Comparing reporting tools

Friday 1 May 2015 @ 7:56 am

In February I started an ambitious project. I expect it to hit critical mass in 6-12 months. I want to compare Crystal Reports to the other leading BI tools. I plan to include SSRS, MS Access, Tablaeu, QlikView, Indicee, Logi Ad Hoc, List and Label and a few others. The goal will be to help users understand how these tools are different and therefore which tool is best for a specific set of requirements.

One challenge is that these tools are very different in both purpose and approach. So my plan is to create a detailed feature matrix showing what each tool can do and also how it is different. The process and the end result will resemble the comparisons I do for third party products.

Another challenge is that I am not an expert in most of these tools.  So, like I do in my other comparisons, I will rely on the people who know the tools best. Ideally the vendors will provide the information directly. One vendor already has. Vendors who want their software represented accurately have some incentive to participate. And when the vendor doesn’t participate I will recruit competent users to review the feature list and mark the features supported by each product.

My job will be to tease out the features that best highlight the differences between products. I will also have to write up the feature definitions so that they are objective and meaningful.

Would you like to help? There are several ways to get involved:

1) Tell me the tools you think I should include, especially ones I didn’t mention. That will help me prioritize products.
2) If you have expertise in any of these tools you can volunteer to review the feature list for that product.
3) Even if you have only limited experience with one of these tools, your impressions would be welcome.

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