I mentioned in a quick note earlier this week that I had been absent from blogging for a while. In a previous blog post I mentioned that I accepted a new role at the beginning of the year (post), besides the new management duties I’ve taken on I’ve also taken on a role of getting a DW/BI project up and running. I’ve been very focused on this project trying to meet some key deadlines for April; the project along with a very successful Utah Code Camp has kept me very busy (more posts on that in the future).
Since my focus has been on BI/DW right now I thought I would start off some of the key things we are looking for in a BI tool. Hopefully this will help others get started with their own lists. This is not meant to be every single possible need and it’s not meant for every environment, this was the key elements for our business. Most likely you will have differing needs.
We are looking for a front end reporting suite that gives our end users the ability to answer questions about data on their own without help from the DW team. The tool(s) that we choose will be primarily reporting off of a SQL Server 2008 database. It needs to work across multiple browsers (Safari, Firefox, IE, and Chrome). Here are the high level requirements we are looking for.
1. Ability to do Ad-Hoc Analysis of data
2. Ability to report off Both Cube/OLAP data
3. Ability to report off OLTP Detail data (Create detail reports).
4. Scheduled reports ability. Ability to refresh data on a schedule for reports.
5. Report Delivery. Ability to push reports out via Email (We later removed this need but I leave it here since many still want this ability).
6. Works in a browser.
7. Website for centralized report management
8. Mobile Client/Mobile capability available.
I would love to hear if you have additional items you think are required/necessary in a tool.