Business Intelligence Software Assessment Requirements – Business intelligence (BI) improves business performance and increases revenue by helping you identify opportunities from current and historical data. To map this big data into a single point of truth, executives are turning to business intelligence and analytics solutions, but the thousands of different BI offerings on the market make it difficult to determine which BI solution to choose. According to TEC CTO Mehdi Aftahi, this combines external and internal company challenges, including finding a product that integrates with your current applications, satisfies all team members, and fits within your budget.
To hedge your risk and increase your potential for success, your BI product must meet your company’s current and future needs, which is why companies begin their evaluation process by gathering BI requirements to help them determine what to looking in the supplier.
Business Intelligence Software Assessment Requirements
Check out this short video from TEC introducing BI systems and how they can be used in business to improve your business’s performance and therefore your bottom line:
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A Business Intelligence Requirements Gathering Template – also known as a Business Intelligence Report Requirements Template or Business Intelligence Requirements Checklist – is a tool used to collect and document the necessary information and criteria for a successful evaluation and selection project BI software and even an implementation project. It helps ensure that the selected BI solution meets the needs of the organization and its stakeholders. Although the specific requirements may vary depending on the nature of the project, industry and organization, here is a general business intelligence checklist that you can adapt and extend:
TIP: Michael Tow, vice president of Technology Consulting Services at TEC, shows you how to calculate the return on investment for your software project. While the webinar focuses on ERP, you can apply its general concepts to learn how to calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your BI solution and reduce risk to ensure a great return on investment:
Types of Business Intelligence Requirements Your business intelligence requirements collection template is grouped into functional and non-functional requirements. Functional elements define what your BI system should do and what its features and functions are, such as data modeling and database design. Non-functional requirements describe the quality attributes of your BI system, such as usability and user experience.
TIP: TEC’s brief introduction to business intelligence (BI) systems concludes that the best BI requirements lists are those that are thorough and clear. Functional Requirements for Business Intelligence The functional requirements for business intelligence vary depending on the specific needs and goals of the organization. Here are some common types of functional requirements for BI:
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TIP: In 2014, TEC surveyed more than 250 users of mobile BI solutions to determine some of their common usage practices with mobile BI applications and their mobile BI requirements. Among other findings, TEC realized that few organizations are using mobile BI to its full potential for reasons that include poor user experience and understanding. For mobile BI best practices, see our Mobile BI Buyer’s Guide. Non-functional requirements for business intelligence Non-functional requirements focus on the performance, scalability, usability, security and other aspects of the BI system. They include:
The Most Common Business Intelligence Requirements In 2013, TEC surveyed 9,000 small and medium-sized companies to see which requirements decision makers considered in the selection process. Questions ranged from how much executives were willing to spend to which BI functionalities they prioritized and what their platform requirements were. The results of the study were helpful in informing TEC’s customers about which tools and attributes to consider as they compiled their own BI requirements.
When TEC compared this 2013 survey to their previous 2012 survey, they found increased demands for more sophisticated BI analytics capabilities to help users measure business profit and risk factors
Regarding budget, TEC found that most of these small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) spend somewhere between $25,000 to $100,000 (USD) for their new or updated BI system—which is about the average cost of a reliable software-as-a-service (SaaS) BI product costs.
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Customization is riskier and costs more than simple off-the-shelf solutions. Most respondents told TEC they are looking for suppliers that offer:
Bottom line: TEC market research report can guide you to what your competitors are looking for. At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that while these requirements reflect what decision makers have identified as their core business needs, they may not reflect your own, which are unique. Benefits of the Business Intelligence Requirements Checklist The Business Intelligence Requirements Checklist template serves as a starting point for gathering and documenting specific requirements tailored to your company’s needs.
Using a business intelligence requirements checklist offers several advantages to organizations embarking on a business intelligence software selection project. They include:
Overall, a comprehensive and clear checklist of business intelligence requirements should help your organization choose a BI solution that meets your specific needs for current and future growth. However, it is important to modify or adapt the template to suit your particular situation and requirements. Best Practices for the Business Intelligence Requirements Gathering Process To successfully select and implement BI software, you need a data-driven list of business intelligence requirements to guide you. And that, according to TEC CTO Mehdi Aftahi, is why it’s so important to have your list of requirements complete and clear. Companies with partial or unclear business requirements are more likely to spend unnecessary project implementation time and expense adding and changing requirements to make their choice work. A lengthy implementation disrupts business as usual and can affect stakeholder enthusiasm for the new system, among other issues.
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For the best chance of success, it’s good practice to stop gathering requirements and start building them. Everything in business solutions is, in a sense, made up of requirements that serve as building blocks for everything that matters to an organization. Many of the requirements are organically related. For example, your business intelligence functional requirements will likely include reporting and dashboards, which inevitably leads to a non-functional BI requirement for a comfortable database experience. TEC suggests focusing on what you need to benefit your business and the right questions will emerge as a result. How to Gather Business Intelligence Requirements To gather business intelligence (BI) requirements, organizations need to assess the maturity of their BI infrastructure, gather issues with current systems, identify critical tools, and envision an ideal future state. This process should be supplemented by additional assessments to ensure comprehensive, actionable BI requirements for a successful implementation. Let’s look at this process in more detail. 1. BI Maturity Assessment To choose the most appropriate BI solution, an organization must be able to realistically assess the maturity of its BI infrastructure. This allows organizations to discover where they stand, what their business intelligence requirements are, and how to determine the best BI solution or strategy. Accordingly, Jorge Garcia, TEC’s Principal Analyst in BI and Data Management suggests that your organization evaluate the following:
There are several different ways that organizations can go about gathering their business intelligence requirements. 2. 3 Methods of Gathering Business Intelligence Requirements Software implementation is complex and expensive with a 75% risk of failure (according to Gartner), so it is critical to ensure that your business intelligence requirements specify how your system must respond to user needs, perform as required and deliver value to your organization.
3. The 4 Assessments Approach Complete the following four assessments to get an idea of which business intelligence requirements to include in your list:
By following these best practices, organizations can gather comprehensive, accurate, and actionable business intelligence requirements that can lead to successful BI implementations.
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To paraphrase TEC’s Jorge Garcia: “By adopting this methodological approach, you may find that you have already established the foundation for a coherent BI maturity process.”
A checklist of the most important business intelligence requirements for choosing and implementing BI. A Business Intelligence Requirements Template guides you to thousands of functional and non-functional features and options available in BI solutions on the market today. You use this template to select the tools your business needs. These are the most common features:
Download the TEC Business Intelligence Requirements Checklist, also known as our BI RFP Template Checklist, to access a complete list of BI features and business requirements available in the current market.
For a comprehensive description of each module and feature set, read our overview of BI systems, including their business benefits, cost considerations, the best BI systems on the market, how to choose the best BI system for your business, and much more. How TEC’s Business Intelligence Requirements Checklist Template Can Help You Find the Best-Fit System To save our customers time and increase their chances of finding that best-fit solution the first time, TEC invests its 30+ years of experience in enterprise software assessment and consulting to design custom business intelligence requirements gathering template. The template contains thousands of category-specific words that exactly match that particular software product.
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Many organizations will find that having an unbiased consultant, such as TEC Advisory Services, to guide them through the process of evaluating and selecting BI software, which can be complex and overwhelming and disrupt current business operations, is a smart business decision. It will not only ensure optimal use of the BI requirements checklist, but also maximize their chances of choosing the most appropriate BI system by implementing it appropriately,
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