed to alphabetically? All this goes hand-in-hand with customizable dashboards and flexible reporting: a good BI solution should be able to display what the user needs to see, on demand as well as up-to-date.
3- Buyers Want Something that Integrates
Buyers want something that works with what they’ve already got. Integration is so important that it trumps considerations over on-premise vs. in the cloud. It seems that buyers don’t care so much about the deployment model, provided the solution empowers them in their existing framework. This makes sense because the state-of-play in most companies, and more so in enterprise-level companies, is that they’ve already spent big bucks on solutions that they thought were going to solve their business problem through IT. For exmaple: ERPs that cost a fortune, and that arguably have a place in the scheme of things, but that do not even begin to provide the kinds of smart, visual reporting that today’s workplace demands.
So it comes down to getting data together and through to beautiful informative visuals without the hassle. Is that too much to ask?