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Posted 2nd December 2022

How to Choose the Right BI Consulting Provider

As the volume and variety of data soar, enterprises require more advanced analytics tools. Therefore, increasingly more organizations upscale their investments in business intelligence (BI). According to Industry Research, the global BI market will reach $35,380 million by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 5.6% during 2022-2028.

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How to Choose the Right BI Consulting Provider
Business Intelligence Solutions

As the volume and variety of data soar, enterprises require more advanced analytics tools. Therefore, increasingly more organizations upscale their investments in business intelligence (BI). According to Industry Research, the global BI market will reach $35,380 million by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 5.6% during 2022-2028.

Despite the growing demand for advanced analytics, not every organization is ready to initiate BI-related projects. After all, BI development is no easy task, which implies the integration of different data sources and assuring data quality. 

For this reason, those who decide to initiate business intelligence projects usually fall back on BI advisory and utilize third-party expertise to mitigate the development challenges. This article discusses why the choice of a BI consultant plays a critical role in project success and provides tips on finding the best service provider.

 

Why is the choice of a BI consultant essential?

Typically, consultants are involved in BI projects at multiple levels. For example, a consultant first provides business and technical advice to validate a client’s idea, concurrently helping to draw up the requirements and project plan. Then the same consultant participates in BI development and implementation and is involved in coding, design, testing, and optimization.

Apparently, such a wide range of tasks requires a broad set of skills and proficiency in BI development from both business and technical perspectives. In addition, a consultant must have relevant industry expertise – after all, developing BI for logistics, telecommunications, and healthcare would slightly differ.

Suppose a consultant does not meet these requirements. In that case, an enterprise risks deploying a useless or defective BI solution and ineffective budget spending. On the contrary, choosing the right BI consultant with relevant skills and domain expertise increases the chances of project success.

 

How to find the best BI consultant?

To increase the chances of finding the best BI consultant, we would recommend corporate decision-makers the following algorithm:

Step 1. Preparation

If an organization considers initiating a BI project and starts looking for a consultant, we would recommend doing a little preparatory work in advance. In particular, decision-makers should elaborate on their business requirements and define the project goals, as this information may come in handy while searching for a BI consultant.

Decision-makers may initiate meetings with linear managers and enterprise IT experts to discuss relevant questions:

  • What pain points do we want to solve with business intelligence?
  • What kind of BI software do we need? What features and capabilities should it provide?
  • Are there examples of similar BI solutions on the market?
  • What technologies and tools will we use during the development?
  • What budget and resources are we ready to allocate?
  • What assistance do we require from a BI consultant? What skills and expertise do we need in the first place?

Based on the answers, decision-makers can formulate their requirements for a potential consultant. For example, an organization plans to utilize a microservices architecture. In this case, it goes to a consultant with a deep knowledge of a microservices concept. 

Step 2. Researching

After an organization has determined the basic requirements for a BI consultant, it can proceed to gather a pool of candidates. At this stage, decision-makers should try to collect all relevant information about each potential consultant. 

To start with, they may look at the consultants’ websites. There they can find general information about consultants, their services, domain expertise descriptions, and specific certificates.

Also, it is advisable to look through the portfolio section. First, the portfolio highlights a consultant’s expertise. Second, it helps understand whether a consultant had experience with similar BI projects. In addition, a portfolio may provide insight into how a consultant approaches BI software development.

The research stage should imply visiting directories (such as Clutch, G2C, etc.) and reading reviews of the consultant’s clients. Both good and bad reviews can provide a lot of valuable info – whether customers are generally satisfied with the services, what they say about a consultant regarding data and project management, communication, and meeting deadlines.

Among other things, decision-makers may try to reach out to the consultant’s clients directly and ask some questions about their past interactions. On completing all these steps, an organization can gain a comprehensive view of a particular BI consultant and decide if it deserves further consideration.

Step 3. Filtering

At this stage, an organization should already have a pool of candidates potentially suitable for the role of a BI consultant. Now an organization should filter out consultants to determine the most worthy ones.

For convenience, decision-makers may create a table in Excel or Google Spreadsheets and fill it with the research results. This way, they can compare all the relevant parameters – the relevance of experience, company location, and the ratio of good to bad reviews – and identify the leaders. 

Step 4. Communicating

After an organization has filtered out the most relevant candidates, it is time to contact them and start discussing the project idea. At this stage, it is critical to analyze the communication with BI consultants, as it will help to make a more confident final choice.

Here are some communication aspects that are worth considering:

  • Does a consultant show interest in our idea? Is a consultant committed to answering our questions?
  • Is a consultant open and transparent about its expertise?
  • Is a consultant ready to share contacts of its clients?
  • Can a consultant’s team explain why we should prefer them over competitors?
  • Does a consultant make a good impression?

If a candidate has passed all the filters, the organization can choose it for providing BI advisory. However, if none of the candidates meets the requirements, corporate decision-makers may consider initiating a new search cycle and searching for other providers.

 

Final thoughts

Today, implementing BI technology may be considered a natural step for any growing enterprise aiming at enhanced decision-making and competitiveness. Since BI development is very challenging, many organizations prefer to engage third-party BI consultants, who can validate ideas, create project plans, and, if necessary, take over the BI implementation. 

However, an organization should not contact the first BI consultant it comes across, as it may lead to project failure. A clear understanding of business objectives and a comprehensive candidate analysis are the keys to choosing the right BI consultant.

Categories: News, Strategy


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