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What to Look for When Choosing Enterprise Analytics Software

A Little Intelligence for Buying Business Intelligence
Enterprise analytics software helps you manage your business intelligence, a concept that can seem complex to many non-technical professionals. And, the fact that there are countless business intelligence solutions and vendors on the market – each offering something completely different – can make it even more confusing.

The type of enterprise analytics tool that will work best for your company will depend primarily on your unique requirements. But, regardless of your specific information needs, there are certain characteristics you should be on the lookout for when choosing an enterprise analytics software package. These features can help you distinguish the world-class solutions from the rest of the pack, and include:

Your initial enterprise analytics implementation may only impact a handful of end users. But once the solution has proven its value, and the benefits of business intelligence have been clearly demonstrated, more and more users within your organization will want access to it. Therefore, it’s important to select an enterprise analytics application with enough capacity to support a growing user base.

But, user capacity is not the only type of scalability that’s important. The number of different reports and report types, as well as the number of data sources the enterprise analytics solution will need to pull data from are also likely to expand. So, the solution you purchase must support growth in these areas as well.

Unhindered Data Access
While most enterprise analytics offerings can retrieve data from popular and widely-used databases, systems, and applications, few can easily gather and consolidate real-time information from sources that are proprietary, antiquated, or obscure. As a result, customers who maintain these types of assets, and need to generate reports from the information contained within them, are forced to call in third-party integration vendors to solve the problem.

However, there are a handful of business intelligence vendors who are addressing this requirement through the development of a comprehensive portfolio of data adapters, or by forming strategic alliances with providers of integration software. If there are uncommon components in your technology architecture, then these are the only vendors you should be working closely with.

Data Visualization
Tabular reports may serve a variety of purposes, but some information requires much more in order to be properly understood. And while most enterprise analytics solutions include charts, graphs, and other basic visualization capabilities, the most complex and sophisticated types of analyses can only be conducted using truly innovative techniques.

Therefore, you should look for a solution that offers the ability to transform enterprise data into matrixes, scatter plots, histograms, or maps. This will make it easier to interpret data, and identify vital patterns and trends. Visualization is particularly important if the information you will be analyzing is scientific or mathematical in nature.

Predictive Analytics
In today’s dynamic marketplace, every company needs to be able to anticipate critical business trends and events. Instead of purchasing separate forecasting and planning solutions to address these needs, and creating yet another silo in your technology infrastructure, look for an enterprise analytics software package that includes advanced predictive analytics.