4 steps to choose BI tool

Find out 4 things you need to consider before making a decision!

New BI tools are popping like mushrooms with promises of business improvement. The potential impact of BI tools can be advanced sales forecasting, market trend anticipation, improvement of business
operations, etc. However, as much as they can be helpful, due to poor,
tool-driven implementation, your profits might be below expectation.  

Read more to find out how to choose the right BI tool and succeed!

In a previous post, we mentioned that business intelligence is a technology that deals with collecting, simplifying, and evaluating data. BI tools are applications that access your raw data and transform it into meaningful and useful information that can be visualised intuitively.  


If it is so tricky, why do I need it?  

Businesses deluge with a mass of data that can be extremely useful, but without BI tools the data is unstructured and does not give any information. So, to collect, simplify, and study your data to display it as understandable reports you need BI tools. Only then you will be able to make data-driven decisions instead of crystal-ball gazing. Get ahead of your competitors with the right BI tools.  


How to choose the right BI tools? 


  1. What are your needs? 

Instead of getting tempted by new features of freshly launched BI apps, you should focus on what reports you need. What among your current analyses needs improvement? Any tool you choose is supposed to deliver more transparent insights.  


Decide what questions need an answer. Then based on that choose the implementation.  


  1. Who is going to use a tool?

The most common groups of users are business users and data teams. The first group gets more user-friendly apps that do not require SQL skills to build analysis. Presented are features like drag-and-drop, filtering and other intuitive options. The second group gets analyst-focused tools. SQL is mandatory to explore data and create custom reports within more flexible possibilities.  


  1. Data transformation 

As much as business users targeted tools are easy to use, they are also less malleable. Sometimes data needs transformation. For example, you have the birth dates of your clients, but you need their age. Then the data have to be transformed from the birth date to age through counting. It might seem trivial but try to imagine you have over 1000 clients. Not so easy to do it by hand anymore.  

That might be the point where your employee wished he or she knew SQL. 


  1. What is your data source?

On-premises or in the cloud? Do you need integration with the data warehouse (historical data) or data sources (real-time data)?  

If you want advanced analytics capabilities, analyst-focused tools support data transformation in SQL, Python, or R. 



BI tools allow businesses to explore various scenarios to mitigate the risk and enhance collaboration amongst departments. The right tool will give your company a competitive advantage thanks to the insight of emerging customer trends and growing but not saturated yet markets.  


Do not fire into the brown if you are still undecided which BI tools will be best for your company. Let BI specialists advise you. 

Wojciech Woźniak



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