The first part of this series showed why the traditional approach of comparing software products against each other is less useful than evaluating how they complement existing company systems. It also proposed a new measure for the value of analytical systems: the number of user groups a question must pass through before reaching someone who is able to provide an answer.

The example from last month showed five types of analytical questions, requiring different levels of technical skills and resources to answer. The base case showed the percentage of questions that can be answered by four types of users with existing systems, and the new case showed the percentages with a new system added. The change in score totals showed that the new system allows managers and business analysts to answer more questions, while shifting work away from statisticians and IT. Figure 1 illustrates the same changes even more clearly.

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