The best tools for Business Intelligence and Analytics software
Having the right management information alone isn't enough - you also need to use the right Business Intelligence tools. You need a Business Intelligence solution that's both effective and efficient. Software that matches the needs and wants of the end-users as closely as possible. Our 100% independent market research extensively covers the Business Intelligence software and Business Analytics tools market.
Below, you’ll find a list of the tools covered in our BI & Analytics Guide. The list is in no particular order. No preference is given to any vendor, as we are 100% independent, and our expert reviews are free of any biases. Click on each tool for more information about them, or check out our BI & Analytics Guide.
Tableau is a textbook example of a self-service BI solution. Tableau was recently acquired by Salesforce for 15,7 billion USD in stocks – a strong vote of confidence from the CRM giant. Tableau is not a complete stand-alone BI solution yet.
Microsoft’s Power BI integrates seamlessly with its Office family of products. It’s relatively inexpensive, but not yet mature enough to function as a stand-alone BI solution. Microsoft is iterating the product on a regular basis, however.
Qlikview is one of the more user-friendly BI solutions, thanks to its set-based and visual approach. It’s been a household name when it comes to data discovery tools. However, it doesn’t have extensive reporting capabilities.
Business Objects is one of the many BI solutions offered by SAP, who bought BO in 2007. If your organization is an ‘SAP-house’, then BO is the go-to solution when it comes to business intelligence. As a stand-alone BI solution, BO is much less likely to qualify, because BO prominently opts for the SAP ERP data model.
Cognos has historically been one of the better-known business intelligence products, but it’s not as ubiquitous as it once was. It’s especially well-known for its ‘PowerPlay Cubes’, a feature which makes the tool very user friendly. Since 2008, Cognos has been owned by IBM.
Jaspersoft is a Java-based open source BI platform, developed by TIBCO. Jaspersoft specializes in visualization and data exploration. TIBCO is currently lagging behind the competition in terms of market share, but it has its own strengths.
Microsoft offers a wide range of BI solutions. They’re of course known for Excel, the most “abused” BI Tool. Nowadays, Power BI is a popular BI solution. Microsoft offers both on-premise and Azure cloud solutions.
Oracle Hyperion is covered by OBIEE, but the Oracle Hyperion suite focuses on the Enterprise Performance Management Market and much less on the BI market. Hyperion can work as a stand-alone product, or in conjunction with other Oracle products.
Yellowfin focuses on the creation of interactive dashboards, and especially on the creation of an integrated BI collaboration portal. This makes Yellowfin a relatively niche player in the BI space, but not without its appeal.
SAP was founded in 1972 by five former IBM employees and has since grown to become the largest provider of Enterprise Resource Planning solutions (ERP) in the world. The software company has more than 96,000 employees and operates in more than 180 countries.
SAS provides a large range of enterprise-wide BI solutions that are used by many large, listed companies. SAS Visual Analytics puts a strong emphasis on self-service BI, but that’s not all SAS has to offer.
Sisense sets itself apart by completely focusing on cloud-based BI solutions. Another unique aspect about Sisense is their in-house, 24/7 sales department. They put a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction.
Style Intelligence started as a data discovery and visualization tool. It has become more of a general BI tool as more and more features were added. It has some unique properties which distinguish it among its peers.
WebFOCUS by Information Builders is an enterprise BI and analytics platform that includes data discovery, predictive analytics, performance management, dashboards, and more. It’s used in very large organizations, but it’s still relatively unknown.
BizzScore is a relatively niche player in the BI market. It focuses on performance management, and as such isn’t suitable as a general BI tool. BizzScore can be seen as an add-on to the Microsoft product stack, with a Microsoft SQL-server at its base.
BOARD is another self-service BI solution, offering end-users the opportunity to work with data visualization and data discovery tools. However, BOARD sets itself apart by claiming to combine business intelligence with predictive analytics and performance management.
Birst calls their product a “network BI solution”. Birst is cloud-based and has integrated ETL functionality. It’s still a relatively obscure solution, however, and perhaps less suitable for very large (500+) organizations.
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What can you expect from Business Intelligence tools?
Business Intelligence tools offer organizations reliable management information and precise insights to improve decision-making and cooperation. These tools enable efficient reporting, thorough (big) data analysis, statistics, and dashboards for the relevant KPIs.
Advantages of business intelligence tools:
✓ Clear insight into all your company data, external data, and big data analytics. ✓ Clear visualization and availability of management information. ✓ Gain insight into how processes work (or don’t). ✓ Enable users to improve their business processes. ✓ Using BI tools improves the overall organizational performance. ✓ Perfect supporting tool for performance management. ✓ Simple security and clear reporting thanks to intelligent dashboards.
Plenty of choice in Business Analytics tools
The decision to choose a certain BI tool isn’t easy, because there are so many of them on the market. There are big brands like Microsoft, Cognos, or SAP Business Objects. There are also smaller software developers who have also developed business intelligence tools suitable for specific industries or types of BI applications. The saying goes “different tools for different purposes” for a reason. Consider companies like Qlik or Tableau Software (now owned by Salesforce). Despite the wealth of choice, finding and choosing the right Business Intelligence tool often proves to be a labor-intensive task. Where do you start?
If you need help choosing the right BI or data science tool for you, the BI & Analytics Guide can help you to quickly arrive at a shortlist and make a final selection. Our BI & Analytics Guide gives you many comparison functionalities. See which vendor excels in which area and compare vendors in just a few clicks. Download now.
Excel is known as “the most abused BI tool”
Choosing the right tool can significantly impact your organization. Unsuccessful companies often have a problem in their information infrastructure. The BI tools they use aren’t efficiently surfacing the desired management information. Excel is the most common example, which is why it’s known as the most commonly abused BI tool.
How do you make a choice that fits your organization?
Define the most important BI tool selection criteria: IT needs and user needs.
With this list in hand, contact the vendors for answers (RFI).
Analyze all the data of the various Business Intelligence vendors.
Start a proof of concept and choose the solution that best matches your needs.
Our BI & Analytics Guide 2022 lets you completely skip steps 1 through 3. We’ve taken all the difficult, time-consuming advance work off your hands, saving you precious time and money.
We know from experience that choosing the right software is a labor-intensive process. For over 15 years, we’ve been helping organizations with our unique, effective solutions: the BI & Analytics Guide and independent BI advice.
“Passionned Group’s Business Intelligence solutions have been immediately useful to me in selecting the right BI-tool for our company.”
Richard Silverstein Sweet & Maxwell Group
The many functionalities of Business Intelligence software
Business Intelligence tools exist in many shapes and sizes. Some have excellent reporting functionality, while some others may excel at dashboarding. Others only run on Windows. Our BI & Analytics Guide compares 20 of the biggest tools on all the functionalities that are crucial to achieving the best possible results using business analytics. We’ve done the research for you.
Do you need help choosing the right Business Analytics tool?
If you need help in the selection process of the right Business Analytics tool for your company, feel free to contact us for an appointment or more information.