• Home
  • B2B News
  • Top 3 Business Intelligence Software: Comparison of Sisense, Looker and Tableau

Top 3 Business Intelligence Software: Comparison of Sisense, Looker and Tableau

Category: B2B News
What is the best business intelligence software?

The best business intelligence software is Sisense because of its robust BI features that ensure scalability, security, and flexibility. Looker and Tableau are not far behind in terms of overall functionality and value of your investment.

The “Age of Information” showed businesses the wealth of information and data coming from everywhere. It’s easy to see why business intelligence tools are increasingly and continuously emerging as a crucial business investment. Choosing one for your ecosystem can be a challenge, but starting from looking at the key functions of a business intelligence software including monitoring, analysis, reporting, and predictive analytics which drive business value is essential.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 3 products in the BI category and detail their similarities and differences. By dissecting each product’s main features and specialties, you can determine which one fits your requirements best.

What are the top 3 business intelligence software solutions?

It’s unsurprising to see that business intelligence experts, business intelligence analysts, and statisticians or data scientists are dominating BI software adoption, as reported by Forbes. As these professionals are the ones who are experts in this field, they also fully understand the power of this tool. With the emergence of larger and more complex data, businesses are also realizing the value of data-driven analytics.

According to TWDI, the business side’s role increased up to 40% in business intelligence and analytics. What drives this trend is the easy-to-use technologies and the stronger interest of business users to use data in driving critical business decisions and actions. This also stresses the importance of selecting the right BI tool to implement for your business’ ecosystem. If you want to know more about the fundamentals of BI, you may read this in-depth discussion of what is business intelligence software along with its features, benefits, trends, and potential issues.

With that, let’s proceed with the top 3 business intelligence software systems to check out:

1. Sisense

One of the top 3 business intelligence software products is Sisense—not just for our experts, but also for many companies that range from startups and growing businesses to the Fortune 500 companies. This business intelligence platform simplifies the way you collect complex data and makes insights instantly available to you regardless of your technical experience. This agility also enables the system to keep up with your company’s progressive pace.

If you want to explore more of its features at no cost you can easily do so by signing up for a Sisense free demo here.


This award is given to the best product in our business intelligence software category. It highlights its superior quality and underlines the fact that it's a leader on the market.

Sisense won our Best BI Software of 2018 Award

Our score
User satisfaction

What makes Sisense a top choice for many users is how it’s able to assist businesses that consume large amounts of complex data and transform them into highly valuable insights even when they have less or no experience in data crunching. It is powerful and flexible for both newbies and veterans and empowers users to be data fluent in identifying crucial analytics in order to rapidly take action in a data-driven and informed approach.

Sisense is simply equipped with the most innovative tools in the niche in a single platform. In fact, it’s one of the first in the market to have an open, single-stack architecture that gives users access to an end-to-end BI solution with analytics, database, ETL, and visualizations. Customization using it open API framework also enables you to ensure your unique needs are properly addressed. Additionally, it uses machine learning, in-chip technology, and cutting-edge technology to make your data accessible anywhere beyond your dashboards.

2. Looker

On the second spot of our list is Looker—a robust data-discovery platform that makes use of an intuitive approach to data exploration. It empowers SQL for users to extract data’s real value using only a bit of SQL knowledge. Many users will appreciate its ease of use, user adoption, and fast implementation that minimize costs by saving time and going live in the quickest time possible.

The vendor offers a great free demo that will walk you through all the key features of the tool. You can easily request a free Looker demo here.


An award given to products our B2B experts find especially valuable for companies

Looker won our Expert's Choice Award for 2017

Our score
User satisfaction

Looker packs crucial features in its neat system for businesses to maximize their data in formulating strategies and making critical business decisions. It has its own data modeling language that helps data analysts transport vital data into the system for better analysis. This simplifies defining business metrics and analyzing the relationship between tables.

Transforming data into visualizations, such as dashboards and reports, is also streamlined to better convey a story out from complex data. It also eliminates the need for downloading software and extracting data as the system directly connects to your database. Furthermore, it builds a data culture by empowering your analysts to ask the right questions and gather the right answers in a data-driven way. Since its implementation can be completed in only a few steps, you can immediately utilize its accurate SQL.

3. Tableau

Last but definitely not the least on our list of top 3 business intelligence software is Tableau. It’s a business intelligence system that elevates your data to be more impactful. Tableau’s solutions are catered towards different kinds of users; hence, they make the software available for your desktop, server, and in the cloud. It also allows you to either embed insights into your app, software and website or drive enterprise analytics across your organization to have a solution that works for your business.

It features enterprise analytics that’s powered by IT and leverages business agility with self-service and governance. It prioritizes your analytics strategy by not limiting where you deploy your tool in the approach and the device you want. Scalability is also fluid in the system as your business grows. Meanwhile, curating and maximizing data is empowered with security, governance, monitoring, and management.

For embedding analytics, you get a fast solution with Tableau’s comprehensive embedded system with quick deployment, integration, and collaboration. This arrangement enables your engineers to focus on building your products by letting the software take care of business analytics. It also offers mobility and customization by making it accessible on mobile apps and tailoring the dashboard’s full experience using JavaScript API, respectively.

Comparison of Embedded Analytics

Sisense is a robust BI software that empowers all types of users, including those who are non-technical, with self-service analytics embedded in your offering. It’s an effective approach that provides you with a competitive edge among your competitors.

This product allows customization based on your needs with its JavaScript API for existing functionality while its Plug-in Library lets you configure new visualizations. White-labeling also enables you to create a full-branded experience. On top of that, integration with third-party applications is streamlined.

As for Looker, it elevates data exploration with its embedded analytics that allows users to deliver data, dashboards, and analytics to customers. It eliminates complex ETL, pipelines, and the costs of duplicate data storage. Maintaining and transporting data is also guaranteed to be in sync with Looker’s fast database.

Embedding is also done your way—whether it’s by using JavaScript or iFrame. Furthermore, it also supports a fully OEMed solution, Looker’s scheduler, or full RESTful API.

Embedded analytics for Tableau means fast deployment, integration, and marketing. Analytics can be embedded in your mobile app along with their industry-leading dashboards to customers. Its embedding application is also robust as it allows integration with Tableau Server’s user management, as an example.

Its REST API lets you facilitate who views dashboards. Meanwhile, using JavaScript API administers a seamless integration while giving you the control of your customer’s full experience, including navigation and the dashboard’s branding.

Comparison of Security

Sisense is undisputably leading in security. Not only is its security architecture robust and flexible, but it’s also intuitive and comprehensive. How? Sisense has three levels of security-associated features.

The first one is a system level security for user management, SSO (Single Sign-on), active directory, and REST API. The next one is object level security for ElastiCube and dashboard access. Lastly, data level security is built for row-based security and row-level defaults. All of these three branches out to more in-depth levels of security to tighten your protection.

Looker also takes security seriously with its focal points on cloud security, product security, corporate security, and physical security. These categories consist of various encryptions, authentications, tight monitoring, privacy, and compliance.

It has an enterprise-grade feature set that includes SAML-based SSO, two-factor authentication, and TLS protocol, among others. Additionally, Looker safeguards your database connection with SSL, SSH, PKI, IP Whitelisting, and Kerberos authentication.

As for Tableau, they elevate an industry-standard security solution and best practices. Some examples of these approaches are Tableau’s user filters, authentication, authorization, data security, network security, and security hardening checklist, among others. Furthermore, Tableau is also in compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), EU-US Privacy Shield, and Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Report.

Comparison of Deployment Options

When it comes to deployment, Sisense provides you with various options to deploy your BI tool based on your preferences and unique way of operating according to your terms. It supports an on-premise, cloud-based and hybrid approach. On-premise deployments are quickly completed within 90 minutes or less in your standard hardware—whether they’re existing servers or laptops.

Users who don’t want to worry about hardware and IT may opt for cloud-based deployment. Sisense gives you end-to-end self-service solutions while eradicating worries about maintenance, servers, and hardware so you can focus on insights and analytics. Sisense also offers managed services so you won’t have to worry about infrastructures, maintenance, and upgrades. It takes a step further by delivering high availability, 24/7 monitoring, and disaster recovery, among others. No matter your choice, Sisense ensures your deployment is secured, economical, and always available.

Meanwhile, Looker gives you two options on which deployment you prefer. If you want to host the software on your own, an on-premise deployment is available. This option gives you control over various critical aspects of your BI tool. Installation of the software to your server is required so you can configure startup options, SSL certificate for proper HTTPs, monitoring, backups, and databases, among others. For a Looker-hosted deployment, the hassles of installation, configuration, and maintenance are eradicated. They will take care of all the necessary IT functions for the application.

Three deployment options are available for Tableau. The first one is Tableau Desktop that elevates sharing and connection whether that’s through Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel or to Tableau’s on-premise and cloud-based solutions. The next option is Tableau Server which is an enterprise-ready on-premise deployment that centralizes data source management and workbooks and explores analytics from any device. Deploying on a public cloud with Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services is also available.

There’s also Tableau Online, a self-service analytics tool in the cloud, that’s fully hosted by Tableau. Its security, maintenance, and upgrades are also covered by the vendor while still providing users with the flexibility, scalability, and features of the system.

Business Intelligence Software For You

The three products are leading in the BI category because of their unparalleled functionality. Each product has its own strengths and weaknesses that you need to weight based on your needs. In terms of overall features and solutions, Sisense leads among the three products. At the same time, it doesn’t equate to being the best solution for you. Evaluate the features you need, sign up for free trials, and determine which one suits your requirements.

For an overview, you are fit for the product if you want to:

  • Prioritize complex data analysis – Sisense is the best tool for analyzing complex data.
  • Explore data in a timely manner – Looker is reliable for real-time data access for decision-making.
  • Focus on visualizing simple data – Tableau is packed with data visualization tools.

Final Verdict

There’s a broader range of factors to look into when choosing which BI software is best for your company. These three products made it to the top of our list for obvious reasons—they are the ones that pack the richest and most robust set of features for business intelligence and analytics. If you are interested in looking at more options, you may check out our list of top 10 business intelligence software solutions.

Based on our experts’ thorough analysis, Sisense is the leader of the business intelligence software category in the industry today because of its overall powerful end-to-end BI solutions. It’s closely followed by Looker and Tableau that also boast their own innovative tools which are all catching up on software advancements. If you’re still not convinced you can try out Sisense on your own with a great free trial plan they offer and see how it works for your company. You can easily sign up for Sisense free demo here.

Ultimately, the best way to know the BI software for your business ecosystem is through a comprehensive business evaluation of the data you consume and the processes you want to streamline specifically in your organization. From this, you can create a checklist of your software requirements and see which products offer them.

BI software tools are not created equal; hence, finding one that addresses your unique business needs is key to a valuable and effective solution to drive new revenue, increase operational efficiency, enhance decision-making, spot market trends, determine business problems, and streamlining internal business processes.

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.

Best Business Intelligence Software of 2019

Related posts

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

Back to

Why is FinancesOnline free? Why is FinancesOnline free?

FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. Please note, that FinancesOnline lists all vendors, we’re not limited only to the ones that pay us, and all software providers have an equal opportunity to get featured in our rankings and comparisons, win awards, gather user reviews, all in our effort to give you reliable advice that will enable you to make well-informed purchase decisions.