Ask These Questions when Shopping for a BI Product for Dynamics NAV

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This article is all about the right questions you should be prepared with when seeking the best Business Intelligence (BI) software to upgrade your Microsoft Dynamics NAV experience. 

If you are a Microsoft Dynamics NAV user and you’re in the market for an independent software vendor (ISV) Business Intelligence (BI) solution to enhance how you manage and analyze your data, the shopping process can be overwhelming and confusing at times.  There will be a whole slew of sales pitches, demos, and webinars, but hopefully, you won’t be going through this process often.  We’ve spoken to lots of folks, with the most recent big event being Microsoft Convergence, who are aware of what has worked and what does not work for them, but still are unsure of the current landscape of powerful BI tools, in terms of features and functionalities.  Most are just looking for a best fit software to help them meet their business goals, but where do you begin?

NAV Questions for BI
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Start by putting together a comprehensive list of questions.  First, you should know what choices you have in today’s marketplace, which will naturally entail asking questions regarding your particular BI analytics needs and objectives. Which solution does your organization need right now?  Do you prefer to work on-premises with an ERP server or in the Cloud?  How much can you spend on a product?  What are your bigger picture, longer-term BI goals, and how will you get there?  These are just some questions to get you started, but it seems like most people find the amount of software products and the sales and marketing language surrounding their functionality to be too carefully articulated to really be able to differentiate between offerings.  This article will outline a wide range of questions you can prepare yourself with for shopping for a new BI tool.

In an effort to remain structured, I’m going to organize questions into three categories: questions about the third party software manufacturer, questions about the ease of use for business end user management, and questions about the cost.  You can approach these questions however you like, but I put them in this order on purpose.  Because you’re investing your money, your time, and your energy, you don’t want to waste any of that on an ISV that is not stable, successful, or supportive of you.  After this step, you want to ensure that the tool is business user friendly, so that you can eliminate IT department management and secure a bigger, faster return on your investment.  Finally, does the price match the value you have discovered in the first two categories of questions?  There’s no such thing as a stupid question, but let’s zoom in on these three sets of questions.  You should aim to be the expert with all the right questions until you are the expert with all the right answers, so you can make a smart investment in a third party BI product for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

To continue learning more about questions to ask when looking for a BI solution for Dynamics NAV, read the rest of this article here.

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