While we don’t describe our sales and Salesforce analytics software as Business Intelligence, per se, there’s no denying that there are many similarities – think data and the in-depth analysis of sales information. Therefore, we were interested to learn that Software Advice, a company that reviews BI tools, recently released their findings from a comprehensive study, called the “Business Intelligence BuyerView Report.”
Here are some key insights into the mind of today’s business intelligence consumer – the Sales VP who is equal parts data scientist.
Raw numbers are great, but it’s all about visualization – The runaway top reason among consumers buying new BI software is the need for better data visualization. This is no surprise – unless you have a well-trained eye for parsing complicated reams of data, most people can comprehend the information better when it’s visualized.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest limitations of Salesforce.com reports is that they struggle to produce really compelling and useful visualizations. Which is why most consumers of such analytics require third-party tools that provide better visualization.
Overview visibility is powerful – Among the most popular BI tools are those that provide dashboards and scorecards. This is because Sales VPs, CEOs and other C-level executives who need this information are too busy to spend countless hours finding the relevant data they need. But when they have a dashboard providing a broad overview of their company’s performance and giving them visibility into the success (or failures) of each department? That can truly unlock powerful insights for them.
Additionally, these C-level executives also need to know how each of their individual employees are doing, per their relevant key performance metrics. The scorecards – such as a sales leaderboard, for instance – provided by BI software is a quick way to understand who your best employees are and how they are performing.
Customization is key – At the end of the day, BI software works only if it suits the purposes of the user, without them having to bend over their own back just to learn how to actually use it. Customizable dashboards and reporting, along with a user-friendly interface, were two of the top-request software features by far. Every organization is different, and needs unique sales reports that fit their needs. And, of course, previous archaic methods of sales data analysis required a PhD in Excel, not to mention a lot of free time on the hands of very busy C-level executives. User-friendly interfaces that don’t require any training to use are a huge bonus.
It came as no surprise to us that the majority of BI software consumers and users currently in the market emphasize the aforementioned features and use-cases. Fortunately, our product team understood these demands of the market and subsequently, our own sales analytics product provides all of these features, and then some.