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BI Purchasing Guide for IT Managers

April 27, 2018

An easy guide for equipment dealers looking for business intelligence software

Data is exploding in the equipment industry, and efficient problem solving by decision makers requires immediate and comprehensive access to insight. For dealerships and organizations in the equipment industry, it's difficult to maintain consistency, clarity, and convenience across all the software used for business-critical initiatives. Consequently, many companies task their IT Managers with finding solutions that will directly support them in their job of managing the business intelligence software that the organization relies upon.

But with so much noise in the software sector, it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive to figure out what you should even be looking for. It’s a process that often drags out for years. Often, by the time a solution is agreed upon by all the necessary levels of the company, implemented, and adopted by end-users, the original analytics needs of the organization have changed.

We're here to help with advice on what to look for in your company's business intelligence and analytics software solution.

Manageability is king
No matter the analytics solution you decide to go with, it needs to be easy to manage and capable of handling the data and responsibilities that keep your business humming. In the equipment industry, user-friendly analytics are key. A tool that adds another layer of complicated processes to employees’ schedule is not going to be widely adopted.  

When looking for a business intelligence and analytics solution, IT Managers should look to check off six critical boxes:
  1. Performance and speed
  2. End-user accessibility
  3. Access to data sources
  4. Security, security, security
  5. Storage
  6. Scalability

Performance and speed

Data volumes are growing exponentially, significantly slowing the query process for many systems defeating the purpose of real-time access to critical data. It’s imperative that the IT team test the back-end of any BI solution to ensure it can handle both current and future data volumes.  


Many older BI solutions were built on the traditional data warehouse and multi-dimensional cubes layout, which is designed for analyzing aggregated data. However, these systems struggle to query transactional-level detail.  An in-memory database engine may be the answer for you if your users need to query transactional-level detail and large datasets.

End-user accessibility

A comprehensive BI solution won’t do you any good if it ultimately isn’t adopted across the organization. Identifying your target audience and understanding how they best use and consume BI is the fastest way to ROI. These are your BI user personas. Learn more about them in this guide: How to Ensure the Highest User Adoption Rates for your BI Project.

Access to data sources

In BI we're looking for indicators that will guide us to better enhance our goals. It's important to consider the pulse of the company via several different data source environments. Your solution must have access to both internal and external sources. 

Security, security, security

Your chosen solution should make the management of users’ data access simple and easy to control. Look for a platform that lets you quickly and securely manage permissions, allowing business users to build their own dashboards, reports, and analyses with the data provided. Security should be flexible across roles and user personas.

Storage

All dashboards, reports, and settings should be stored in a single location for easy management and backup. In today's hyper-connected world, users must have easy access to the information they need from all work devices—laptops, desktops, mobile, and other internet-enabled platforms.

Scalability

Finally, your analytics solution must support the future growth of your organization. BI cultivates true synergy across your entire organization through the organized and simple management of user access across all departments. When it’s time to scale up, it shouldn’t be a tremendous cost or time burden to get new users or data sources up and running in the system.

BI and analytics designed for the equipment industry

Ultimately, you need a BI and analytics solution that works for you. That means one designed to fit the unique needs of your dealership. The question is, which solution do you need? Check out this 15-page guide that can help you cut through the hype and arrive at the right BI solution for your equipment dealership. Get control of your data and start making better business decisions today. Click here to download the guide!BI Buyers Guide for Email


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