Business leaders have access to more data than ever before.

But data by itself doesn't generate insights.

Business intelligence (BI) Tools are now the go-to resource for helping companies harness the power of big data and analytics and make smarter, data-driven decisions.

The are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every single day.

Source: Domo

82% of enterprises are prioritizing analytics and BI as part of their budgets.

Source: TDWI

The global business intelligence market is expected to increase to $34.4 billion by 2022.

Source: Market Research Future

BI Buyer's Guide

What is BI?

Business intelligence helps users derive meaningful insights from raw data. It's an umbrella term that includes the software, infrastructure, policies and procedures that can lead to smarter, data-driven decision making. In the past, BI software has been used exclusively by data analysts or IT staff. Nowadays, any user can take advantage of BI tools, regardless of their data skillset, due to the self-service functionality.

Common BI features

Here are several common features found in BI software

Source data

Most BI software connects to data in real time from internal and external sources, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, HR software, social media, spreadsheets, MySQL and many more.

Data Warehouse

A data warehouse is a repository containing information from all the business's applications and systems, as well as external sources, so it can be analyzed together.

Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)

The data warehouse and ETL process represent the back end of business intelligence, while Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) represents the front end. OLAP tools present data to users and allow them to group, aggregate and sort the data based on various criteria

This is the function that allows users to pull out the data they want and make the comparisons they need to have their questions answered.

Data Mining

Data mining refers to the process of finding new information or patterns within large and complex data sets.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics uses a variety of sources to analyze current and past information to predict future events. One example of predictive analytics is data mining, which refers to the process of finding new information or patterns within large data sets.

Extract, Transform, Load (ETL)

A key part of BI is the tools and processes used to prepare data for analysis. The process of getting data ready for analysis is known as Extract, Transform, Load (ETL). The data is extracted from internal and external sources, transformed into a common format and loaded into a data warehouse. This process also typically includes data integrity checks to make sure the data being used is accurate and consistent.

Visualizations

Visualization tools present data using charts, graphs and other formats. Traditional formats include bar graphs, pie charts and scorecards, while advanced data visualization can create interactive and dynamic content, automatically choosing the best type of representation and personalizing content for the user.

Dashboards

The dashboard is the primary graphical interface used when working with a business intelligence system. Typically the first thing the user sees when logging on, the dashboard presents the most important reports and data visualizations for the user, customized based on the person's role.

The dashboard is a simple way to organize information in one place and allow the user to dig deeper for more.

Ad Hoc Reporting

Users can create ad-hoc reports by choosing the specific metrics they want in their report. The results are then shown in the format the user specifies. Ad-hoc reporting features free up IT staff from compiling reports for end users.

Types of BI Tools

Here are the three main types of BI tools:

Analysis

Analysis is the main focus of business intelligence, as data is more useful when it's being analyzed. The three common types of analysis are spreadsheet analysis, ad-hoc query and visualization tools. Another type is predictive analytics that uses techniques such as data mining and machine learning to predict future trends within the data. Predictive analytics isn't just a feature found in BI software; there are dedicated predictive analytics solutions.

Reporting

Reporting tools help users visualize their data in different formats, such as graphs or charts. They have evolved from static (non-manipulated) reports to interactive reports that let users drill down into certain elements for more details. Some reporting features include ad-hoc reporting, scheduled reporting, and exporting or sending reports in different file formats (PDF, Excel, etc.).

Embedded BI

Embedded business intelligence (also known as embedded analytics) is an integration of business intelligence tools into a company's existing applications. Examples of those applications include ERP, CRM, accounting or marketing systems.

There are several vendors (e.g., Izenda, Exago BI, Zoomdata) that focus exclusively on embedded software. However, a gt-rowing list of dedicated BI software vendors (such as Looker or GoodData) also sell embedded analytics.

Top Benefits of BI

Using a BI Tool has several benefits, including

The ability to combine data from internal and external sources

Companies tend to use many different systems to run their business, and each system can store large amounts of data. BI software connects data from multiple internal and external sources so users can perform analytics with one platform.

Faster access to real-time data for on-the-fly decision making

Businesses need to quickly adapt to any changing conditions within their company or industry to get competitive advantage. Therefore, they may not be able to wait weeks, days, or even hours, as critical decisions need to be made quickly. BI software includes automated features, so users get the answers they need right away.

Improved productivity for data analysts and IT staff

Many BI tools provide self-service functionality so end users are able to easily access features without having to rely on a data analyst or their IT department. Also, some features of BI software are automated, such as data cleaning, which allows data analysts to focus on more important job tasks.

Identify new areas of business opportunities

Business intelligence software provides companies with new opportunities to improve their business, such as making new sales or revenue, improving customer service or creating new job roles. The software has forecasting features, such as predictive analytics, so users can easily spot trends in their data. BI tools also help companies eliminate any processes that no longer work or hinder productivity.

Increased collaboration

BI tools can help improve collaboration and break down silos among teams, as everyone has access to the same information. The dashboards and reports are interactive and easily shareable. Anyone can provide comments directly within the dashboard or report. Reports are also shared securely to external users, such as clients or vendors.

How to Compare BI Tools

The recent gt-rowth in business technology has made the investment into a BI solution significantly more affordable than it was just a few years ago, leveling out the competition for companies of all sizes. But just because the technology is more accessible doesn't mean choosing a solution has become simple.

Now, there are more vendors than ever jockeying to gain your company's business. That's why you must do your homework before settling on a solution.

1

Knowing Your Company's Needs

Before starting the selection process for a BI tool, you must do your homework. Talk to people from all the departments that'll be affected by the BI tool (e.g., IT, finance, marketing, sales and operations) to find any issues that must be addressed. You'll also want to ensure that top executives will be onboard with implementing a BI solution.

It's key to prioritize your main objectives for using the software (also known as use cases). For example, where does your company need to improve? Revenue? Sales? Employee performance? New business opportunities? These objectives will be used to establish your use cases.

2

Creating a Shortlist

Once you've established your objectives for using the BI tool, create a shortlist of vendors that best fit your needs. We recommend listing out the must-have features, as well as the nice - to - have - but - not -urgently-needed ones, to help determine the type of tool you're looking for.

In addition to features, you'll need to consider the vendor's deployment options (e.g., on-premise, cloud), implementation processes and customer support.

3

Contacting Vendors

Once you've established your shortlist of vendors, it's time to reach out to them. Explain what your objectives are and what features you require in a solution. You'll also want to request a demo of the software with real-data scenarios if possible. Vendors offer virtual demonstrations, but ask if a vendor is willing to meet with you at your office. Another way to test the software is to participate in a free trial, if there is one. Most vendors offer a 14-day or 30-day free trial.

You'll also want to compare different price quotes you received. We explain more on pricing in our section below.

And finally, once you've selected your top two or three vendors, ask for references from their current or previous clients. While the vendor will give you the clients with the most glowing recommendations or experiences, ask to speak to clients that are in the same industry or are the same size as your company. You'll want to get not just the positives of the solution or vendor, but any issues the client has experienced as well.

If you want to compare specific BI vendors, head to our Compare section, where you can do a side-by-side comparison of different solutions.

Pricing

One of the most important factors in selecting BI software is pricing. Prices can vary depending on company size, customization, implementation and deployment. They typically range from $10 per user, per month up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for an on-premise deployment.

Here are a few questions you should consider about pricing:

  • Is there a clear plan to judge return on investment?
  • What is our budget for implementing/hosting/purchasing BI software?
  • How many users will need to access the software?

BI software vendors use two popular pricing models: perpetual licensing (on-premise) or subscription hosting plans (cloud).

Perpetual licensing (on-premise)

Businesses that prefer to host their own data can purchase licenses that last for the life of the software. On-premise deployment requires the business to purchase hardware, servers and other infrastructure, as well as use IT resources to host and maintain the solution.

man with checklist and giant pen

Subscription hosting (cloud)

Businesses that don't have the time or resources to host their own solution can consider deploying BI in the cloud. They will only need to pay a monthly or annual subscription cost. Subscription costs can include the number of features the company needs, as well as any support and maintenance.

Regardless of deployment, you'll need to consider implementation, training, data migration, the size of your data, customization and support. Depending on the vendor, each of these factors may require additional fees. Some vendors have a staff of implementation specialists, while others rely on third-party consultants.

For more information about pricing, including questions to ask vendors, head over to our Pricing tab. There, we've also compared pricing on popular BI software, such as Microsoft Power BI, Tableau and Sisense.

man at desk thinking
OpenText
VENDOR NAME: Actuate
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Runtime feature that combines BIRT with any application, reports produced by any user, no need to input or maintain code.

BAD

Need to obtain new license when adding new users or altering server components, lack of available resources on software.

BOTTOM LINE

BI tool that is based upon open source BIRT and the Eclipse platform.

READ REVIEW
Alteryx
VENDOR NAME: Alteryx
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Four main levels of product functions: data blending, predictive analytics, spatial analytics, and sharing insights.

BAD

Difficulty of doing a true left to right join when data blending, process also requires three steps in SQL, which is time-consuming.

BOTTOM LINE

Alteryx offers the ability to deliver actionable insights by seamlessly incorporating internal company information, cloud data, and third party data in a single workflow.

READ REVIEW
AnswerRocket
VENDOR NAME: AnswerRocket
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Ability to work with large datasets and connect to most data sources, flexible visualization options with drill-down capability, self-service functionality with minimal training required.

BAD

Not intended for small businesses, some early users have reported that the software was buggy at times.

BOTTOM LINE

Search-powered analytics platform that uses machine-learning technology and smart data discovery to enable users to find answers within their data in seconds.

READ REVIEW
Birst
VENDOR NAME: Birst
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Automated Data Refinement feature for extracting data from any source, self-service analytics through dashboards, reporting, visual discovery, and mobile tools, low total cost of ownership.

BAD

Social and collaboration features are not offered.

BOTTOM LINE

BI software that empowers business users wtih easy-to-use tools for faster and accurate decision-making.

READ REVIEW
Bitam
VENDOR NAME: Bitam
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Customizable dashboards wtih over 30 features, alerts if certain KPIs trigger a need for action, ad-hoc analysis and dashboards in one platform.

BAD

Not well known in the U.S. (small player in the BI market), difficulty in supporting large number of users.

BOTTOM LINE

Bitam provides an easy-to-use and flexible platform for all business users, regardless of technical knowledge, to create and run dashboards on their own.

READ REVIEW
Clear Analytics
VENDOR NAME: Clear Analytics
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Self-service BI via Excel, unlimited number of users can access/edit spreadsheet, no data warehouse needed to "pre-aggregate" data. Excellent for analysts who want a-la-carte access to data effortlessly.

BAD

Mobile capability only through third-party partners (i.e. Microsoft Power BI/SharePoint), not ideal for companies that don't work with Excel.

BOTTOM LINE

Clear Analytics supports and expands the capabilities of Excel by allowing users to receive accurate data on-demand from data sources that range from internal databases to cloud services, while also providing expansive self-service access to BI insights across the entire company, increasing productivity.

READ REVIEW
ClicData
VENDOR NAME: ClicData
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Free account with the option to upgrade to scalable pricing plans, automatic dashboard refresh when data sources are updated, various options to share dashboards.

BAD

Predictive analytics feature isn't offered yet.

BOTTOM LINE

BI platform that allows users to connect data from multiple sources and build intuitive dashboards more efficiently.

READ REVIEW
ClickBase
VENDOR NAME: ClickBase
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Integrates with financial solutions, customizable components (Toolkit, Report, Writer, etc), longevity in the BI market.

BAD

No mobile functionality offered.

BOTTOM LINE

Good buy for small and medium-sized companies that have limited resources to spend, and still want to use a fully-functional BI solution

READ REVIEW
datapine
VENDOR NAME: datapine
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Intuitive for any user, from the least experienced business professional to the most advanced data expert.

BAD

Mobile dashboards are only accessible via an app and not through a web browser.

BOTTOM LINE

Multinational data analytics solution that allows anyone to derive valuable insights from data.

READ REVIEW
DecisionPoint
VENDOR NAME: Antivia
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Accommodates both small and big data, ability to view dashboards (even offline), ability to create dashboards from over 50 components.

BAD

User administration when rolling out to larger audiences could be easier, not enough out-of-the-box dashboard themes.

BOTTOM LINE

DecisionPoint helps business professionals get immediate answers for important decisions easily and efficiently.

READ REVIEW
Driver Platform
VENDOR NAME: Dimensional Insight
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Data integration capability in a single view, easier data discovery tools, fast insights.

BAD

Not adept in handling and analyzing large amounts of data, very broad-based software (not ideal for users looking for niche solutions).

BOTTOM LINE

Its Diver Solution” includes time-sensitive data integration in a single view, helping users deploy role-based BI throughout their businesses.

READ REVIEW
Domo
VENDOR NAME: Domo
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Ability to connect data with hundreds of connectors, ability to access information and report from single platform, customized solutions.

BAD

Expensive for a small business, difficulty in extracting data, on-premise deployment isn't offered.

BOTTOM LINE

Business management platform that empowers all users to make better business decisions.

READ REVIEW
Dundas BI
VENDOR NAME: Dundas
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Combination of BI and analytics in one platform, accessible anywhere at any time, strong focus on self-service.

BAD

Inability to export multiple PowerPoint slides at once; 3-D charts and city-level maps aren't included as standard features; however, they can be imported by public API.

BOTTOM LINE

Scalable embedded BI platform that enables any user to run data and make faster business decisions.

READ REVIEW
Exago BI
VENDOR NAME: Exago Inc.
READ REVIEW

GOOD

100% web-based with no Plug-ins or downloads required for users or administrators, a balanced combination of tabular reports and interactive dashboards, rich, open APIs provide tight integration with host application.

BAD

Chart/visualization library could be expanded, global search isn't yet available.

BOTTOM LINE

Flexible, white-labelled, easy-to-use embedded BI solution that allows software companies to give their clients control over their own data and reporting.

READ REVIEW
GoodData
VENDOR NAME: GoodData
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Shorter implementation process than traditional vendors, specialized functions for sales, marketing, and customer service fields, strong security.

BAD

Some confusion in building metrics, does not employ advanced enterprise features.

BOTTOM LINE

GoodData is the only vendor that provides Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) via its cloud-based Open Analytics Platform. It also combines IT's need for data governance and security with the business user's need for self-service BI.

READ REVIEW
Grow
VENDOR NAME: Grow.com
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Intuitive features and the ability for all employees to access the dashboard as needed.

BAD

Some customers may need a simpler configuration to send daily snapshots or recaps to their email addresses.

BOTTOM LINE

A user-friendly, easy-to-build dashboard that visualizes key metrics to track daily progress for more informed decisions.

READ REVIEW
Halo
VENDOR NAME: Halo
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Platform-as-a-service option, data is housed in a single repository, code development and maintenance are automated.

BAD

Need more memory for support of its platform.

BOTTOM LINE

Halo provides flexible and scalable deployment options, including PaaS, offering a lower total cost of ownership than traditional BI software.

READ REVIEW
High IQ
VENDOR NAME: High IQ
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Strong focus on security, offers big data analytics capability, implementation is done within 30 days.

BAD

Intended more for smaller-to-medium-sized businesses, so larger companies may need to look elsewhere.

BOTTOM LINE

High IQ brings a more personalized approach to small and medium-sized companies who want to be involved with big data analytics, but lack the resources or revenue for traditional solutions.

READ REVIEW
Cognos
VENDOR NAME: IBM
READ REVIEW

GOOD

AI Assistant that learns users’ data and suggests new data joins and visualizations; drag-and-drop capabilities to create new dashboards and reports; data integration from two to many sources

BAD

Steep learning curve as software can be robust.

BOTTOM LINE

IBM Cognos Analytics offers users access to a wide range of business analytics functionality to help them make well-informed decisions faster.

READ REVIEW
iDashboards
VENDOR NAME: iDashboards
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Short implementation process, mobile functionality, ability to build dashboards with a series of right-click menus.

BAD

Limited source files to pull reports from, no ability to run report calculations with a click of a button.

BOTTOM LINE

With low cost of ownership and straightforward licensing, iDashboards provides a cost-effective alternative to complex BI solutions.

READ REVIEW
InetSoft
VENDOR NAME: InetSoft
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Usable by everyone in company, regardless of BI knowledge, drag-and-drop report designer, data mashups done in real time.

BAD

While available for mobile devices, ad-hoc editing is not currently supported.

BOTTOM LINE

InetSoft’s proprietary Data Block technology allows for data mashups from most data sources in real time.

READ REVIEW
Infor10 ION
VENDOR NAME: Infor
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Fast OLAP server, Import Master tool with ETL functions, planning and modeling capabilities offered.

BAD

Users accustomed to Geac performance management tools will struggle adapting to ION, as the software displays a clear orientation towards MIS products.

BOTTOM LINE

Infor10 ION is a comprehensive BI analytics tool that focuses on turning siloed data sources into synchronized ones, while also offering industry-specific analytics.

READ REVIEW
WebFOCUS
VENDOR NAME: Information Builders
READ REVIEW

GOOD

IT does not have to choose between native and web apps, ability to customize portal pages, menus, and page layouts, ability to not run on server power when processing data.

BAD

Runs with a scripting interfaces instead of an IDE, no ability to publish reports directly to SharePoint

BOTTOM LINE

Information Builders WebFOCUS 8 is a scalable business intelligence tool that provides quick insights for the entire company by utilizing in-memory processing and reducing the complexity of the reporting and analyzing processes.

READ REVIEW
IntelliFront BI
VENDOR NAME: ChristianSteven Soft.
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Easily accessible real-time reporting with dynamic functions for system administrators and end-users.

BAD

No predictive analytics or profit analysis.

BOTTOM LINE

BI solution focused on giving users the right information when they need it.

READ REVIEW
Interactive Edge
VENDOR NAME: Interactive Edge
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Integrates with Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, three implementation options available, data analysis in market trends, retail, and customer behavior.

BAD

Not compatible with Macs, mostly intended for sales and marketing professionals.

BOTTOM LINE

Interactive Edge's XP3 Suite is a BI solution package for sales and marketing teams to create top notch presentations

READ REVIEW
Izenda
VENDOR NAME: Izenda
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Izenda is able to seamlessly embed its business intelligence tools into a company's current applications.

BAD

Some customers have mentioned difficulties when customizing reports and visualizations.

BOTTOM LINE

Izenda is a web-based embedded BI solution that can be deployed as a stand-alone BI portal, or integrated with SaaS, on-premise or hybrid applications.

READ REVIEW
Jaspersoft
VENDOR NAME: TIBCO
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Self-service capability, ability to work with big data, users can build their own data mart or warehouse.

BAD

Lack of Impala connectivity, comparatively minimal technical support offered.

BOTTOM LINE

Jaspersoft has a scalable, modular, standards-based design that allows the flexibility needed for a wide variety of deployments.

READ REVIEW
JReport
VENDOR NAME: Jinfonet Software
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Flexible tools to create custom, advanced embedded reports and dashboards, support team is responsive and easy to work with.

BAD

Some customers have mentioned there's a learning curve when building reports.

BOTTOM LINE

JReport is an interactive embedded business intelligence suite that allows developers to create robust reports and dashboards, and embed analytics into current business applications.

READ REVIEW
Knowi
VENDOR NAME: Knowi
READ REVIEW

GOOD

The platform is built for users to blend structured, multi-structured and unstructured data alike.

BAD

Knowi is a young and small BI company. This can cause concern for some potential customers. 

BOTTOM LINE

A unified analytics platform built to simplify data architectures and help users obtain valuable business insights.

READ REVIEW
Logi Analytics
VENDOR NAME: Logi Analytics
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Available for all company sizes, analytics can be embedded into existing applications, ability to customize CSS and JavaScript to reports.

BAD

Not suitable for non-SQL users, lacks ability to automatically set attirbutes in a report, possibility of running into obscure issues.

BOTTOM LINE

For companies that are either skeptical of BI and are seeking immediate ROI, or for others that need to implement a system immediately, LogiAnalytics offers a swift and affordable solution.

READ REVIEW
Longview Analytics
VENDOR NAME: Longview Solutions
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Low cost of ownership, mobile functionality, sharing and collaboration focus.

BAD

No automatic reports scheduling.

BOTTOM LINE

Longview works with many different data sources, especially other vendors such as SAP, Oracle, IBM, and more.

READ REVIEW
Power BI
VENDOR NAME: Microsoft
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Familiar, easy-to-use interface similar to Excel with the ability to create and import simple visuals.

BAD

No way to publish reports and associated data together with Power BI Desktop; software is under development, so functions like data sharing are subpar.

BOTTOM LINE

A free, cloud-based business intelligence service that's simple to use, correlates disparate data and gives full visibility of business performance.

READ REVIEW
MicroStrategy
VENDOR NAME: MicroStrategy
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Big data and Hadoop functionality, ability to take action within dashboard, mobile capability.

BAD

Does not include any prescriptive analytics tools, more time spent using Extract, Transform, and Load tools to get data in order, steep learning curve to the technology.

BOTTOM LINE

MicroStrategy's Dashboard 2.0 app allows for users to make actionable decisions based on the data in a quick manner - even from within the dashboard itself.

READ REVIEW

GOOD

Big data capability, all-in-one solution, in-memory analytics capability.

BAD

Architecture is dated (interface is not very smooth and complex features not very well handled), integration issues, such as mass suppliers update.

BOTTOM LINE

Oracle provides an all-in-one BI solution featuring eight components so that users don't have to worry about multiple software or higher cost.

READ REVIEW
Necto
VENDOR NAME: Panorama
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Geo Analytics feature, focus on social collaboration, includes both basic and advanced analytics features.

BAD

Not compatible with Macs, not supported for Blackberry devices, no profit or predictive analytics features offered.

BOTTOM LINE

Panorama Necto software is one of the first to present BI data via highly visual infographics.

READ REVIEW
Pentaho
VENDOR NAME: Hitachi Ventara
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Combination of data integration and analytical processing, first BI tool to market direct reporting for NoSQL, wide variety of reporting solutions.

BAD

Various bugs and minor errors have been found, metadata layer is not intuitive enough, no perpetual licensing

BOTTOM LINE

Pentaho's unique ability to cross data integration with business analytics unites IT and end-users, helping them integrate and visualize the information that is most important to business results.

READ REVIEW
Phocas
VENDOR NAME: Phocas Software
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Unique features, such as geospatial analysis and rebates and commissions module, three deployment options, strong security features.

BAD

Could use more options, especially in customization, for visualization tools.

BOTTOM LINE

Phocas is flexible, scalable, and easy to use software that allow users to perform BI analysis themselves.

READ REVIEW
Profitbase Suite
VENDOR NAME: Profitbase NA Inc.
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Provides businesses with the ability to easily merge information from a variety of data sources.

BAD

Profitbase doesn't have a built-in ad hoc reporting tool.

BOTTOM LINE

Offers an intuitive dashboard and simple solutions for reporting, data warehousing and financial planning tasks.

READ REVIEW
Prognoz Platform
VENDOR NAME: Prognoz
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Unique library of modeling tools, 3D visualizations, quick and customizable report design.

BAD

Not available in multiple languages, no live online help or 24/7 customer service.

BOTTOM LINE

Prognoz Platform is a next-generation business intelligence platform that is highlighted by its business modeling and forecasting ability.

READ REVIEW
Pyramid 2018
VENDOR NAME: Pyramid Analytics
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Platform-agnostic so it's accessible for any user, six analytical modules with a wide range of features, free Community plan for smaller teams.

BAD

Phone support and online support ticket submissions require a purchase of paid support plan.

BOTTOM LINE

Pyramid 2018 is a platform-agnostic solution that's designed for any user, regardless of technical expertise.

READ REVIEW
Qlik Sense
VENDOR NAME: Qlik
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Robust drill-down, search and storytelling features. The free editions have no limitations or expiration dates for users.

BAD

Complicated pricing model, sluggish performance when working with large data sets.

BOTTOM LINE

A flexible and scalable data analysis and visualization tool for a full spectrum of users.

READ REVIEW
Qlikview
VENDOR NAME: Qlik
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Google-like search protocol for finding data, ability to combine data sources, no need to rely on IT.

BAD

Self-service difficulty for non-tech users, some filtering issues at the end user and developer levels.

BOTTOM LINE

Qlik's in-memory processor vastly speeds up the application and allows it to refresh in real-time, providing insights as data is added.

READ REVIEW
Salient Management Company
VENDOR NAME: Salient Management Company
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Strong focus on collaboration, Geo Analytics feature can track demographics of customers, Salient360 function that links the Data Mart to Excel.

BAD

Small sales presence in the global BI market, no SaaS deployment option.

BOTTOM LINE

Salient's offering represents the latest in BI technology - self-service, instant access to information, and collaboration.

READ REVIEW

GOOD

Minimal or no involvement from IT, BI analysis done from multiple data sources and in different formats, accessible via any platform.

BAD

Confusing licensing process, frequent support fee hikes, tend to be complex for non-tech users.

BOTTOM LINE

Broader BI solution with self-service functionality.

READ REVIEW

GOOD

SAS Visual Analytics combines data preparation, interactive reporting, visual discovery, self-service analytics, scalability and governance all from a single, powerful in-memory environment.

BAD

OLAP and profit analysis features are not offered; users can create data views but changes to those views are not spread out to all reports that reference it.

BOTTOM LINE

SAS Visual Analytics provides a modern, integrated environment for governed discovery and exploration with easy-to-use analytics and visualizations that help everyone get insights from data to better solve complex business problems.

READ REVIEW
Slemma
VENDOR NAME: Slemma
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Integrates with many common third-party solutions and disparate data sources.

BAD

With databases and warehouses, Slemma often requires someone knowledgable in SQL to perform table-joins and create new views for visualization.

BOTTOM LINE

A simple business analytics and data visualization tool that uses interactive dashboards to share information.

READ REVIEW
Analyzer
VENDOR NAME: Strategy Companion
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Flexible deployment options, Recombinant BI feature that differentiates from traditional OLAP processes, accessible on all web browsers.

BAD

Predicitive analytics feature not offered.

BOTTOM LINE

Strategy Companion's patent-pending Recombinant BI functionality is a unique way for users to answer new questions with new data, by combining, mixing, and sharing as many groups and patterns as possible.

READ REVIEW
Tableau
VENDOR NAME: Tableau Software
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Robust drill-down and visualization tools make data approachable for all types of users.

BAD

Customers have mentioned a steep learning curve for executives and the high cost for smaller businesses.

BOTTOM LINE

Tableau offers intuitive business intelligence tools to enhance data discovery and understanding.

READ REVIEW

GOOD

Intelligent Wizard tool, all BI tools in one platform, real-time dashboards.

BAD

Difficulty in setting up calculations within reports, difficulty with graph tools in conjunction with Excel.

BOTTOM LINE

TARGIT allows non-expert end-users to create and access reports and analysis easily and efficiently.

READ REVIEW
Tellius
VENDOR NAME: Tellius Inc.
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Accessible for all users regardless of technical expertise, SearchQL engine that suggests recommended answers as a user types in a question, predictive modeling functionality.

BAD

Automatic analytics may be a challenge for those who use manual analytics, company is still relatively new player in BI market.

BOTTOM LINE

Business intelligence solution that uses machine-learning algorithms to find trends, patterns and answers in a matter of seconds.

READ REVIEW
TIBCO Spotfire
VENDOR NAME: TIBCO
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Ability to perform statistical analysis, automatically run reports and analysis at set times, ability to drill down to find root causes of business issues.

BAD

Difficulty in customizing visualizations, difficulty in drilling down to specific data details, technical difficulties not easily resolved.

BOTTOM LINE

TIBCO Spotfire is ideal for companies looking to improve their sales and marketing practices and their customer experience.

READ REVIEW
Zoomdata
VENDOR NAME: Zoomdata
READ REVIEW

GOOD

Zoomdata provides speed-of-thought analytics on billions of rows of data. Additionally, the Data DVR tool allows robust real-time data streaming with digital video recorder (DVR) functionality like pause, rewind and replay.

BAD

Zoomdata's BI platform doesn't include predictive or profit analysis tools.

BOTTOM LINE

Zoomdata simplifies data exploration, analysis and visualization on big, streaming and traditional data sources. The platform can be embedded into other applications or used as a stand-alone solution.

READ REVIEW