Differences Between Off-the-Shelf and Custom BI Solutions

Differences Between Off-the-Shelf and Custom BI Solutions

If you’re trying to decide between an off-the-shelf business intelligence tool and a custom business intelligence solution, you’ve come to the right place.

Business intelligence has grown by leaps and bounds in the past two decades. In the early days, users harnessed BI to help them marry complex SQL queries and MS Excel. Today, BI software has a growing number of self-service, user friendly functionalities.

Not surprisingly, it has become a much sought after go-to for reporting and analytics.

At the same time, there can still be a pretty big gap between what a company needs and what off-the-shelf BI software provides. Simply put, an off-the-shelf solution may not meet the unique needs of your business.

Custom solutions

When you buy a car, you expect that it will start, stop and drive as needed. You’re not going to buy a car that doesn’t stop, and you’re not going to buy a car that doesn’t start.

So if your business needs BI software that will help you with X, Y and Z, you shouldn’t settle for a solution that offers A, B and Y.

Makes sense, right?

When you work with a company to develop a custom BI software solution, the consultants from that company will start by developing a full understanding of the tasks you need the software to perform. Once the tasks have been identified, you can begin to look into functionality.

You can also determine how much data integration you’ll need. If your company receives data from a laundry list of different sources, you’ve likely realized that transforming that data into a uniform format can be challenging.

When you choose a custom BI solution, you can decide whether you need tools for SQL. Do you need multiple metadata layers? Are you wanting to create enterprise portals that will be used for data integration, that will provide shared access to that information?

You’ll also need to ask yourself about the types of online analytical processing tools (OLAP) that will be needed. Not only will OLAP allow you to plan your data processing, it can be implemented through the use of different architectures, ie: on a disk, or through the use of in-memory data storage.

Contact Pathways International today

At Pathways International we can help develop custom BI software that’s designed to provide your businesses’ developers and users a set of tools that will help them deal with a full range of BI applications. We can also make sure that the applications are able to integrate with one another and ensure the applications will line up in your business processes.

Remember, the very best business intelligence platforms will allow users within your company to perform and make their own specific and unique requests.

Business owners understand the things about their company that makes their company unique. As such, your company is going to have needs that can’t be met through the use of a one-size-fits-all BI solution.

For more information on how custom BI software can benefit your company, call Pathways International now to learn more.


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