Why Customer Support Is the Underrated, Vital Component of BI Success

How to Find a Business Intelligence Solution with Great Customer Support

When most people think of business intelligence solutions, they fantasize about colorful dashboards with just the right information to help make the tough business decisions. Others think more technically and are hooked at the prospect of digging deep into all the big data they have been collecting for years to finally produce something of value – insights.

If you ask these people, “what do you want in a BI solution?” you’ll hear a range of answers: Beautiful data visualizations! Tackle all my BIG data! Easy to use – even for the average Joe!

These answers are all top factors to take into account when choosing a BI solution. But, there’s a underestimated and often sidelined component to BI that no one is talking about, and yet its presence often determines the success of your company’s business intelligence: Customer Support.

What Constitutes Great Customer Support?

Yes, customer support – the hands-on assistance supplied from the BI vendor with their team of experts – is often the single determinant to whether your BI project will succeed or fail.

To start with, customer support means the hands-on assistance supplied from the BI vendor with their team of experts. This means that they have customer support team set up ready to provide you with support for implementation, scaling, modeling data, and generally to help you make the most of your analytics tools. With a goal of end-user enablement – the training should focus on working with the end users for however long it takes to ensure they can independently get results from the BI tool.

6 Most Common BI Problems & How Customer Support (Should) Help

Instead of waiting until some form of post-purchase buyer’s remorse sets in because a BI project is failing – take a look of this list of common problems that occur, and how getting the Customer Support can solve each of of them:

1. Not identifying a specific business case for tools

  • A common problem is being unable to establish an ROI if you haven’t first determined what the business is looking to achieve.
  • Your BI support team should assist you by evaluating your business overall and pinpointing the best places business intelligence initiatives should be focused.

2. No buy-in from end-users

  • Without buy-in from the people who will ultimately be using the tools, BI solutions can be left under-utilized and bring little value.

  • Training tools such as videos and workshops can help cement business intelligence across the organization – even if many of the users are technophobes. A good sign of a BI vendor are those who offer a support track.

3. Long Implementation

  • When it takes too long to get started, or things are initially setup incorrectly – the poor takeoff can have long lasting impact.

  • With customer support, business analytics will be implemented successfully, and users will be trained and confident. These tools are often already up and running within a couple of months.

4. Lacking Seamless Integration

  • Features such as reporting and querying capabilities or fancy dashboards are all well and good – but they have to integrate with your other business systems.

  • Customer support should ensure that your BI tools integrate smoothly with other systems, and see to it that your business intelligence solution is implemented without a hitch.

5. Limited Scalability

  • Some BI can burn out under the pressures of new data sources and increasingly complex data. 
  • It’s critical that you get a flexible platform that will grow and adapt with your unique business needs. So talking through your needs, both now and in the future, with a knowledgeable customer support team is key when you’re choosing a BI solution. Remember, part of long term support and partnership is the ability to easily (and affordably!) scale to additional data and users you will surely need in the future.

6. Insufficient training

  • Skimping on the user training budget is a false economy – how can you expect to get value from your BI when users can’t operate it properly?

  • Your business intelligence software should come with ongoing support, full instructions on how to get the most of its features, and even better, free training videos. 

How to Find a BI Solution with Great Customer Support

Besides for trying to gauge a BI company based on the description of their customer support of their website, it’s hard to know for sure what’s good marketing and what’s good customer support.

There is one foolproof way to know for sure how well a BI vendor provides support, and that is to hear directly from the people who did – or did not- experience it. Customer reviews and ratings, analyst commentary and professional reports that are from a third-party give you a true, unbiased perspective.

Here are some of the most popular review sites and analyst reports for Business Intelligence:

Gartner’s MQ for BI & Analytics

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms report, arguably the most influential report in the BI space – describing the current state of the BI industry, and influencing its future by impacting buyer behavior, vendor strategy, and market awareness

Celebrating the best in modern business intelligence and analytics, Gartner described great customer support as “continuous and good user enablement,” which drives the success of business intelligence.

How Sisense Ranked:
Sisense was named as a Visionary in the Gartner report, and our customer support was what set us apart. In the user enablement category, great customer service helped push Sisense to the top quartile of business intelligence companies globally.

Gartner named three areas of customer support where we particularly excel:

  • Community managers
  • Webinars
  • Workshops

Gartner Peer Insights, a website operated by revered analyst firm Gartner, that focuses on reviews of real users – and provides a highly detailed view of each product and its strengths and shortcomings within the scope of each deployment. Here are some of the independent reviews of Sisense from the IT community (real users) at Gartner peer insights:

  • “Great customer success engagement.”
  • “Superior customer support.”
  • “Great team to work with.”

G2 Crowd – Implementation Index Report

G2 Crowd is a leading business software review platform, and contains over 100,000 user reviews for various business B2B applications. In fact, they have a Implementation Index Report that ranks BI tools based on user scores of their ease of setup, implementation time, user adoption and other factors directly relate to customer support. G2 Crowds Implementation score is calculated using real-user satisfaction ratings for a number of implementation-related review questions.

How Sisense Ranked:In the G2 Crowd Report, Sisense was selected as the platform with the fastest implementation and easiest setup. See all the aspects in this dashboard:

Tip: It’s important to work with a BI vendor that offers extensive, ongoing support, preferably through a dedicated business development manager. As you find your feet with the new technology, it’s invaluable to have an expert on hand who can answer queries, help you to coax out new capabilities from the product and advise you on which updates, features and add-ons will facilitate your team’s changing demands.

The Wisdom of Crowds Study by Dresner

Wisdom of the Crowds study is based off of the feedback of thousands of real BI users who participated in Dreseners study and ranked the leading BI tools based on their own experience. The study has a strong emphasis on the overall customer experience of users and is a good determining factor for customer support. You can download the report here.

How Sisense Ranked:
With over 1,500 survey respondents, Sisense ranked as one of the leading tools in both Customer Experience, determined by the product’s score in technology and service, and Vendor Credibility, determined by the value and confidence the market has in the product.

Sisense also achieved a perfect ‘recommend’ score according to the customers, by simplifying business intelligence for complex data and making it immediately accessible for every business user, executive, and BI analyst.

Read more top resources for comparison recourses here.

What’s Customer Success Like at Sisense?

At Sisense we’ve doubled our efforts to make sure customers get all the help they need to use our data analytics platforms, focusing on getting both the support and the systems spot-on.

As an Evaluator

Successful business intelligence outcomes start at the very beginning of your analytics journey, and we’re the only BI vendor to offer a real, live test drive of our analytics that’s based on your real data – usually tests are carried out on sample data. That way, you can get a real feel for how it is to get up and running with Sisense.

Our first mission is to help customers find the right solution for their business, industry, and unique requirements from the get-go. The support team will work closely with you to understand what you need from your business intelligence solution, and to ensure that you shortlist the right BI tools for your needs.

We’ve also written some nifty blogs like this one, to help you with this too.

As a Customer

When you’ve made your choice, we walk users through the entire set-up process. Customer support specialists – we call them our Customer Success Team – are on hand 24 hours a day to offer extra tech support, and each client is also assigned their own ongoing support through a Customer Success Manager and an Engagement Manager.

Added to this, we also have ongoing, live webinars, workshops, and recorded tutorials to help users become as familiar with our business intelligence platform as they are with their very own personal devices.

Choose a BI tool with top-notch customer support

Click here to test drive Sisense.