Here at 5000fish, we work with a lot of customers who are in the market to buy business intelligence (BI) software. We see customers who are at different stages of the buying cycle, including those who are over-prepared with more information than they need, those who are underprepared because they have a perceived need for BI but don’t know why, and everyone in between.
One of the issues that has plagued the BI industry is a lack of adoption and a low success rate, which is primarily due to companies not being ready to buy BI software at the time of purchase. As a small company, we can’t afford to sell Yurbi to organizations who are not truly ready to adopt a BI solution, which is why we need to ensure our customers are fully educated about business intelligence before they purchase our solutions.
This is why we put together a list of nine questions to ask in order to determine if your company is ready to buy BI software, so that your company is ready to adopt and reap the full benefits of a BI solution at your time of purchase.
Do you have a clear vision of the problem you’re trying to solve with BI? It’s nice to say your company needs BI, but you must make sure your company has one or more valuable use cases for a BI solution to solve that will enable your company’s processes to run more smoothly.
Do you know the right business question to ask? You may have a good idea about the actual problems you are facing, but do you know the specific questions to ask in order to solve that problem or those problems? What are the specific metrics or data facts that you should monitor in order to solve the problem discussed in question #1 above. Many times companies approach BI with a large amount of eye candy or vanity metrics and over time you’ll lose interest in your business dashboards that drive no business value (does it really matter how many twitter followers you have?)
Can you answer the business question? Once you understand the business question(s) you’re trying to answer, you must determine whether you have the data to answer that question(s). Do you know how to measure success and understand the KPI’s surrounding your business question(s)? Do you have a data source from which to pull information? You should outline both the business questions and answers to those questions before purchasing BI.
Do you understand the stakeholders within your company who will need to use the BI solution? Once you have identified the problem you’re trying to solve within your organization, the business questions you’re trying to answer, and the answers to those questions, you must determine who within your company will need access to the BI solution and its data in order to solve the problems your company is working to address.
Do you understand how much money the problems you are trying to solve are worth? This is the big ROI question. Do you understand the monetary values associated with solving the problems you are attempting to solve with BI? If the problems you are trying to solve are not worth more than the BI solution you are considering buying, there wouldn’t be an return on investment to solving the problems (or at least you need to find a more affordable way).
Have you tried to implement BI in the past and failed? If so, you need to understand and dig into why BI failed in your organization so you don’t make the same mistakes again. Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past by failing to learn the lessons from past attempts.
Do you have a manual way to answer your business questions today? If your company does not have a manual process in place to solve your issues today, you may want to consider implementing a manual process before purchasing a BI software solution. BI software solutions aren’t magic wands that are implemented and magically fix everything – they require education, adoption, and maintenance in order for companies to reap the most benefits. In the end, the software solution should automate and improve a manual process.
Do you have internal resources to implement BI? BI solutions require time and effort to implement effectively, whether the tool is a more technical and traditional BI tool, or a codeless, agile BI tool like Yurbi. If your company doesn’t have the internal resources to implement the BI solution, or the financial resources to bring on outside help to implement the solution, you may want to hold off on purchasing BI.
Do you have executive buy-in? Before your department makes a BI purchase for your company, you should have executive buy-in. BI solutions can be expensive and require intentional focus and effort to implement in order to truly perform and benefit the company. But even if they are affordable, like Yurbi, you still need to put the time and attention to manage, care, and feed the system to truly get the benefits for your organization.