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  • How Much Does Business Intelligence Software Cost? Comparison of Pricing Plans

How Much Does Business Intelligence Software Cost? Comparison of Pricing Plans

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Business intelligence software has changed the way business decisions are made, transforming relevant data into actionable intelligence. This is basically the purpose of business intelligence software. However, many organizations continue to shy away from this new technology owing to the significant investments that they entail.

This is seen as the reason why many business software platforms are still wrongly seen as expensive and reserved for enterprises only. However, BI solution pricing continues to be scaled to small businesses, that many businesses, realizing what such software has to offer, have been investing in such solution, as evidenced by the fact that the global BI market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 11.1% through the year 2022, reaching $29.48 billion. This growth is to be fueled by increased data analytics use, an upstick in the use of cloud technologies and businesses’ dependence on data for decision-making.

Source: www.zionmarketresearch.com

To date, decision-makers and other non-technical users make up majority of BI platform users around the world. This only means that the efficacy of a BI software in aiding businesses hangs on how it is received by end-users. This adoption process depends on factors such as ease of use, usefulness and cost.

Despite all these problems, the benefits of BI solutions to businesses can never be undermined. BI solutions are generally considered sound investment considering the tons of benefits organizations stand to get from them. Many organizations have been recognizing the purpose of business intelligence software and the benefits that come with them. So the big question is how much does business intelligence software cost? In this article, we will present a comparison of pricing plans of BI platforms, how vendors usually package the product, while providing valuable advice on how one should go about purchasing one. Let’s take a look first at the buying factors.

How to Purchase Business Intelligence Software

In purchasing a BI solution, it’s not enough that one knows how much one costs. There are other factors that should be considered as they could impact the purchase and subsequent success or failure of BI software implementation, and they are as follows:

  1. Determine If a BI Solution is Needed. Before diving into the BI platform pool, you should see to it that the need for such solution is real. Make sure that you got all bases covered and an existing BI capability is not among your existing resources. This is especially true for small businesses as CRM apps are often more than sufficient to handle their BI needs.
  2. Know Your BI Team. You will need to identify your BI team members, ensuring that only relevant individuals are in the circle. And since both business and IT people stand to be affected by your BI app so you might want to include a little bit of both on your BI team.
  3. Suitable Data Architecture. You can determine the most optimal data architecture for your organization by analyzing data volume, existing infrastructure and organizational requirements. Prior to purchasing a BI system, you should take time consider things such as data warehouses, data mart separation and centralized data hubs.
  4. Who Will Use the BI App? Before buying a BI software, one must determine who will the users of the system be. This is critical to user adoption and overall system success. The number of users is likewise relevant, along with system capabilities that would suit people such as executives and sales personnel. User ability to use such software must also be known so as to determine if a simple interface would do the job.
  5. Know Your Business’ Requirements. It is important for you to determine if you’re organization will be using the BI solution in the long-term. You should evaluate prospective software while taking time to visualize your organization’s prospective growth and requirements. The ideal BI platform should be able to meet your business’ requirements even as they undergo significant changes.
  6. Know Your Budget. Budgets are usually known following the establishment of a business case and sponsorship. However, staying on budget is known to be difficult in purchasing such software, this is often due to incidental expenses often encountered along the way. The answer to this problem is seen as the creation of a comprehensive BI budget, which takes every possible expense in consideration.

Pricing Plans Comparison

Examples of Business Intelligence Software

As the prices of BI solutions are most of the time not readily available, experts have pegged the average price of such platforms at around $3,000 annually, this is apart from the different versions that vendors may offer. This estimate is based on the most basic versions and therefore, the cheapest. However, the prices of BI solutions vary across vendors, with additional costs further bloating costs. This makes BI software pricing estimates woefully lacking in standards. The following section will seek to answer the question, how much does business intelligence software cost? Such will be accomplished by providing examples of business intelligence software and their pricing plans according to their packaging.

Quote-based Pricing

In our comparison of pricing plans, by-quote pricing stands out as it helps vendors custom fit the feature set to your needs. Pricing is almost always affordable to a small business and scales to higher price plans as your BI requirements also expand. These tools are available on a price-quote basis. You can directly contact the vendors to get a customized quote that will surely suit your needs.

  1. Sisense. This popular business intelligence solution allows users to collate, analyze and visualize important data and use them to formulate sound business decisions and craft strategies and policies. Its drag-and-drop interface allows users to collect all needed data into dashboards with ease. Insight derived from such can be shared with stakeholders using interactive dashboards.
    As the leading BI software in the market, Sisense is being utilized by businesses of different sizes, including Fortune 500 companies and organizations such as NASDAQ, Sony, Comcast and NASA. Among solutions whose pricing are quote-based, Sisense is perhaps the best one there is given its multitude of features and functionalities. You can sign up for Sisense free demo here.
  2. Looker. Data recovery platform Looker is known for providing businesses with an alternative method of data exploration. Its web-based interface allows users to effectively use their data analytics teams. Using the software, reports can be easily created and shared with relevant staff. Design visualizations can likewise be generated using a single code. The same goes for analytic modules, all it takes is a little SQL knowledge.
    The software’s ML code helps produce and optimize queries, a very useful feature for working with BI platforms. In the event your SQL knowledge is limited, the vendor has a database of training materials to guide you. It is capable of analyzing SQL and web-hosted data, aside from being able to accommodate over 25 data variations. You can sign up for Looker free trial here.

Fixed-Plans Based on Business Size

BI solutions may also be offered in fixed price tiers. This makes picking a plan easier. You can later scale to premium plans for more advanced features.

  1. Tableau. Business intelligence solution Tableau gives users the ability to visualize and get a clear understanding of information. With the product, you can easily connect, visualize and even share information from any PC or device. It allows for the creation and publication of dashboards, which can be shared to relevant parties. All these you can do even without programming skills.
    Data flow across different platforms is seamless. You can also readily view data and swiftly answer questions. The interface is easy to use with a drag-and-drop capability allowing for quick data analysis. Tableau is so intuitive that even users without programming acumen can use it immediately.
    Tableau is available in a variety of pricing models with both on-premise and cloud-deployed versions billed annually. Its Personal Edition comes for $35/user/month. Features include advanced analytics, connection to files such as Excel and Google Sheets and visualizations, dashboards and stories. A Professional Edition is priced at $70/user per month, which includes all Personal Edition features, workbook publication and data sources and Tableau Server.
    An On-Premise or Public Cloud version can be purchased for $35/user/month. Features include on-premise or public cloud deployment, central management of data sources and workbooks and access to analytics from any browser, among many others. Finally, its Fully Hosted package comes for $42/user per month, which comes with functionalities such as Tableau Online and subscription to Workbook updates, to name a few.
  2. KISSmetrics. A robust BI solution, KISSmetrics allows for determining, monitoring and enhancement of metrics and other factors that are relevant to a business’ success. The software is capable of turning such information into actionable insights, which can aid in the formulation of new marketing strategies while boosting existing ones. It can likewise be used as an advanced conversion rate optimizer owing to its customer tracking and analysis capabilities.
    KISSmetrics also has a simple-to-use API as well as an overall structure that focuses on customer tracking, which can help businesses in coming up with valuable insights on their business health. It is designed to deep track data, comparing metrics while generating automated updates. This results in a better understanding of customers or even prospects for that matter.
    KISSmetrics can be purchased in three SMB and enterprise pricing models. A Self-Service plan comes for $220/month. Features include up to 300k events, 1 hour setup call, and email, among many others. Its Growth plan is sold at $500/month, which include up to 300k events, phone support, MailChimp and Optimizely implementation and engage notifications, to name a few. Finally its Power plan comes for $700/month, including feature like 10+ hours of training, advanced implementation and highest support SLA, among many others.

Pricing Plan Based on Product Set

Some BI solutions are offered as a suite of modules. You can start with a core module and add on more modules as you deem it fit. SAP Crystal Reports is a good example. 

The BI platform is designed to run with any database and allows for detailed analysis and interpretation of business data. The solution’s arsenal of tools and features effectively simplifies creation of both simple and complex reports and presentations. The software also generates reports using data gleaned from any source as basis.

SAP Crystal Reports’ built-in report wizards offer users step-by-step guidance on reports creation and reporting task completion. Report creation is accomplished with the use of formulas, sub-reports, cross-tabs and conditional formatting, which give users a better view of data. In case words are inadequate to fully explain reports, maps and graph can be used to visually relay data.

The platform is being sold on a single Standard Plan for $185.00. The package includes features such as access to XLSX, CSV files, SAP HANA and databases, transformation and data manipulation, visualization with charts and maps and shareable storyboards, to name a few. If you would like to give the solution a try first, a free trial is also available.

Pricing Plan With Free App Offerings

Other vendors offer a freemium plan to entice you to subscribe to their paid plans. For example, Microsoft Power BI. It’s a total business analytics suite designed to aid businesses in data scrutiny and insights sharing. This BI solution converts corporate data into easy-to-understand visuals and makes data gathering and organization easy tasks. These data can in turn be used to formulate sound business strategies. The platform sees to it that users are constantly in the know and are able to identify trends in real time.

Microsoft Power BI also enables users to track their business with its dashboards, which can be accessed via any device. Its Power BI Embedded has extra exporting capabilities and can be embedded into custom applications. If need be, you can publish your reports and visualizations directly on the web, allowing you to target social media posts and emails.

The platform can be purchased in two pricing models. The Power BI plan, which comes for free, has features such as dashboards and reports creation, author content, data exploration and native Android, Windows and iOS applications, among many others. The Power BI Pro package, on the other hand, is available for $9.99/user per month. Prominent features include all Power BI features, access to on-premise data, collaboration using Microsoft 365 and shared data queries, to name a few.

So there you have it some of the best examples of business intelligence software and their corresponding pricing plans. The insights provided on how to purchase them are meant to help you choose the best one for your organization. Each solution has its own strengths and weaknesses, but one is bound to suit your needs.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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