Business Intelligence Blog from arcplan
15May/130

BI for SMBs: Answers to Your FAQs – Part 1

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FAQsBuying Criteria & Vendor Shortlists

Business intelligence isn’t just for large enterprises anymore. Aberdeen’s SMB research reveals that the top pressure driving small businesses to implement BI is the need to move away from “gut feel” and more toward fact-based decisions. And so small and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees are adopting technologies we traditionally think of as “enterprise level,” from ERP and CRM to BI and analytics.

SMBs are facing the challenges all businesses face – rapidly growing and faster data volumes, decision-makers clamoring for self-service capabilities, and scarce budgets, resources and in-house expertise to devote to analytic projects. These challenges are informing the way SMBs are buying BI software. As a BI vendor that caters to SMBs as much as large enterprises, arcplan decided to compile answers to the most frequently asked questions we hear from small and medium-sized businesses.

1) How do we create a good list of buying criteria?

The first step to implementing a BI solution is to develop a list of good buying criteria. While each company has its own set of priorities, most SMBs must adopt solutions that:

  • Are easy to install, configure and manage
  • Are user friendly and intuitive for end users and developers
  • Don’t increase demand on already limited IT resources
  • Easily integrate with existing systems/data sources
  • Have straightforward and simple pricing
  • Are relevant and proven in same-size and same-industry companies

Some companies may be primarily concerned with visual appeal, specific features like drill-down, integration with a particular data source, or amount of customization required, but this list is a good starting point.

2) Should we choose a name-brand BI vendor or a boutique vendor?

Continue reading this post >>

20Oct/110

BI for SMBs: How to Select the Right Business Intelligence Solution for Your Size Business

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Business Intelligence (BI) is not just for Fortune 1000 companies anymore. Many small- and medium-sized businesses are moving beyond manually tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in spreadsheets and are making use of the same analytics and reporting that large enterprises rely on. Deploying BI is a big decision for any company, but especially for SMBs with limited resources and budget constraints.

The first step to implementing a BI solution is to develop a list of good buying criteria. While each company has a unique set of priorities, a standard set of rules for the majority of SMBs is to adopt solutions that:

  • Are easy to install, configure and manage
  • Require minimal customization and are simple to use
  • Don’t increase demand on already limited IT resources
  • Can easily integrate with existing systems
  • Have straight-forward and simple pricing
  • Can be consumed in modular components and extended when required
  • Are relevant and proven in same-size and same-industry companies

There are a number of BI vendors with easy to use, affordable, and scalable software solutions that offer an ideal entry point into BI so you can take your decision-making to the next level. You simply need to find the right solution that fits your individual business needs.