Questions before choosing a cloud BI solution

Cloud based Business Intelligence solutions bring a lot of benefits when adopted – I discussed them in a recent article. Just a reminder, BI solutions support better decision-making by providing historical, current and predictive views of all business operations. I explained in the article the main benefits of cloud BI solutions so you can check that article too. However, today I would like to discuss about what we must analyze and think about before choosing a cloud BI solution.

1. How much time does your average user dedicate to BI? Focus on the employees who are going to use the system regularly, not on those who rarely have time to access and analyze the BI data.

2. What are the technical skills of your average user? If you don’t know, now it is the time to find out.  This will help you choose a system that the daily user in your company can easily utilize.

3. What are the KPIs for your business? I am sure that every single department has its own key performance indicators. However, it is essential for every business to adopt a series of standards, in order to be easier and more efficient and to collaborate and ensure accountability to the senior management.

4. Do users need to access the BI data remotely on a regular basis? If yes, then a cloud BI solution is definitely the answer. If your users spend most of their time on site, then you might be able to get by with a on premise solution.

5. What are the costs involved? Here are some of the things I recommend calculating before making a decision: overall cost of the system; cost of the in-house IT staff compared to the cost for maintenance and service contracts with the provider; Time and expense for migrating data to the cloud.

In conclusion, there are some things to consider before choosing a cloud BI solution. This process might seem challenging but in the end you will choosing the most suitable solution for your business.

Photo source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1419193

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