The best business intelligence tool for small and big businesses is Sisense because of its scalable architecture and extensive set of features that adapt to the requirements of any business size. From data consolidation and filtering to analytics and reporting, this platform has everything you need to make sense of your numbers. Moreover, the platform’s interface is simple enough to use for beginners and powerful enough to handle the requirements of professionals.
Small companies and large enterprises may have its fair share of differences but there’s one thing they have in common: the need for actionable insights to improve their business. Luckily, business intelligence tools are more accessible and flexible today. They are easy enough to use for small businesses, scalable enough for growing companies, and powerful enough to manage large datasets for enterprises.
With these software solutions, companies can now make sense of complex big data without hassle. Business intelligence solutions can collect, analyze and convert such data into understandable reports that can provide businesses with valuable insights, which in turn drives corporate profits.
However, with the plethora of BI tools on the market and the various ways they are packaged, beginning the selection process can be quite confusing. In this article, we will take a look at the best business intelligence software for small and big businesses, as deemed by our experts, carefully assessing their features, functionalities, and pricing. This should make it easier for you to narrow down your options at a much faster time.
Business intelligence tools are currently being used for strategic corporate goals, which include KPI measurement, cost-effective deployment of resources, business health planning and generation of insights to quickly make strategic decisions, among many others. What’s good about such solutions is that they help businesses employ business intelligence across the organization. They are also easily deployed, utilized and integrated with any company’s system.
So why use business intelligence tools? The benefits of business intelligence tools far outweigh the investments they entail. They can help businesses gain valuable insights to affect growth, resolve urgent concerns, collate marketing data more quickly, provide a real-time view of the organization and allow for the anticipation of future outcome using predictive analytics and forecasting.
As more and more business organizations turn to business intelligence software for growth, the market for such tools is expected to further expand. In fact, the global BI software market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of around 7.1% through 2025. As shown above, the market is anticipated to hit above the $26-B mark in 2021. This market expansion is expected as the technology has made strides in helping businesses grow.
New BI software trends have been immensely providing organizations with new capabilities. Data discovery, which used to be the turf of experts in advanced analytics is now made easy using these platforms. This is accomplished through visual analytics, allowing decision makers to access and immediately act on data. Perhaps one of the most important trends in BI solutions is their provision of mobile support and cloud deployment, allowing users to access and analyze information from any device.
Let’s walk you through all the important aspects of each product, highlighting its unique strengths and features, pointing to specific applications and discussing any drawbacks you should consider.
BI software Sisense enables businesses to collate, analyze and view data, which can be used in making sound business decisions and to come up with strategic plans. The tool aggregates all needed information into a singular dashboard with its drag-and-drop functionality and provides you with a granular view of your data. Users can come up with reliable analysis using visual reports as a basis, making the process far easier and hassle-free. The platform’s interface is easy to use, allowing users to learn system navigation quickly and easily.
In addition to these features, Sisense also offers intuitive data crunching for beginners, making it a good option for those who are new to using BI solutions. On the other hand, if you are looking for scalability, extensibility, and flexibility, don’t worry. It also comes with API-first approaches for developers. If you’d like to learn more about what Sisense has to offer, the vendor offers a very good free demo so you can try out the key features of their tool yourself. You can easily sign up for Sisense free demo here.
It is these functionalities and more that led Magellan Vacations to adopt Sisense. It took the luxury hotel a short time to get a grasp of the system’s functionalities. Management was looking forward to using a system that provides real-time feedback to agents and intuitive to non-technical users so they could run analytical processes and reporting. With their service being phone-based and highly personalized, and their database unstructured and often modified, management found traditional methods for tracking sales metrics and closure rates simply inapplicable. It was at that point that CEO Andrew Vignuzzi gave Sisense a chance.
Sisense was not Magellan Vacation’s first choice, but rather the system that saved them from hiring staff and reporting at the rate of $80,000 per year. Ever since they deployed it, they’ve been reclaiming time and cost-effectiveness in their IT department, touting Sisense as the most user-friendly system they could have possibly chosen. They are now able to manipulate data on the fly, provide real-time feedback to their agents, and coach and counsel them in line with the company’s goals. Better yet, they drill deep into the performance of each agent and department, share insights in a snap, and prepare custom reports instead of sticking to any inapplicable approach.
Data discovery app Looker also makes it to the top of our best business intelligence tools list for its intuitive data exploration approach. It has a web-based interface that can be used to exploit the expertise of companies’ analytics teams. Using the system, teams can build and share reports in an instant helping their organization use data to boost business decisions and actions.
Looker also lets users build their own analytic modules and design visualizations using a single code. Queries can be easily produced and optimized with the platform’s ML code. It can analyze both web-hosted and SQL data and is able to accommodate well over 25 data variations, including Vertica, Hive and Google BigQuery. This piece of software has been helping companies boost customer satisfaction and convert site traffic into eCommerce data. The vendor offers a comprehensive Looker free demo here the better to appreciate this BI platform.
It is because of the need for insightful intelligence that DonorsChoose.org was drawn to Looker. Back in the day, no one at the nonprofit could have foreseen the popularity that their organization is experiencing now or assume that maybe, someday, they’ll have to rely on operable intelligence to make a decision. Becoming aware of their own success story, executives also understood the need to make data publicly accessible, and to obtain real-time data insights pulling in info from a variety of sources. The very same system that would respond to their needs was also the one that ought to take care of their complex partnerships and help them develop useful decision-making practices.
The insights Looker provided were simply astonishing: The non-profit recorded a 65% increase in lifetime giving for donors who’ve been sent ‘thank you’ cards upon donating and discovered that transferring reporting to an automated system saves as much as 400 hours of manual reporting a year. The organization was also able to prepare a poverty breakdown pie by the school, and redirected 80% of projects toward helping low-income educational institutions. Meanwhile, they received 292,000 new requests for school supplies and 227,000 requests for technology, as they were able to depict and pinpoint the hottest trends in US education.
A business intelligence and data visualization solution, datapine connects all your data sources in a unified location and creates detailed visualizations to help businesses comprehend their data better. Its data integration capability makes it effortless for users to connect and analyze information across various sources, including CRM, ERP, various documents, and others. Even non-tech savvy users can fully take advantage of the software’s capabilities without experiencing a steep learning curve due to its drag-and-drop interface and a large selection of visual charts.
datapine comes equipped with modern data dashboards that help provide a clear picture of your goals, progress, and other information that can help you drive growth to your business. Thanks to its accessibility, all users can access pertinent information, display modern data dashboards, and create easily digestible data visualizations. For more information on this product, you can easily sign up for a datapine free trial here. This way, you can test out its features extensively.
Kreditech, an online consumer finance company, was having trouble with centralizing their decision making process. They had difficulty with combining their internal and external data and they noticed that their dependency on IT personnel for day-to-day analytics was putting a damper on the overall operational productivity. This was when they decided to take advantage of the functionalities that datapine has to offer.
Upon incorporating datapine into their arsenal of business systems, they were able to reduce the time spent on reporting and analytics by 40 hours per week. They were also able to collect KPIs within minutes without the need of IT involvement. Moreover, the platform was able to give them real-time access to ad hoc analysis and reports no matter what device they used, speeding up operations even more.
Next on our list is data analytics platform Zoho Analytics. As part of the Zoho productivity suite, this software packs quite a number of robust tools that are easy to use, highly configurable, and easily extensible. It allows you to streamline the aggregation of data from multiple sources, speeds up the generation of reports, as well as simplifies the visualization of data for presentations. Moreover, it has REST API capabilities that allow it to integrate with a multitude of third-party systems so you can collect data from your existing software solutions automatically.
Another thing that makes Zoho Analytics a good business intelligence tool for both small and large companies is that it has a scalable interface. With this, it is easier for you to process data no matter how extensive or limited your datasets may be. In addition, it has collaborative workspaces that can support teams with as little as 2 members to as big as 50 members in case you need to discuss data analytics reports. To learn more about this platform, be sure to sign up for a Zoho Analytics free trial here.
A rewards and recognition company, nCentrix provides businesses with bespoke strategies that help them reinforce brand loyalty and drive growth for their company. However, they were having trouble meeting the demands of customers in terms of advanced reporting and database management. As a small business, they don’t have the financial capability to employ professionals solely for this task so, as a compromise, they looked for a reporting software that can offer quality insights instead. This was when they stumbled upon Zoho Analytics.
With Zoho Analytics, they were able to compile datasets, set up dashboards, and publish reports within the day they started using the platform. They started becoming more responsive to clients’ needs, all while cutting off 20 hours per week on the time they spend for data analysis. Moreover, they were able to grow clients’ businesses by at least 30%.
Built for businesses of all sizes, Yellowfin is an analytics solution offering end-to-end business intelligence tools. With this, you can easily bridge critical information from different data sources and get real-time insights to better understand how your business is doing. It comes with highly configurable dashboards that help you get access to all the information you need without hassle. More importantly, it can alert users via notifications whenever it detects relevant changes in forecasts, so you can adjust your plans ahead of time. Yellowfin also offers machine learning and automated insights so digging through your data for answers is much faster.
You can use all the features for free for a period of time to see if the software matches your needs. Simply sign up for a Yellowfin free trial here.
The difficulty of identifying discrepancies in processes was what pushed St.LukesHealth to look for a reliable business intelligence solution. They were slowly realizing that their workflow was no longer able to keep up with the demands of their clients. However, they were having trouble pinpointing the problems in their processes. This is when they first stumbled upon Yellowfin.
With the platform’s robust set of features, the company was soon able to find out what aspects of their processes are too time-consuming and which activities are putting a damper on productivity. St.LukesHealth was able to leverage automated reconciliation alongside its existing software ecosystem to find discrepancies in processes and resolve errors as quickly as possible. In fact, after rolling out the platform, they experienced 25% to 33% processing efficiency gains and reduced time-consuming processes that took up a whole afternoon to finish into tasks that only take half an hour or less.
AnswerDock is a cloud-hosted analytics platform that leverages artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and data mining algorithms to provide users with accurate reports and analysis of their data. Using this, businesses of all sizes from various industries can conveniently collect data from different sources, get instant answers to their queries, and speed up the decision-making process. What’s more is that, because it uses more advanced BI tools, this platform can answer beyond the whats, whens, and hows of your data but also identify possible trends. In addition to that, you can format these discoveries using their extensive set of report customization tools. In case you feel like the platform still offers basic functionalities for you, don’t worry. It supports third-party APIs so that you can extend its features according to the needs of your operations. If you would like to test out these features yourself, you can sign up for an AnswerDock free trial here.
Primarily an analysis and feedback tool, Hotjar landed a spot on our list because of its ability to analyze user insights and visualize user behavior. It leverages heatmaps, behavior logic, one-on-one testing, cross-device surveys, and visitor recordings to help you identify the impact of your websites and landing pages so that you can improve it and yield better conversion rates. The platform even offers a one script implementation feature, so you don’t have to worry about lengthy installation processes that require technical knowledge. All you have to do is use the script on WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, or any other platform that you use to host your site, and you’re good to go.
HubSpot Academy has been providing marketing and sales education for entrepreneurs but not a lot of people know about this yet. To boost their signup rate and help more businesses with their marketing and sales needs, the company decided to invest in Hotjar. By using its polling system, they were able to detect what issues are causing the visitors to abandon their course registration page. Among the many reasons they collected were a handful of users thought inbound marketing is different from digital marketing, some were unsure of how this will help their career, and some thought that it is meant only for entrepreneurs and not job seekers. Upon getting these responses, they slowly fixed their site by addressing the mentioned issues and were able to boost signups by 10%.
ReportPlus is an analytics solution that primarily focuses on data visualization. This allows users to create interactive and accurate reports on financial performance, marketing campaign progress, social media analysis, and other operational processes without the need for an IT department or the services of an external consultant. It leverages drag-and-drop capabilities and intuitive swiping features, making it easy even for technologically challenged individuals to create reports of their own. Moreover, while this platform is easy enough to use for freelancers and small businesses, it also comes with enterprise-grade tools for bigger companies. With this, you can merge data from various sources, process large amounts of datasets quickly, and even secure your database via encryption.
A robust and easy-to-use BI tool, QlikView automatically generates personalized reports and custom dashboards. It uses associative data indexing to explore massive data and discover hidden trends and patterns that can be used to make sound business actions. This piece of software is suitable for any business size and even freelancers. With QlikView, users can collect valuable insight and even share them with relevant individuals. Its smart search and data discovery features allow for data analysis through interactions with charts and visualizations. Aside from these, the platform provides smart visualizations, information summaries, color gradient use, and responsive design.
The product has time and again been proven useful to many organizations, like in the case of Deloitte Netherlands. Finance and Control manager Frank Kneefel believes that in a 24/7 world driven by loyalty and transparency, accurate information is both free and scarce. Before he discovered QlikView and decided to give it a try, he was afraid of Deloitte’s highly complex reporting environment and struggled to bring in a unified approach for audit, consulting, tax and risk management analytics to save the company both time and money. For a worldwide service provider renowned for diversity, affordable and unified productivity management reporting approach sounded like Utopia.
Then, the hero arrived. QlikView’s flexibility, user-friendliness, and analytic powers turned out to be just what Deloitte needed. With it, the company brought its multiple data sources under the same roof, including diverse Excel files and SAP warehouse data. Within a month, the new reporting app was set and ready to go, and consultants were able to save an average of 10 hours reporting hours per month. As time passed by, Deloitte’s upper management became more and more fascinated with the effects of QlikView that they ordered the creation of two new apps: One for tracking human resources, and the other for forecasting customer/market behavior.
BI platform Tableau aids businesses in visualizing and making sense of data. It enables organizations to connect, visualize and share data through PC or iPad. Users can easily create dashboards, publish and even share them with colleagues, partners, and customers without the need for programming knowledge. The software can connect to numerous information sources and import and visualize information in a very short time. The software is intuitive, facilitating ease-of-use and allowing data analysis using drag-and-drop functionality. It fosters collaboration, allowing for group analytics and keeping all team members in the know at all times. Users can also accomplish tasks from virtually anywhere at any time as the app comes with a native mobile app.
These and more functionalities made Arby’s Restaurant Group decide to use Tableau. What the restaurant company was searching for then was a reliable retail analytics system. They imagined their ideal tool to map retail success from the field, focusing in particular on trends for retaining customers in a time of renovation and casual closing. For the purpose, that system should be able to combine supply chain visualizations, maximize cost efficiency, and provide intelligence on sourcing and warehouse management. In short, they were looking for Tableau.
How did Tableau help the restaurant group? The system put in place improved decision making on material usage, as it integrated data across several applications. Thanks to the tool, the company was able to order supplies in line with its demand trends. Another invaluable benefit was managing risk and comparing their performance to internal and market expectations to wrap up a deficiency percentage and tackle it accordingly. Arby’s Restaurant Group also relied on Tableau’s warehouse management kit to gain visibility into the efficiency of individual employees and shift groups.
While created for large enterprises, SAP BusinessObjects Lumira offers quite a number of functionalities that make it great for different business sizes. For one, it is built for self-service BI which is why it offers an easily navigable interface that allows you to build accurate reports without the need for coding knowledge. Secondly, it provides users with a variety of pre-made visualizations so that you don’t have to design them from scratch. Moreover, it comes with a fast source manipulation tool that lets you consolidate your data even without dealing with complicated spreadsheets. The only downside to this system is that because it is deployed on-premise, SAP BusinessObjects Lumira is not capable of providing you with access to your data outside your office.
BI software solution SAP Crystal Reports is designed to work with databases, collate and filter data for analysis. The system presents data in the form of reports, generating such based on data captured from a variety of sources. Its report wizards help users in coming up with reports and completing common reporting tasks. The solution uses cross-tabs, formulas, conditional formatting and sub-reports in data analysis, allowing users to uncover less than obvious data relationships. Moreover, it comes with a myriad of features that allow for easy access to pertinent data, presenting them through reports, financial statements, invoices and order forms. This intuitive system can likewise provide insights that lead to sound business actions.
A testament to SAP Crystal Reports effectiveness is Automatic Data Processing, Inc.’s (ADP) experience in using the product. The company has more than 60 years of payroll and tax administration experience and a very diverse sales management process that was practically impossible to frame in a single automation solution. Darrin Farnsworth is the company’s sales automation projects manager, who witnessed first hand the problem of not being able to create a one-size-fits-all report. Before testing out SAP Crystal Reports, he remembers accepting duplicates and excess report databases as something ‘one has to live with.’
Luckily, SAP Crystal Reports worked around what the company has long given up on, and transformed it into reality: ADP is now using it to standardize its reporting procedures, a process that may take a while, but will eventually be completed. Ever since the tool was first deployed and implemented, ADP’s agents are able to run reports on schedule, update data and inspect the pipeline by sharing information and integrate the tool easily with Salesforce to allow painless data migration. SAP Crystal Reports has also helped them improve data quality by 15%, team coverage by 10%, and retrieve and manage scorecards in less than 30 minutes per day. Reports are also able to save even 60 minutes of reporting time on a daily basis.
Another product from SAP that snagged a spot on our list is SAP Business Intelligence. This scalable BI suite lets users eliminate the guesswork in the decision-making processes through the use of data-backed insights on customer behavior. It is equipped with a plethora of business analytics tools that include ad hoc querying, data visualization, data monitoring, and data consolidation. With these at your disposal, you can generate reports in a few clicks of a button, customize them according to your preferences, and even distribute the findings across your company quickly yet securely. In addition, SAP Business Intelligence is equipped with open API features, making it a highly configurable platform that can adapt to the specific needs of any business
A product developed by UberMedia, Vista is a business intelligence platform purpose-built for marketing data and mobile data analysis. It is designed to help businesses of all sizes to get insights into their consumer foot traffic and location intelligence. Offering an intuitive self-service interface and powerful analytics tools, it gives users a bird’s eye view of their target market and comes up with actionable insights based on real-time data. With this, you can launch queries based on location intelligence indicators and mobile IDs. Vista also slices and dices all your collected data to generate more detailed analyses and reports. Furthermore, users can take advantage of its configurable dashboards to quickly find relevant information and all important metrics at a glance.
Clootrack is a data analytics platform that leverages AI to help businesses analyze the perception of clients towards their brand. The software lets you keep up with emerging customer trends and patterns by capturing customer discussions and brand mentions from multiple sources, including various social media networks and online communities. More importantly, the data you collect is organic, which means you can gain a clear picture of the prevailing sentiments of customers. Reports and analyses provided by Clootrack is quite comprehensive and easy to digest. With all of these functionalities, you are well-equipped with valuable insights that can help you better improve your products or services.
Small to large-sized businesses patronize Clootrack for gathering insights on brand perception, with many users vouching for the software’s simplicity and ease of use in gathering customer data.
Business intelligence software can indeed help you optimize your operations and drive growth for your company. However, not all BI tools will be able to reinforce your existing processes or provide you with the specific tools that you need. This is why it is important to have a structured selection process to help you pinpoint which ones will work best for your operations.
In order to help you select the right business intelligence solution, here are some questions that you should ask yourself as you browse:
So there you have it, our 15 best business intelligence tools for small and big businesses and a short guide to choosing one. We highly recommend Sisense for its scalable architecture and powerful yet easy-to-use tools. In fact, we would suggest that you sign up for a Sisense free demo here so you can try it for yourself. However, if you think that this solution is not the right fit for you, don’t hesitate to check out any of the other solutions we mentioned.
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