Distributor Analytics Essentials Series: How should I evaluate solutions?

Submitted on: Wed, 03.01.2017 07:25pm - Annie Eissler |
Distributor Analytics Essentials Series: How should I evaluate solutions?

In this third post in our Distributor Analytics Essentials series, we share some insights on things to consider when starting to look for an analytics solution. Determining the best fit for your business will take some work on your part, but will pay off in the end. Many a software solution has been purchased only to be replaced a few short years later by something else because it wasn’t the best fit or didn’t provide the return on the investment expected.

Before you start to dive into discussions and demos with distributor analytics vendors, we strongly encourage you to identify the half dozen (at most) goals that an analytics solution will help you achieve. Think about:

  • What are the biggest revenue-affecting challenges for your organization right now?
  • What metrics are you currently using to measure the success of your organization today?
  • What are your goals and expectations for your implementation in 90 days? In year one?

When it comes time to evaluate vendors, consider:  

  • Speaking with existing users to get their feedback
  • Determining the expense and turn-around time for customizations (rarely is software 100% the way you need it)
  • Asking how often new functionality is released — is the vendor actively reinvesting in the solution?
  • Understanding the value of any pre-built content — this can save hundreds of hours of labor for your IT team
  • Ease of use for non-technical folks — is this solution click and go or does it require specific technical knowledge to fully utilize?
  • ‘One version of the truth’ — be sure all analytics use one data set that is verified accurately against your ERP/CRM/etc.
  • Ability to have dashboards and data visualization — some data is better understood in charts/graphs/other visuals
  • Does the vendor offer training — free training videos for quick intros to functions and/or hands-on training to better achieve user adoption?

We invite you to learn more about distributor analytics by joining us on March 7, 2017 for a free webinar where we will dive deeper into the series topics to date: what is distributor analytics, how will it help you make/save money, and what should you look for in a solution? Register Now.