Why you might be paying too much for BI?

Experts believe that companies dont have to spend as much as they do on BI solutions

Business Intelligence solutions dont come cheap. Thats common knowledge. But how many of us really know the actual cost of a BI solution? Ask around, and chances are that youll have very few hands raised in response to this question.

In April 2012, consulting firm Aberdeen Group published the results of a survey in which analysts attempted to work out the cost of an average BI solution. According to David White, Senior Research Analyst, Business Intelligence (BI), the cost of implementing and then supporting the solution averages out to 68 per cent of the total annual cost. Aberdeen analysts reached this figure by analyzing existing BI implementations at several companies and breaking out the average costs for IT staff, professional services, hardware, presentation software, data warehouse software, and integration software. The exercise put the total annual cost at a shade over $5 million for a BI user population of close to 3,500 employees.

White believes that its a lot of money for enterprises to be paying for BI. According to his latest blog, in light of this figure, the procurement process for BI solutions should be turned on its head.

So what does he propose IT managers do?

By all means, go open source or buy at the end of the year to maximize the discount you can wring out of your favorite sales rep. But, over the long haul, getting a solution that minimizes the need for support staff might be the better way to go, he writes.

White also claims to have data points suggesting that self-service analytics greatly reduces the internal support costs. Not only that but managers who use BI in a self-service way, are more likely to find the information they need when they need it. Everybody wins, he adds.

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