Data is readily available, but how good are you at gaining useful data from them? Besides, the huge amount of data may hinder your focus on gathering information and presenting the actionable insights. For this purpose, business intelligence tools help you to narrow down to the right data. At the same time, they provide visualizations to understand what the data conveys. So, picking the right business intelligence tools for your business is very important.
List of the best business intelligence tools along with its features
- Dundas BI
- Google Data Studio
- Microsoft Power BI
Board International combines three tools in one: BI, predictive analytics and performance management. While it aims to offer something for everyone, it predominately focuses on finance-oriented BI. It has modules for finance (planning, consolidation) and HR (skills mapping, workforce planning). Then, there are modules for marketing (social media analysis, loyalty, and retention monitoring), and supply chain (delivery optimization, supplier management). Then, the focus is on sales (cross-selling and up-selling analysis) and IT (KPIs, service levels). The company is Swiss, but the software is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French, German and Italian. Besides, the latest version of its platform has replaced its multidimensional online analytical processing (MOLAP) approach with an in-memory calculation engine.
- Target audience: The whole enterprise but usually enters via the finance department
- Notable features: Language support
- Pricing: License fee per user varies according to role
Domo is a cloud-based platform focused on business-user-deployed dashboards and ease-of-use. It offers business intelligence tools specifically to industries such as financial services, health care, manufacturing, and education and roles including CEOs, sales, BI professionals, and IT workers. CIOs might start by checking out how it handles data from AWS, Jira, GitHub, or New Relic before looking at how over 500 other integrations can help the rest of the enterprise.
- Target audience: CEOs, sales and marketing, BI professionals
- Notable features: Robust mobile interface
- Pricing: On request
Dundas BI from Dundas Data Visualization is used predominantly for creating dashboards and scorecards, the company’s historic strengths. In addition, it provides business intelligence tools to perform standard and ad-hoc reporting. Moreover, analysis and visualization are performed through a web interface that can adapt to users’ skills: Power users and standard users see different features. Besides, the latest version has a new in-memory engine, a new natural language query capability, and adds point-and-click trend analysis, support for Linux, and an application development environment for customized analytic applications. Dundas BI has been tailored for 19 industries, including clean tech, mining, and construction, in addition to the usual suspects such as banking and health care. It sells to large enterprises but specializes in embedded BI.
- Target audience: C-suite, HR, finance, sales, marketing, customer service
- Notable features: Flexible, HTML5 interface that adapts to any device
- Pricing: Based on concurrent users, specifically not named users, with no tie to number of servers or cores
Google Data Studio
We know Google is constantly analyzing the web, but what can it do with our enterprise data? Google Data Studio started as a tool for dashboarding and reporting on website data from Google Analytics. Consequently, it is one of the business intelligence tools with access to recruiting, marketing, and sales information too, via connectors to Criteo, LinkedIn, MailChimp, PayPal, Salesforce, Stripe, Twitter, and anything you can put in a spreadsheet or SQL database. Furthermore, it is hosted in the cloud and has a web interface.
- Target audience: Anyone with a Google account
- Notable features: The price
- Pricing: Free
Looker takes a two-pronged approach to delivering business intelligence: It allows users to explore data in their own way, but it also works with domain experts to help those who don’t really know what they’re looking for to find it all the same. It does this by enabling other software vendors to wrap up its analytics capabilities in vertical apps that are “Powered by Looker.”
It is one of the business intelligence tools that natively supports cloud-based analytic databases, including Amazon Redshift and Athena, Google BigQuery, Microsoft Azure, and Snowflake. Google closed its $2.6 billion acquisition of Looker in February 2020 and has made it part of the Google Cloud Platform but has committed to maintaining support for other cloud-based analytic databases.
- Target audience: Specifically SMEs
- Notable features: Web-based, can access live data from any SQL database
- Pricing: On demand, varies with number of users and database connections
Microsoft Power BI
With the Power BI business intelligence tools, users can analyze and visualize data from local or cloud sources, publishing their reports to the Power BI platform. In addition, it offers data preparation, visual-based discovery, interactive dashboards, and augmented analytics. The free Power BI Desktop version suits isolated users; the Pro version makes collaborative analysis easier, for a monthly fee, leveraging Microsoft Office365, SharePoint and Teams to control access to raw data and published reports. For enterprises that want to go all-in, the Premium tier makes self-service data prep possible with prebuilt connectors to corporate data held in Microsoft Dynamics 365, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, or third-party sources such as Salesforce.
- Target audience: Startups and SMEs
- Notable features: Mobile app allows touch-screen annotation of reports
- Pricing: Three tiers: Desktop (free), Pro ($9.99 per user per month), Premium (based on capacity)
Qlik’s goal is to give anyone in the enterprise access to all its data — subject, of course, to corporate data governance policies. All that data should be enough to bog down most database engines, but Qlik says its Associative Engine can associate every piece of data with every other piece to make it easier to search for connections. The Associative Engine now has AI and machine learning capabilities that offer context-aware insight suggestions thanks to the Qlik cognitive engine. Qlik Sense, the self-service tool to access that analytical capability, comes in cloud and on-premises versions.
- Target audience: The whole enterprise
- Notable features: Associative Engine can analyze all your data, on the fly
- Pricing: Limited versions are free; collaboration functions cost from $15 per user per month for Qlik Sense Cloud Business
Einstein Analytics is Salesforce’s attempt to improve BI with AI. Its goal is to extend self-service access to data to users across the business, with a look and feel like that of Salesforce’s Reports and Dashboards interfaces. Moreover, Einstein Discovery allows users to build predictive models from their data, which is not limited to data held in the Salesforce cloud: Einstein can pull in data from Oracle, SAP, and other sources.
There are industry-specific templates, and tailored tools for sales, service, marketing, and IT departments. Likewise, there are three tiers: Einstein Analytics Predictions (Einstein Predictive Builder and Einstein Discovery), Einstein Analytics Growth (Sales Analytics, Service Analytics, Analytics Studio, and Data Platform), and Einstein Analytics Plus (Einstein Prediction Builder, Sales Analytics, Service Analytics, Analytics Studio, Data Platform, Einstein Discovery, and Einstein Data Insights). Salesforce acquired Tableau in August 2019. Specifically, there was a lot of overlap between Salesforce’s product line and Tableau’s at the time. However, it is not yet clear how the two product lines will be integrated.
- Target audience: Salesforce.com users
- Notable features: AI for BI, in Salesforce’s own cloud
- Pricing: $75 per user per month for Einstein Predictions, $125 for Einstein Analytics Growth, $150 for Einstein Analytics Plus
SAS Visual Analytics
SAS’s take on BI is its Visual Analytics tool, offered via its cloud and microservices-based SAS Viya platform. For instance, the tool can automatically highlight key relationships in data: The latest version adds automated suggestions for relevant factors, along with insights expressed via visualizations and natural language. Other features include sentiment analysis for extracting data from social media and other texts, automatic generation of charts, mapping, and self-service data preparation. Further, the deployment can be on premises, in public or private clouds, or on the Cloud Foundry platform as a service.
- Target audience: Users across large enterprises
- Notable features: Automated analysis functions
- Pricing: On request
Sisense’s BI software stack covers everything from the database through ETL and analytics to visualization — and it claims its In-Chip database engine is faster even than in-memory databases. Likewise, it is best known for embedded BI uses. In the meantime, the latest version adds new machine learning capabilities. Sisense is available on premises or in the cloud. There are solutions for finance, marketing, sales, HR, and IT, as well as customer service and operations and logistics departments. Sisense also makes it possible to offer the analytics tools to users outside the enterprise by embedding them in web applications. Sisense acquired Periscope Data in September 2019 and is in the process of integrating advanced analytics capabilities gained through the acquisition.
- Target audience: Typically, SMEs
- Notable features: Fully web-based client, including for data prep
- Pricing: On demand, based on an annual fee for software and service
With Tableau, Tableau Software is covering all the bases: You can run its software on premises, choose a public cloud, or opt to have it fully hosted by Tableau. It offers tailored versions for over a dozen industries, including banking, healthcare, and manufacturing, with support for financial, HR, IT, marketing, and sales departments, although that’s almost par for the course these days. Tableau’s capabilities include mapping and analysis of surveys and time series data. Its latest trick is drawing on the artificial intelligence techniques of natural language processing to allow users to describe what they want to see, rather than clicking and dragging to create formulaic queries.
- Target audience: Midsize and larger enterprises
- Notable features: Tableau draws on natural language processing to enable users to say what they want to see
- Pricing: Each deployment needs at least one Tableau Creator ($70/month); others can be Viewers (from $12/month, min. 100) or Explorers (from $35/month, min. 5); there’s a Tableau Data Management Add-on for $5.50 user/month and a Server Management Add-on for $3 user/month.
TIBCO Spotfire is a self-service, AI-powered data visualization platform for dashboards, interactive visualization, data preparation, and workflow. At the same time, the platform offers machine learning-based data preparation capability to support building complex data models. In fact, it is deployed across many verticals, including financial services, energy, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, government, travel & logistics, healthcare, and life sciences. Besides, the latest version adds support for Python.
- Target audience: Specifically analysts and citizen data scientists
- Notable features: The ability to use data science techniques, geo-analytics, and real-time streaming data using natural language query and natural language generation.
- Pricing: Pricing for TIBCO Spotfire Platform (on your servers) and TIBCO Cloud Spotfire Enterprise (private service) is available on request. Spotfire for Amazon Web Services starts at $0.99/hour. TIBCO Cloud Spotfire is $125/month or $1,250/year for analyst seats; $65/month or $650/year for business author seats; $25/month or $250/year for consumer seats; and $25/month or $250/year for 25 GB of library storage.
It is necessary to use the best business intelligence tools in your organization. Nevertheless we can help you gain business intelligence with these tools. So, get ready to leverage our business intelligence solutions to improve your business operations. Request a FREE demo today.