No, they are not new anime heroes pitted in a battle to the death (though I might write the book. Okay. Maybe not.). BOB is Best of Breed and AIO is All in One. Ah. That sounds more familiar. So how do you think you should go about choosing a new business intelligence solution? BOB or AIO? What are the pros and cons?
Around the time I got married, I had a friend who dated supermodels. His relationships would last for a few months and then he would find something wrong with each girl. Too tall. Too short. Too smart. Too dumb. It was like watching Seinfeld.
Now I wonder if he was looking for best in breed or all-in-one. I suppose that he was thinking BOB by the looks of his dates. But once he got to know them, it seemed as though he was really looking for the AIO model. He discovered that with BOB, you can really only be BOB in one specialty. He also discovered that AIO is never really AIO. There is always something missing. The thing is that that missing thing is not a problem for everyone. But when you discover it’s missing, it can ruin the whole package. It’s really all about your expectations.
When it comes to business intelligence solutions, you can find the experience you want, with some or all of the features that you want at a price that makes sense. Not all BOB solutions will give you the price that you want. But for the important features which focus on taking advantage of all of your business data and help you to quickly pull valuable insights, the AIO solutions might not put enough emphasis on what is important to you.
To get the best BI fit, you need to decide what is important to you, your business and your business intelligence users. For example:
• Multi-source data analysis that does not require programming or professional intervention when you need to tap a new data source.
• Governed solution that brings together diverse sources of intelligence into a single framework to create a more realistic picture of your business reality.
• Self-Service from connecting data sources to analysis, reporting and insight discovery
• Automatic insight recommendations that help get you to decisions with just a few clicks.
• Infographics that, unlike charts, give you the means to quickly interpret, at a glance, the insights that are relevant to your decision making process.
• Social collaboration tools that can recommend the people who are most relevant to your discovery quest based on their prior contributions to the system.
• Mobile adapted apps that not only show you your dashboards and graphics on the go but that give you a high level of control and speed that you would expect on your desktop.
Every business environment is unique. While the ‘best’ solution might have a strong core and some valuable features, only the most flexible solutions can adapt to different types of businesses and can transform as your business grows and changes.
So, the bottom line is not which is better, BOB or AIO. What’s more important is your individual approach to the solution. Look for the features that are most important to you. For example, ease of use, fast time to insight, flexibility and scalability, mobile apps and, of course, total cost of ownership. Then make sure that you pick a BI solution that best implements those features. Rather than pure BOB or AIO, that gives you a sort of hybrid Best of Most-in-One solution. BOMIO? Okay. Maybe this approach could use a better name. But you get the picture.