choosing the right bi tool

How to Choose The Right BI Tool for Your business

Choosing the right BI tool is important for the success of every business intelligence project. If you do not choose the right business intelligence software for your organization, then it may lead to unforeseen problems down the road. If you are wondering “how to choose the right BI tool?” then here are the key factors for choosing the right BI tool.

How to Choose the Right BI Tool

Here are the important criteria to select the right BI tool for your business.

1. Data connection

One of the most important factors to choose the right BI tool is its ease of data connection. Which data sources does your BI tool support? How easy is it to connect to these data sources?

If the BI tool does not support your data sources out-of-the-box then it is not of much use to your project. Many BI tools expect users to perform tedious data transformations or require you to upload data to their servers before it can be processed. These days, it is not necessary. Modern BI tools like Ubiq directly connect to your data as-is, without requiring any transformation.

So choose the BI tool that directly connects to your data, without forcing you to move or modify your data in any way. This will reduce your deployment time by weeks, if not months.

Bonus Read : How to Choose the Best Business Intelligence Software

2. Data Analysis

Next, you must evaluate the data analysis capabilities of your BI tool. At the end of the day, you need to be able to slice and dice your data with it. Otherwise, you may not be able to get the desired results for your BI project.

So make a list of all the data processing you expect from your BI tool, such as filters, drill-downs, aggregations, statistical functions, expressions, custom fields, parameterized queries, SQL queries, pivot tables, and more.

Make sure that you test each BI tool for these features in your proof of concept (PoC). Most BI tools offer a free trial, so you can easily evaluate them w.r.t your requirements.

Bonus Read : How to Create Operational Dashboard

3. Data Visualization

After your BI software processes your data, you will need to present the results visually, using charts, graphs, reports and dashboards. So find out if your BI tool supports the different visualizations required to present your data.

For example, does it support bar graphs? If so, what kind of bar charts does it support? Does it support stacked as well as grouped bar charts? Can I plot a line alongside bar graph?

If your BI tool has limited charting options then you won’t be able to present insights to your team, as per your requirement.

Also, find out the various customizations available in your BI tool. Does it allow you to add/modify chart title, data labels, axis labels, column names, formatting, and more? Can you change different colors used in each visualization?

Bonus Read : Business Intelligence Reporting Best Practices

4. Collaboration

BI tools are most effective when they are used by a team of users, and not in isolation. So it is essential that your BI tool supports user management and access control. This will allow you to add users to BI projects and control their access permissions to BI dashboards.

It must also enable you to share BI deliverables such as dashboards & reports with other users, in different ways. This may be done by sharing URLs, exporting dashboards as PDF/Image, or even scheduling automated email reports.

Such BI tools make it easy for people to work with their teams & clients.

Bonus Read : How to Gather Business Intelligence Requirements


Most modern BI tools provide a free trial that allows you to evaluate the key factors for choosing the right BI tool. Make the most of it and pick the business intelligence software that meets your requirements and fits your budget. If you are looking for an affordable BI tool that offers many of the above features, you might want to try Ubiq


Sreeram Sreenivasan is the Founder of Ubiq. He has helped many Fortune 500 companies in the areas of BI & software development.