What are Business Intelligence Tools?

Business Intelligence is an umbrella term that consists of various processes to collect and analyze data. You compile data from business operations and activities. While business intelligence tools help make the business take optimized and actionable decisions. 

Why Do We Use Business Intelligence Tools

Business intelligence helps companies make better decisions by displaying the business’s historical and present performance and data. They also help gauge competition, identify ways to increase profit, predict success and losses, spot market trends, and optimize operations.

Top 8 Business Intelligence Tools Today:

1. Tableau

Description: Tableau is a software company that offers data visualization software to organizations working with BI analytics. You can visualize data and reveal patterns for analysis in BI, making the data comprehensible for future decisions.

Key features:

a. Easy to work with: Tableau is built on the work of scientific research to make analysis easier and more intuitive. Analyzing data in a quick way that provides immediate feedback makes it easy to learn and use by people at any tier in the company.

b. Collaboration and Sharing: Tableau provides convenient options to collaborate with other users and securely share data in the form of visualizations, sheets, dashboards, etc. in real-time. 

c. Advanced Visualizations: Tableau has a wide range of visualizations. You can make them as basic as bar and pie charts, or make motion charts, treemaps, and more.

USP: Tableau can be used for any business in the world, and is so user-friendly that anyone can use it and it is not restricted to data analysts.

How it works: Once Tableau is launched, collaborative data connectors will connect to all the organization’s databases. It will majorly collect and extract data stored in various places from the database.

Pricing: $70/month

Website: https://www.tableau.com/

2. Datapine

Description: Datapine is a BI platform that focuses on self-service, and offers advanced analytics methods like predictive analytics and intelligent data alerts based on AI and machine learning.

Key features:

a. Dashboards: Datapine’s dashboards can be customized to view real-time metrics and periodic reports, and also allow customers to embed graphs and charts directly into their database. The dashboards centralize your most essential data so you can frequently reference them to support decision-making. 

b. Data Warehouse: Datapine connects all the organization’s data so that through data warehouse automation, external and internal data can be collected into one place, structured according to the user.

c. Predictions: One of Datapine’s uncommon features is that they offer an integrated predictive analytics tool, that can be extremely helpful in decision making, and help predict future market trends and in turn, successes and losses.

USP: They make it easy to see the most vital information at a glance, without heavy IT involvement. Since it is browser-based, the company can access information from anywhere, on any device, at any time.

How it works: Datapine helps data-driven companies easily monitor their important performance indicators in one central analytics platform. This makes the real-time decision-making process more efficient.

Pricing: Starts at £219/month

Website: https://www.datapine.com/

3. Clear Analytics

Description: Clear Analytics is software that uses business intelligence as a tool to analyze and visualize data. The company can get updated about its business needs and make decisions with transparent auditing.

Key features:

a. Powerful Automation: Clear Analytics injects data hands-free, so the company’s templates can evolve freely, with the daily changing data into the spreadsheet.

b. Governance and Centralisation: Each data entry can be traced back to the source and individuals are accountable for all reporting. All changes are logged, version-controlled, and fully auditable.

c. Streamline Workload: A variety of data grows beyond the firewall to numerous cloud services. Clear Analytics’s IT refocuses its efforts to improve the data quality and efficiency of data displayed.

USP: Companies have the freedom to filter, aggregate, create calculated fields, drag and drop to spreadsheets and share insights. You don’t have to leave Excel at all, a familiar environment for most users.

How it works: Clear Analytics enables users to perform various self-service analytics within an Excel-based environment. The platform can consolidate data from multiple sources regardless of whether they are on the cloud or on-premises.

Pricing: Starts at $89/month

Website: https://www.clearanalyticsbi.com/

4. Metric Insights

Description: Metric Insights connects all your BI tools, databases, and operational systems to give users a single point of access. Moreover, automated anomaly detection ensures that users know about the right data at the right time and don’t miss out on opportunities and market game-changers.

Features: 

a. Slack & Microsoft Teams: Bursting to Slack allows organizations to comfortably select a target Slack channel, a set of elements, and a schedule so that reports and metrics can be directly posted there. Microsoft Teams (Beta) also has similar capabilities to their Slack integration.

b. Plugins: Metric Insights lets you connect to metrics, reports, and dashboards with any BI tool. The unique plugin architecture snapshots underlying sources and deposits images and data sets into a centralized warehouse.

c. Enterprise Distribution: Companies can send each user a personal digest email of significant changes in the data that is relevant to them. They combine data from multiple sources, on any schedule to ensure that all the users have the information they need when they need it.

USP: For organizations that are also using Tableau, instead of rebuilding the content built from the Tableau Data Source, users can add a column alias that will link the data to the Metric Insights Dataset.

How it works: They catalog all the company’s Business Intelligence metrics, dashboards, and collect information from various data sources, and deposit it into a BI Portal.

Pricing: Unavailable, must contact the company.

Website: https://www.metricinsights.com/

5. Microsoft Power

Description: Microsoft Power BI is a collection of BI tools for reporting and visualizing data of products and services for individuals and teams. Power BI stands out with its streamlined publication and distribution capabilities, as well as integration with other Microsoft products and services.

Key features:

a. Quick Insights: The user can search datasets and dashboard tiles for interesting insights automatically within seconds. Quick Insights are used for outliers, correlations, and major change points in trends.

b. Segmentation & Cohort analysis: The BI breaks or joins various informational indexes into one significant group. It at that point analyses those groups to recognize important connections between the information and segments them accordingly.

c. Math and Statistical Analysis: Power BI provides advanced analytics including forecasting, clustering, and quick insights into historical data. Many valuable mathematical and statistical analyses are possible by embedding the logic of these methods to generate new insights and provide the maximum level of efficiency in business decisions.

USP: This advanced model makes intelligence suggestions, and lists out analysis of data depending on importance and substance for the user. 

How it works: It connects and visualizes all the company’s data using its unified, scalable platform for self-service, and integrates BI that’s easy to use to help gain deeper data insight.

Pricing: £7.50/ month

Website: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/

6. Oracle Analytics

Description: Oracle Analytics Cloud is a scalable and secure public cloud service that explores and performs collaborative analytics for your enterprise. They also have flexible service management capabilities, including fast setup and easy scaling.

Key features:

a. Collaboration: Large organizations and small teams can share efficiently, without the need to manage or consolidate multiple versions of spreadsheets, and quickly perform an analysis of the spreadsheet data.

b. Discovery: Analysts can easily collaborate with other business users, blending intelligent analysis at scale, integrating machine learning, as well as statistical modeling.

c. Improved productivity: Built-in capabilities, such as self-service data visualization, enterprise reporting, and mobile analytics, improve productivity and business agility.

USP: Oracle provides you with the option of role-based visualization, for example as a Sales Manager or Marketing Analyst.

How it works: Oracle Analytics streamlines data access and preparation from all data sources across the business’s databases and arranges it according to the user.

Pricing: Starts at $16/month

Website: https://www.oracle.com/in/index.html

7. YellowFin

Description: Yellowfin helps big organizations stay secure, keep control, and manage their analytics environment easily, even if they scale to 1000s of users, with just a small admin footprint.

Key features:

a. Meta-Data Modelling: Yellowfin provides a comprehensive modeling layer to capture the technical and business information underlying the company’s data. They use this information to provide a business-friendly layer to end-users.

b. Reporting: Once the meta-data is defined for an underlying data source, the report builder allows the transformation of simple tabular reports to incredibly complex queries (eg: correlated subqueries, cross-tabs, etc). 

c. Automated Monitoring & Data Discovery: Yellowfin has developed advanced machine learning capabilities that assist users in the discovery and interpretation of AI-driven data insights. These capabilities augment ones of the user and enable them to analyze more data, find more insights and understand root causes extremely fast.

USP: Yellowfin allows you to extract data from any supported source, transform that data and send it to any database target. This capability is useful when the data you are accessing requires some degree of manipulation or enhancement to make it more suitable for analytical purposes. 

How it works: Yellowfin combines action-based dashboards with automated data analysis to provide unique ways to engage and act with their data.

Pricing: Unavailable, must contact the company.

Website: https://www.yellowfinbi.com/

8. QlikView

Description: QlikView is a data analysis tool that manages an organization’s data, effectively showing related and unrelated data sets, and predictions of market trends of its software, for future decisions.

Key features:

a. Data Efficiency: Data is compressed to 10% of its original size; only essential bits of data in memory are essential for any analysis. Hence, it compresses the original data to a very small size.

b. Colour Visualisation: The relationship between data is not shown by arrows or lines but by colors. Selecting a piece of data gives specific colors to the related data and another color to unrelated data.

c. Smart Data Association: QlikView automatically recognizes the relationship between each piece of data that is present in a dataset. Users need not preconfigure the relationship between different data entities, which makes it extremely easy for users to manage the data.

USP: QlikView delivers an associative experience across all the data, regardless of where it is stored. You can start anywhere and go anywhere; and are not limited to predefined paths or pre-configured dashboards.

How it works: QlikView’s core and patented technology has the feature of in-memory data processing, which gives the superfast result to the users. It calculates aggregations in real-time.

Pricing: Unavailable, must contact the company.

Website: https://www.qlik.com/us/

Business Intelligence Tools of the Future

Today’s business intelligence tools help track financial data, sales and market share, as well as production costs. Businesses today can quickly analyze these large sets of information in order to make some very important decisions before others do so first. While much of the data analysis going on today is based on historical data, the focus is rapidly shifting towards a more forward-looking (and even automated) data-driven decision making. And yes, this will include all the buzzwords like data governance, self-service BI, prescriptive analytics, BI through natural language processing, business intelligence as a service, collaborative and integrative BI, and more!