Data management questions to ask solution providers is an annual sneak peak at the top-of-mind concepts to consider during product evaluation. For five key data management questions to ask yourself, consult our Buyer’s Guide for Data Management Solutions.
Cue the process of seeking out, evaluating, choosing, purchasing, and deploying a data management solution. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to big data. Solutions come in a variety of flavors—ranging from data management solutions for analytics to operational database management systems. Each features a particular set of capabilities, strengths, and drawbacks. Choosing the right vendor and solution is a complicated process—one that requires in-depth research and often comes down to more than just the solution and its technical capabilities.
To help you evaluate prospective data management solutions, these are five data management questions to ask solution providers during product evaluation. If you find these questions helpful, check out our Buyer’s Guide which features five more questions to ask yourself, a comprehensive overview of the market, and full, one-page profiles of the top-28 offerings, as well as our ‘Bottom Line’ analysis.
Is your product compatible with my existing infrastructure?
Moving to a full-featured data management tool can certainly shake up the current configuration of your environment, so bringing in a technical expert to consult may be a good idea. Many companies that have traditionally utilized a data warehouse environment are adding products to give themselves added flexibility and a new way to hold onto data for analysis. Like anything else, if it seems too good to be true, question it, and while demoing, see if they will entertain deploying a mock version of the solution inside your environment so you can gain a sneak peek.
Does your solution automate the connection of data from external sources?
Similarly to how you asked the vendor about the types of data that their platform supports, you should find out whether or not the solution includes pre-built integrations that allow for seamless deployment. This way, you’ll be able to hook right into whatever data sources you were already using without having to go outside the product to secure connectors via a standalone data integration solution.
Do you integrate with big data sources?
Data source support will increasingly drive buying decisions in the enterprise. While some very large, enterprise organizations may not need as much in terms of big data connectivity, forward-thinking organizations should familiarize themselves with each prospective vendor’s listing of supported data sources and connectors. Does the tool accept 3rd party APIs that may matter to you? How often are new connectors added? It’s vital to ensure that a vendor match up with all the sources you use now, and will in the future.
Does the tool offer built-in analytics?
Since data management is aimed at allowing organizations to dig even deeper into their analytical frameworks, it is only natural that some of the solutions provide their own proprietary analytics tools inside. This boils down to personal preference. Going with a vendor that includes analytics built-in could be a great way to save some money and avoid getting too technical. However, maybe you’re already using a business analytics tool you really like, in which case you can deploy a best-of-breed approach.
What is your main area of focus (flagship software)?
Not all solution providers are created equal. Oftentimes, vendors will key in on a niche in the market. By focusing on a specific part of the space, such as data virtualization, for example, vendors can become experts at developing a narrower piece of software that although vocational, really works for its users. As a result, the company increases efficiency and overall quality and decreases the time it takes to deploy the solution organizationally.