Your Guide to Software Selection

10 Critical Business Intelligence Features

If you’re in the market for a BI solution, it’s vital to know the essential business intelligence features to look for. Here’s our recommended list of the 10 critical features of BI platforms that will help any organization improve their business strategies.

1. Ranking Reports

Ranking reports let you easily view the best- and worst-performing facets of your business, from products to marketing campaigns to salespeople. You can view rankings across multiple dimensions and specify various criteria to focus your results.

2. What-If Analysis

If you’re curious about how a future decision will affect your business, you can run a “what-if” analysis using past data to predict the potential impacts. Tools for what-if analyses give you an objective view of the risks and rewards involved in each potential decision, and allow you to plan better for the future.

3. Executive Dashboards

Executive dashboards give your organization’s leaders a real-time overview of your business in the form of graphs, charts, summaries and other information reports. They allow your company’s executives to make smarter, faster and better decisions.

4. Interactive Reports

Interactive reports allow users to condense the massive amounts of collected data into a wide variety of possible views. Users can take advantages of features like statistical analysis and regression to identify trends, anomalies and outliers in the data.

5. Geospatial Mapping

Applications using location intelligence can take your information and transform it into graphical and cartographic representations, simplifying your geographical data. At a glance, judging which regions are performing better than others — and which ones need particular attention — becomes much easier.

6. Operational Reports

At the end of each day, your BI platform can provide your organization’s executives with a detailed summary of the daily events, giving them the information they need to make critical decisions.

7. Pivot Tables

Pivot tables can automatically extract significant features from a large, messy set of data. They can perform calculations such as sorting, counting or averaging the data stored in one table, and show the summarized results in another table. Pivot tables are essential tools for analyzing information and uncovering hidden trends.

8. Ad-Hoc Reports

Instead of burdening your IT department with requests for detailed reports, ad-hoc reports are a BI feature that let your nontechnical end-users generate their own reports on the fly. Users can pick and choose the elements that they wish to be included in the report, emphasizing only those aspects that are relevant to their query.

9. User-Specific Security

If you need to restrict certain users’ access to particular data sets, your BI platform should allow you to personalize your features and applications to individuals or groups of users. Some solutions provide user-specific data sources, where a single application pulls from different sources of data depending on who’s using the application.

10. Open Integration

Smart BI platforms will be able to access not only your organization’s own data, but information from email, social media, websites and more. For example, instead of only providing your internal sales data, your BI platform could accompany that information with reviews and comments about your products.

With so many data formats and so many applications to pull from, it’s important that your BI platform is able to integrate as many different types of data as possible under a single roof, seamlessly combining disparate forms of information into an actionable report.

Match these critical features up within your BI requirements template to ensure you are researching and selecting the ideal BI platform for your organization.

SelectHub10 Critical Business Intelligence Features

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