Ready to start your business intelligence (BI) trial?
That’s great. Trying out the software is the best step you can take to making an informed decision. But before you get too far along in the trial process, you need to create your list of must-try features.
Your list should include something for everyone involved in business intelligence—the IT person, the everyday user, and even the C-suite executive.
When it comes to trying Sequel Data Access, there are five things that our future customers recommend trying before buying.
1. Get Your Data in Microsoft Excel
During your trial, find out how easy it is to get your data in Excel.
You (or users at your organization) are probably used to analyzing data in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. It’s easy to do, but you wish there was a way to export a data query to Excel without copying and pasting. And it’d be ideal if you could retrieve data in Excel itself.
During your Sequel Data Access trial, you’ll be able to explore your options for working with data in Excel.
First and foremost, you should try exporting your data to Microsoft Excel. You can do this easily in the graphical user interface (GUI).
All you need to do is select your query, click “save results,” and select “export to Excel.” That’s all it takes.
Feel free to take your Excel exploration a little further during your Sequel trial. You can test out emailing query results to another user. You can even try using an Excel Add-In to access your Sequel data without leaving Excel.
2. Import an Existing Query
This isn’t your first time querying or reporting on data. Whether you used Query/400 or manual programming in the past, you’ve gathered historical data—and you don’t want to lose it.
Use your trial to see how easily you’ll be able to import and convert your existing queries.
Monitor how well your queries translate. Did all the data carry over? Are you able to do everything you need to do with that existing query?
When you’re trying Sequel Data Access, you’ll be able to experience how quick and painless the query conversion process can be. It’s a click to import your query (or queries), and then you can do anything you want with the data. You’ll be able to see the benefit right away.
And the best part? You don’t need to know SQL or be a programmer anymore.
3. Create a Dashboard
Dashboards are everywhere these days—and they’re a must for meeting the needs of business users and executives alike. That’s because dashboards help you translate data into information.
Use your BI trial to try creating a dashboard. Time how long it takes and how easy (or difficult) it is to create.
When you try Sequel Data Access, creating a dashboard will be straightforward. All you need to do is click and drag to customize the dashboard to your needs. You can add elements like charts, graphs, and action buttons. Pretty soon, you’ll have an attractive, easy-to-understand dashboard.
Once you try creating a dashboard, be sure to share it with business users or executives. Have them test it out and determine if dashboards can answer their requests for data.
4. Run a Query on Remote Data
Your organization doesn’t just have data on IBM i. It’s in Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, and other remote databases. To truly do business intelligence, you need to be able to get data from everywhere.
During your BI trial, test the software’s ability to access remote databases. And question, is it an add-on feature? Or is it a built-in capability?
Many customers are surprised by Sequel’s built-in ability to access remote databases. Grabbing data from Microsoft SQL Server (or any other database) is just as easy as querying data on IBM i. And there’s no extra cost for accessing these remote databases.
Try querying one database—or all of your databases—during your trial to get an idea of the performance you can expect.
5. Try It on All Your Devices
As your organization grows, so will your users' needs for data access. They don’t want to be tied down to their desks to check in on data. They want constant access, whether they’re travelling for an important meeting or doing a presentation in the board room.
Plus, maintaining software on a growing number of computers isn’t sustainable anymore. Especially when not everyone needs access to the IBM i platform.
Use your trial to test the flexibility of the software. Are you able to provide mobile data access?
In your Sequel trial, you’ll get access to the web interface. There’s nothing extra that you need to install. And you can use the web interface on any mobile device. That removes the barrier to data access. Plus, it makes your environment a lot easier to maintain.
Test it out on every one of your devices during your trial.
With Sequel Data Access, it’s one step to get your data—not multiple. So try Sequel Data Access on your data today. And see for yourself how easy it could be for anyone to do business intelligence on IBM i.