In our experience, not enough Business Intelligence providers ask their customers about the benefits their software delivers. As long as the number of support cases is low to zero and the software provider doesn't need a customer reference, they probably won't ask you about the advantages you derive from employing their BI software. "No feedback, no problems" seems to be the motto. We believe this approach is flat-out wrong and counter-intuitive to everything Business Intelligence is about.
Too often software providers and their customers only concentrate on the technical aspects of a BI solution or analytical application. How do you access this data source? Can we adjust these objects to an Excel grid? What about the integration in MS Office? There is no doubt that answering these questions is important, but to stop there might be fatal to the success of your BI initiative.
The question "what are the business benefits we're realizing from this BI implementation?" must be at the forefront when evaluating your solution. At the end of the day, the answer to this is why BI solutions are implemented in the first place. BI solutions have to deliver competitive advantages to an organization. When evaluating your BI vendor, you must ask yourself essential questions like: Does my solution provide the information I need? Do I get all the information at the right time? Is information displayed in a way that makes it easy to interpret the data?
The analysts at BARC (Business Application Research Center) recognized the importance of the business benefits that companies derive from their BI applications in this year's "The BI Survey 9," the largest and most comprehensive independent study on the BI market based on information generated from more than 2,600 companies worldwide. They asked participants to consider categories such as Goal Achievement and Business Achievement when evaluating their vendors, and also included a Business Benefit Index, which ranks how well the solutions meet specific criteria, such as cost reductions and efficiency. The Goal and Business Achievement categories strictly focus on the companies' concrete achievements and benefits that have been derived from their BI solution. arcplan is very proud of our high rankings in these categories. We welcome you to learn more about how we did by checking out our press release here.
Maybe you have yet not been asked about the achievements your BI solution has delivered, but it’s worth considering. Are you getting a return on your BI investment?