Firstly, a formal evaluation helps organizations choose products that are well suited to their needs.
Also, the evaluation process itself provides a deeper insight into organizational requirements.
And finally, the evaluation process sets a realistic level of expectation among stakeholders as to what can be achieved with a particular solution.
Results from The BI Survey show that projects incorporating a formal multi-product evaluation deliver more benefits than those evaluating just one product. In turn, those projects evaluating a single tool deliver more benefits than projects where a favored product is purchased with no formal evaluation.
A contributory factor here could be that well-run, high profile projects — which are more likely to succeed anyway — have a greater tendency to include a formal, professionally conducted software selection phase.
The advantage of conducting a formal evaluation is not a recent finding. The following is a quote from The OLAP Survey 2 in 2002:
“Very strikingly, those who had performed a formal multi-product evaluation reported higher achievements of every single one of our listed possible benefits, as well as slightly higher goal fulfillment.”
Before choosing a BI tool, conduct a multi-stage, multi-product evaluation based on users’ requirements.
Competitive selection is much more likely to lead to choosing a suitable product than non-competitive selection.