Agile BI vs. Traditional BI: Which is Best for My Business?

BI SoftwareIf you’re searching for a business intelligence (BI) tool, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether an agile or a traditional BI solution meets your organization’s needs best. Usually, the answer isn’t clear-cut. In fact, the type of solution you choose depends on several factors, including your organization’s use cases, budget, level of technical expertise, and more.

To help you get one step closer to answering the question “Which is best for my business, Agile or Traditional BI?” we’ve outlined the fundamental characteristics of both options.

Agile vs. Traditional BI, What’s the Difference?

Agile BI Solutions

Agile BI solutions, sometimes referred to as business user driven BI Solutions, tend to be products of newer companies that are leveraging many of the strengths of web based technology. As the name implies, agile solutions are designed to rapidly adapt to changing business needs. One of the objectives of Agile BI is to give users the data they require to make informed business decisions quickly. Examples of agile solutions include Yurbi, Tableau, Sisense, and Domo.

Fundamental characteristics of Agile BI:

  • Business users are able to access the real-time data they want and quickly generate results without the need for technical expertise. Often, no coding skills are required.
  • Agile BI’s upfront costs, total cost of ownership (TCO) and total cost of change (TCC) are significantly less than Traditional BI’s costs.
  • When compared to Traditional BI, Agile BI offers a shorter development cycle that uses less IT resources and is faster to deliver.
  • User adoption is typically greater with Agile BI than with Traditional BI because it’s easier for the non-technical business user to understand and leverage.

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Traditional BI Solutions

Traditional BI solutions are powerful and backed by well established software companies. These are the Big Boys of BI; the largest industry leaders, such as: SAP Business Objects/Crystal Reports, IBM Cognos, Oracle BI, and Qlikview.
Fundamental characteristics of Traditional BI:

  • Built to serve even the largest environment. Has the ability to scale to handle a massive amount of data and serve the greatest number of users.
  • Offers a broad range of features which allow companies to cover a wide spectrum of reporting types and an array of use cases.
  • Requires a high level of technical expertise; users rely significantly on IT to perform even the most basic functions like building reports. As a result, user adoption rates may suffer.
  • Typically cost prohibitive for most small to medium-sized organizations, as well as for many large organizations.
  • Requires IT to have SQL query skills or learn a proprietary query language in order to implement- which drives up cost and adds to the time required to deploy the solution.

How an Agile BI Solution Might Benefit Your Business

Many large organizations need to purchase a combination of Traditional and Agile BI solutions to meet all the varied use cases that exist within the enterprise- and there’s a good chance they have the budget to do so. In contrast, small and mid-sized organizations typically have less BI use cases and more restricted budgets. These companies may find a more Agile BI Solution like Yurbi meets their needs, plus offers benefits that Traditional BI typically doesn’t:

  • Low Initial Cost and Low Cost of Ownership
    Agile business intelligence tools are comparatively inexpensive to purchase and easy to implement when compared to Traditional BI tools. They also cost much less to maintain, so the total cost of ownership is less with an Agile BI tool than with a Traditional one. If you’re looking for a comparatively affordable BI solution, Yurbi might be a good fit for your organization.
  • Encourages Experimentation
    Agile business intelligence tools connect to data sources rapidly, giving team leaders and members the flexibility to experiment with different approaches in seconds.
  • Web-Based
    Agile business intelligence tools are web-based, making them perfect for the increasingly mobile business environment. Users on the go and virtual workers can quickly gather the reports and data they need to make fact-based decisions- just like they were accessing the data via their desktop.
  • Easy To Use
    In stark contrast to users of Traditional BI tools, those who use Agile BI tools don’t need to know how to code. In fact, because the platform was built for the business users, even those with limited technical expertise can pull sophisticated queries and reports.
  • Relieves IT
    As a “self-service business intelligence” solution, Agile BI empowers the end user, and lets them break free from their dependence on IT. If your organization doesn’t have an IT team, or you want to relieve IT technicians to focus on other tasks, Yurbi might fit your needs.

5 Questions to Consider When Comparing Agile and Traditional BI Solutions:

  1. What are the upfront costs, implementation costs, and annual maintenance and support costs?
  2. How much time/money/resources are needed to train end users to use the solution?
  3. What technical resources are required to access, prepare and make data actionable for the end user?
  4. Does the solution allow you to connect to existing data sources? How easy is it to add a new data source?
  5. Can users access real-time data via their mobile devices?

The Bottom Line:

Answering the question, “Which is best for my business, Agile or Traditional BI?”

Before you can decide which type of BI solution meets your organization’s needs best, an agile solution or a traditional solution, you must clearly define your use case, business problem or what your company wants to accomplish by leveraging a BI tool. Then learn what BI features and capabilities are needed to solve that problem or accomplish that goal. Finally, start evaluating BI tools that meet your specific needs and budget.

Where does Yurbi fit in?

Yurbi is a mixture of the best of Traditional and Agile BI. Yurbi has the ability to serve the majority, if not all of the BI use cases for small/medium sized business. Plus, Yurbi offers large business the chance to bring in the Agile solution they need for a specific set of use cases. Benefits of Yurbi include:

  • As a 100% HTML5 application, Yurbi gives you and your team the ability to easily access metrics and data in real-time via smartphone, tablet or laptop.
  • Yurbi’s simple drag and drop interface delivers DIY power to small business owners, executives and every member of their team. No coding required!
  • With Yurbi, you get a self-service library and complete set of real-time dynamic dashboards that combine data from multiple sources, so you can create the unique BI experience you and your team need to succeed.
  • Data discovery features allow Yurbi users to “slice and dice” data so they can quickly get the information they need and spot trends that otherwise may have not been recognized.
  • Yurbi also offers enterprise features such as scheduling and notification, enabling you to set the report-delivery schedule that works best for your small business or team.
  • Yurbi’s innovative, enterprise quality security features ensure your users only have access to the level of information you deem appropriate.

If you’re ready to learn more about Yurbi and experience the benefits it brings to the table, we invite you to request a live demo of Yurbi with one of our specialists. Ask questions and find out if Yurbi may be the right fit for your organization. Or, jump right into a test drive and explore a sample Yurbi environment. If you want to take the next step, our Customer Success team can set up a proof of concept trial on your server so you can see Yurbi in action, using your data.

Click here to download “5 Mistakes Executives Make When Buying BI”

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