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How to choose the right business intelligence tool

Even though you may not need to implement a business intelligence tool right away as a new company, you can answer business questions that are complex a lot faster when you have one in your stack. BI tools have a history of being tough to use for people with no tech experience and have always been quite pricey for small companies. These days, however, the BI world has grown a lot and there are now a number of options for different types of users and budgets. This lesson shares a framework evaluating BI tools so you have the information you need to choose a tool that works best for your needs.

What is a BI tool?

These tools/software give you an interface to easily model report on raw data. By using visualization and automation, BI tools give you a much better understanding of your business metrics and what drives those metrics 

Considerations for choosing a BI tool

Generally BI tools are geared at data teams or business users as some of them help business users explore data and some others that help with heavy lifting for data monetization will need someone with technical know how to handle. One of the things to consider when choosing and implanting any BI tools is who will maintain and use it i.e, its primary audience. 

Business user focused tools 

These tools need initial technical help with the setup so that its data is query-able by the business owner meaning it’s clean, and has logic maps which breakdown complex data into business terms that are familiar to the user. When set up is complete, there will be little need for technical expertise on an everyday basis so a stakeholder like the marketing team lead can create their own monetization strategy without having to learn Structured Query Language (SQL). Such tools will have a user interface that is friendly and has a robust end-user functionality like drill downs and filtering.

Analyst focused tools 

These tools are data exploration layers that deal with code first. They are used by analytic teams even though some business users refresh existing reports. Creating and customizing them involves using code. With these kinds of BI tools, analytic teams can explore data rather than reactive database maintainers. Where business users do not know what questions to ask, analyst can come in and deeply investigate using Python, R or SQL. As more analyst focused tools begin to increase their functionality to support business users, getting the most value from the tools requires an SQL pro teammate.

Making the final call

After evaluating which BI tool you think will ne best for your business’s data requirements, you should also consider who will set up the tool at the initial stage and who will maintain the tool’s efficiency in SQL. Another decision to take is whether or not you want business users to create their own analyses in a pre-defined environment or if you prefer to have your analytics team to be in charge of answering sophisticated business questions when they come up. Most companies like to mix it up so that business user friendly and analytics first platforms are both used.

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Selecting the right stack

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lesson 5

How to choose the right data warehouse

It can be challenging finding the right data warehouse for your company. There are several options available on the market with each one offering different features you might want. Also, setting up a data warehouse can take up a lot of engineering time so it’s best to make the right choice before going ahead with implementation.

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