The best tools for Business Intelligence and Analytics software
Business Intelligence tools (or Business Analytics software) provide companies reliable information and true insights in order to improve decision making & social collaboration. With business intelligence software 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.
+ Cognos Analytics
+ Microsoft BI
+ Oracle BI (OBIEE)
+ Oracle Hyperion
+ Pentaho BI
+ Yellowfin BI
+ Power BI
Above list of BI tools is in random order, it has no significance in terms of how highly the products scored in our independent BI study. Click on one of the Business Intelligence solutions in the graph below and learn more about it.
Figure: the Passionned Parabola for BI & Analytics
Perform better with Business Analytics software
Bring your company data to life and perform better by combining, analyzing and visualizing all that data very easily with Business Analytics software. This type of software 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 BI 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 Analytics software 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’.
The biggest benefits of Business Intelligence software:
✓ 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.
Five steps to select the top Business Intelligence tools:
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 solutions can 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 2017.
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 Analytics product
Only a few years ago, choosing Business Analytics software was relatively simple, and extremely costly. Two companies appeared to be in almost total control of the market, Business Objects 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 Business Objects and Cognos.
The different components of Business Analytics platforms
Business Analytics software contains the following components:
- Reporting: Business Analytics provides an excellent platform for reporting in every organization. BI reporting helps you to structure the process of distributing the right insights to the right person at the right moment in the right format very efficiently. Read more…
- Online Analytical Processing: Online Analytical Processing gives people the ability to analyze information thoroughly from multiple perspectives easily. OLAP is flexible because users are able to choose easily between different dimensions, a filter or drill-down to lower data levels. Read more…
- Dashboards: Good dashboards visualizes the performance of your company, team or the individual performance in a fashionable manner. It helps you to run your business better by using reliable and actionable KPIs and insights. Read more…
- Data mining / predictive: Data mining is not easy, not least because it is wrapped in a cloak of secrecy and the results are hard to enforce. Before we start data mining, we must determine our goal first and assume the existence of certain relationships. Read more…
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 Analytics software 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
Now, in 2017 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:
- Enterprise Business Intelligence software
- Database & packaged Business Intelligence tools
- Data Discovery & Visualization products
- Innovative, new and niche tools for analytics
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 or Business Analytics software for your company, please contact us for more information or an appointment.