With a fast-growing number of vendors, the business intelligence (BI) market and related software have become complex and difficult to understand. With hundreds of dashboard software options, including data discovery applications, traditional BI, cloud BI, and free open-source solutions, as well as embedded purpose-built analytics, it can be quite a lot to take in.

If you’re confused about how to find the best dashboard software that suits your needs, here are 4 questions to ask when considering your options:


  1. What Users will I be serving?

It is important to know the users you’ll be serving when considering the functionalities of your analytics software. Most users fall within a wide range, including those who are data-savvy and want in-depth analysis, the basic users who desire simple and interactive software, and the power users who want visual data discovery that allows them to find answers to questions on the go.

Almost all analytics customers will fall under any of three categories, which are data analysts, content creators, and information consumers.


  1. What’s the best function for my users?

When considering all functions and features within a BI dashboard software, consider features that will satisfy your customers and win over more customers. The most successful embedded BI projects are those that bring about insights and actions. To make money from your embedded BI, ensure to include sophisticated and must-have functions.

Give beginner users the particular data and functionality they need to work smarter while releasing more data and functionality when new questions come up. Here are the most common analytics functionalities in the market to consider:

  • Benchmarking
  • Data visualizations
  • Dashboards
  • Mobile reporting
  • Self-service analytics and ad-hoc querying
  • Static reports and interactivity
  • Visual workflows, work processes, and workflows


  1. Should BI stand alone or be embedded into existing applications?

If you already provide an application to your users, you can embed BI into that app. Think about how you can integrate BI capabilities for all your category of users. Consider the extent of embedding analytics for user types when working towards customer satisfaction and revenue growth.

Consider how a new analytic feature will work with your security levels. Also, consider how important integration and customization are to you compared to general BI implementations. Then, decide if you want your users to have a seamless experience within an existing application.

The deeper the analytics integration in your application, the higher your user application adoption.


  1. What level of support do you need?

Selecting the best BI dashboard software goes beyond technology. It involves getting the vendor expertise necessary for services, support, training, and working towards shared business success.

Here are things to consider pertaining to vendors for your BI dashboard software:

  • Do the Software licensing terms align with the value you want to give your customers?
  • Choosing a full-range service option allows you to complete your project right and on time. It is effective because sometimes, you need resources that span beyond what your team has.
  • The best vendor should offer a process that gives you the pathway to success and affords you resources to tackle any issue you might face.
  • Explore and enjoy the experience and commitment of the vendor to help you and your users achieve success.