How to Choose the Right Business Intelligence Technology to Suit Your Style
Abraham Maslow was once quoted as saying “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” Those words are truer than ever before as an increasingly complex and interconnected world makes selecting the right Business Intelligence (BI) tool crucial. Businesses, in an effort to stay one step ahead, collect large amounts of data ranging from demographics, buyer behavior, and customer loyalty to financial and operational data. Unfortunately the data is useless for decision making, its intended purpose, without a way of organizing and displaying it as meaningful information. To help digest and make sense of their data, companies need to select the proper tools that can collect, process, and present data in a relevant and timely manner. With the wide variety of tools available in the marketplace today, it is easy to get confused as to which to pick. But, just as a hammer is not appropriate for all jobs, no single business intelligence tool is appropriate for every user’s need. Companies need a way to determine which tools provide the most benefits to meet the varied needs of their users. The good news is that Microsoft provides a variety of tools that can address a broad range of BI styles, including Microsoft Excel, PowerPivot for Excel, SQL Server Reporting Services (including Report Builder), and PerformancePoint Services in SharePoint. All of these tools can be surfaced through the familiar SharePoint Server interface.