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How Do I Choose the Best Trend Analysis Software?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2016
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Trend analysis software is a business tool that makes it possible to sort, qualify and interpret data in a manner that allows owners and managers to identify specific trends that are occurring within the business model. Software of this type can also be used in conducting an industry analysis, identifying market trends that are relevant to companies associated with that particular industry. When evaluating any type of trend analysis software, it’s important to consider the range of features provided with the software, the ability to customize the results into different reports and graphics presentations, the ease of use, and the cost associated with the package.

One of the first issues to address with any trend analysis software is the range of features offered with the package. This involves understanding how the software will be utilized by the end user in terms of assimilating and arranging data to best advantage. Making note of the ability to import data from other sources, including accounts receivables and payables databases, is often absolutely essential to the task. Unless a particular software package will integrate well with the programs already in use, focusing attention on a different package may be the best bet.

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Report customization is another important consideration when it comes to trend analysis software. Most packages will come equipped with a set of report formats that may be ideal for most situations. By choosing a package that includes the ability to modify those canned formats and possibly even the ability to build an entirely new format, there is never a need to make do with something that is close but not quite what is needed in a given situation.

Ease of use is also key to choosing the right trend analysis software. While the software may have all the necessary bells and whistles, that is of little use if the steps involved in using those features is somewhat complicated. Focus attention on packages that allow the completion of tasks with a minimum number of steps, and the software will help increase productivity rather than taking a lot of time to use.

As with most software purchases, the cost is also important when choosing trend analysis software. There are free versions that will work well for some business settings, although the range of features and the security protocols may be somewhat limited. In terms of fee-based packages, the cost will vary based on the features and flexibility offered by the product. Go for something that has all the features required, will work well with other programs, and has a price tag that fits well into the budget. If possible, obtain a free trial period to make sure the choice is the right one for the business model and the intended applications.

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