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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE APPLICATIONS FOR THE NONPROFIT SECTOR What business intelligence is, what you need to know

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE APPLICATIONS FOR THE NONPROFIT SECTOR

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE APPLICATIONS FOR THE NONPROFIT SECTOR What business intelligence is, what you need to know

What business intelligence is, what you need to know about it, and a review of the business intelligence product landscape.

Products Reviewed:

Altosoft Birst IBM Cognos 8 Planning Jaspersoft BI LogiXML Microsoft SQL Reporting Services QlikView Tableau

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction ................................................................................................................

3

Part 1: Understanding Business Intelligence

So, What Is Business Intelligence

5

5

The BI Strategy

7

Key BI Concepts

8

Part II: Reviews of Business Intelligence Solutions

The BI Product Landscape

10

Altosoft ......................................................................................................................

12

Birst ............................................................................................................................

15

IBM Cognos 8 Planning

18

Jaspersoft BI

21

LogiXML

24

Microsoft SQL Reporting Services

27

QlikView

30

Tableau

33

Conclusion

Getting Started with BI

36

Important Disclaimer

The information contained in this report is as true and accurate as we could make it at the time of its writing. All information in this report is based on public information from each software vendor’s website, our own observations from using and/or testing each product, or from direct communications with each vendor’s staff members. Software applications are continually changing, so keep in mind that this report is accurate as of

April 2013; you should always confirm information from each vendor before making a

purchasing decision.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

INTRODUCTION

Over the past few years, the commercial sector has proven the value of Business Intelligence (BI) — the processes and technologies that transform data into meaningful information that helps move a business forward. Companies have used BI to:

• Unify disparate data sets and create both historical analysis and predictive

modeling to guide strategic decision-making

• Supplement standard customer data with social media content including

customers’ interests, purchasing activity, and social circles

• Identify key metrics that will determine their overall effectiveness and progress

toward goals

THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE IN THE NONPROFIT SECTOR

Today, the nonprofit sector is in a unique position to reap the benefits of BI. More

nonprofits are understanding the value of Constituent Relationship Management (CRM)

to their organizations, and have also discovered

that a solid CRM foundation eliminates many of the roadblocks that previously prevented them from taking advantage of a complete BI strategy. In addition, the cost of BI solutions has come down

significantly, and technology has become more

accessible as challenges associated with integration and tool usage have decreased. But, the time is right for BI not simply because the sector can now access

these tools. The time is right because nonprofits must analyze and use their CRM data to survive and thrive.

Constituents now expect a more custom, user-centric experience. Content must be targeted, multi-channel, and relevant to capture attention. In order to create this effective content — to be able to appeal in the most compelling way — we must better understand

A SOLID CRM FOUNDATION ELIMINATES MANY OF THE ROAD BLOCKS THAT PREVIOUSLY PREVENTED NONPROFITS FROM TAKING ADVANTAGE OF A COMPLETE BI STRATEGY

our constituents. And filtering our rich CRM data with BI tools is the most effective way to

provide this understanding.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

INTRODUCTION Over the past few years, the commercial sector has proven the value of Business Intelligence
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THE PURPOSE OF THIS PAPER The purpose of this paper is three-fold: • We provide a

THE PURPOSE OF THIS PAPER

 

The purpose of this paper is three-fold:

• We provide a high-level introduction to BI. We describe what it is, identify key

terms and concepts associated with BI, and further develop why the time is right

for the nonprofit sector to seek the value that can be gained from it.

• We describe the groundwork needed prior to effective implementation of a BI

solution. We begin to explore strategy, business alignment, and technical needs that precede such an effort.

• We explore some of the tools available on the market. The range of solutions

is intended to provide some initial guidance on pricing, complexity, and

experience in the nonprofit sector.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

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Part I: Understanding Business Intelligence

SO, WHAT IS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE?

If an organization’s needs are limited to flat, summary reports of data from a single database, then most software’s native reporting modules will suffice. However, since most, if not all, organizations have disparate data sets that must be joined together in order to extrapolate trends and other useful analytics, more robust BI solutions are required.

In a 2010 paper entitled “Business Intelligence and Business Impact,” the leading information technology research firm, Gartner, defined BI simply as the process of gathering information in the field of business or the process of turning data into information and then into knowledge. Since then, particularly due to the vast amount of information now available over the Internet,

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE:

THE PROCESS OF TURNING DATA INTO INFORMATION AND THEN INTO KNOWLEDGE

BI — or at least data-driven decision making — has become a critical component for an organization’s ability to strategically collect general data about its constituents and their behavioral patterns, forecast growth, and ultimately inform future planning and projects. At a minimum, a strong BI solution can do the following:

• Collect financial statistics about revenue and expenses

• Capture large amounts of enterprise data that can be manipulated easily

for analysis

• Display data in a way that captures insights, including using dashboards

and visualizations

WHAT ARE INDUSTRY LEADERS SAYING ABOUT BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE?

In a study completed in April 2012, the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) noted that 99% of nonprofits surveyed are already tracking some type of metrics — with financial data and

operational efficiency being the most common. However, NTEN also found that organiza- tions track other data, such as the number of people on their mailing list, their Facebook™ comments, or more traditional statistics like the amount of new donors in the past year. These types of metrics can help build a foundation on which to quantify social impact, but many of the organizations surveyed are not using this type of outreach data to inform decision making.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

Part I: Understanding Business Intelligence SO, WHAT IS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE? If an organization’s needs are limited
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Nonprofit technology expert and blogger, Beth Kanter, notes that the problem might have a straightforward answer: “I keep hearing that a big reason that nonprofits are not looking

at the data they collect or even collecting it — is because of skills.” As organizations mature, most will look forward to moving beyond spreadsheets as the primary tool for reporting. With

many nonprofits looking to streamline their work processes, they do not have time to waste

on manually-intensive data analysis.

At the same time, while nonprofits work to understand

their data, fundraisers are increasingly relying on online giving to expand their engagement with constituents

and make it easier to submit donations. Blackbaud, a company that develops industry-leading solutions for

the nonprofit sector, recognizes that the generational

demographics for contributed revenue are changing, and many younger donors are gravitating toward the

Internet to submit their first online gifts. For this reason,

AS ORGANIZATIONS MATURE, NONPROFITS DO NOT HAVE TIME TO WASTE ON MANUALLY-INTENSIVE DATA ANALYSIS

Blackbaud recommends that organizations adopt multi-channel fundraising strategies that incorporate an online component. With this approach, fundraising strategies include social media websites like Facebook and mobile tools that bring with them

another dimension of data — a.k.a., “Big Data” — that can be tracked and analyzed for

impact. Hence, the need for a BI solution becomes more important.

Meehan, Patric, and John P. Roberts. “Executive Summary: Business Intelligence and Decision Impact.”

Gartner. Gartner, Inc., 01 May 2010. Web. 7 Jan 2013.

Nonprofit Technology Network. “The State of Nonprofit Data.” Nonprofit Technology Network. Nonprofit

Technology Network, Nov 2012. Web. 7 Jan 2013.

Kanter, Beth. “Does Your Nonprofit Need Some Data Therapy?” Beth’s Blog: How Networked Nonprofits

Leverage Networks and Data for Social Change. Beth Kanter, 12 Dec 2012. Web. Web. 7 Jan. 2013.

http://www.bethkanter.org/data-therapy/>

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

Nonprofit technology expert and blogger, Beth Kanter, notes that the problem might have a straightforward answer:
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THE BI STRATEGY

At Heller Consulting, we believe that the beginning of any conversation to implement BI starts with aligning the BI strategy with the organization’s mission. As with many software

projects, BI can be costly to roll out without a clearly defined set of objectives.

In a blog post for TechCrunch, Robert Moore, co-founder of RJMetrics, a firm that specializes in data-driven decision making, outlines five primary lessons for organizations

that desire to use data more effectively in their businesses:

1. Define and communicate a “single version of the truth.”

  • 2. Create an auditability chain from your metrics to your raw data.

  • 3. Establish specific, actionable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

  • 4. Ensure around-the-clock availability of data.

  • 5. Accept the limitations of your data.

Moore understands that the best KPIs are “actionable, practical, transparent and

well-communicated.”

These same lessons dovetail with Heller Consulting’s approach, in which we believe Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) is ideally not just about software and systems, but also an articulated constituent engagement strategy with the following characteristics:

• Interaction is initiated and driven by the

organization.

• Engagement is with a broad number and

type of constituents.

• Engagement is more effective for an orga- nization when it is accurate, adaptive and responsive.

• Participation happens across the organiza- tion with all levels of staff and requires planning, communication and coordination.

THE BEST KPIS ARE “ACTIONABLE, PRACTICAL, TRANSPARENT AND WELL-COMMUNICATED”

• Engagement includes internal staff and external constituents in expanding the

impact of the organization’s mission.

At every level of interaction, engagement and participation, there is data. While work- ing to select, implement and optimize the right products for fundraising, online marketing

and CRM, your organization should define the KPIs and the platform for a BI solution that

will support your mission while promoting growth in revenue and program impact.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

THE BI STRATEGY At Heller Consulting, we believe that the beginning of any conversation to implement
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KEY BI CONCEPTS Before choosing a BI solution, there are a few important concepts to understand

KEY BI CONCEPTS

 

Before choosing a BI solution, there are a few important concepts to understand in

order to evaluate the options. Following are definitions of basic components of a BI application as well as common terms associated with the field of BI.

Ad-hoc Query

A query that is dynamically generated at the time it is needed.

Dashboard

In BI parlance, the ability to display data as a visualization or graphic. A dashboard is typically used to provide insights into performance metrics, such as a meter that shows the number of donations received over a given period.

Data Mart

Stores data for a specific area of the organization such as sales or marketing and can be

considered a subcomponent or smaller, simpler version of a data warehouse.

Data Mining

The process of extracting data and transforming it into meaningful insights. Also

referred to as Knowledge Discovery, it usually refers to the computational process

used to analyze data.

Data Warehouse

A centralized database repository that stores all data from across the organization such

as constituent information, financials, and other operational functions.

Extract, Transform, Load (ETL)

The specific processes that extract data from original data sources and load them into

the BI system. Each BI solution may have a different approach to ETL architecture.

In-Memory Database

A database whose data is stored in main memory in order to provide faster response

times. Data is loaded into system memory where it is compressed and stored in a

non-relational format. In-memory databases improve the performance for processing queries.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

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Key Performance Indicator (KPI) A value or metric that an organization uses to evaluate performance. A

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

 

A value or metric that an organization uses to evaluate performance. A KPI could be

as straightforward as the number of donations received or the number of constituents

served. KPIs will vary for each organization and should tie directly to the organization’s

mission and goals. A BI solution can be designed to support decision making and report

on these KPIs to provide the necessary insights for measuring performance.

Metadata

Often casually defined as “data about data,” it provides a way to translate data

warehouse structure into usable reporting.

Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)

A programming language standard or middleware that allows an application to connect to multiple database management systems.

Portal

A web-based application or web page that pulls information into a single space to perform many functions or services.

Query

A formula or line of code that is sent to a database to request information.

Relational Database

A database structure in which data is organized into formally described tables. Data

can be collected from the tables without having to reorganize the tables themselves.

The opposite of a relational database might be a flat spreadsheet in which all of the

data is stored in a single file that must be manipulated in order to analyze the data from

different perspectives.

Reporting Tools

A front-end, graphical user interface (GUI) that allows users to view, create and schedule reports from the data warehouse.

Dennis McCarthy, Clint O’Brien, and Allison Van Diest. “Leveraging the Supporter Shift: How Changes In the Way We Look at Data Will Revolutionize Fundraising.” Blackbaud, Inc. 29 November 2012. Webinar.

Moore, Robert J. “Lessons for Data Driven Businesses.” TechCrunch. AOL, Inc., 27 Oct 2012. Web. Web. 7 Jan.

2013. http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/27/lessons-for-data-driven-businesses/.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

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Part II: Reviews of Business Intelligence Solutions

Part II: Reviews of Business Intelligence Solutions

THE BI PRODUCT LANDSCAPE

   

BI has become a part of many organizations seeking to unlock the data generated through

the normal course of operations. As a result, the product landscape has matured and offers

solutions that can fit large-scale enterprises and smaller organizations.

 

The Heller Consulting team examined a cross section of BI tools in the marketplace, selected for the following reasons:

• They represent a cross-section of small, medium, and large organization needs. • They are already in use by our nonprofit clients. • They are frequently discussed in the marketplace.

We approached each product objectively using the same evaluation criteria. We would like to thank all of the vendors who graciously made themselves available to our staff. Vendors

did not have editorial control over the content of this report, nor did we receive any

 

financial or other support from any vendor.

THE PRODUCTS REVIEWED ARE

 
Part II: Reviews of Business Intelligence Solutions THE BI PRODUCT LANDSCAPE BI has become a part
Part II: Reviews of Business Intelligence Solutions THE BI PRODUCT LANDSCAPE BI has become a part
Part II: Reviews of Business Intelligence Solutions THE BI PRODUCT LANDSCAPE BI has become a part
Part II: Reviews of Business Intelligence Solutions THE BI PRODUCT LANDSCAPE BI has become a part
Part II: Reviews of Business Intelligence Solutions THE BI PRODUCT LANDSCAPE BI has become a part
Part II: Reviews of Business Intelligence Solutions THE BI PRODUCT LANDSCAPE BI has become a part
Part II: Reviews of Business Intelligence Solutions THE BI PRODUCT LANDSCAPE BI has become a part
Part II: Reviews of Business Intelligence Solutions THE BI PRODUCT LANDSCAPE BI has become a part
 
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© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

Data Price Skill Level Install Product Storage Reports Dashboards Range Needed Location Costs Saas or $$
Data
Price
Skill Level
Install
Product
Storage
Reports
Dashboards
Range
Needed
Location
Costs
Saas or
$$
Intermediate
On-Premise
Saas or
$$
Intermediate
On-Premise
$$$
Expert
On-Premise
with certain
$$
Expert
On-Premise
editions
Deployed
on-premise,
$$$
Beginner
reports
published to
the web
$ if SQL
server is
present
Expert
On-Premise
Deployed
on-premise,
$$$$
Expert
reports
published to
the web
Deployed
on-premise,
$
Beginner
reports
published to
the web

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

Data Price Skill Level Install Product Storage Reports Dashboards Range Needed Location Costs Saas or $$
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Altosoft

AT A GLANCE

Altosoft AT A GLANCE <a href=www.altosoft.com Reports? Graphical, web-based report designer. Dashboards? Codeless, point-and-click tools to create dashboards. Other Notable Features? Real-time Insight Studio tool prompts you through creating reports through a drag-and-drop interface. Beginner, Intermediate, On-premise setup will require expert skills, but the interface or Expert? is user-friendly. Cloud, On-Premise, or Both? Both; on-premise can support a multi-tenant environment. Total Cost? Minimum cost of $20,000, scaling upward as number of users and amount of data increases. Maintenance costs estimated at 18% of licensing costs. Support Options? Altosoft offers implementation services, email and phone support. PRODUCT DESCRIPTION Altosoft provides BI tools using a codeless approach to creating reports and dashboards. An easy, guided visual interface allows users to connect to data sources, map and define metrics, load data and design dashboards to display information. All of these functions can be completed within either a Windows application or web browser using a drag-and-drop interface. It can connect to Microsoft™, Oracle™, and Amazon Cloud™ data sources as well ODBC data sources. Although Altosoft offers a Cloud version of its services, it does not have a native Salesforce.com™ connection. HOW IT WORKS: The Altosoft product centers around a design mod- ule called Insight Studio™ to set up data sources. This includes mapping data and setting reporting metrics. The data is stored in the Insight Studio’s Metadata database. Data is moved from the original sources ALTOSOFT PROVIDES BI TOOLS USING A CODELESS APPROACH TO CREATING REPORTS AND DASHBOARDS. during an initial data load or as part of an automatic update of its MetricsMart™. Users can then log into the web-based Dashboard Designer™ to create reports and dashboards. Altosoft comes with Visual Process Intelligence™ and flow charts to show processes and analyze the data related to them. Dashboards can be embedded into an external-facing website such as through an iFrame™. © 2013 HELLER CONSULTING 12 " id="pdf-obj-11-6" src="pdf-obj-11-6.jpg">

Reports?

Graphical, web-based report designer.

Dashboards?

Codeless, point-and-click tools to create dashboards.

Other Notable Features?

Real-time Insight Studio tool prompts you through creating reports through a drag-and-drop interface.

Beginner, Intermediate,

On-premise setup will require expert skills, but the interface

or Expert?

is user-friendly.

Cloud, On-Premise, or Both?

Both; on-premise can support a multi-tenant environment.

Total Cost?

Minimum cost of $20,000, scaling upward as number of users and amount of data increases. Maintenance

costs estimated at 18% of licensing costs.

Support Options?

Altosoft offers implementation services, email and phone support.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Altosoft provides BI tools using a codeless approach to creating reports and dashboards.

An easy, guided visual interface allows users to connect to data sources, map and

define metrics, load data and design dashboards to display information. All of these

functions can be completed within either a Windows application or web browser using a drag-and-drop interface. It can connect to Microsoft™, Oracle™, and Amazon Cloud™

data sources as well ODBC data sources. Although

Altosoft offers a Cloud version of its services, it does not have a native Salesforce.com™ connection.

HOW IT WORKS:

The Altosoft product centers around a design mod-

ule called Insight Studio™ to set up data sources. This includes mapping data and setting reporting metrics. The data is stored in the Insight Studio’s Metadata

database. Data is moved from the original sources

ALTOSOFT PROVIDES BI TOOLS USING A CODELESS APPROACH TO CREATING REPORTS AND DASHBOARDS.

during an initial data load or as part of an automatic

update of its MetricsMart™. Users can then log into

the web-based Dashboard Designer™ to create reports and dashboards. Altosoft comes with Visual Process Intelligence™ and flow charts to show processes and analyze the data related to them. Dashboards can be embedded into an

external-facing website such as through an iFrame™.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

Altosoft AT A GLANCE <a href=www.altosoft.com Reports? Graphical, web-based report designer. Dashboards? Codeless, point-and-click tools to create dashboards. Other Notable Features? Real-time Insight Studio tool prompts you through creating reports through a drag-and-drop interface. Beginner, Intermediate, On-premise setup will require expert skills, but the interface or Expert? is user-friendly. Cloud, On-Premise, or Both? Both; on-premise can support a multi-tenant environment. Total Cost? Minimum cost of $20,000, scaling upward as number of users and amount of data increases. Maintenance costs estimated at 18% of licensing costs. Support Options? Altosoft offers implementation services, email and phone support. PRODUCT DESCRIPTION Altosoft provides BI tools using a codeless approach to creating reports and dashboards. An easy, guided visual interface allows users to connect to data sources, map and define metrics, load data and design dashboards to display information. All of these functions can be completed within either a Windows application or web browser using a drag-and-drop interface. It can connect to Microsoft™, Oracle™, and Amazon Cloud™ data sources as well ODBC data sources. Although Altosoft offers a Cloud version of its services, it does not have a native Salesforce.com™ connection. HOW IT WORKS: The Altosoft product centers around a design mod- ule called Insight Studio™ to set up data sources. This includes mapping data and setting reporting metrics. The data is stored in the Insight Studio’s Metadata database. Data is moved from the original sources ALTOSOFT PROVIDES BI TOOLS USING A CODELESS APPROACH TO CREATING REPORTS AND DASHBOARDS. during an initial data load or as part of an automatic update of its MetricsMart™. Users can then log into the web-based Dashboard Designer™ to create reports and dashboards. Altosoft comes with Visual Process Intelligence™ and flow charts to show processes and analyze the data related to them. Dashboards can be embedded into an external-facing website such as through an iFrame™. © 2013 HELLER CONSULTING 12 " id="pdf-obj-11-97" src="pdf-obj-11-97.jpg">
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Altosoft can notify users when data falls below certain parameters. It can send email

or text messages to a computer or smartphone. Altosoft comes with workflow-based

incident management and can escalate if further action is needed.

USABILITY

One of Altosoft’s key selling points is its drag-and-drop visual interface for both the end

user and the BI administrator. Reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel™ and PDF

format, and can be integrated with Sharepoint™. Technical resources are required for the on-premise SQL server installation and setup. A BI administrator will be needed to under- stand the source data structure and the relationships between tables.

COST

The minimum cost for implementation is $20,000. Licensing is per named user, per data connection. Options are available for a perpetual license or subscription. Altosoft offers specialized packages such as Healthcare, Financial, and an Infinity prod- uct that scales to any business model. Larger organizations can expect to pay more than smaller organizations.

ONE OF ALTOSOFT’S KEY SELLING POINTS IS ITS DRAG-AND-DROP VISUAL INTERFACE

Maintenance is estimated at 18% per year of the perpetual license cost. Additional

expenses include data storage fees, which will depend on setup and existing server capability. No programmers are needed to develop Altosoft, but a system administrator may be required for system setup and support.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

Altosoft can notify users when data falls below certain parameters. It can send email or text
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THE BOTTOM LINE ON ALTOSOFT Since Altosoft reports and dashboards can be designed without programming, the
THE BOTTOM LINE ON ALTOSOFT
Since Altosoft reports and dashboards can be designed without programming,
the product does not require a high level of technical skill. The backend setup
does not require ETL, coding, extractions, or cubes, which has a big impact on
reducing implementation time. Once Altosoft is set up, vendor involvement to
maintain the system should be minimal. This is all good news for small to medium
sized organizations. Overall, while Altosoft is not geared directly toward the
nonprofit sector, the ease of use and low overhead and the exciting Visual
Process Designer™ and workflow-based incident management tools, make this
system worth checking out.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

THE BOTTOM LINE ON ALTOSOFT Since Altosoft reports and dashboards can be designed without programming, the
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Birst

Birst
Birst
 

AT A GLANCE

 

Reports?

Highly visual, self-service reports.

 

Dashboards?

Interactive dashboards.

Other Notable Features?

Stresses agility and user-friendly analytics.

Beginner, Intermediate,

Beginners may find the Discovery Edition to be a simple

or Expert?

introduction to BI. A free Birst Express version is available on the company’s website for trial purposes.

Cloud, On-Premise, or Both?

Both, but SaaS may be the better value.

Total Cost?

Est. $30,000-35,000/year, plus equal implementation costs and possible data storage costs, depending on the amount of data.

Support Options?

Birst provides consulting services and 24/7 technical support.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Birst bills itself as “agile business analytics” with an emphasis on delivering immediate insights through multi-dimensional and highly visual reports and dashboards. The Enterprise Edition is designed as a single tool that can be delivered through the Cloud or an on-premise implementation. It can connect to an online data mart or a data warehouse using integrated ETL capabilities. It offers a drag-and-drop interface and a Pivot Control Tool to connect and slice and dice data. One particular highlight is the ability to toggle between a dashboard and the raw data that sits behind it. The application comes with a connector to Salesforce.com and templates to connect to other custom objects.

HOW IT WORKS

Birst’s technical components — for example, ETL, data warehousing support, and dashboards — are all fully integrated and offer a single, integrated user experience. The application comes

 

with a wide array of pre-built connectors for data uploads (everything from delimited flat

files and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to SQL™, Oracle and SAP™) and live access (Google

Analytics™, MySQL™, Hive/Hadoop™ and more). Birst uses an in-memory database for in- creased performance.

Depending on the user’s preference, the data is loaded into an online data mart or data

warehouse. The information is aggregated using a Pivot Control Tool to create meaningful and measurable reporting metrics and visualizations. Reports can be disseminated to peers

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

 
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through email or file servers, or on mobile applications. Additionally, Birst allows for scheduling

of reports and dashboards, which can be exported to PDF, XLS, PowerPoint and CSV files

for distribution.

USABILITY

As with most BI tools, some technical expertise is required to manage this application. Reports and dashboards are set up by a developer or database administrator and published for use by the end user. However, there are some minor visual and metrics adjustments that can be made by the user, and the product allows users to annotate dashboards to communicate with colleagues.

COST

Birst’s Professional edition runs at $30,000 per year. The Enterprise edition averages to $35,000 per year. This is based upon 1-20 users. Implementation costs are estimated to be proportionate to the licensing costs. For example, if the Enterprise edition costs $35,000 per year, implementation will cost about $35,000.

BIRST ALLOWS FOR SCHEDULING OF REPORTS AND DASHBOARDS, WHICH CAN BE EXPORTED TO PDF, XLS, POWERPOINT AND CSV FILES FOR DISTRIBUTION

Cost can be further scaled depending on the amount of data storage. An organization that already has a data warehouse would not have to purchase Birst’s proprietary data mart. Birst’s in-memory technology also offers alternatives for data storage. Generally speaking, expect costs to rise based on the amount of data that needs to be stored.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

through email or file servers, or on mobile applications. Additionally, Birst allows for scheduling of reports
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THE BOTTOM LINE ON BIRST Birst may scale well from smaller to larger organizations due to
THE BOTTOM LINE ON BIRST
Birst may scale well from smaller to larger organizations due to the option of having
multiple software editions. However, keep in mind that there are tradeoffs. The
Discovery edition does not have ETL and seems to act more like a visualization
layer, which may be easier to use and better suited for smaller organizations with
less complex data analytics. Birst appears to be one of the easiest systems to
manage, although a nonprofit should still have staff members available with the
aptitude to handle a system implementation.
The application also can provide product inventory, which may be helpful for
membership organizations.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

THE BOTTOM LINE ON BIRST Birst may scale well from smaller to larger organizations due to
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IBM Cognos 8 Planning

IBM Cognos 8 Planning
IBM Cognos 8 Planning
 

AT A GLANCE

   

Reports?

Reporting with a focus on enterprise planning.

Dashboards?

Visual dashboards and scorecards to support planning scenarios.

Other Notable Features?

In general, a feature-rich platform for operational and

financial planning.

Beginner, Intermediate,

Expert.

or Expert?

Cloud, On-Premise, or Both?

On-premise.

Total Cost?

Obtain directly from IBM. User licenses range from $800- $14,000, depending on level of access needed.

Support Options?

Software subscription and support is included in the

product price for the first year.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

 

Out of the BI applications reviewed in this paper, IBM’s Cognos product line is arguably the largest and most well-known, particularly for large-scale enterprises. The Cognos 8 Planning software is a web-based, integrated BI suite that provides a toolset for reporting, analysis and monitoring of events and metrics. As implied by its name, the data analytics are designed to empower the user to plan through developing “what if” scenarios in order to evaluate business performance. The product requires the creation of a data warehouse, but it also runs in a browser-based environment that requires no desktop client software or plug-ins. The system includes data source connectors to all the major database platforms like Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle.

 

HOW IT WORKS

Cognos 8 Planning offers a set of modules to collect, design and view data analytics:

 

1. In Framework Manager, the modeler ensures that metadata is presented in a manner that business users can understand. Modelers import the metadata from one or more databases, and then add to the model to meet user requirements.

2. In Metric Designer, the modeler identifies the data items and calculations that

form the targets and actual results for each metric.

 

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

 
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  • 3. The modeler then publishes and updates packages to Cognos Connection so that authors can use them to create reports, agents and scorecards.

  • 4. In Transformer, users can leverage queries in published packages, queries from Cognos 8 reports, and personal data sources, such as Microsoft Excel, to create a unique, focused model of the business.

From there, users and report authors use published packages to understand their business data. They run, view, and manage content in Cognos Connection. A robust set of security permissions are available to manage who can run and view reports or manage schedules, portal layout, and other settings.

USABILITY

On one hand, organizations will likely need an in-house technical expert to administer and maintain this application. It is not an application that an average person can use without a technical background. On the other hand, it is

definitely one of the more robust tools on the market.

IBM offers over 30 different training classes for users in almost every role — developers, administrators, project managers, consumers, and more.

IBM’S COGNOS 8 IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE MORE ROBUST TOOLS ON THE MARKET, BUT IT IS NOT AN APPLICATION A PERSON WITHOUT A TECHNICAL BACKGROUND CAN EASILY USE

COST

IBM’s software subscription and support is included in the product price for the first year. It

is best to consult IBM directly for the most accurate information and licensing structure. IBM offers the option to download software online after purchase.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

3. The modeler then publishes and updates packages to Cognos Connection so that authors can use
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THE BOTTOM LINE ON IBM COGNOS 8 PLANNING By purchasing Cognos 8 Planning, an organization would
THE BOTTOM LINE ON IBM COGNOS 8 PLANNING
By purchasing Cognos 8 Planning, an organization would be buying into one
of the largest technology firms in the world. That means the application has
a well-developed roadmap backed by a well-stacked support team with a
deep history of experience in the industry. If Cognos 8 Planning is too loaded
for a smaller nonprofit, it is worth looking through IBM’s complete BI product
line. For example, there is a lighter version called Cognos Express™, which
might scale well for organizations that are just dipping their toes into the BI
pool. On the other end of the spectrum, IBM offers a Cognos 10 suite, which
is the next step up from Cognos 8. If for no other reason, it is worth comparing
other companies’ BI products with Cognos 8 Planning to get a baseline of the
features and technology available on the market.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

THE BOTTOM LINE ON IBM COGNOS 8 PLANNING By purchasing Cognos 8 Planning, an organization would
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Jaspersoft BI™

Jaspersoft BI™
Jaspersoft BI™
 

AT A GLANCE

 

Reports?

Print-ready and interactive reports.

 

Dashboards?

Only available in the Professional and Enterprise editions.

Other Notable Features?

Reporting and analytics can be embedded into your own applications.

Beginner, Intermediate,

On-premise setup will require expert skills, but the interface

or Expert?

is user-friendly.

Cloud, On-Premise, or Both?

On-premise.

Total Cost?

Minimum of $28,000, plus a paid subscription to access custom reporting features.

Support Options?

Self-service online documentation and options for subscription-based support.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Jaspersoft BI is a highly customizable reporting software package. It offers both print-ready

 

and interactive reports with features such as online sorting, filtering and formatting. It can

be installed as a stand-alone application or embedded in other applications such as Salesforce.com. The Professional and Enterprise editions of the product include an in-memory analysis server and data virtualization for improved performance. Other editions also include dashboard features. The interface is web-based and easy to use with self-service, drag-and-drop functionality. Jaspersoft BI comes with native connectivity to ERP and CRM applications such as Salesforce.com, SAP, and SugarCRM™ along with Amazon support for mainframe, transactional, and analytic databases (e.g., SQL, Oracle).

HOW IT WORKS

Jaspersoft BI’s setup involves domains that are used to create representations of data to match

 

the business or object model in a way that users can understand. The domains create a layer of abstraction between the database and the user that is creating reports. This is achieved through

predefined joins, labels, etc., to make it easier for users to create reports. Domains also add an

additional layer of security to the data through the ability to create row and column-level

security based on the user profile.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

 
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USABILITY

This is a powerful and sophisticated BI solution. System administrators will need a high degree

of technical knowledge and skill to implement the system. However, after the domains have been set up, the report writer’s drag-and-drop approach makes it easy for end users. Reports

can be published in many formats, including PDF, XLSX, XML, HTML, CSV, and DOC. Jaspersoft

BI can send notifications with a link to a report or physically attach them to emails. The system

also can integrate with other applications, but will require some programming to set up.

COST

An annual subscription to Jaspersoft’s BI Professional Edition costs a minimum of $28,000 which would support 80 concurrent users. Its

Report Designer™ is open source, but a paid

subscription is required to get the features that allow users to design their own reports. Additional features like dashboards also require the Professional Edition. Total cost of ownership should also include hardware requirements and any additional modules chosen. Lastly, since it requires a larger degree of technical skills to implement, the amount of setup time for the organization is proportional to its technical savvy.

THIS IS A POWERFUL AND SOPHISTICATED BI SOLUTION. SYSTEM ADMINISTRATORS WILL NEED A HIGH DEGREE OF TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL TO IMPLEMENT THE SYSTEM.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

USABILITY This is a powerful and sophisticated BI solution. System administrators will need a high degree
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THE BOTTOM LINE ON JASPERSOFT BI While very sophisticated and robust, given the technical skills required
THE BOTTOM LINE ON JASPERSOFT BI
While very sophisticated and robust, given the technical skills required for
implementation, this solution is best for large-sized organizations. Technical
requirements aside, it comes with solid support and training and a well-defined
roadmap. Organizations that get Jaspersoft BI up and running can enable
their users to meet their own reporting needs without burdening the IT
department or software application providers. It is not specifically geared
toward nonprofit use, but as with most BI tools, it can analyze any data.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

THE BOTTOM LINE ON JASPERSOFT BI While very sophisticated and robust, given the technical skills required
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LogiXML

LogiXML
LogiXML
   
 

AT A GLANCE

Reports?

Yes.

 

Dashboards?

None.

Other Notable Features?

Web-based solution that can be embedded into existing enterprise applications.

Beginner, Intermediate,

Beginner.

or Expert?

Cloud, On-Premise, or Both?

Both; installs on-premise, allows users to access reports via the web.

Total Cost?

Scalable; licensing models are based on server configurations rather than on number of users. Low end starts around $40,000 per year.

Support Options?

Community, training, professional services.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION/PLATFORM

LogiXML offers an attractive suite of products that includes Logi Info Studio™, Logi Ad Hoc Reporting™ and Logi ETL™. These can be purchased together or separately. Together they offer end user reporting and enable developers to bring data together from various disparate sources and platforms including, but not limited to, Oracle and SQL Server. It also includes special connection elements to data sources such as MySQL

and Google Docs. It is a web-based solution and can be embedded into existing enterprise

applications, negating the need for a data mart or a data warehouse.

FUNCTIONALITY

It is important to understand the three main elements of this product, how they can work together to create a software suite, or how they can be a standalone solution depending on the organization’s needs:

 
  • 1. Logi ETL is a web-based data management tool that allows database administrators or developers to collect and manipulate data, which can be reported on using other Logi tools. The data produced also can be written to any of the data sources that it extracts data from.

  • 2. Logi Studio enables developers to create reports using a drag-and-drop interface. It is not a web application and must be installed on a computer.

  • 3. Logi Ad Hoc is a web-based reporting application that allows business users to build and share dashboards and reports.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

 
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USABILITY

LogiXML is especially user-friendly for a typical end user. LogiXML Ad Hoc reporting enables end users to create data visualizations and reports using a code-free drag-and-drop in- terface. However, it is important to note that Logi Studio does require a fair level of skill to navigate and develop the data connections that enable the end users to report on. A SQL developer would probably be best suited for this role.

COST

LOGIXML IS ESPECIALLY USER-FRIENDLY FOR A TYPICAL END USER

Deploying LogiXML does not require a data mart

or a data warehouse, nor does it add additional costs for end user fees. This enables it to have a lower cost structure compared with other BI tools on the market today. LogiXML’s cost structure includes the cost of software, maintenance and support, implementa- tion costs and training. It is also important to be aware that processing speeds may be affected if the server is bogged down by other processes. Hence, it is important to review the product’s hardware requirements and invest in the appropriate elements.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

USABILITY LogiXML is especially user-friendly for a typical end user. LogiXML Ad Hoc reporting enables end
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THE BOTTOM LINE ON LOGIXML While LogiXML is not specifically designed for nonprofit use, its ability
THE BOTTOM LINE ON LOGIXML
While LogiXML is not specifically designed for nonprofit use, its ability to
connect to various sources, including a prebuilt connector to
Salesforce.com, makes it a candidate for any organization looking to analyze
data for key performance indicators. LogiXML is best suited for small to
medium sized organizations or departments within a larger organization. Its
biggest strength is its low cost, which becomes especially relevant for or-
ganizations that require a large number of user licenses since LogiXML offers
licensing models based on server configuration rather than the number of
users. This will allow organizations that require access for a large number of
end users the ability to grant access without driving up their costs. LogiXML is
also known for its quick and easy deployments, which is a benefit for any
nonprofit organization, but especially smaller organizations with fewer
internal resources.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

THE BOTTOM LINE ON LOGIXML While LogiXML is not specifically designed for nonprofit use, its ability
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Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services™

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services™
Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services™
 

AT A GLANCE

 

Reports?

Build custom reports using Reporting Services.

 

Dashboards?

None.

Other Notable Features?

Reports can be delivered in many visual formats: HTML,

PDF, CSV, XML, image (TIFF), MS Word, MS Excel, and

PowerPivot.

Beginner, Intermediate,

While SSRS installation is easy, implementation and setup

or Expert?

is dependent on MS SQL Server, which requires expert skills.

Cloud, On-Premise, or Both?

On-premise.

Total Cost?

Licensing models vary, but if the organization already owns SQL Server, no additional license purchase is necessary.

Support Options?

Support is bundled with licensing models; in addition, support

content is available on MSDN online forums, although it

may be mixed in with SQL Server documentation.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

 

Unlike off-the-shelf BI products, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is a server-based reporting platform included in the SQL Server business intelligence suite. Expertise in SQL and its setup is required. It provides comprehensive reporting functionality for a variety of data sources and offers a complete set of tools to create, manage, and deliver reports. APIs are available that enable developers to integrate or extend data and report processing in custom applications. SSRS is ideal for organizations that use Microsoft products and have the resources to design and implement their own reporting applications.

 

SSRS can be used to build reports from any data source type that has a Microsoft .NET

Framework-managed data provider, OLE DB provider, or ODBC data source, as well as data sources such as Oracle, DB2, XML data sources, and many more. Additionally, SSRS uses one

of two different modes: SharePoint integrated mode or Native mode. SharePoint integrated mode allows SSRS to store its reports, report items, and metadata in SharePoint. Along with SSRS and SharePoint, a separate add-in will need to be installed to associate the two products. Native mode only requires a SQL Server instance to store its needed information.

SSRS is installed on-premise. However, later versions of SQL Server can be configured to

build, migrate and consolidate existing on-premise SQL Server applications to the Cloud

using Windows Azure Virtual Machine™ and Windows Azure SQL Database Service™.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

 
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HOW IT WORKS

SSRS works with a Report Database that stores the metadata of the reports, report items,

and security information. The Report Server hosts the SSRS reports. It also provides a Windows service and a web service that handles report functionality for rendering reports, listing report items, scheduling reports, and more. Lastly, SSRS includes a Report Manager, a web application interface to the Report Server that administrators can use to manage reports and developers can use to deploy them and set up subscriptions to users for delivery.

USABILITY

SSRS includes the MS Report Builder, an intuitive and familiar authoring environment that allows users to create their own reports and explore corporate data. Report results can be delivered

in many ways with a variety of formats: HTML, PDF,

CSV, XML, image (TIFF), MS Word, MS Excel, and

PowerPivot. Reports also can be delivered by email or posted on shared folders on a network. They can be embedded into applications and

portals and published to an MS Office SharePoint report library. Depending on the size of the

organization and complexity of reports needed, a dedicated analyst may be essential.

SSRS INCLUDES THE MS REPORT BUILDER, AN INTUITIVE AND FAMILIAR AUTHORING ENVIRONMENT THAT ALLOWS USERS TO CREATE THEIR OWN REPORTS AND EXPLORE CORPORATE DATA

COST

The cost for SSRS is variable, depending on whether it is a first time install or upgrade, as well

as the number and type of licenses needed. It is best to consult Microsoft’s buyer’s guide for the most accurate pricing and licensing information: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/ en/us/get-sql-server/how-to-buy.aspx .

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

HOW IT WORKS SSRS works with a Report Database that stores the metadata of the reports,
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THE BOTTOM LINE ON MICROSOFT SQL SERVER REPORTING SERVICES MS SQL Server Reporting Services is suitable
THE BOTTOM LINE ON MICROSOFT SQL
SERVER REPORTING SERVICES
MS SQL Server Reporting Services is suitable for any type of organization, but
it is best in Microsoft environments where it can be easily integrated. While it is
convenient for a SQL administrator to set up, it is not recommended for smaller IT
departments that would benefit from applications that are already customized
for their needs. Organizations that do not use Microsoft products will likely not find
a lot of benefit in implementing only SSRS.
On the plus side, organizations that are already using SQL Server as their database
management system will find that Reporting Services is available at no additional
cost. As part of the SQL Server suite of services, it offers a robust environment to
create and deliver reports to users. As a result of being a part of the Microsoft
family of products, SQL Server can be integrated with other Microsoft tools such as
SharePoint and Office products.
Lastly, as with all Microsoft products, support options and a massive amount of
online documentation are available.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

THE BOTTOM LINE ON MICROSOFT SQL SERVER REPORTING SERVICES MS SQL Server Reporting Services is suitable
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QlikView™

AT A GLANCE

QlikView™ AT A GLANCE <a href=www.QlikView.com Reports? Yes. Dashboards? Yes. Other Notable Features? Allows connections to a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional data sources. Beginner, Intermediate, Expert-level understanding of data models, plus strong or Expert? SQL skills to create reports. Cloud, On-Premise, or Both? Both; installed on-premise, and users access reports via the web. Total Cost? Base price for 10 user licenses plus software and support estimated at $250,000+ for first year. Support Options? Online and phone support, plus training and consulting options. PRODUCT DESCRIPTION QlikView’s business discovery platform consists of three major components: QlikView Server™, QlikView Publisher™ and QlikView Desktop™. QlikView is a BI tool that is able to connect to multiple data sources including standard ODBC or OLEDB-compliant databases, standard flat files such as Microsoft Excel, XML, etc., as well as from systems such as SAP NetWeaver™, Salesforce.com, and Informatica™. HOW IT WORKS QlikView uses in-memory technology to store data on a dedicated QlikView server, which avoids the need for a data warehouse. The memory necessary to run the application relates directly to the amount of data to be analyzed. Data sets are loaded onto the QlikView Server where they can then be connected and manipulated by a developer for reporting, analyzing and creating visualizations using QlikView Desktop. QlikView permits custom-built and third-party visualization options. Once the developer publishes reports to the server, end users can access them via the web or a mobile device. Information can also be exported into multiple formats and sent via email. Like a number of other tools on the market, it was not designed specifically for nonprofit use, but its ability to connect many traditional sources as well as non-traditional sources like Microsoft SharePoint, Facebook and Twitter™, makes it a good option for nonprofits, especially those that have robust online communities. © 2013 HELLER CONSULTING 30 " id="pdf-obj-29-6" src="pdf-obj-29-6.jpg">

Reports?

Yes.

Dashboards?

Yes.

Other Notable Features?

Allows connections to a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional data sources.

Beginner, Intermediate,

Expert-level understanding of data models, plus strong

or Expert?

SQL skills to create reports.

Cloud, On-Premise, or Both?

Both; installed on-premise, and users access reports via the web.

Total Cost?

Base price for 10 user licenses plus software and support

estimated at $250,000+ for first year.

Support Options?

Online and phone support, plus training and consulting options.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

QlikView’s business discovery platform consists of three major components: QlikView Server™,

QlikView Publisher™ and QlikView Desktop™. QlikView is a BI tool that is able to connect to multiple data sources including standard ODBC or OLEDB-compliant databases, standard

flat files such as Microsoft Excel, XML, etc., as well as from systems such as SAP NetWeaver™,

Salesforce.com, and Informatica™.

HOW IT WORKS

QlikView uses in-memory technology to store data on a dedicated QlikView server, which avoids the need for a data warehouse. The memory necessary to run the application relates

directly to the amount of data to be analyzed. Data sets are loaded onto the QlikView

Server where they can then be connected and manipulated by a developer for reporting,

analyzing and creating visualizations using QlikView Desktop. QlikView permits custom-built

and third-party visualization options. Once the developer publishes reports to the server, end users can access them via the web or a mobile device. Information can also be exported into multiple formats and sent via email.

Like a number of other tools on the market, it was not designed specifically for nonprofit use,

but its ability to connect many traditional sources as well as non-traditional sources like

Microsoft SharePoint, Facebook and Twitter™, makes it a good option for nonprofits,

especially those that have robust online communities.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

QlikView™ AT A GLANCE <a href=www.QlikView.com Reports? Yes. Dashboards? Yes. Other Notable Features? Allows connections to a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional data sources. Beginner, Intermediate, Expert-level understanding of data models, plus strong or Expert? SQL skills to create reports. Cloud, On-Premise, or Both? Both; installed on-premise, and users access reports via the web. Total Cost? Base price for 10 user licenses plus software and support estimated at $250,000+ for first year. Support Options? Online and phone support, plus training and consulting options. PRODUCT DESCRIPTION QlikView’s business discovery platform consists of three major components: QlikView Server™, QlikView Publisher™ and QlikView Desktop™. QlikView is a BI tool that is able to connect to multiple data sources including standard ODBC or OLEDB-compliant databases, standard flat files such as Microsoft Excel, XML, etc., as well as from systems such as SAP NetWeaver™, Salesforce.com, and Informatica™. HOW IT WORKS QlikView uses in-memory technology to store data on a dedicated QlikView server, which avoids the need for a data warehouse. The memory necessary to run the application relates directly to the amount of data to be analyzed. Data sets are loaded onto the QlikView Server where they can then be connected and manipulated by a developer for reporting, analyzing and creating visualizations using QlikView Desktop. QlikView permits custom-built and third-party visualization options. Once the developer publishes reports to the server, end users can access them via the web or a mobile device. Information can also be exported into multiple formats and sent via email. Like a number of other tools on the market, it was not designed specifically for nonprofit use, but its ability to connect many traditional sources as well as non-traditional sources like Microsoft SharePoint, Facebook and Twitter™, makes it a good option for nonprofits, especially those that have robust online communities. © 2013 HELLER CONSULTING 30 " id="pdf-obj-29-93" src="pdf-obj-29-93.jpg">
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USABILITY

The staff in charge of adding and linking data sets as well as creating the reports and dashboards should have a strong understanding data modeling and table linking as well as a basic understanding of SQL. QlikView is more reliant on a developer or database administrator to create dashboards and reports, which are then published to the wider audience. Part of the report creation process is for the developer to enable

minimal filtering and manipulation of the report

by end users. In this way, QlikView is slightly less

user-friendly than some of the other tools on the market. However, QlikView permits annotation of reports and discussion of or collaboration on reports within the application.

COST

QLIKVIEW’S ABILITY TO CONNECT MANY TRADITIONAL SOURCES AS WELL AS NON-TRADI- TIONAL SOURCES MAKES IT A GOOD OPTION FOR NONPROFITS

QlikView’s pricing structure reads like an à la carte menu. There are many other options for additional components, some at a cost and some free. For example, the Salesforce.com Connector is currently free. However, there is a fee for the SAP NetWeaver Connector.

The three most important elements to their cost structure is the QlikView Server, QlikView

Publisher, and licensing fees. For most nonprofits, QlikView’s initial costs will seem high, running at approximately $250,000 or more for the first year for 10 users.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

USABILITY The staff in charge of adding and linking data sets as well as creating the
3 1
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THE BOTTOM LINE ON QLIKVIEW Due to the specialized resources necessary to manage QlikView, it is
THE BOTTOM LINE ON QLIKVIEW
Due to the specialized resources necessary to manage QlikView, it is likely best
suited for larger organizations that need to pull information from many different
data sets in order to report on key performance indicators to drive strategic
planning. QlikView offers QlikCommunity, a valuable resource where customers
can get sample scripts. Certification is available for the designer, developer,
and system administrator levels of expertise.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

THE BOTTOM LINE ON QLIKVIEW Due to the specialized resources necessary to manage QlikView, it is
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Tableau™

Tableau™
Tableau™
 

AT A GLANCE

 

Reports?

Quickly create visual representations from large amounts of data.

 

Dashboards?

Point and click to create dashboards and embed them in other applications.

Other Notable Features?

Emphasizes ease of use to create visual representations of large amounts of data.

Beginner, Intermediate,

Beginner.

or Expert?

Cloud, On-Premise, or Both?

Both; deployed on-premise, reports can be published to the web.

Total Cost?

Nonprofit pricing is $1,500 per user for Tableau Desktop and

$750 per user for Tableau Server. Annual maintenance is

25% of initial cost for year two and beyond.

Support Options?

Online manuals, tutorials, knowledgebase, release notes, and a support community.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Tableau software is a drag-and-drop tool with direct connection to data sources that does not require pulling data into a data warehouse. Tableau’s strength is creating visual representations from large amounts of data that are easy and quick to manipulate. The software works with CSV, Excel, SQL, Oracle and Sybase data sources and will reportedly connect to Salesforce.com in the next release (8.0). It is deployed on-premise with a desktop report writer component and a server-based interactive end user component where users can log into the server and manipulate the reports. Once visualizations are created and published they can be viewed by logging into the server or can be published to the web.

HOW IT WORKS

Data is pulled into the desktop application for design, and then reports can be published for

 

others to see and interact with on the server. Although Tableau can connect to live data sources, users can create extracts to improve performance by taking advantage of the Tableau data engine or by reporting on a subset of data from a large data source. While

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

 
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Tableau is not geared specifically toward nonprofits, as with most BI tools it should be able

to connect to and create metrics for any tabular data. Tableau can use the existing data

security system (Active Directory™) or use the built-in security to limit what data users can

view, which means that if the server is set up with Active Directory logins, then additional

user logins do not need to be created.

USABILITY

The desktop design tool is relatively easy to use, but as with other BI tools, Tableau requires a degree of understanding of the structure of the data source(s). Adding new data tables is

intuitive, but it does involve manual linking of data files, which could be time-consuming for

a complex data source. It is easy to change the view of the data and to change between

various types of charts with a single click. Reports can be exported to Excel or PDF, and the

software can be integrated with SharePoint. Tableau can also access dashboards through iPad™ and Android™ apps.

COST

Nonprofit pricing is $1,500 per user for Tableau Desktop and $750 per user for Tableau Server. Annual maintenance is 25% of the initial cost for

ADDING NEW DATA TABLES IS INTUITIVE, BUT IT DOES INVOLVE MANUAL LINKING OF DATA FILES

year two and beyond. Note that it is necessary to purchase a server license for any user

who wants to be able to manipulate the reports on the server or online. Implementation should not include additional costs as long as an organization’s existing server meets the minimum requirements based on the number of users. Since this product does not include any customization with other applications, there would be no corresponding add-on costs.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

Tableau is not geared specifically toward nonprofits, as with most BI tools it should be able
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THE BOTTOM LINE ON TABLEAU Tableau is one of the most straightforward BI solutions for users
THE BOTTOM LINE ON TABLEAU
Tableau is one of the most straightforward BI solutions for users and
administrators. According to Gartner reviews, it is rated very high in ease
of use and implementation. Tableau’s accessible price point makes it
a good option for small to medium sized nonprofits, though there is no
deterrent to larger organizations as well. The company appears to have
good software support including online manuals, tutorials, knowledgebase,
release notes, and a support community.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

THE BOTTOM LINE ON TABLEAU Tableau is one of the most straightforward BI solutions for users
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Conclusion

 
GETTING STARTED WITH BI Now that you understand BI and the spectrum of BI tools inhttp://bit.ly/1100oxk )This worksheet will help your team unite your understanding and expectations around Business Intelligence, and prepare you for more detailed discussions. Then, call us at 800-794-0774 to schedule a time to review your internal assessment with us and determine the best next steps. We can help you with a Business Intelligence Assessment that will give your organization a complete roadmap for BI integration. © 2013 HELLER CONSULTING 36 " id="pdf-obj-35-6" src="pdf-obj-35-6.jpg">

GETTING STARTED WITH BI

 

Now that you understand BI and the spectrum of BI tools in the marketplace, you may

have found a few that might be a good fit to help your organization take advantage of

the data available in your CRM system. But, tool selection and implementation are the

final steps in the process. Determining an overall strategy — including identification of KPIs, aligning your operational model, and ensuring technical infrastructure is in place, must come first.

At Heller Consulting, we can help you determine how to plan a successful BI initiative at your organization.

If you are just getting started, we will:

• Develop a strategy, including key performance indicators

• Review your operational model and business processes to ensure they will provide the data that will support the KPIs

• Discuss and develop technical architecture that will enable tool implementation • Help select and implement the tool itself

If you have already begun this process as part of a larger CRM strategy, we can assist with requirements gathering and application selection.

YOUR NEXT STEP

To get going, gather your team leaders and complete our Business Intelligence Worksheet (http://bit.ly/1100oxk )This worksheet will help your team unite your understanding and expectations around Business Intelligence, and prepare you for more detailed discussions.

Then, call us at 800-794-0774 to schedule a time to review your internal assessment with us and determine the best next steps. We can help you with a Business Intelligence Assessment that will give your organization a complete roadmap for BI integration.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

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The Connected Cause is a community that shares information about how nonprofits are using technology totheConnectedCause.com today and join in the conversation. ABOUT HELLER CONSULTING Heller Consulting helps nonprofits streamline their operations and maximize their use of software and online communication tools for fundraising, marketing and mission management. The company specializes in software selection, implementation and optimization for fundraising, online marketing and Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) products. In addition, the company provides marketing services that help nonprofits plan and execute online and social marketing techniques that integrate with a nonprofit’s CRM system for building and tracking an active community of supporters. With offices in San Francisco, Chicago and New York, the Heller Consulting team has helped hundreds of nonprofits nationwide. Visit us at www.teamheller.com. © 2013 HELLER CONSULTING 37 " id="pdf-obj-36-4" src="pdf-obj-36-4.jpg">
The Connected Cause is a community that shares information about how nonprofits are using technology totheConnectedCause.com today and join in the conversation. ABOUT HELLER CONSULTING Heller Consulting helps nonprofits streamline their operations and maximize their use of software and online communication tools for fundraising, marketing and mission management. The company specializes in software selection, implementation and optimization for fundraising, online marketing and Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) products. In addition, the company provides marketing services that help nonprofits plan and execute online and social marketing techniques that integrate with a nonprofit’s CRM system for building and tracking an active community of supporters. With offices in San Francisco, Chicago and New York, the Heller Consulting team has helped hundreds of nonprofits nationwide. Visit us at www.teamheller.com. © 2013 HELLER CONSULTING 37 " id="pdf-obj-36-7" src="pdf-obj-36-7.jpg">
 

The Connected Cause is a community that shares information about how nonprofits

are using technology to connect with their supporters and deliver on their mission.

Our contributors are knowledgeable and passionate about using existing and new

technology to build and nurture nonprofit organizations.

As technology and the way we communicate evolves, CRM systems and social

media are quickly converging. Our goal with The Connected Cause is to promote an ongoing conversation about this exciting convergence and provide insights that will

help your nonprofit succeed now and in the future.

Visit us at theConnectedCause.com today and join in the conversation.

The Connected Cause is a community that shares information about how nonprofits are using technology totheConnectedCause.com today and join in the conversation. ABOUT HELLER CONSULTING Heller Consulting helps nonprofits streamline their operations and maximize their use of software and online communication tools for fundraising, marketing and mission management. The company specializes in software selection, implementation and optimization for fundraising, online marketing and Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) products. In addition, the company provides marketing services that help nonprofits plan and execute online and social marketing techniques that integrate with a nonprofit’s CRM system for building and tracking an active community of supporters. With offices in San Francisco, Chicago and New York, the Heller Consulting team has helped hundreds of nonprofits nationwide. Visit us at www.teamheller.com. © 2013 HELLER CONSULTING 37 " id="pdf-obj-36-37" src="pdf-obj-36-37.jpg">

ABOUT HELLER CONSULTING

Heller Consulting helps nonprofits streamline their operations and maximize their use of software

and online communication tools for fundraising, marketing and mission management. The company specializes in software selection, implementation and optimization for fundraising, online marketing and Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) products. In addition, the

company provides marketing services that help nonprofits plan and execute online and social marketing techniques that integrate with a nonprofit’s CRM system for building and tracking an active community of supporters. With offices in San Francisco, Chicago and New York, the Heller Consulting team has helped hundreds of nonprofits nationwide.

Visit us at www.teamheller.com.

© 2013 HELLER CONSULTING

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