Software for BI, reporting, analytics and dashboards

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 BI tools provide the means for efficient reporting, thorough analysis of (big) data, statistics & analytics and dashboards displaying KPIs.

LATEST UPDATE: Traditional BI market leaders driven into a corner

List of Business Intelligence tools

The list of BI tools is in random order, it has no significance in terms of how highly the products scored in our study.

Bring your company data to life with BI tools

Bring your company data to life by combining, analyzing and visualizing 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.

A 100% vendor independent ranking: 197 criteria

For a 100% vendor independent ranking – on 197 key selection criteria – download and use our BI Tools comparison matrix and save time in selecting the best BI tool or platform for your needs.

Selecting the wrong tool might hurt

Companies who are not successful often have an issue with their information infrastructure. They may have selected the wrong Business Intelligence 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 and that hurts company results. Read our Quick Guide: ‘Selecting Business Intelligence tools’.

What are the biggest benefits of BI tools?

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

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

Step 1: Define the key bi tool selection criteria, both the user and IT requirements.
Step 2: With a list of questions you need to contact all the vendors to get the answers.
Step 3: Validate and analyze all the information from the Business Intelligence vendors.
Step 4: Make a short list for a proof-of-concept (POC) and perform the POC.
Step 5: Choose the tool / platform that suits your needs and price criteria best.

We all know that selecting the right solutionscan be a very labor intensive process. We have assisted organizations in this process for more than 15 years and we have therefore developed a powerful instrument: the Business Intelligence tools Survey 2015.

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 197 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 2015 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 organization 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 organization. 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 & Visualization 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 organization to organization.

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

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