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Estimating the cost of Business Intelligence

is-it-the-last-truck-load-of-money-for-the-data-warehouseHow much does a single Business Intelligence report cost a company? Well, obviously there is no single answer- but Boris Evelson of Forrester took a shot at it recently in a blog post. Even when it's not an easy question, it is worth pursuing, and Boris lays out a useful discussion.

  • $150 000 is the AVERAGE cost of business intelligence software for a DEPARTMENT
  • ETL software (Extract transform and load) is also $150 000 on average.

And the rule of thumb for cost of effort and services is 5 times the software cost

I'm not making this up. Check the link.

In the end, Boris suggests that the cost of a single, fairly straight forward report might be $20,000. Of course as he rightly points out there are lots of variables, and it's a classic case of "it depends", but even so- clearly you want to be sure the reports add value when you are using a process that requires that kind of investment.

Boris mentions in passing that the cost of a single day of an external developer he uses for estimating is $800 USD. You can buy two licenses of Datamartist and take a friend out for dinner for that.

Don't get me wrong- for a number of applications you need the big enterprise stuff- but in my mind it makes sense to avoid it when you can. Enterprise business intelligence has its place, but there are alternatives. The rampant use of Excel spreadsheets is evidence of the fact there is huge demand for data out there. Try Datamartist and find another even more powerful way to get a the data for those cases where you need to do more than a spreadsheet, but it's not time to kick off a data warehouse project.

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