Business Intelligence tools

Get true and 100% vendor independent insight into Business Intelligence tools. Order and download our BI Tools Survey now.

What are Business Intelligence tools and what are their benefits?

Business Intelligence tools provide companies reliable information and true insights in order to improve decision making & social collaboration. With business intelligence you’ll be able to produce much better company results. The tools provide the means for efficient reporting, thorough analysis of (big) data, statistics & analytics and displaying key indicators.

Bring your company data to life with BI tools

Bring your company data to life by combining, analysing and visualising all that data very easily. The tools will help you to see and understand the success factors of your business more quickly. And where things (might) go wrong and where you need to make adjustments. They give employees and managers the possibility to improve business processes on a daily basis by using correct information and relevant insights.

Selecting the wrong tool can have serious impact

Companies who are not successful often have an issue with their information infrastructure. They may have selected the wrong tool or perhaps they don’t use business intelligence-tools at all. They have not been able to implement BI and are still in the dark.

The top 10 best products per topic as of 2014

Based on our latest research findings:

Oracle is #1 in mobile BI

Perhaps not what you were thinking but currently the best mobile BI solution comes from Oracle and not MicroStrategy (second best) read more…

Information Builders is #1 infrastructure & architecture

This is the best solution for organisations who have a wide variety of platforms and mixed (and exotic) data sources. read more…

Birst is #1 in cloud infrastructure

If you need a BI platform that is really elastic and has the best points for BI in the cloud? We recommend considering Birst. read more…

Birst website

Microsoft is #1 in core functionality

Microsoft BI is probably not the most user-friendly BI platform but it has the highest score in the category ‘core functionality’ in our survey. read more…

MicroStrategy is #1 in usability & visualisation

This BI tool stands out as the most user-friendly platform in our study and has very rich capabilities for data visualisation. read more…

MicroStrategy is #1 in performance & big data

MicroStrategy has the best capabilities to process very large data volumes (big data) and has excellent caching features. read more…

SAS is #1 in predictive analytics

This might not come as a big surprise, SAS BI is in our survey the winner in predictive analytics. If you need advanced statistics, consider SAS BI. read more…

BusinessObjects is #1 in search & alerting

One of the market leaders from the past, the giant SAP BusinessObjects, got the best points in the category ‘search & alerting’. read more…

BOARD is #1 in performance management

If you need a complete suite for performance management with a bit of BI reporting capabilities, consider Board. read more…

Information Builders is #1 in security & connectivity

If you need a BI tool that has the best facilities for security and probably will connect to any data source you might think of, consider WebFOCUS. read more…

Source: Business Intelligence Tools Survey 2014

What are the biggest benefits of the tools?

Improve the overall performance of your organisation, departments and teams.
Make fact-based decisions without neglecting the intuition of experienced employees.
Enhance the business processes in the organisation using the right visualisations.
Easy monitoring and reporting of your genuine KPIs using role-based dashboards.

Which Business Intelligence tools are available in the market?

There are many BI tools in the market. The list of business intelligence tools gives you a complete overview of all the major tools that are available. To name a few: IBM Cognos, SAP Business Objects, QlikView, Microsoft BI, Oracle BI, etc.

How can you easily select one of the tools for your organisation?

Step 1: Define the key bi tool selection criteria, both the user and IT requirements.
Step 2: With this list of questions you need to contact all the vendors to get the answers (RFI).
Step 3: Validate and analyse all the information from the Business Intelligence vendors.
Step 4: Make a short list for a proof-of-concept and choose the one that suits your needs best.

We all know that selecting the right software can be a very labor intensive process. We have assisted organisations in this process for more than 25 years and we have therefore developed a powerful instrument: the Business Intelligence tools Survey 2014.

How can you compare BI tools very quickly?

Business Intelligence tools come in many different flavors. All the tools run on the Windows platform for example, but only a few support the different flavors of Unix and Linux. Some have excellent functionality for pixel perfect reporting and others do better in dash-boarding and predictive analytics.

That is why in our Business Intelligence tools Survey the tools are thoroughly examined, compared and rated on 169 key evaluation criteria. With that knowledge at hand you will being able to choose the solution that best suits your company very quickly and achieve the best results with business intelligence.

Choosing a Business Intelligence product

Choosing a Business Intelligence productOnly a few years ago, choosing a BI product was relatively simple, and extremely costly. Two companies appeared to be in almost total control of the market, BusinessObjects and Cognos, only if you were looking for something out of the ordinary, like advanced statistical analysis, or financial consolidation or access to legacy databases on the mainframe did you look further at products from companies like SAS, Hyperion or Information Builders. Not that these BI tools did not do everything that the leaders did, and more, they did, but they did not have the mass acceptance of BusinessObjects and Cognos.

The problem with the marketplace in the last 10 years

The problem with the marketplace in the last 10 years is that we appear to have gone too far from Dresner’s initial ideas – he spoke then and still does about “information democracy”. Other top BI analysts like Tim Jennings talk about “Pervasive” BI. This means it should be available to anybody who wants it when they need it at a price they can afford – just like healthcare, and just like healthcare we haven’t been very successful at achieving our goals.

Business Intelligence for the masses

When we moved away from the mainframe products – like IBM’s AS, WebFOCUS and SAS – to the PC based products everybody expected the usability to increase. With better graphics, a simpler GUI and personal processing power it looked as if we had finally achieved “BI for the masses”. The acceptance however remained a problem, partly because of performance issues created by the client/server model and partly because of the difficulty of making clean and consistent data available to the BI product for processing.

BI has come from an external source: Apple

BI has come from an external source: AppleNow, in 2014 for the first time ever, we may be closer to achieving this dream, the solution, as is often the case with business intelligence, has come from an external source: Apple. One of the major problems with BI (and there are several) is that the people who need the information still find the “tools” too difficult to use and the iPad user interface may just fix that problem. After nearly 30 years of “personal computers” we appear to have a device that can be used and is accepted by people from 4 years of age upwards – it is possible that BI on the iPad (and the iPad’s competitors) may just be what we need to solve the Ease of Use issues.

We do not believe it is possible to hold a beauty contest

The intention of our 100% independent study is to see what the most popular business intelligence tools offer now, in terms of usability, functionality, security, connectivity and add some advice. We do not believe it is possible to hold a beauty contest and choose an overall winner; the most suitable product for one organisation need not be the most suitable for another, depending on number of users, hardware, where the data comes from, volumes of data, the requirements and type of organisation. In order to avoid comparing apples with pears (as much as possible) we have split the products into four categories:

  1. Enterprise Business Intelligence tools
  2. Database & packaged BI tools
  3. Data Discovery & Visualisation products
  4. Innovative, new and niche tools

We have however, allocated points within the areas that we have evaluated. We haven’t applied weighting factors since they are different from organisation to organisation.

Get true insight with our Business Intelligence Tools Survey 2014

The BI tools Survey 2014 provides true insight into both the strengths and weaknesses of the different Business Intelligence tools. It is 100% vendor neutral and vendors do not have to pay to get included. The survey compares all the major bi tools on 15 important categories and lists all their features. In addition the survey contains expert reviews, an assessment based on 70,000 user opinions, many tips and a comparison matrix.

To the BI tools Survey

Do you prefer to get in contact with us for help?

If you want assistance in selecting the right Business Intelligence tool for your company, please contact us for more information or an appointment.

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