How Much Does BI Software Cost? 2020 Pricing Guide

Pricing is one of the most important factors in choosing business intelligence (BI) software.

While some vendors provide transparent pricing details on their websites, most of them prefer to provide a personalized price quote, as company needs and requirements vary.

We’ve developed this pricing guide that details pricing types, additional costs a company needs to consider and pricing examples from well-known BI vendors.

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 was used exclusively by data analysts and IT professionals. Nowadays, any user can take advantage of BI tools, regardless of their data skillset, due to the self-service functionality. 

BI Pricing Models

Pricing for BI software can vary depending on company size, customization, types of users and deployment. It can 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 regarding 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?

Some BI solutions base their pricing on the type of users that access the software. Do you have power users (i.e., data analysts) that need full BI functionality? Or do you have users that only need to create visualizations or access reports? Before researching vendors, it’s best to have an idea of which employees require full functionality versus ones that just need specific features.

BI vendors use two popular pricing models: perpetual licensing (on-premise) and subscription hosting plans (cloud). Here’s a look at each:

Perpetual licensingBusinesses that prefer to host their own data can purchase licenses that last for the software’s lifespan. 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.  

Perpetual licenses can be an attractive option for larger businesses, businesses with complex systems or businesses that are concerned with data security. Even though you pay for any licenses and infrastructure up front, maintenance and product upgrades typically aren’t free, so you’ll have to consider IT labor costs, vendor support and potential system breakdowns in your price factors. 

Subscription hosting Businesses that don’t have the time or resources to host their own solution can consider deploying BI in the cloud. They’ll only need to pay a monthly or annual subscription cost.  

Subscription costs can include the types of features the company needs, types of BI users (power user versus view-only users), support and maintenance. Cloud-based deployment can be an attractive option for smaller businesses, as it typically costs less than an on-premise solution. 

Additional Costs To Consider

Some vendors offer implementation, support and additional services in the price. Others may require additional fees for them.

Implementation – Prices of implementation services vary by vendor and can include access to a dedicated implementation specialist, installation, software customization, data migration, database architecture, dashboard template designs and integration to other software (e.g., ERP systems). Some vendors have a staff of implementation specialists while others rely on third-party consultants.

Training – Some vendors include basic training services for free, but others offer them at an additional cost, especially if the training is done at the client’s site.

Support – Basic support (e.g., knowledge base, email support) is typically included in the price. However, some vendors offer plans that include advanced support, such as priority support or access to a dedicated customer service manager. If you opt for perpetual licensing, note that certain vendors may offer support and product upgrades for free for the first year but charge extra in the second year and beyond.

Pricing Questions To Ask a Vendor

Once you’ve compared price quotes and decided on a specific vendor, you’ll want to see a copy of the contract (also known as a Service Level Agreement). Here are some key questions to ask the vendor as you look over the agreement:  

  • What is the total cost of the solution (TCO), including all implementation, training and other fees? 
  • Are there any undisclosed costs? 
  • Are there any “evergreen” (e.g., subscription automatically renews without client approval) clauses? 
  • Do you offer partial licenses? 

Be prepared to negotiate for better pricing with the vendor. 

BI Vendor Pricing

Below, we’ve compared pricing of popular BI solutions. Note that because a vast majority of vendors prefer to provide customized pricing based on a company’s needs, public pricing information isn’t always available. You’ll need to contact them directly for a quote.

Alteryx – Alteryx offers a per-year licensing subscription that covers product updates and support. Alteryx Designer costs $5,195 per user per year, while Alteryx Server costs $58,500 per year. Additional capabilities for Alteryx Designer includes location insights dataset ($11,700 per user per year) and business insights dataset ($33,800 per user per year). Additional capabilities for the Alteryx Server include Alteryx Connect ($39,000 per year) with data discovery, sharing and collaboration, and Alteryx Promote (contact vendor for quote) with data science model management features.

Clicdata – ClicData has five pricing tiers that include various features. All plans have the ability to share live, dynamic dashboards with an unlimited audience, and can be used any way the administrator chooses (i.e., as a Named Viewer, an Editor or an Administrator). Additional named users can be added to any plan as needed. Users can also sign up for a free account or upgrade at any time. Note that each tier is based on annual billing.

The Basic tier is priced at $25 per month, while the Premium tier costs $60 per month. The Team tier costs $229 per month, the Enterprise plan is priced at $499 per month and the Dedicated plan requires a price quote.

Connexica – Connexica’s CXAIR software is licensed as a subscription on a per-user basis. Pricing for a typical starting deployment costs approximately £5K ($6,500) per year for five Full User (full functionality) and 10 View User (view-only access) licenses. Connexica offers discounts up to 70% for volume purchases, as well as competitive pricing for Enterprise deployment. Please contact the vendor directly for a quote.

Datapine – Datapine comes in four price plans depending on the scale of the organization and its degree of analytical needs. The Basic plan, intended for small businesses, costs $249 per month, while the Professional plan is priced at $499 per month. The Premium plan, aimed at mid-sized businesses with high analytical requirements, costs $799 per month. Finally, the Branded and Embedded plan costs $1,099 per month.

Since the solution is available through the cloud, there’s no initial setup fee. The vendor also offers an on-premise option with custom pricing for large enterprise businesses.

Microsoft Power BI – Power BI comes in three tiers called Desktop, Pro and Premium. The Desktop tier is free for individual users and includes reporting authoring, data modeling and other Power BI features. The Pro tier costs $9.99 per user per month and is primarily aimed at content publishers or content consumers. The Premium tier starts at $4,995 per month and is targeted to large companies that need advanced functionality and flexible deployment.

Oracle – The Oracle Foundation Suite has a per-processor license that costs $300,000. There’s an additional cost of $808 for customer support and product upgrades.

Qlik Sense – Qlik Sense offers both cloud and on-premise deployment. Its Cloud Basic plan is free, and includes access to Qlik DataMarket Free and the ability to share data with up to five users. The Cloud Business plan, intended for small teams, costs $15 per user per month. There’s also a free Desktop solution for individual users with unlimited access to data sources and Qlik Sense features.

Finally, the Enterprise version is geared toward large companies and can be deployed in the cloud or on-premise. Qlik offers server-, user- and subscription-based licensing options for the Enterprise version. However, those prices are not publicly available, so you’ll have to contact the vendor directly for a quote.

Slemma – Slemma has three pricing plans that each come with a 14-day free trial. Note that pricing is based on cloud deployment and annual billing. The Small Business plan costs $89 per month, the Standard plan costs $179 per month and the Client Reporting plan costs $539 per month.

For on-premise deployment, companies can choose to purchase the perpetual license or pay by subscription. For example, a company with 100 users can obtain a perpetual license for a one-time payment of $19,999 (including maintenance and support for the first year). Annual maintenance and support for the second year and beyond costs $3,999 per year. Companies can purchase additional user licenses for $7 per user (10-user minimum).

Tableau – Tableau’s subscription pricing strategy focuses on individual users and their data needs. Each subscription includes maintenance, product upgrades and support in one cost, so there are no surprise fees.

Tableau has three main plans. Tableau Creator is priced at $70 per user per month (billed annually). Tableau Explorer costs $35 per user per month if deployed on-premise or $42 per user per month if deployed in the cloud.  Finally, Tableau Viewer costs $12 per user per month (on-premise) and $15 per user per month (cloud).

TIBCO Cloud Spotfire – TIBCO Cloud Spotfire is available in four pricing editions. The Analyst edition ($125 per month or $1,250 per year) includes 250 GB of data storage for each analyst. The Business Author edition ($65 per month or $650 per year) comes with 100 GB of data storage.

The Consumer edition ($25 per month or $250 per year) is intended for users that want viewer-only access to the software. Companies that want to purchase this edition must also purchase one Analyst or one Business Author license. Finally, the Library Storage edition costs $25 per month or $250 per year for 25 GB of storage.

Yellowfin – Yellowfin’s suite of products is bundled into specific packages that’s based on either per user or per core server. The Data Prep package costs $120 per user (minimum of 12,000 users), the Analytics package is $600 per user (minimum of 12,000 users) and the Analytics Plus package is $900 per user (minimum of 18,000 users). The Stories packages costs $12,000 per 100 users and includes third-party Stories add-ons).

In the core server plan (which requires a minimum of four core servers), the Analytics package is $75,000, the Analytics Plus package is $111,000 and the Signals package is $75,000. The Stories package is $48,000 for a maximum of 500 users. Note that companies with only two servers can purchase the Analytics package for $37,500.

Bottom Line

BI pricing varies based on deployment, company size, types of users and features offered. While some vendors provide transparent pricing, others don’t, so you’ll need to take that into consideration. Before you research vendors, its key to know what your specific budget and requirements are for BI software.

If you’d like more information on BI software or want to compare different solutions, we’ve reviewed over 55 vendors.

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