Consumers generate a huge amount of information about their preferences, experiences and other activities that companies can utilize to improve their products and services to match customer demands. Choosing the right analytics tool to capture and analyze this data is a crucial aspect in achieving business goals to increase engagement, better sales and more efficient operations.

To select a tool, begin by determining what kinds of data you want to integrate and how you plan to do it. Certain tools are more geared towards traditional enterprise reporting, while others are designed to assist you do more advanced analytical analysis or track sensitive information such as healthcare data. You should also think about the way that the analytics tool you’re considering will fit into your current workflow and data architecture.

Some tools provide an iterative experience for data scientists and advanced users, while others are primarily designed to enable non-technical or novice users to perform point-and-click analysis. You should also take a close look at the options for data visualization and features provided by each tool. Some tools are designed to create visual charts while others require SQL or third-party software to model the data before it can be analyzed.

Once you’ve narrowed your choices down, consider the cost as well as whether the platform relies on subscription fees or software licenses. Some tools are completely free, while others require a significant initial investment and ongoing maintenance costs. Make sure you compare these costs to the potential benefits from the knowledge and efficiency generated by the analytics tool.

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