BIScorecard Rates Eight Leading Products - InformationWeek

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8/6/2008
12:16 PM
Doug Henschen
Doug Henschen
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BIScorecard Rates Eight Leading Products

Gartner's "Magic Quadrants" and Forrester's "Wave" reports carry a lot of weight, but these reports lean more toward assessing vendors rather than products... Most would-be buyers are equally hungry for hands-on analysis of the software they might end up using every day. In the BI market, that gap is filled by Cindi Howson's BIScorecard. Here's a peek at the top-level scores, plus a link to five helpful recommendations.

When it comes to IT research, Gartner's "Magic Quadrants" and Forrester's "Wave" rankings carry a lot of weight with would-be technology buyers, but these reports lean more toward assessing vendors rather than products. Granted, when you're spending six or seven figures with a vendor, things like "completeness of vision" and "ability to execute" certainly matter a great deal, but most would-be buyers are equally hungry for hands-on analysis of the software they might end up using every day. In the business intelligence market, that gap is filled by Cindi Howson's BIScorecard. Here's a peek at the top-level scores, plus a link to five helpful recommendations.The just-released BIScorecard Strategic and Product Summary, Q2 2008, is a 23-page report that covers eight leading products: BusinessObjects XI R2, Cognos 8.3, Information Builders Web FOCUS, Microsoft BI, MicroStrategy 8.1, Oracle BI Enterprise Edition and Essbase, QlikView and SAS Enterprise BI. Each product is scored along eight dimensions: Business Query/Reporting, Production Reporting, OLAP, Information Delivery, Dashboards, Spreadsheet/MS Office integration, Predictive Analytics, Administration and Architecture. Scores range from "Minimal/None" to "Excellent" based on analysis of 10 to 25 detailed features in each of these areas.

BI vendors are checking all the same feature and function boxes these days, but there are significant differences under the covers. Cindi has spent thousands of hours with these products to uncover these differences, but with no vendor sponsorships or fees for inclusion to cover the cost of the research. You can't expect this depth of coverage for free, but at $895, I think it's a bargain, and I recommend it as the best, most comprehensive analysis of BI products available.

BI Scorecard

As for the report's top-level findings, Cindi has agreed to share the report's vendor-focused scorecard above. To explain this chart a bit, "EIM" is enterprise information management, which is basically data integration and data quality technology, while "PM" stands for performance management.

To get the detailed, vendor-by-vendor scores on eight products in eight key areas, you have to buy the full BIScorecard. The high-level scorecard above is akin to a Quadrant or Wave analysis, though with six dimensions of scoring rather than two axes.

To get a better feel for the full scorecard, check out this free Summary Table of Contents, which includes five big-picture recommendations for those considering BI product investments.Gartner's "Magic Quadrants" and Forrester's "Wave" reports carry a lot of weight, but these reports lean more toward assessing vendors rather than products... Most would-be buyers are equally hungry for hands-on analysis of the software they might end up using every day. In the BI market, that gap is filled by Cindi Howson's BIScorecard. Here's a peek at the top-level scores, plus a link to five helpful recommendations.

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