Best Five Business Intelligence Tools

Businesses try to offer a personalized experience of products and services to customers who have made them analyze and take deep dive into customer databases. Business Intelligence Tools (BI) is one such tool that can help you to achieve this goal. They can help you in identifying the patterns in the large data your business is built up. Business Intelligence tools help you in understanding present trends to derive significant insights from your data. This will allows you to make tactical and strategic business decisions. Business Intelligence tools are software used to collect, organize, visualize, analyze and present data accumulated through business operations. It helps to highlight trends and patterns to allow you to make decisions for your businesses.

The objective of this article is to cover some of the good business intelligence software available in the market. Hopefully, this will help you on the right path towards selecting your best-fit business problem-solving data software tool that can meet your business requirement.

There are many business intelligence tools available in the market and comparing BI tools is not an easy task.  All business problem-solving software tools promise they will deliver as per your business needs to derive maximum business benefits. Companies looking for a new business intelligence software tool can become overwhelmed with all the choices and promises from different software service providers. The question is how do you know which business intelligence tool is best for your business? And which business-enabling tools can help you in achieving your online goals? Many businesses are hopping on the BI bandwagon, as the dominance of big data continues to rise. According to Mordor Intelligence, the business intelligence industry is not only popular but also it is predicted to reach a value of USD 40.50 billion by 2026.

Why use business intelligence tools?

Growing demand for data analysis and customer-centric focus internal or external have raised the demand for Business Intelligence tools (BI). Data analysis which used to be limited to the expertise of advanced analytics specialists is now something everyone can do using business intelligence tools. These tools give you the insights you need to achieve – like business growth, resolving customer issues that are urgent, setting priorities, reporting, collecting all your data in one place, and forecasting future outcomes.

Data Visualization and Analysis

Your business or project success depends on choosing the right Business Intelligence tools BI. To search for the best business intelligence tool for your company that can meet your business’s present and future needs. You should look for:

  • Which is the best available business intelligence (BI) tool in the market?
  • Is the BI tool I select user-friendly and easy to scale up?
  • What is the licensing policy and cost implication?
  • How easy is it to integrate with my existing setup?
  • Will it fulfill my present and future needs?
  • Is the existing BI tool I am using the best?
  • Which BI tools will meet and address your business needs?
  • Is super brand the main factor to consider?
  • Are your vendor and implementation support important for you? 
Some of the criteria you can consider to ensure that you understand each software’s business intelligence capabilities, strengths, and limitations:
  • Dashboard and Data Visualization: The Business Intelligence tools support ease of use of presentable data in animation and guide the users by suggesting the best suitable advance visualization for the graphical representation of the selected data.
  • Advanced Analysis: The tool must support advanced and sophisticated data manipulation and analysis using Python and R programming language libraries and packages.
  • Reporting: Offers Ad-hoc Reporting, Auto-scheduling, Built-in Alerts, Managed Reports, Conditional Formatting, Interactive Reporting, and customized templates.
  • Augmented Analytics: This should leverage machine learning (ML) automation to improve data profiling and quality, harmonization, modeling, manipulation, enrichment, metadata development, and cataloging.
  • Data Querying: It should allow users to Batch Updates, Handle Complex Queries, execute In-Memory Analysis, etc.
  • Mobile BI: Should offer team collaboration, user-friendly mobile-optimized dashboards, and reports, and supports geospatial analysis on mobile devices.
  • Data Sources Connectivity: Should be easy to integrate into popular accounting platforms and other tools and platforms related to the Big Data ecosystem.
  • Security: This should be secure and maintains a record of administrative and user actions, and provides encryption capabilities for stored data.
  • Other criteria can be easy availability & scalability, easy to manage data, and ease of deployment and support.

Only the customer using a particular business intelligence tool knows how the software is performing in its business environment. They may find that products don’t live up to their expectations, or they don’t have enough product support from the vendor.

Some of the best available business intelligence tools:

  1. SAP – SAP Analytics Cloud
  2. Microsoft – Power BI
  3. SAS – SAS Visual Analytics
  4. Oracle – Oracle Analytics Cloud
  5. IBM – Cognos Analytics

Note these business intelligence tools are categorized based on certain parameters and criteria. They can vary based on functionality, ease of use, reporting, speed and test criteria, integration capabilities, and other factors.

1.        SAP Analytics Cloud – Business Intelligence Tool

SAP ANAL

This software solution allows you to bring together analytics and planning with integration to SAP applications. It offers smooth access to diverse data sources with comprehensive reporting, analysis, and interactive data visualization. It uses machine learning (MI) technology to generate data visualizations and simulate predictive scenarios. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), it helps businesses make decisions with confidence by exploring simulation possibilities based on historical data.

SAP platform focuses on Customer Experience (CX), CRM, digital supply chain, ERP, and more. The key USP of this platform is role-based self-serviced dashboards for different stakeholders. This allows users to build their own dashboards and applications based on one’s own priorities. The complexity of this product and its features drives up the price. They offer different plans with different levels of functionality. Businesses can choose the subscription that best suits their business needs.

SAP in Data and Analytics Solution offers 5 Variants of Products to cater to different business needs of customers. They are

  • SAP Analytics Cloud
  • SAP Hand Cloud
  • SAP Data Warehouse  Cloud
  • SAP Data Intelligence Cloud
  • SAP Master Data Governance

Advantages of SAP Analytics Cloud

  • Smart Analytics Tool: This tool thinks smarter, and digs deeper into data with machine learning (MI) that powers its Smart Predict, Smart Insights, and Smart Discovery modules.
  • Enhance Efficiency: No slicing and dicing of data to find relevant information. The software helps automatically generate desired explanations and insights and saves time.
  • More informed decisions: Determine the best course of action with AI-powered capabilities for decision-making.
  • Visualize impact: Software algorithms identify key influencers to drive the business and factors affecting the bottom line.
  • Collaboration: It collaborates through the cloud, keeping in constant communication to get the job done.
  • Free Trial: 30-day free trial is available from the vendor’s website.

SAP analytics cloud business intelligence tool is effective in sales and marketing, finance, operations, human resources, customer relation, and different industrial verticals. It is a powerful data visualization tool that helps users explore data in a simple understanding format and enables them to make informed decisions. It offers rich graphics libraries and a range of templates for the story presentation of business metrics. The SAP analytics cloud is a planning tool with Business Intelligence tools capabilities that brings the power of cloud computing for data analysis for gaining actionable business insights.

Website: www.sap.com

2. Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI

It’s a web-based business analytics tool available in desktop and mobile version suites that excel in data visualization. It offers users the to identify real-time trends and has brand new connectors that allow you to up your game in campaigns. Online web-based access makes this accessible anytime from anywhere. Microsoft business intelligence tool allows users to integrate their applications and deliver reports in real-time dashboards. Its origin is from Excel and now it has grown to Power BI of its own. Power BI fulfills the needs of varied organizations from small businesses to large corporations.

MS Power BI comes in 6 variants:

  • Power BI Desktop ( free for individual use )
  • Power BI Pro I Premium I Mobile I Embedded I Report Server

Advantages of Power BI

  • Visualize Trends: Present data in a more create intuitive visualization way after parsing. Data can be presented in the form of graphs, charts, or maps for interpreting data in a more meaningful way.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Data visualizations work for you to analyze what happened, why, how, and where. Use this data to improve business decision-making to control and manage business plans and make forecasts.
  • 360-Degree View of Live Data:  Stay in the loop about crucial business insights. Power BI’s dashboards update in real-time from all data sources. 
  • Ease of Use: Power BI has built-in features similar to Excel, which makes it user-friendly. Features like drag-and-drop design, resizing and copy-and-paste are some common use features in the BI tools.
  • Collaboration: Save time by sharing reports and collaborating on decisions quickly on the same platform. Integrates seamlessly with many commonly used business tools to promote teamwork throughout departments. 
  • On-the-Go Access: Access visual analytics on the go with Power BI and connect from any device with mobile-optimized reports and a mobile app to share insight.
  • Free Version: Power BI goes beyond a free trial with a perpetually free Desktop version, suitable for creating reports and data visualizations on an individual basis.
  • Scalability and Affordability: Power BI can scale from the individual to the corporate level as a whole with variants available to meet your business demand. Pay for exactly what’s necessary by choosing the right option and pricing.

Any organization that wants to analyze its data to make more informed decisions can benefit from a Microsoft business intelligence software solution. Microsoft is one of the leaders in the technology space. Its business intelligence software has an edge, reach, and scalability. Power business intelligence tools is used in industries like – telecommunications, government, automotive, BFSI, manufacturing, healthcare, etc.

Website: www.microsoft.com

3. SAS Business Analytics

Best Business Intelligence tools
SAS Business Analysis

It is a full-featured solution from SAS with its most popular offering of advanced predictive analytics. Using their set of APIs, users get customization options and they ensure high-level data integration and advanced analytics & reporting. They offer the best text analytics feature to give customers more contextual insights into their data. The software provides analytics tools including dashboards, predictive analytics, real-time data analytics, and many more useful features. These tools enable businesses to take advantage of their own analytics and internal data.

It is available in different variants like SAS Enterprise Miner, SAS Visual Data Mining & Machine Learning, SAS Econometrics, SAS forecast Server, and many more

Advantages of Business Analytics

  • Advanced Predictive Analytics: Measure your business success and eliminate threats with advanced predictive analytics. The software enables decision-makers to make well-informed data decisions. 
  • Cross-Functionality: SAS business analytics can help in increasing customer value, measuring risk and optimizing networks, and collaborating in cross-function projects. 
  • Industry Solutions: They offer tailor-made user-specific industry software solutions. Examples include getting drugs to market faster, BFSI segment credit risk, and identifying opportunities in retail. 
  • Text Analytics: The software offers the best text analytics feature to give customers more contextual insights into their data.

SAS business analytics software serves a variety of industrial segments. SAS business intelligence is used by 94 percent of the Fortune Global 100. It empowers users to explore and understand data through interactive data visualizations. Data processing speed is high and reports load faster. SAS business analytics software license fee is a hindrance and is on the higher side. SAS visual analytics business intelligence software is a flexible tool with fast data processing capabilities and strong visualizations to generate reports for insightful data analysis.

Website: www.sas.com

4. Oracle Analytics Cloud

Best Business Intelligence tools
Oracle Analysis

It is a business intelligence tool with an AI-powered solution that provides robust reporting and advanced analytics features to small and large businesses. This helps users get a deeper understanding of business questions and make accurate predictions and forecasts on the business requirements. Most organizations prefer centralized and self-service analytics tools. Oracle analytics cloud business intelligence tool includes standardized push reporting for well-defined use cases and pulls style data visualization for ad hoc reporting needs of organizations. Most of the other analytics tools available in the market only provide one or the other in a single platform which escalates cost and complexity. It maintains the consistency of push or pulls numbers across all visualizations with a single unified data analytics platform.

Oracle analytics cloud is available in 5 variants:

  • Oracle Analytics Cloud – Enterprise & Professional ( User / OCPU Based )
  • Oracle Analytics Cloud – Professional BYOD ( OCPU Based )
  • Oracle Analytics Cloud – Enterprise BYOD ( OCPU Based )
  • Oracle Analytics Server for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure ( OCPU Based )

Advantages of Oracle Analytics Cloud :

  • Push-pull reporting Tool: Offers push and pull reporting tools in a single platform. Ensuring consistency in your numbers across all visualizations with a single unified data analytics platform.
  • Customized Responses: Personalized search feature enables tailored made response to quarries and answer users’ specific business questions.
  • What-If Scenarios: Allows accurate predictions and forecasts through a what-if modeling tool.
  • Collaboration: Share in real-time content with other employees, shareholders, suppliers, and others with collaboration features.
  • Machine Learning: The system separately identifies patterns and trends through machine learning algorithms.

Oracle Cloud-based Business intelligence SaaS offering is a default choice from the enterprise BI and ERP software giant to mid to large-sized companies. It sets itself apart from the competition by offering easy-to-use augmented analytics. It makes using machine learning as simple as pushing a button and Its user-friendly GUI and interactivity encourage business users to access their insights. All this comes at a price that several find a bit too high for their budget. This business intelligence provides speed through its data processing engine, simplified machine learning, and AI-powered augmented analytics and reporting capabilities making it a frontrunner in the field of data analytics and data visualization.

Website:www.oracle.com

5. IBM Cognos Analytics

Best Business Intelligence tools
IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Analysis Tool

This analytics business intelligence software is a self-service web-based analytics platform. It empowers users of all skill levels to explore data through data analytics, KPI monitoring, reporting, events, and metrics. Reports give users the ability to visualize their insights and share them with colleagues. Using IBM Cognos create compelling interactive dashboards. Just drag and drop data to create auto-generated visualizations and drill down for more inside.

It is integrated with Watson analytics, which leverages IBM artificial intelligence and natural language processing to make insights more accessible to users.

It is available in 3 variants:

  • On-Demand
  • On Cloud Hosted
  • Client Hosted

Advantages of Cognos Analytics

  • Connect effortlessly to data: Import data from CSV files and spreadsheets. Connect to the cloud or on-premises data sources including SQL databases, Google Big Query, Amazon, Redshift, and others.
  • Dynamic Dashboard: Create a dynamic compelling interactive dashboard.
  • Flexible Deployment: Available in 2 modes for deployment in the cloud or on-premise.
  • Mobile Sharing: Share reports via a mobile portal on the go
  • Visualization: Get recommendations for the best visualizations for particular data templates.
  • Flexible Deployment: Deploy either in the cloud or on-premise.
  • Mobile Sharing: Share data reports and monitor analytics via a mobile portal on the go.

IBM is one of the oldest players in industry and technology. They cater to the needs of customers across industries like healthcare, BFSI, consumer goods, travel, and transportation among others. IBM Cognos Analytics business intelligence software is an excellent BI tool with high user acceptance. IBM combined this solution with other offerings Watson Analytics for natural language processing – a game-changer for empowering non-technical users to create a vast range of dashboards. With AI-enabled exploration users can review data. Cognos Analytics’ business intelligence tool is among the best BI solutions in the market today.

Website:www.ibm.com

There are many tools available in the market for business intelligence software like cloud, on-premises, web-based, and mobile app-based solutions. The buying decision is not easy even after trying the trial services of the software. New product deployment and after-sales support with software capabilities meeting your requirement are vital. You can take the next move in your data analysis journey which helps you to transform your function or business.

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