Try it out

If some tool looks promising, try it out. It’s easy, download then play.

Just about everything offered on the web these days has a free trial. Maybe you’re not ready for a full test but download the trial anyway. If you need another round of testing later, email the company and they’ll likely extend your trial.

Lots of products offer free versions. These are trials with no end dates. For instance, are you interested in an interactive visualization tool? Go ahead and download Tableau Public, Qlikview, and Microstrategy for free.

Just play around at first. Then setup some testing scenarios that make sense for your work. Those big long feature lists always skip something, this is how you find the flaws.  

Your goal here is to collect evidence.  You may not be able to do anything with the product, too steep a learning curve.  But that’s important to know, and it’s better to know sooner than later.  And sometimes, it will be easier than you thought.

Worried about the junk email? I always suggest setting up a second email address that you can use to sign up for things, this keeps the junk out of your primary email.