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Ease of Use and Interface Appeal in Business Intelligence Tools

by Cindi Howson

Published: March 22, 2010

Business intelligence tools play a mission-critical role in identifying new business opportunities and helping knowledge workers make better decisions. But the widespread adoption of BI tools has been hindered by their reputation as being hard to use. Cindi Howson researches the impact of an appealing user interface and ease of use in this report.

Executive Summary

Just as the eyes are the window to the soul, business intelligence (BI) tools are the window to the data that helps business users identify new opportunities and make fact-based decisions. Despite the critical role that BI tools provide, adoption remains low and BI tools are considered difficult to use, with largely unappealing interfaces.

Assessing a BI tool’s ease of use is difficult because it is influenced by subjective factors. However, the importance...

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About the Author

Cindi Howson -

Cindi is the founder of BIScorecard®, a resource for in-depth business intelligence (BI) product reviews, based on exclusive hands-on testing. She has been advising clients on BI tool strategies and selections for more than 15 years. She is the author of Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI the Killer App and SAP Business Objects BI 4.0: The Complete Reference. Prior to founding BI Scorecard®, Cindi was a manager at Deloitte & Touche and a BI standards leader for a Fortune 500 company. She is a TDWI (The Data Warehousing Institute) faculty member and contributing expert to Information Week. She has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Irish Times, Forbes, and Business Week. She has an MBA from Rice University. Contact Cindi at