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

Sisense: No. 1 BI Software

USER SATISFACTION 99%
OUR SCORE 9.7

biIf you’re looking for a top business intelligence software solution to help your company make the most of your corporate data, we may have a few great suggestions to consider. Our brave team of SaaS experts comprised a detailed list of prominent and compatible business intelligence and analytic products, and tested them extensively to narrow the list down to the top 3 business intelligence solutions. Check out which ones passed our quality tests, and compare their functionalities to see which one will fit your needs and expectations best.  

  1. Sisense – Score: 9.7/10 User Satisfaction: 97% [ Try it for free ]
  2. Looker – Score: 9.6/10 User Satisfaction: 95% [ Get a free demo ]
  3. GoodData – Score: 9.4/10 User Satisfaction: 96%

Top 3 Business Intelligence Software

Sisense – Score: 9.7/10 User Satisfaction Rating 97%

Sisense won our Best BI Software Award for 2017

Sisense is the current leader of our business intelligence software category, and the winner of our two most prominent awards: Best Business Intelligence Software of 2017 and the 2016 Supreme Software Award. With a total SmartScore of 9.7/10 and an amazing user satisfaction rating of 97%, Sisense leaves other BI apps far behind. It definitely the most comprehensive end-to-end platform a company can use to craft smarter business strategies. As our tests confirmed, Sisense is a frontrunner among analytic apps, and there are many reasons why businesses of all scales should consider it when they plan to evaluate their data. There is also a great fee trial of their service that you can use to try out all the key features. You can easily sign up for Sisense free trial here.

The biggest advantage of Sisense is its carefully established balance between simple usage and extraordinary functionality, as the platform is designed with a really streamlined interface that can still produce a variety of interactive dashboards and unmatched TCO analyses if you need it to. It doesn’t only let you see the whole picture of your business progress, but it also combines and categorizes metrics with minimal human interaction, works on the basis of your most business-specific rules, and analyzes data better than any other similar program. With it, you will have access to a variety of out-of-the-box features, including ad hoc analysis of high volume data, a single commodity server, individual widgets where you can embed all of your dashboards, and many more. A further incentive to jump on the Sisense bandwagon is the profit from quote-based pricing, as you can get a custom quote adjusted to your individual needs and budget expectations.

Sisense: one of the most popular BI solutions on the market.

Sisense: one of the most popular BI solutions on the market.

Looker – Score: 9.6/10 User Satisfaction Rating: 95%

Looker is another outstanding prototype of a smart business intelligence app which currently holds the third position in our top BI apps ranking. Experts evaluated it with a SmartScore of 9.4/10, while 95% of customers confirmed they were satisfied with the service it delivers. Just like in the previous two cases, we’re discussing a cloud-hosted app that is easy yet powerful, and which can add value to businesses from different scales and industries. The main difference is in the fact that Looker was designed primarily for data discovery, and that’s where it shines comparably more than in exploring and analyzing that data. Nevertheless, you can rely on it for all analytic operations, and benefit from an impeccable uptime rate.

Looker pulls data from your local browser, but can be easily integrated with any SQL or data warehouse, and it takes only minimal SQL knowledge to do that. Filtering and visualization are designed as self-service functionalities, and data is categorized in charts and tables. What is really specific about Looker is that it uses its own LookML language, which is useful to learn in case you want to add functionality with efficient mini-applications. Fairly similar to GoodData, Looker transforms data analytics into an entertaining and innovative process, but our experts believe it still misses some of the essential tools offered by Sisense. What is really important to know in this aspect is that Looker doesn’t offer a mobile app yet (but it is mobile optimized), and is available only in the USA, UK, and Canada.

If you’d like to see all the key elements of the software in action the vendor offers a free demo that you can check out. You can easily request Looker free demo here.

A quick look at Looker's UI

A quick look at Looker’s UI

GoodData – Score: 9.4/10 User Satisfaction Rating: 96%

GoodData is another top business intelligence software product and one of our experts’ favorites. Currently, GoodData is a co-leader in this category, with a slightly lower score of 9.6/10, and a solid 96% user satisfaction rating. More than a traditional analyzer, GoodData is an innovative BI solution that gives companies the chance to experiment with their data, as its specific insights may reveal revenue potential users were not even aware of. In many cases, it is the revolutionary approach of GoodData that helps medium businesses grow, or enterprises reaffirm their position, but unlike Sisense, it is not recommended for startups which still need to undergo a classic data analysis.

Similarly to Sisense, GoodData operates in the cloud, and offers both customer and operational insights to help companies make efficient decisions. Its Data Explorer feature is very specific, to say at least, as it handles the entire data pipeline, but it does so with constant sources update which may qualify it as a slightly more cumbersome tool to use. With a bit of experience, however, or the assistance of their expert support team, GoodData will most likely become a valuable BI asset.

As for the features, GoodData delivers a professional suite of analytic tools, packed with logical data modeling functions and ROLAP cubes. Customization possibilities are solid and similar to Sisense, with the difference that the platform may require extension of the analytic engine, which, however, is easy via full SDK. Pricing is quote-based, and you can contact the company to obtain more details. A free trial is unfortunately unavailable.

GoodData interface in action.

GoodData interface in action.

Comparison of Analytic Capacity & Features

As we already pointed out, Sisense is the ‘old school’ choice in this category, which can respond to the needs of businesses from every scale and industry. Still, the system didn’t remain that loyal to traditional practices, but went ahead updating them to cope with every operational change that could be of interest to its users. GoodData and Looker, on the other hand, were designed to respond to analytic demand as it is nowadays, and will rarely be able to pull a trustworthy historical report using techniques that were popular at the time. To us, Sisense is somehow traditional and modern at the same time, and that’s what we appreciate about it.

Taking a deeper look at the three apps, we saw that Sisense holds an uncompromised leadership of dashboard manipulation, not just because it delivers premade interactions (the way GoodData does), but also because of the highest degree of BI customization which can make those dashboards business-specific. Sisense will consolidate or mash up data upon request, categorize it independently in a central hub and display it in dropping fields, as well as perform significantly strong and terabyte-scale analytics. All of these are critical advantages compared to GoodData, where some of the gauges and individual widgets are completely missing, and analytics is performed upon a scheduled request rather than ad hoc.

Our third suggestion Looker becomes specific in the most critical moment: it specializes in health & finance data analysis on company-level, meaning that all departments can benefit from the insights, but they can’t develop their own sector-specific ones. Still, if you’re running a small and simple (regional) business, and are ideally using Looker with another BI app in place, it can work perfectly.

Comparison of Integrations

The undisputable leader of integrations is Sisense, because it covers all the bases. The company ensured its clients get an undisturbed flow of information, by building integrations with leading BI tools, ecommerce, and sales automation products (Salesforce, Zendesk, Google Analytics, etc.) plus a streamlined connection to many database servers (MS SQL, Postgre SQL, MongoDB, ERP, and others). You can also count on machine data integration with Splunk, and big data sources such as Hadoop Hive and Teradata. Custom integrations are also possible.

GoodData, on the other hand, is probably the leader when it comes to having embedded analytic data partners, claiming to offer at least 60 integration possibilities depending on the user and the situation. A short call or an email to them could be a good idea first though if you need to picture exactly how the product is about to blend with your current software infrastructure.

In case of Looker, you can count on its open API to integrate the platform with custom apps or third-party systems, but the company doesn’t provide any premade integrations so far. Support is outstanding in any case, so feel free to approach them and to ask for advice.

Comparison of Data Security

The most comprehensive and reliable security architecture is offered by Sisense and GoodData.

In case of Sisense, the security scheme is designed to be enforced gradually as the scale of processed data is growing, and it is based on three levels, each of them with a variety of advanced features (System level, Object level, and Data level). Mechanisms such as single sign on, active directories, rest APIs, and ElastiCube Marketing security, are in place, and ready to use.

GoodData’s scheme is again a triple one, classified as Cloud/Physical security, Data security, and Operational security, to ensure full monitoring of the platform, data, and processing operations. At the same time, GoodData complies with the Service Organization Control and Trust Privacy Seal standards, and it is certified under the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework.

Looker has a single security section in the admin panel, involving mechanisms such as two-factor authentication, Google and HDAP authentication, and HTML sanitization. Still, there have been no reported cases of data breach on the platform.

Our Final Verdict

We’re discussing three seriously good and popular products, all of them being able to back our words of praise with a list of world-known prominent customers. The nuances are tiny, and our expert team understands perfectly the difficulty of choosing the right one, as it is your corporate data you’re trying to use and protect. In this case, that was even more difficult because there was no price difference to make the decision for us (all three apps are priced by quote).

All things said, we decided to promote Sisense as the best option, as this is the app we think is the closest to meeting all B2B market needs and customer expectations. It is the only platform which can respond to small, medium, and large businesses, which serves all geographies, and is available on all devices. The features are also significantly unique: Sisense is the most customizable app from the ones we tested, which can perform literally every type of analysis, from any data source, and at any time. At the same time, we believe Sisense is the most customer-focused tool, which offers predesigned interactive dashboards and integrations, and it is way simpler to use than our other two representatives. 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 trial here.

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