written by
5000fish Team

[Checklist] How To Know When You’re Overspending on Business Intelligence Software

BI Problems and Solutions 5 min read
DashboardFox - Affordable Business Intelligence Software

When we talk to people about business intelligence software we always give a single piece of advice:

Don’t spend more on business intelligence than the value of the problem you’re solving.

It sounds like common sense, but for a variety of reasons, we find companies getting caught up in the hype of business intelligence and overspending. There’s a reason the large BI vendors pay their salespeople so much (they are very good at their job). And you can also infer there’s a reason their BI software costs so much (they have to pay their well-paid salespeople).

When decision-makers tell us they’re getting nickel and dimed by their business intelligence (BI) vendor, it raises a red flag. While no BI tool is completely free, businesses should be able to budget for BI and feel confident that the benefits of their BI solution outweigh its cost. If they can’t, it could mean they’re using the wrong business intelligence tool.

Here’s a comic we had created on the topic of this article, hope you enjoy it!
DashboardFox - Affordable Business Intelligence Software

Here are five signs you’re spending more on business intelligence than you should be.

If more than one or two sound familiar, it might be time to switch to a new BI solution.

1. You’re paying a lot for business intelligence, but your solution isn’t delivering.

As more business users realize the value of BI, they’re expecting more from your company’s BI solution- but it’s falling short. We often hear IT gurus and business leaders complain that although they continue to pay hefty software fees, their solution no longer delivers like it used to. In short, they’ve outgrown their BI solution.

2. Every time you turn around, you’re paying a consultant.

Unlike agile BI software which can be leveraged by the average business user, traditional business intelligence software such as Microsoft SSRS, QlikView, and SAP Business Objects requires the expertise of a highly-skilled developer. On top of the fact that you’re paying top dollar to keep a developer on payroll, it’s also likely you’ll be paying consultant fees when it’s time to upgrade your software or connect to a new data source. All of which eat away at your bottom line.

3. You don’t know your ROI, or you do- and it’s negative.

If you don’t know if your BI solution is effective, or you’re spending more on BI than you’re getting in return, there’s a good chance you’re using the wrong BI software- and it’s costing you. One reason businesses find themselves “stuck” with the wrong BI tool (one that isn’t delivering the ROI they expected) is that they didn’t have a clear reason for using BI in the first place. Now they’re so heavily invested in their BI solution that they feel like they can’t afford to switch to a new solution.

4. Licensing costs are getting out of control.

When you first start using your BI tool, you only needed a few licenses. But as your company has grown, and the number of people who want access to business intelligence has increased, you find you’re paying exorbitant licensing fees- and it’s beginning to have a serious impact on your ROI. Or, perhaps you’ve looked into a few BI solutions and decided that due to licensing costs and other expenses, you couldn’t afford business intelligence. Either way, the price has held you back from fully leveraging BI.

5. Your end-users aren’t using it.

If you’re paying annually for software that is not being used there’s a term for that, shelfware. Unfortunately quite a lot of BI software has become shelfware in many organizations. It could be due to complicity, and end-users are simply finding other ways to get their answer. It could be the frustration of working with the report writers and developers to get what they need. It could be the software is old and outdated and not delivering features they need, such as self-service reporting, dashboards, or mobile access. It could be a lack of training. All of these point to a decision, do you continue to dump money into the existing solution or find a new and more affordable one going forward.

How Can DashboardFox Help?

DashboardFox is not right for everyone, in fact we say that we provide 90% of what is needed for 90% of all businesses. What does that mean? There’s always going to be about 10% of businesses that absolutely have to have a feature that we don’t have. For those reasons, we gladly recommend an alternate solution to them.

But for the rest, we may not have all the bells and whistles of our bigger competitors, but the question you have to ask, how much extra am I willing to pay to get that 10% feature which is nice to have, but not really necessary.

The other big plus, as a nimble organization, we are customer-driven, so most of the time if you tell us you need that feature, we can add it to the product in a short time frame (typically 2-3 months).

DashboardFox has a one-time, perpetual license pricing model. So instead of an annual subscription where you have to pay just for the right to use the software. With DashboardFox, you pay once and can use forever. We do have optional annual support for upgrades and priority support plans, but they are a lot less than rebuying the software each year and more importantly, they are optional.

We are equally committed to ensuring DashboardFox is the right solution for you before you put down a penny which is why we offer a fully-featured free trial. If you are interested to learn more, contact us, let’s see if it sounds like a good fit for your requirements and then we can take it to a live demo or jump right into a trial.

To learn more about how the right BI tool can benefit your organization, we encourage you to read our free eBook “The Hidden Cost of Bad Business Intelligence.”

Microsoft SSRS Qlikview SAP Business Objects Buying Decisions