Can We Afford Business Intelligence Software?

BI_BudgetWhen we ask small to mid-sized organizations why they aren’t using a business intelligence (BI) solution, they often reply, “It’s too expensive.” Either a. A few years ago they looked into BI software and its price far exceeded their budget, so they never adopted BI or b. They bought a BI solution, but couldn’t absorb the IT expense associated with deploying, training and maintaining it- eventually they abandoned BI.

Our experience talking with perspective SMB customers isn’t unique. In fact, according to a survey of almost 600 professionals across a range of industries, 27 percent stated business intelligence software is cost-prohibitive1. The same study reveals 42 percent said they didn’t deploy a BI solution because it required IT or other technical support they didn’t have or couldn’t afford. Among small to mid-sized businesses the percentage was even higher. A full 57 percent of businesses with 1 to 50 employees stated they did not have enough IT staff to support business intelligence.

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Traditional BI Doesn’t Serve the Needs of SMBs

In the past, BI software was priced out of reach for SMBs, and it did demand a great deal of developer involvement and technical support. That’s because at the time, the only software available was what we now refer to as traditional or legacy BI software, and it wasn’t designed for SMBs to leverage; it was created for large corporations with deep pockets and extensive IT resources.

The truth is, even today, most traditional business intelligence software, such as QlikView and BusinessObjects , can cost from $50,000 on up to get started with, and that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Add on 18-20 percent maintenance fees, training, and IT support and it’s easy to see the upfront cost, as well as the lifetime cost of traditional BI software, is priced far above what most small to mid-sized businesses can afford. On top of that, organizations often make mistakes that increase the cost of BI even more, like not having a clear use case, or purchasing too much BI upfront.

Traditional BI tools were, and continue to be, too pricey for most SMBs and even organizations that can “afford” traditional BI often don’t realize the ROI they expected. Often, that’s due to the fact that traditional BI requires the expertise of IT, and IT is a busy and budget-draining department. As a result, end-users don’t get the real-time BI they need when they need it, and that means they can’t make smart, fact-based business decisions in a timely manner. Take a look at these findings2:

  • Using traditional BI, ITs typical backlog of BI related work is nearly 150 days.
  • It takes roughly one month for IT to create a dashboard.
  • Users have to wait almost 10 work days to get a column added to a report.

Agile BI is a Game Changer.

Agile BI, sometimes referred to as user-driven BI, came on the scene several years ago and it is gaining major traction. Agile BI differs from traditional BI in a number of ways. Using agile BI, SMBs can tap into the power of business intelligence that was once reserved for large corporations. And because it’s designed for the non-technical business user, agile BI doesn’t require a team of developers. Instead of asking IT to create a dashboard, add a column, or drill down into data for more insights, the business user can do it himself.

Plus, using agile BI, business users can get the data they need instantly. Rather than making decisions based on data that could be days or even weeks old, they’re accessing real-time data. Furthermore, those organizations that leave traditional BI for an agile BI solution like Yurbi no longer rely on IT for their BI needs- and IT resources can be reallocated to other essential business development tasks.

Best of All, Agile BI is Affordable.

If you’re wondering how much agile BI costs, you’ll be glad to hear there are a number of solutions like Yurbi, Microsoft Power BI and Yellowfin, that are priced right for SMBs. For example, you can get started with Yurbi for just $495 per year, and that includes all of the powerful features of the Yurbi platform. Yurbi also offers flexible user licenses that are tailored to small and mid-sized environments, and large ones as well. Learn more about Yurbi’s pricing model.

Can you afford Business Intelligence? Yes.

In fact, by not leveraging business intelligence, you may be losing money and market share. To learn more about the hidden costs of bad (or no) BI, download our e-book. If you’re ready to take the next step, the Yurbi Pricing Guide gives you all the hard numbers you need to calculate your BI costs and develop your usage strategy.

1 Logixml BI Survey 2011 

2 Aspect

Click here to download “5 Mistakes Executives Make When Buying BI”

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