The business world has completely transformed in the last few decades. Technology has helped advance globalization in the business world which has resulted in tough competition between companies.
Businesses all over the world have been trying their best to outperform each other. In order to perform at their optimum level, businesses need to have all the necessary information about different aspects of the business.
Without such information, no business can make well informed decisions that are necessary if they want to outperform the competition. This is where business intelligence software comes in.
Such tools can help your business with data collection, data visualization, and reporting. Let’s take a detailed look at what exactly is business intelligence software.
How to Choose Good Business Intelligence Software?
Now that we have already established that investing in business intelligence software is necessary for a business’s survival, the next step is to decide which software to choose. There are so many different options available in the market.
1. Develop Your Own Business Intelligence Software Or Invest In Buying One
If you have the resources and the necessary skills, you can also design your business intelligence software as per your business’s needs; however, with so many amazing programs already available in the market, you don’t have to go through the entire development process of the program.
2. Choose One That Resonates With The Size Of Your Company
A business intelligence software helps you collect, analyze, and transform raw information into organized knowledge that you can then use to make better decisions for your business. All business intelligence software has the same purpose; however, they might not have the same features.
Some software might offer you more features than others. Some business intelligence software may be more suitable for larger corporations, and some may be more suitable for small and medium businesses.
3. Perform Proper and Detailed Research
So you have to do your homework before you choose business intelligence software. All business intelligence software has something to offer, so investing in any one of them would be good; however, sometimes, a business is looking for specific information or feature which may not be available in all of the programs.
You can even use a combination of different business intelligence software and tools.
4. Compare The Features and Price
With so many different options available in the market, it is better to compare the features and prices of different business intelligence software and then choose the one that best suits your business needs.
Domo takes pride in being the world’s first integrated business management software that allows business organizations to access, store, analyze, and visualize their performance statistics in one place.
For new and old businesses alike, Domo offers a friendly user-interface that can be operated despite not having technical expertise.
1. Connectors: Domo allows businesses to import data from a wide range of data connectors, allowing them to collect all of their data in one organized location.
2. Store: Once the data has been imported, Domo’s smart query engine will allow you to store it efficiently, which allows businesses to find answers to important questions quickly.
3. Magic ETL: This feature of Domo allows businesses to sort, transform, and combine data in the most efficient way possible. To do this, one can use ETL, DataFusion, or DataFlows – depending upon the level of your technical know-how.
1. Connect data using hundreds of connectors such as Facebook, Salesforce, etc., and select the time when you want the data to be imported.
2. Access all your business information and create visual reports in one click.
3. Customized solutions with special feature sets offered to each business organization.
1. Extracting specific data from collections may be difficult.
2. Domo is cloud-based only; there is no on-premise deployment offered by the platform.
Starter: Free of cost
Business/Enterprise: Domo offers customized plans to customers to ensure that they receive a specialized set of features that would help their business venture. Due to this provision of customized plans, each Domo plan’s pricing is unique to the business organization.
Mode Analytics had started as a data science platform but has now made its way into the world of business intelligence. This means that the main target audience for Mode Analytics is data analysts who want to make their research and conclusions widely accessible to the entire business organization.
While Mode Analytics is a data collaborative platform, it does not prioritize the business user at the end.
1. Helix Data Engine: For those who have technical expertise, Mode Analytics allows the use of SQL, Python, HTML, or CSS to develop extensive and detailed reports.
2. Notebooks: Data science such as advanced analytics can be done using R and Python capabilities.
3. Team Collaboration: If an entire team of data scientists wants to collaborate on a project to analyze it, Mode Analytics offers data team collaborations.
1. Mode helps your business organization reach detailed data science capabilities if the team has expertise in SQL.
2. Since Mode is integrated with Python, it allows for a versatile data analytics experience as users can import data from MySQL databases, merge them into notebooks, and create useful visualizations with a report’s help.
3. For people who don’t have much technical expertise, Mode offers free SQL and Python courses online on their platform.
1. Mode Analytics is only suitable for experienced data scientists who already have all the technical know-how to operate the platform. For people who are less skilled, it is relatively difficult to create dashboards and collaborate with teams.
2. There are only a few ways to visualize each report, making your data representation options limited.
3. Even small changes in your reports will require rewriting the SQL code entirely or shifting to HTML.
Studio: Free of cost – offers up to 5 users with a private database.
Business: Contact a Mode Analytics representative for pricing – offers additional scheduling, permissions, and API access.
Enterprise: Contact Mode Analytics for pricing – offers premium support features for large organizations.
Looker is a powerful business intelligence tool that has its own data programming language, LookML. The best part about Looker is that it was acquired by Google in 2019 – meaning there is hope that it could become integrated with Google Data Studio in the future.
For now, Looker is for all those data teams who have their main priority as powerful modeling facility with their business intelligence.
1. Looker Blocks: To help data scientists get started with detailed analytics, Looker Blocks provides a pre-built code that you can further build on.
2. LookML: Unique data language designed for Looker.
3. Freedom to Create: In Looker, you have the ability to create standard dashboards or interactive ones that can be used to interact with the entire team.
1. Provides an incredibly powerful and resourceful modeling layer in which you can convert basic SQL into object code.
2. The Looker Blocks code helps your team get started quickly with prior knowledge of SQL.
3. Looker is flexible enough to be used on an everyday basis for business intelligence analysts and regular business owners who want to integrate business intelligence to boost their growth.
1. There is little freedom in manipulating data in terms of effective visualization.
2. Before you model data with Looker, you will have to prepare it beforehand by cleansing it to be adaptable to Looker.
3. Looker does not allow you to make quick data analyses from data that is imported via integrated sources.
The pricing plans for Looker are unique to every business. The pricing is based on the number of users your team would have and the business’s scale of deployment. Each plan is customized to fit the business venture regardless of the size.
However, as far as we know, Looker is a business intelligence software that tends to be expensive. That is why it is limited to large business organizations that do not mind spending a hefty amount for their business modeling requirements.
Yellowfin is another business intelligence platform that provides a successful combination of interactive dashboards, visual storytelling, and automated analyses. Yellowfin provides a one-of-a-kind experiencer to users – allowing them to manipulate and engage with their data in the way they prefer.
1. Signals: Automation integration that updates and monitors live data.
2. Stories: Instead of presenting numbers in your reports, you can create visual stories that provide relevant context to data numbers.
3. Data Prep: To import data from external sources, Yellowfin allows you to use multiple databases, including Web APIs, Spreadsheets, and NoSQL.
1. Helps you create an automated analysis based upon the observation of patterns, outliers, and sequences.
2. Combines complex numbered data reports into contextual stories to understand.
3. Yellowfin BI comes with five different components that can be used to improve business analytics.
1. None of the components include financial forecasting – creating a gap in the usefulness of Yellowfin.
2. Requires previous knowledge of SQL and databases.
3. Complicated pricing plans to choose from.
Yellowfin does not currently reveal the pricing for each of its plans. However, there are 4 plans being offered:
1. Enterprise Analytics – Named User: based on the number of users who have access to Yellowfin.
– Server: based on CPU cores required in the business.
2. Embedded Analytics – Server: based on CPU cores.
– Custom: unique pricing model and a feature set designed to fit your business organization’s needs.
For those who want absolute control over their business intelligence, MicroStrategy is the perfect tool for you. This integrated platform allows you to handle everything on your own – including the analyses and reports without having to write any complicated codes.
1. On-Site or Cloud: MicroStrategy gives you a choice between where you want to host your business intelligence.
2. Self-Service Functionality: Provides complete authority to users in creating their dashboards, filtering relevant data, and sharing reports with the team.
4. Collaboration: Allows users to create separate discussion threads within their teams to discuss a certain visualization.
1. Big data functionality
2. Actions can be taken directly from the dashboard.
3. Can be used from a mobile app.
1. Many things to learn once you begin using MicroStrategy.
2. Initial configuration with your business and data inputs is relatively time-consuming.
3. Performance can be slow at times, owing to a large number of datasets available.
Each MicroStrategy user begins with a free trial, and then they are asked to choose between one deployment method for their business. The options include:
MicroStrategy does not reveal its pricing plans to the public, so you will have to contact their sales representatives in order to get a quote for your business.
You may not have heard of Sisense before – simply because the business intelligence tool has recently been renamed.
Despite the new name, Sisense remains an effective tool for SQL experts in business organizations who want to make their operations far more efficient.
Sisense is most suitable for those who already know SQL but are searching for ways to improve their data analysis and workflow. In simple terms, Sisense is designed for sophisticated and skilled teams of data scientists who are already using SQL, Python, and R.
1. Quick Ad-hoc Analysis: This allows you to create reports instantly based on your data.
2. Versatility: Sisense can be used with SQL, Python, and R – and you can choose any one depending upon your area of expertise.
3. Team Collaboration: For teams that work collaboratively on SQL projects, shifting to Sisense would be quite easy.
1. Allows for easy data analysis with SQL.
2. Integration of SQL macros allows every person in your team to become a basic SQL programmer.
3. If you know how to work with SQL, Sisense will likely increase your workflow significantly and streamline your work processes.
1. Sisense is not suitable for those teams who do not have extensive knowledge of SQL.
2. Knowledge of Data Discovery using SQL is the most basic requirement for Sisense – but not many teams have that level of knowledge or skill.
3. Sisense is more suitable for companies that have large amounts of data to manipulate. For smaller teams who are just getting accustomed to data analytics, Sisense may become too complicated due to the overload of information.
Sisense provides customized plans to each business user. This means that the pricing plan depends upon the number of users, the features you need, and the analytic capabilities required. To get a quote for Sisense for your business, please contact a sales representative from the company.
If your business organization is already integrated within the Microsoft ecosystem, then opting for Microsoft Power BI as a business intelligence tool would be a great option. This tool is incredibly helpful for those businesses who already use Excel, Access, Azure, etc., on a regular basis.
Microsoft Power BI is a powerful business intelligence tool that is most suitable for large organizations that enjoy making spreadsheets for all of their data.
1. Easy Integration: Microsoft Power BI can be paired exclusively with the entire Microsoft suite of products. This is useful if your company has already invested in Microsoft products for the team.
2. Data Analysis Expressions (DAX): Microsoft Power BI uses a unique language for modeling data, making it easier to work with Power BI once you learn the specialized language.
3. Team Collaboration: Power BI allows you to collaborate with the entire team on the dashboard and create useful visualizations of data.
1. Fluency in Excel goes a long way with Microsoft Power BI. This means that if you have invested some time into learning Excel in the past, you would easily adapt to Power BI.
2. Microsoft Power BI is able to handle the flow of large sets of data incredibly well. The entire platform has a strong foundation, allowing you to focus on modeling your business data effectively.
3. Once you start using Microsoft Power BI as your primary tool, you will be able to customize it according to your requirements.
1. Before you get started with Microsoft Power BI, there are many things that you will have to learn.
2. Setting up certain areas of Microsoft Power BI takes a considerable amount of time.
3. Microsoft Power BI is only suitable for large business organizations that have enough capacity.
Pro: For individual users in a business organization. Costs $9.99/month.
Power BI Premium: For individual users, but with more complex features such as advanced AI and big data configurations. Costs $20/month.
Power BI Premium: For the entire team and is priced per capacity. Costs $4,995/month.
ThoughtSpot is one of the modern business intelligence platforms, mainly due to its integration of AI-controlled analytics. With AI, ThoughtSpot allows you to receive recommendations on the most suitable visualizations.
This allows you to organize and sort data, create effective reports, and build your own dashboards without any IT specialist’s help.
1. Query Generation: With ThoughtSpot, your team does not always search for complex terms to search for specific data. Instead, they can search using normal language and still receive accurate results.
2. AI Visualizations: ThoughtSpot allows every user in your team to create their own visualizations that are automatic, interactive, and AI-driven.
3. Metadata Models: With ThoughtSpot, your business team can create shared models of logical data that can be combined to answer complex questions.
1. Provides users with the choice of on-premise and cloud deployment.
2. AI-driven search engine provides you with the ease of finding hidden data in your databases. It is incredibly easy to find old and new insights with ThoughtSpot.
3. The user-friendly interface can be used with no prior training.
1. Difficult to set up ThoughtSpot initially with all of your current business systems.
2. There are no advanced visualization options available in ThoughtSpot if you want to create customized dashboards for your team.
3. ThoughtSpot is a relatively newer business intelligence tool in the market.
All of ThoughtSpot’s pricing plans are based upon the data capacity that your business needs. These are divided into 250 GB increments. Each subscription plan will give you access to a private or public cloud or on-premises deployment.
For a quote of ThoughtSpot services for your business organization, please contact the company directly.
Qlik offers a set of business intelligence solutions for large organizations. This includes Qlikview, Qlik Sense, Qlik Analytics Platform, and an add-on for reporting known as Qlik nPrinting.
When combined, all of these tools join together to create a unique BI tool that runs through an inference engine – allowing all of your data to be sorted in the most efficient way possible.
Qlik is currently advising all of its users to switch to Qlik Sense, their most recent and updated business intelligence tool.
1. Self-Service Creation: Instead of writing complex codes for your dashboards, Qlik gives you access to drag-and-drop features that allow you to create simple dashboards that do not take much time.
2. Insight Advisor: This machine learning tool in Qlik allows you access to real-time insights, such as asking your business intelligence tool a query in natural language and receiving accurate, visualized answers based on your data. This feature also gives you report suggestions throughout the data visualization process.
3. Interactive Visualization: Since Qlik focuses on creating eye-catching reports and visuals, the business intelligence tool helps you create visualizations that would automatically change according to the data context and numbers.
1. Open APIs in Qlik allows business organizations to integrate Qlik with their other business tools. This means that Qlik’s feature set can be customized to suit the specific needs of an organization.
2. Qlik gives you the option of a cloud-hosted or on-premise deployment. The cloud-hosted option also comes with the free trial of Qlik.
3. For those who do not know much about data analytics, Qlik offers both free and paid online training services.
1. Qlik only has limited customization, implying that there is little that you can control when it comes to the design and representation of your visual data statistics or dashboards.
2. It is time-consuming to learn all the specifications on how to use Qlik and the additional apps provided by the vendor.
3. Qlik does not offer automatic reporting features directly on the platform. If you want to report, you will have to purchase the Qlik nPrinting add-on separately.
Business Edition: Costs $30/user, includes up to 5 shared dashboards and 1.25 GB in-app memory.
Enterprise: A more integrated solution for large organizations. The pricing for this plan depends upon the specific business.
What Is Business Intelligence Software?
Business intelligence software helps businesses collect, analyze, and transform important information from different business aspects. Businesses can use this information to make better and well informed decisions.
A business intelligence software is a collection of different programs and tools, which may include data collection, data warehousing, data visualization, analytical features, reporting, and many other similar tools.
Collecting information for your business is something that all businesses do. However, business intelligence software smoothens the process and makes the raw and scattered information useful for the business owner. Just collecting business information isn’t enough.
It of no use to your business if you cannot use it to make better business decisions. Business intelligence software helps you collect important information, but such programs also help organize the data and then provide data visualization and reports that the businesses can then use to make better decisions.
It isn’t something that businesses should think about investing. It is something that they should invest in at all costs.
It is a matter of survival for businesses in the modern technological era. Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, it is imperative that you look at options of business intelligence software.
There are a lot of options available in the market, so you are bound to find one that works for your business.