The software industry is a complicated place, with new technologies constantly being introduced. As a small and midsize business (SMB), how can you keep up with the latest trends? Often, an analyst can give you a better understanding of the products in the market. Analyst firms do the research for you so you can better understand what’s new in the market, evaluate vendors and products, and determine which products are most appropriate for your business.
In the InfoTech Research Midmarket Business Intelligence Report, InfoTech evaluated eight competitors in the midmarket BI space. They named SAS a “Champion” due to a strong history in analytics and robust BI capabilities. Champions receive high scores for most evaluation criteria and offering excellent value. Champions have a strong market presence and are usually the trend setters for the industry. According to the report, “With strong data mining capabilities, SAS is a clear choice for organizations that require knowledge discovery and predictive analytics.”
Reports like this one are just one piece of the puzzle, and smart SMB organizations are not going to just use an analyst report to make business decisions. Decisions often have multiple data points. For example, check out this great blog post from David Cartwright, which describes when to use an analyst report:
- To establish the runners for a particular type of product when someone's come to you with a requirement you have not come across before.
- To get an independent idea of what the products are like – which are considered clear leaders, which are considered crap, and which sit in the middle.
- To understand which vendors are making the best progress in addressing a new area of technology.
- To ratify quantitative claims from vendors – that is, to confirm that the thing they're trying to sell you really does do what it says.
So whether you are an SMB or a large company, always remember that an analyst report is someone’s opinion … Be sure to do your homework and collect additional data points before making a purchasing decision – look at what your peers in the industry are doing, ask for references, check out the press coverage, talk to colleagues – whatever it takes to make a better informed decision.