Due to the continuous adoption of complex technologies in business, ensuring that all business activities are appropriately monitored and controlled is getting harder by the day. As companies grow bigger, the volumes of data collected increase exponentially. To manage this data appropriately, companies need some form of business intelligence tool to help them make sustainable and profitable decisions.
Business intelligence tools are designed to facilitate collecting, analyzing, monitoring, and predicting future business outcomes by accurately creating a clear and concise analysis of all the data managed by the company.
The best business intelligence (BI) tools aid a company in identifying and predicting customer behavior, simplify the process of data analysis between stakeholders of a company, and help increase the efficiency of the business. An effective BI tool collects and analyzes previous data from a company’s business environment to help stakeholders make sustainable decisions.
In this article, we discuss business intelligence tools, the benefits of using a BI tool, and highlIght the top ten best business intelligence tools you can use to improve your company’s efficiency.
What are Business intelligence (BI) Tools
Business intelligence or BI tools are software or programs developed to curate, analyze, and visualize large volumes of a company’s previous, current, and future data to identify the best and most efficient business strategies to implement.
These tools utilize core technologies like data visualization, intuitive dashboarding, data analytics, and many other features. A business intelligence tool is an all-in-one solution that simplifies the decision-making process in a company.
Benefits of Business Intelligence Tools
BI tools utilize a wide range of features, but what benefits do these tools give companies? Let’s dive in:
- Provide quick solutions to complex business problems
- It helps sales teams predict customer behavior to know the selling points of a product
- Enhances business productivity
- Identify critical sectors for cost evaluation
- Best Business Intelligence Tools
Best Business Intelligence Tools
Here are the best Business Intelligence Tools according to experts:
1. Microsoft Power BI
Tech giant Microsoft also plays a role in the BI industry, and their offering is the Microsoft Power BI. Microsoft provides businesses with a wide array of software solutions and business applications and even has a Microsoft’s business applications summit that features the Power BI.
Unlike most BI tools designed to be a web-based platform, the Power BI not only features a web-based portal but can also be downloaded to run locally via a reporting server. The Power BI is a premium tool. However, Microsoft was generous enough to provide users with a free sixty-day trial, so you can thoroughly test the software before making any purchases.
On this free tier, the Power BI can connect to tons of data sources like Oracle, Facebook, Sybase, and even Microsoft applications allowing data to be analyzed, visualized, and reported in a matter of minutes.
Datapine is a very interactive BI tool that lets companies connect data from several sources and analyze those data with built-in advanced features to help your company make optimal decisions. The software isn’t just designed to cater to large enterprises with infinite volumes of data; instead, Datapine offers standard features for advanced users like data analysts and average business users.
This BI tool is so intuitive that all you need to analyze and visualize data is to drag and drop your KPIs into the interface. Your data is instantly transformed into a well-structured dashboard, all done without writing a single line of code.
Datapine utilizes advanced AI, machine learning, and pattern designs to detect the slightest of business anomalies and also helps in generating insights on critical areas like growth, trends, and many more.
3. SAS Business Intelligence
SAS Business Intelligence is a business management tool that offers a wide range of features and technologies to data analysts, scientists, forecasting analysts, optimization modelers, and a lot more data-inclined folks. SAS has a reputation for providing analysts with the correct information at the right time.
Even though SAS is tailored to cater to data analysts and skilled engineers, it still features an interactive reporting dashboard and real-time analysis allowing users to perform accurate self-service reports. The reporting dashboard is mobile-friendly and is supported on Android and iOS devices.
SAS integrates seamlessly with other data analysis and visualization software like Microsoft Excel, Powerpoint, and even Word. This BI tool features advanced AI and machine learning models coupled with interactive visualization that answers the most common business questions like “where do my customers come from?”.
4. Tableau Desktop
Tableau Desktop is a business intelligence tool that aims to be more than a data chart or a simple graph; instead, this tool provides you with live visual analytics. The UI is highly intuitive with smooth drag-and-drop buttons allowing the user to quickly identify changes in data with just a couple of clicks without writing any code.
Users can connect to virtually any database needed for data visualization supporting an endless list of data sources like Google Analytics, Microsoft Excel, and even PDF files. Tableau supports data exploration with its built-in memory architecture and allows users to report data in just a click.
Data reported from Tableau can easily be shared due to its integration with Microsoft SharePoint. Compared to its competitors, Tableau can be very expensive to implement for a single user.
5. Dundas BI
Dundas is one of the oldest business intelligence tools available today, with over 25 years of experience visualizing and analyzing data from multiple sources. This tool aims to simplify the entire data analytics process by providing businesses with interactive dashboards, reports, and visual analytics.
It is a browser-based BI tool designed to transform raw data into visual analytics that offers users control over almost all visual design elements. Dundas features an interactive dashboard with drag-and-drop buttons, providing you with customizable data views and mobile responsive themes.
This tool is designed to be customized by regular end-users and advanced users through simple CSS styling or complete scripting. It allows users to embed the entire software into their application by utilizing the Dundas API.
6. Infor Birst
Infor Birst is a cloud-based business intelligence tool that helps users understand and optimize complex processes. Infor first acquired Birst in 2017. Since then, the platform has developed into an end-to-end business management tool that has simplified the process of data discovery, analysis, and reporting.
Due to Birst being a cloud-based BI tool, it facilitates flexibility, scalability, and data security to adapt to the ever-changing business landscape instantly. The platform performs relatively faster than traditional BI management tools due to its point and click analytics feature and report generation that fast-tracks the decision-making process of a business.
7. SAP BusinessObjects
SAP BusinessObjects is a business intelligence tool that allows Bi information to be shared throughout the organization. It is designed for accurate data discovery, comprehensive reporting, analytics, and data visualization. This BI tool fast-tracks decision-making in a company by readily dispersing information throughout the organization, making information easy to consume.
SAP has a vast customer base with over 170 million active users to date, making it one of the largest software providers in the world. SAP reduces the workload of your employees by simplifying the process of reporting and analysis, which is done through ad hoc queries to help improve your company’s overall strategy.
Data gathered with this BI tool can easily be shared with other stakeholders and partners through its cross-platform sharing feature. It also integrates seamlessly with Office solutions like Excel and Powerpoint.
Sisense is a business intelligence tool geared toward users who aren’t very familiar with business intelligence. It simplifies the process of data analysis by integrating AI, design patterns, and IoT into its software. This tool is one of the most intuitive BI tools available; you can go from data discovery to dashboard in less than two hours.
This platform is designed to function as a mobile and a web-based platform for deployment and benchmarking. The extent of customization on this platform is endless, and users are allowed to include white label analytics, analyze and cache data across your entire landscape or in some targeted areas like system, object, or data.
Sisense utilizes elastic cube as their primary database developed on a built-in chip technology that also functions in the cloud. The price model of this platform has no flat rate as they only offer custom pricing on an annual subscription plan.
9. Zoho Analytics
Zoho Analytics is a robust business intelligence tool that operates as a self–service business intelligence and analytics platform. It allows users to generate data from a large selection of file types, including Microsoft Office documents, URL feeds, and even MySQL databases. Users can create well-structured dashboards that they can use to visualize data.
Zoho Analytics comes with over 100 ready-made connectors for popular business apps and databases that help businesses analyze data from different sources. This platform is also powered by an augmented visual analytics feature that utilizes AI and machine learning models to receive queries in your natural language.
Apart from Microsoft Office, Zoho analytics allows users to collect and visualize data from secondary sources like Dropbox, Google Drive, Salesforce, and many other sources.
10 Oracle NetSuite
Oracle NetSuite is a business intelligence tool that aims to cater to all sizes of organizations (small, medium, and large). For a small business, this BI tool offers intuitive, easy-to-use dashboards. These scalable and agile business solutions provide small businesses with necessary features like ERP, PSA, CRM, and E-commerce.
For medium-sized businesses, this BI tool helps slash their IT expenses by almost 50%, reduces financial cost times by over 20%, and improves quote to cash cycle times by 50%. Large corporations aren’t left out; Oracle NetSuite boasts several features to help them tackle complex business activities, like industry regulation, tax regulation, and a lot more.
Data is an ever-increasing commodity. Companies that lack an appropriate means to collect, manage, visualize and share data will find it very hard to manage their data. BI tools can help improve your business productivity by improving your company’s ability to manage data more cohesively and stably.
We’ve provided you with a list of the ten best BI tools available in the market; we hope that our comprehensive reviews will inspire you to explore the endless possibilities with BI tools so you can find the perfect fit for your company.