Updated: Jan 10, 2020
Thanks to an unprecedented wave of innovations in recent years, if you are thinking about using a business intelligence tool for your company, you’ll have plenty of options at your disposal. The biggest names in the market will typically offer your company a free tier version, as well. This version will allow your team to get started without having to commit budget or invest anything more than time.
The free versions of popular names will almost always have the same limitations:
- You won’t be able to create an unlimited number of reports.
- You won’t have access to their entire library of chart options.
- Your report-sharing will usually be restricted to five team members or less.
Thankfully, it isn’t difficult to expand capability. By paying a small monthly license fee per user, you’ll usually unlock the option to create an unlimited number of reports, access more of the charts and share with a greater number of team members. Most companies can afford this scaled option, and this option is usually more than adequate for companies that only need internal functionality.
What if I need external user access for my BI tool(s)?
This question is crucial to examine before choosing a BI tool: the investment gets significantly more important if your objective is to share those reporting externally. Here are examples of how price points will change depending on your external sharing needs.
As you can see, external user access capability increases the investment demands considerably, highlighting the need for careful consideration before deciding.
Are there any alternatives?
There are, of course, plenty of other players in this field, but the problem of comparatively expensive external sharing remains. There will be slight differences from company to company, but industry standard practices put a high value on this functionality – a high value that, unfortunately, ends up as a charge on your invoices.
But visualize something new for a moment: a fresh approach to business intelligence tools. Rather than treating them as they historically have been – a “one stop shop” for reporting – what if they were viewed as a “laboratory” instead? This would be an environment where your data team can still create reports that are aimed to internal use only. When the need for external reporting arises, you would use another tool that would be dedicated to external sharing.
This web application would have everything you need to:
- Manage sign-up/sign-in
- Manage accesses
- Integrate new reports
The best part of the process? Since it is your web application, you won’t need to pay for licensing fees or expensive external user access fees. Using this approach, you can decrease your operating costs significantly by eliminating one of the most notorious financial pain points. Simply-bi built several web applications that not only meet this criteria, but offer a significant cost-savings in the process.
We ran an estimated savings analysis using a standard single-report process, comparing external user access cost. The benefits are, to put it plainly, nothing short of incredible.
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