Check Out Data Warehousing Products and Companies
Any category of data warehousing product (such as OLAP tools, data mining tools, basic reporting and querying tools, database engines, extraction products, data quality tools, and data warehouse administration and management tools) has a lot of different products. Each vendor that makes one or more of those data warehousing products wants to involve you in a one-on-one discussion with a sales representative.
But your time is a valuable commodity. Even if you weren’t dealing with project schedule pressures, you and others in your organization should give only a finite amount of time to vendor meetings.
Do your research at trade shows and conferences (and do your homework first, even before you go to the trade shows). See which user interfaces look most appealing, and study performance and response-time statistics (as many as are available) for database volumes similar to what your environment will have. Don’t just lug around those glossy brochures you pick up at the trade show booths — read them.
Next, get on the Internet and check out vendors’ Web sites. Use an Internet search engine to retrieve product reviews, analysts’ comments, news releases, and anything else you can find about the vendor’s company (history, financial strength, and what others say about them, for example) and the products in which you’re interested.
Request or download a demonstration copy of the product, if one is available.
Then, you’re ready to talk to a sales representative in person or over the Web, assuming that the vendor and their wares seem to fit your needs.