What Are The Business Intelligence Tools?

Sisense: Top BI Software

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Business intelligence (BI) solutions are mainly data-driven Decision Support Systems (DSS). BI is also used to denote executive information systems, report and query tools, and briefing books. Business professionals can use these tools analyze data by themselves instead of getting reports from the IT unit. BI analysis offers actionable insights from data that helps managers to make smart business decisions. In this article, we answer the question what are the best business intelligence software tools, take a look at their benefits, and briefly review the top BI systems on the market.

What are the best business intelligence tools on the market?

Now that you are convinced about the many benefits of BI software, it is time to invest in a quality solution. Read our insightful reviews of the top BI apps in the market and make your choice. The solutions are reviewed in random order.

1. Sisense

Sisense is a business analytics product that helps users to easily prepare, visualize, and analyze complex data. The system is user friendly and is designed for organizations with diverse or large datasets. It offers a single-stack solution for integrating multiple data sources, and performs queries and displays their results in interactive dashboards. You can easily sign up for Sisense free trial here.

Features:

  • End-to-end BI for lay users with no IT help required.
  • Interactive dashboards offer a wide range of data visualization options.

2. Yellowfin BI

Yellowfin BI offers easy-to-use BI tools for lay users. Its analytics functionalities include collaborative BI, mapping, storyboards, mobile BI, data discovery, and dashboards. You can use them to analyze, track, and understand your business data.

Features:

  • Intuitive and interactive filtering uses sliders, radio buttons, and check boxes to make it simple to dial-down your data.
  • You can access your dashboards from your mobile device, wiki, company intranet, or web page.

3. Clear Analytics

This tool is a gift for MS Excel enthusiasts as it combines BI with spreadsheet convenience and centralizes all your data. You can use Excel reporting features and Clear Analytics also adds essential BI tools such as auditability, governance, reports scheduling, sharing and administrative capabilities, and version control.

Features:

  • Users of MS Excel will find it easy to learn Clear Analytics
  • The app makes it simple to trace and audit data, and ensure company-wide compliance.

4. SAP Business Intelligence

SAP NetWeaver BI provides a detailed picture of all key company processes. This tool can fulfill the needs of all employees including end users, IT professionals, and senior management. Its single integrated platform hosts a wide range of functionalities.

Features:

  • Visualization makes it simple to understand your data
  • You can improve the overall knowledge of all your team members by giving them insights into performance and data indicators.

5. Oracle Hyperion System

Oracle is a leading brand in the IT industry and its Hyperion Planning solution is an agile BI tool. It uses MS Office, desktop, and mobile interfaces to support company-wide planning, forecasting and budgeting which are important processes that help an enterprise to build accurate financial forecasts and align its operations in a cost-effective manner.

Features:

  • You can deploy the app in the cloud or on-site.
  • Integrate this solution with other Oracle products to create a powerful business solution.

7. Pentaho BI

This open-source BI platform offers the tools your company needs to make faster and more accurate decisions to enhance profits. It integrates information from any source to build comprehensive analytics, and converts big data into visualized insights. You can deploy it on-premise or in the cloud.

Features:

  • You can embed and integrate analytics into your company’s business systems.
  • Web-based dashboards offer robust navigation features to enhance data visualization.

8. MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy helps companies to leverage data to find informative answers to their queries. Robust data analytics and dashboards convert your company’s information into easy-to-read reports that you can use to strengthen customer relationships, predict new opportunities, track trends, optimize revenue, enhance cost-efficiency, and boost productivity.

Features:

  • You can use this app on your desktop or via mobile app
  • Save data on-premise or in the cloud using Amazon Web Services

9. Board All-in-One Business Intelligence

This BI toolkit offers all the functions and capabilities needed to create a custom solution to enhance corporate performance management. The main benefit is you don’t need programming skills to use it. The toolkit methodology makes it simple for users to interact with the app’s robust interface and create a self-service solution for understanding data, analytics and reporting.

Features:

  • BI functions include “dashBOARDing”, ad hoc querying, multi-dimensional analysis, and reporting.
  • Corporate performance management allows for financial consolidation, scorecarding, profitability analysis, financial forecasting, planning, and budgeting.

10. Microsoft Business Intelligence Tools

Similar to Board, Microsoft’s BI tools need little IT assistance. If you know to use Microsoft SharePoint Server or Microsoft Office, you can easily understand MS Business Intelligence. This robust solution integrates data from multiple sources and combines it with current enterprise data that is stored on-premise or in the cloud – while maintaining good governance.

Features:

  • You can drill-down, visualize, and analyze data through Excel.
  • Self-service capabilities minimize the load on IT.

11. Jaspersoft

Jaspersoft is a flexible and affordable BI solution that offers tools for smarter analytics and decision making. It is a self-service system which means you don’t need IT help to produce robust data insights that enable your company to get actionable answers to queries.

Features:

  • Can be integrated into any mobile device or app.
  • Can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud.

12. QlikView

Being another reliable Sisense alternative, QlikView is a user-friendly product that combines the best features of BI software and conventional productivity tools. It offers a straightforward and clean interface that enables companies to use their data to identify new opportunities and solutions.

Features:

  • This self-service tool helps in data manipulation, analytics, and insights.
  • Visually attractive dashboards present data in an easy-to-read format.

13. SAS Business Intelligence

SAS Business Intelligence delivers the right information to the right users at the right time. This self-service product is easy to use and offers real-time analytics throughout your company. Managers can track and analyze key metrics to make informed business decisions.

Features:

  • Business and enterprise IT solutions include scalability, governance, and centralized metadata.
  • Auto-charting eliminates the requirement for IT help and coding.

14. BIME

BIME helps to convert complex data into visual insights and actionable information. You can use these results to improve decision making and enhance your profits. BIME is a cloud-based solution that turns your organization’s internet connection into a fast data warehouse that generates easy-to-read visual dashboards. Even lay users can use this self-service BI solution.

Features:

  • Easily import data from sources such as Google Spreadsheets, Salesforce CRM, Google BigQuery, Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, OLAP engines, flat files, spreadsheets, and relational databases.
  • Secure BI intranet and extranet are included in all packages.

15. Birst

This SaaS BI platform combines data discovery, analytics, and reporting into a single, self-service product. The app is easy to use and yet offers a robust feature set. Its automated data warehouse makes it easy to load data which helps you to deploy BI quickly.

Features:

  • Integrate data from your existing systems such as SAP BW, Salesforce.com, NetSuite, Microsoft Analysis Services, and Marketo.
  • Point-and-click report generation and analytics.

What are the benefits of business intelligence software?

Now that you have an idea about what are business intelligence tools, you may be wondering how your company can use them to improve decision making. To help you, we provide details about the top benefits of BI software. If you need more information on what is the use of BI in a company check out our other article on that topic.

How can business intelligence software improve collaboration?

BI software can help you to make use of data and resources stored in silos. In many companies, data is separated in different programs, databases, and business units. This makes it hard to compare data and analyze it. A quality BI system can help you to store and organize your data in a single location where it can be accessed by all employees. Research shows that successful companies utilize BI solutions and analytics to boost collaboration and team confidence.

Therefore, search for a BI tool that offers collaboration features such as chat. You should be easily able to share information with your team members and view diagrams and charts at the same time. The benefit is you can get multiple insights by sharing and chatting with your team members inside the platform.

How does business intelligence software improve data environment?

The ideal data environment accommodates multiple data sources. Most companies use multiple data sources such as flat files, web services, and databases. In fact, the average enterprise utilizes six separate data sources. Therefore, invest in a BI solution that supports multiple data sources.

Why is mobile optimization important for business intelligence systems?

Mobile optimization helps you to be productive on the go. You can show your charts and files to your clients during meetings in the field and close the deal there and then. In fact, Gartner names mobile optimization as one of the important features of any BI product. The vendor’s mobile app should allow you to do tasks such as zoom in on charts and visualizations, and highlight key parts. The app should be fully optimized for touchscreens, enable you to tap and swipe easily on your smartphone, and sort, hide, and filter columns easily.

Do business intelligence software solutions offer detailed dashboards and scoreboards?

Top BI solutions offer interactive dashboards to help you make sense of your data. They allow you to search and drill down deep in to the data. The dashboard should display standard graphs as well as advanced ones such as bubble charts, histograms, and heatmaps. Plus, the BI product should follow the design principles of quality dashboards and allow you to create the type of dashboards you want.

Are business intelligence systems easy to learn and use?

A high number of BI implementations meet with failure because the platform is hard to use. So, do your homework and read reviews about the usability of the software. The vendor should offer help and support to train your company’s employees. The solution should be easy to search and you should be able to use natural language query. Otherwise, you would need to learn a coding language to search your BI system for the data you want.

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