In This Chapter
Asking questions about using tools
Getting the scoop on how a tool might work in your organization
Finding out about the quality of online help
Figuring out how a tool deals with the computer-crash test
Few things are more frustrating than successfully building a data warehouse and then having it rendered unusable by less-than-satisfactory user tools. This chapter presents some questions to consider when you're evaluating tools that you might want to purchase.
Bet you weren't expecting a question like this to pop up, were you? I use this analogy often because it helps frame the discussion of what you're looking at in a tool. When business intelligence was initially created, there was a broad vision that users could serve themselves. The user would go to one environment, insulated by all the underpinnings of the data, and merely ask a question and get an answer, ask the next question, and so on. But IT has often restricted the tool so that end user can't access it, so they can't self-serve — like in a sit-down restaurant. Let me explain:
The diner must wait to be seated at the restaurant, which is equivalent to the user trying to find someone in IT to listen to him or her.
When a waiter is assigned to a section of the restaurant that the diner is seated in, that waiter must serve the other customers while the diner sits and waits, much like someone in IT ...