bi reporting tools

10 Important Traits to Look for in BI Reporting Tools

Share buttons
bi reporting tools

Despite its overuse as a business buzzword, Business Intelligence (BI), can be essential to the success of your business. Business intelligence provides organizations with the ability organize and analyze large amounts of raw data. This makes it possible for leaders to make better-informed decisions, and to get a clearer picture of the business-impact of daily processes. However, in order to get the most out of business intelligence, organizations will likely need BI reporting tools.

Advantages of BI Reporting Tools

An effective BI reporting tool bridges the gap between the user and the data. With traditional BI tools, the ability to generate reports is often little more than an afterthought. As such, the time and effort that is needed to build reports can actually result in data becoming obsolete before it can be acted upon. How bad is it? On average, traditional BI tools take 6.1 days to generate reports. That’s nearly a week’s worth of wasted time, that could otherwise have been put to profit-generating use.

47% of employees say that there is no self service interface to build custom reports

Specifically-designed reporting tools not only allow for fast, easy generation of reports, but are also designed to be able to present reports in a way that is easy to comprehend, using whatever data you may wish to analyze. However, not every BI reporting tool offers the same advantages, and selecting a BI reporting tool that is well-suited towards the particular needs of your business can be a difficult process.

Thankfully, there are certain features that are shared between the best BI reporting tools. By using the presence (or absence) of these features as a standard against which to measure available BI reporting tools, and then further reviewing and testing the tools that seem most promising, an organization will be able to find the tool that works best for it.

The Necessity of Usability

Business intelligence is generally used across a variety of departments, and needs to be easily-accessible for any user who might need to work with it—not just those with an IT background. However, this can be a difficult prospect. After all, the vast amounts of data being acquired and analyzed create a complexity that can be difficult to avoid when it comes time for the the BI tool to take over. Easy, intuitive interface, along with built-in training options, help to improve the implementation process, and increase employee adoption rates. To this end, the best BI reporting tools use data visualization.

BI reporting tools that make use of advanced data visualization—often by way of an interactive dashboard—are able to condense large amounts of data into simple-to-comprehend images, charts, diagrams, etc. These visual data-representations can then be interacted with, providing a cursory, at-a-glance overview of all of the important information a business may need, while also allowing for more in-depth review of the numbers that really matter, all without having to involve IT specialists.

And speaking of IT, does it make sense for the decision-making process within an organization to be routed through the IT department? Probably not. However, BI reporting tools that don’t feature self-serviceability force the process to do just that. Self-service, on the other hand, means that the leaders who are responsible for making the big decisions are also the ones who are using the data, and are doing so in a way that is intuitive and straightforward. Unfortunately, in 47% of cases, there is no self-service interface with which to build custom reports.

Average number of days it takes to get reports built with traditional BI tools (range: 4.3-7.9). (Aberdeen Group)

The Importance of Choosing the Right BI Reporting Tools

BI reporting is what connects businesses to the data that they work so hard to collect. As such, choosing the correct BI reporting tool is absolutely vital. After all, what good is all the data in the world, if it’s not being expressed clearly? BI reporting tools make it possible for businesses to turn their captured data into real value, and that’s an advantage that no one should misunderstand.

Sign up to watch an Analytics Cloud demo
Sign up to watch an Analytics Cloud demo
Sign up to watch an Analytics Cloud demo
Please complete all fields.
Please complete all fields.
Please complete all fields.
  • *

    Tell us a little about yourself, so we can show you the products that can help your business.

    Enter your first name
  • *
    Enter your last name
  • *
    Enter your title
  • *
    Enter a valid email address
  • *
    Enter a valid phone number
  • *
    Enter your company name
  • *
    Select the number of employees
  • *
    Select your country
  • *
    Select your state/province
  • *
    ???fields.Lead.InfoEmail__c.js.err.msg??? Yes, I would like to receive marketing communications regarding Salesforce products, services, and events. I can unsubscribe at any time.
Salesforce.com does not share, sell, rent, or trade personally identifiable information with third parties for promotional purposes. Privacy Policy & Security Statement
TRUSTe European Safe Harbor certification

Resources

 
Explore the Analytics Cloud Playground

Explore the Analytics Cloud Playground

Explore now

 
Find out how companies are winning with Wave

Find out how companies are winning with Wave

Get the e-book

 
The Power of Mobile Analytics

The Power of Mobile Analytics

Get the e-book

 
See the Dreamforce ’15 Analytics Cloud Keynote

See the Dreamforce ’15 Analytics Cloud Keynote

Watch now

Learn more about Wave Analytics.

Test-drive Wave Analytics, play with the Sales Wave Analytics app, and explore real datasets.

EXPLORE NOW

Get the latest word on everything related to Wave Analytics. Sign up today for new announcements, reports, and updates.

GET UPDATES

bg-close-img
X
Questions?
Chat with a live agent. We are here to help.
Contact now >
Or call us at 1-800-667-6389.
Live Chat