Looking to Trial BI Software? 3 Red Flags and 3 Things You Should Consider When Evaluating Business Intelligence Software

11_AmazingExecDashboards_Blog_220x660Have you ever heard the saying, “Kick the tires before you buy it?” It’s an old adage referencing the shoddy quality of earlier automobiles, but it’s also investment slang for researching and testing something before you invest money into it. This principle applies to software purchasing decisions as well – buyers should kick the tires before purchasing any software solution, especially a business intelligence (BI) solution.

Unfortunately, one of the reasons BI has such a low implementation success rate is because many BI firms make it challenging to fully test out software before a company purchases the product. Instead, popular BI vendors encourage purchase decisions based upon reputation and customer numbers alone.

Pre-purchase Red Flags to Watch Out For

What’s the result from buying based upon a brand name versus actual testing? Customers oftentimes get stuck with software that they don’t need, don’t understand, or that isn’t performing.

If you’re in the market for BI software, there are a few red flags of which to be aware:

  1. No ability to test. If you have no ability to test out the software by connecting your own data or are asked to pay for a trial, this tells you that the software is very complex and will be challenging to use.
  2. No support or assistance. Another red flag should pop up if a vendor simply sends you a download link. If you’re given a download and do not have access to a support team, you probably won’t receive support when you’re an actual customer. Most vendors tend to provide the greatest amount of support when you’re trying to buy the software than when you’re an actual customer.
  3. No communication or pushy salespeople. If you contacted a vendor via their website and they never took the time to get back to you,  or if you called their phone number and got a sales rep who is ready to take your order rather than assist you with a proper evaluation, run for the hills.

These are just a few reasons why it’s best to fully test a BI solution before you purchase it.

Tips for Testing a BI Solution Before You Buy

Generally, you can trust that software will do the basic things the company says it can do – but will it do what you specifically need it to do? Here are a few tips for testing a BI solution before you buy it to ensure it will fulfill your company’s specific needs:

  1. Present a specific use case. Think about the trickiest issue your company faces with business intelligence and do a trial against that specific issue. You should carry out this trial with live data or a hefty data sample. If you don’t conduct a trial against live data or a huge data sample, the trial will not be a good indicator about whether the software will actually perform how you need it to perform.
  2. Have the end users participate in the trial. Many companies will leave the testing responsibilities to the IT team, but it’s best to have the teams that will truly be using the product to participate in the trial so the users can get a feel for whether the solution will help resolve the issues they are facing.
  3. Let the vendor do the heavy lifting. Don’t go into the trial expecting to be able to use the software. You won’t be an expert, so let the vendor to do the heavy lifting. If they’re not willing to do the heavy lifting without you paying then they won’t help you when you’re a customer either – this is a great way to also test what level of customer support you will receive as a customer.

Yurbi’s Trial Approach

When it comes to testing our software in the pre-purchase stage, we want you to test drive the car, kick the tires, and look under the hood. Initially, we encourage customers to check out our online test drive system. Once Yurbi passes the online test, we set up a managed trial on servers in your environment, using your data.  We call it a managed trial because our Customer Success team helps you through the entire trial process.

To kick off a Yurbi trial, we request one or two challenge use cases for your company and discuss the requirements for those cases. Then, we set up a one-hour work session to install and connect Yurbi to your data, and by the end of the work session we are up and running and building reports and dashboards.

Next, we schedule another one-hour session where our Yurbi expert helps you to build out specific reports to meet your challenge use cases. During this time, our team is doing the heavy lifting. After these two sessions, our goal is to have proven Yurbi can do what you need it to do,  and we leave you with full access to your Yurbi server for 30 additional days to expand on the work we’ve done together and to explore the software, all while receiving full customer support.
Because we maintain a high level of customer support throughout the entire buying and customer acquisition process, we often receive feedback similar to what one of our new customers recently said:

“Just want to confirm… after purchasing licenses do we still get a support team that I can utilize the way that Brian has helped me out over the past few weeks? That’s a really good service level.”

Why do we provide extensive, full trials to our customers at no cost with full customer support? Because we want you to be sure Yurbi is going to meet your company’s specific BI needs and to showcase the level of support you will receive as a Yurbi customer.

The Bottom Line

Don’t become a statistic and purchase a BI solution based upon a brand name or online demo. Your BI buying decision should be founded upon the BI company’s level of customer care and support, and whether the solution is a match for your BI challenges.

And beware – if a company is hesitant to provide a trial, it may indicate that the software is difficult to use or that it won’t solve your most complex issues. However, if you have kicked the software’s tires and everything under the hood looks great, you should be good to invest in the BI solution.

If you’re ready to learn more about Yurbi and experience the benefits it brings to the table, we invite you to request a live demo of Yurbi with one of our specialists. Ask questions and find out if Yurbi may be the right fit for your organization. Or, jump right into a test drive and explore a sample Yurbi environment. If you want to take the next step, our Customer Success team can set up a proof of concept trial on your server so you can see Yurbi in action, using your data.

Business Intelligence For Companies Ready To Grow