Probing Business Intelligence Questions to Identify the Right Tools to Use

Recently, a colleague asked me if I had a list of solid probing questions about the state of business
intelligence within an organization. Moreover, because I was at the time part
of our IBM Business Analytics Practice, he wanted to know if I had questions
that specifically related to the IBM stack. What he wanted to do was to use the
question to understand the issues companies were facing in order to help
construct appropriate solutions and bring the right tools to the table.
I must say that I made a rookie mistake,
after 25-years in the industry, and the product focus derailed me. I
immediately started to ponder what questions could I ask about IBM Cognos
versus SAP Business Objects versus Oracle Business Intelligence and got
nowhere. I forgot that it does not matter if it is SPSS or SAS, or TM1 or
Hyperion, they can all for the most part do the same things. What matters is
what are you trying to achieve, and how do you want to achieve it.
Here is my list of top-ten questions to ask. At this stage, I am not going to try to
interpret the answers. If you can get honest answers, you should be in good
position to evaluate which tools are right for you and not end up with
shelf-ware and dissatisfied end-users. I am going to make one big assumption on
which to move forward. You have or can get access to the data you need.

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