Take the BI Truth Detector – The 9-minute Shortcut to determining your business intelligence needs
Ok, so you’re ready for business intelligence. What’s your next move? How do you find the right BI tool for your growing company? How do you get your brain around all of the options that are out there?
If you’re confused, or don’t know where to start, we’re here to tell you: You are not alone.
To help, we’ve put together the BI Truth Detector to help you home in on the right tool for your organization. We’ll help you know what to ask, and what to look for, when researching their options.
Download the checklist: TAKE THE BI TRUTH DETECTOR
The Association for Financial Professionals’ (AFP) recently released the first annual Financial Planning and Analysis benchmarking report. It revealed that the industry is in a state of transition as more and more organizations are investing in financial planning and analysis.
If your growing company is like the majority of respondents, you are:
- Planning to invest more in technology.
- Counting on efficiencies that will allow you to spend more time on analysis.
That sounds great. Even better is that sophisticated business intelligence is no longer the exclusive domain of large, enterprise companies. In the past, implementing analytics software required building data centers and hiring IT specialists and consultants. And all of that was before any meaningful reporting and analysis could be done.
Today, there are literally hundreds of analytic tools targeting small and medium-sized businesses. But not all BI tools are the same. With a wide range of features and infrastructure requirements, it’s hard to know where to start.
Where Small Businesses Falter
When small businesses go shopping for BI and analytics solutions, there tend to be extremes. Many organizations take a giant leap. After all, the prospect of having all your data integrated and available to end users sounds exciting.
Moreover, management may think the system they buy should accommodate any future needs that arise as their business grows. Many of them can lose sight of the fact that the solution must be easy and fast to adopt in the short term in order to be successful in the long term.
Of course, the marketing dollars and sales pitches by different solution providers also play a role in blinding the decision makers of their immediate needs, and selling a complicated system that’s far too expansive (and expensive) for a small business that basically needs to analyze QuickBooks data.
Conversely, BI solutions aimed squarely at companies just reaching the need for data analytics have their limitations. Certainly the cost-of-entry is appealing. However, more often than not, these solutions simply don’t deliver the level of accuracy, detail and customization most CFO’s are looking for.
It really is a balancing act, so let’s take a deeper look.
Pro & Con of “entry-level” BI tools
Many CFO’s in this range are just beginning to develop a culture of analytics. While leadership understands the need to invest in the technology, they often feel that buy-in will be easier if the cost of entry is low. Let’s focus on 1 pro and 1 con that we hear over and over.
- Pro: Cost – Most of them allow you to stay with your existing accounting software, and are relatively inexpensive to implement and maintain.
- Con: Features – Cookie-cutter features that look great but just don’t allow for customization, and little or no trained support to help you get the most from the tool.
5 factors that impact your decision to move to an ERP-level system
It is at this point that CFO’s seriously begin to think about moving to an ERP level system. But that decision is not an easy one. What holds them back from going in that direction? There are five key factors:
- The Cost. ERP systems are expensive, and can be costly to migrate to.
- The Distraction. Spending a lot of time on moving the business processes and operations to a new platform can also mean losing productivity.
- The Risk. Just because the ‘Mighty Might’ ERP system works for my neighbor’s business does not mean it is going to be a good fit for mine.
- The Training. Everyone here knows QuickBooks. Do I really want to have to retrain all our staff?
- If you have process problems, mid-market ERP systems frequently exacerbate the problems and become a nightmare.
Let’s help steer you in the right direction.
Every organization has different needs. You’re tasked with making the right decision based upon your size, resources, infrastructure, and commitment to a culture of analytics.
That’s why you need the BI Truth Detector ™: The 9-minute Shortcut to determining your business intelligence needs.
Complete our easy, 6-step checklist, and you’ll know what to ask, and what to look for, when starting your search.
And remember, you are not alone.