Big Data: Ten Criteria for Evaluating Analytics Reporting Tools (Part 2)

The following are the remaining five criteria for your Big Data analytics reporting tool. As I mentioned last week, weightings for each criteria category should be discussed, along with adding your company’s sub-topic considerations, to calculate the total best score.  By using these criteria and attributes as a starting point your company can quickly understand the different areas that make your business users effective for getting their Big Data analytic reporting answers.

  • Big Data report interfaces.  Every business user is different and wants their Big Data analytic answers in the format they like on their particular computing device.  This requires your reporting tools to publish answers according to user criteria prompts, clickable drill down graphical interfaces that are expandable and dynamically resizable for phones, tablets, and PC interfaces.  These interfaces connect through some JDBC, ODBC, COM, LDAP, or other connection.  Having prebuilt interfaces and standard reports for major CRM, ERP, and other application packages can jump start your reporting.  Make sure to verify your legacy platform interfaces first with your Big Data reporting software.
  • Robust report design and publishing capabilities.  Big Data reports need to be designed to fit and function for a variety of end business user usage styles.  Many publishing styles are required: interactive drop down menu web pages, prompted criteria for building graphical web pages, combination graphical maps with charts, graphs, and data tables.  The current market place for Big Data enterprise reporting tools is very robust and almost any type of report can be produced through the variety of tools available.  Some even provide a user exit programing interface to incorporate specialize custom modules.  Determine which capabilities your business users require and do usability tests to evaluate capabilities of various enterprise reporting to demonstrate the one that works best and fits the needs of the business users.
  • Diverse report types and formats supported.  The various report types need to be save-able in any format desired (HTML, HTML5, PDF, XML, CSV, RTF, Word, XSL, or International formats).  Being able to share Big Data analytics across the enterprise is critical in the format that is most secure, convenient, and usable.
  • Report management administration capabilities.  Capabilities such as the ability for end business users to schedule, subscribe or publish reports to a website, SharePoint or user destination are highly desirable.  Notification APIs, emails, and texts of report statuses are also available for end-users and/or administrators.  The ability for administrators to be able to view report type summaries and to create aggregates for use by the business users to develop their reports can help eliminate bottlenecks and slow reporting response time.
  • Meta data, context and help capabilities.  Understanding the source, business definition/meaning context of each data item, and its business definition can really help the Big Data analytic report business users understand the details of the reports they generate.  Knowing the meta data, context, and timing of the data details helps business users understand the deeper implications of their business situations.  Having a built-in Help Facility can also save huge amounts of Help Desk calls and quickly educate your end users to develop self-sufficient reporting skills.

The number of enterprise Big Data analytics tools continues to increase as more companies leverage their data to gain the competitive edge.  Evaluate your current reporting tools. Maybe it’s time to upgrade your tools to enable everyone in your enterprise to get their own questions answered.

Dave Beulke is a system strategist, application architect, and performance expert specializing in Big Data, data warehouses, and high performance internet business solutions.  He is an IBM Gold Consultant, Information Champion, President of DAMA-NCR, former President of International DB2 User Group, and frequent speaker at national and international conferences. His architectures, designs, and performance tuning techniques help organization better leverage their information assets, saving millions in processing costs.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>