The best Business intelligence tools (BI tools) are all about helping you understand trends and deriving insights from your data to make tactical and strategic business decisions. Picking the right tool is the key.
The business world is growing exponentially every day, which means that data analysis and decision-making have never been more difficult. BI tools can help any user make informed decisions with ease by bringing together information from across departments in an easy to understand format – without the need for bulky IT involvement!
In today’s business world, data is king. And with that comes a suite of tools to help you make your kingdom more profitable – from simple dashboard displays for trends and profitability indicators all the way up through real-time analytics in which each decision can be traced back its origins via powerful visualizations or interactive reports based on customizable parameters set by company leaders at any level imaginable (including forecasts if desired).
The Best Business Intelligence Tool for 2022 – DotNet Report Builder
DotNet Report Builder is dedicated to providing fast and simple reporting tools for visualization, dashboards, and analytics. It promises to reduce development time and let users manage their reports. Easy and intuitive Report Builder lets users choose their fields, create their filters, and even schedule their reports, freeing up your development time.
Embedding DotNet Report Builder is simple, easy, and secure. The Ad Hoc Report Builder offers many built-in features for creating reports easily for your end-users, and installing and embedding it in an existing .Net Web Application is one of the best features.
The Builder’s reporting and dashboard solution embed and integrate seamlessly into your application, allowing users to have a smooth experience accessing their data analytics, reports, and dashboards within the same web application.
Different subscription options are available, and they all start with a free trial. DotNet Report Builder provides full support and implementation help with a free trial. The team analyzes and suggests a plan according to your requirements, which you can then subscribe to and scale up as you need.
● Automatically builds relational data list for easy data filtering
● Grouped Reports come built-in with an automatic drill-down option
● Provides server-side paging and sorting using Ajax calls to avoid page overloading
● With open-source front-end code, easily add your features or make layout changes
● Advanced date filters are available
● Offers free trial
Power BI is a business analytics solution that lets you connect, model, and then explore raw data to create reports using built-in or from-scratch visuals and learn from actionable insight. It features interactive data visualizations, robust semantic models, an application lifecycle management toolkit, an open connectivity framework, etc.
Originally born from Excel as an add-on, Power BI has since grown to stand independently. It is suitable for all types of businesses at a relatively low cost. Paginated and interactive reports can be made available for personnel inside or outside your organization without purchasing additional licenses. Power BI Desktop is also free to use.
Microsoft Power BI is a strong contender in the business intelligence field. It is a good choice for customers already using Microsoft technologies like Excel but may be difficult for new users to adopt. It integrates well with other Microsoft products like Excel and Salesforce CRM, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Facebook analytics, and others.
● A robust system that grants both depth and breadth of insights with advanced analytics capabilities
● Drag-and-drop builder, customization and formatting options, and prebuilt templates tailored to different needs
● Allows automatic Excel integration and complements many ERP systems, and connects to live warehouses with ease
● No direct integration available for services like Vend POS or Shopify
● Graphical visualization is fairly limited as compared to other BI tools
● It doesn’t support SQL queries
● Comparatively difficult to work with huge data sets on Power BI
Board is a Swiss BI tool founded in 1994 as a platform for decision-making, business planning, and performance tracking. It offers an intuitive data analytics solution to build interactive dashboards, run effective analyses, and generate impactful reports by combining a self-service approach with enterprise-wide data governance.
With a programming-free toolkit, Board is a reliable tool for mid to large-sized companies helping them analyze and plan with a tailored, efficient approach, irrespective of technical skill levels. It can integrate a large amount of data, especially from CRM systems, and then centralize that information into one single View.
Board is based on a proprietary in-memory technology called Hybrid Bitwise Memory Patter (HBMP). This combines outstanding performance with full read and writes capabilities that make processes such as data visualization, simulation, and planning faster than ever. Users can generate calculated metrics such as Excel formulas and immediately use them in analysis, reports, or dashboards. Additionally, the tool offers time-based functions to perform cross-analysis or historical analysis on your dashboards easily.
● Saves time with automated processes and workflows, increasing productivity, efficiency, and speed
● Uniquely combines BI and Corporate Performance Management (CPM)
● Unifies data sources into one single logical View
● Speedy data visualizations, simulations, and planning processes
● Lacks a rich library of educational resources to train new users
● Does not produce high-quality graphics for presentation and printing
● Installing and updating add-ons is complicated
Tableau is a data visualization and analytics solution that assists enterprises in making data-driven business decisions. It blends information from various sources to deliver actionable, real-time insights. It allows data exploration via intuitive means such as drag-and-drop filtering and natural language queries, irrespective of skill levels.
With ample customization and security options, Tableau offers control over data visualization, enabling the creation of dashboards and stories that effectively convey business narratives. It automatically refreshes information from web apps, and cloud databases and supports live data queries.
Tableau pulls information from various relational, semi-structured, and raw data sources. Upon launch, ready data connectors can connect to data on-premise, stored in a file or database server, or the cloud via sources such as Google Analytics, Salesforce, or Amazon Redshift. Overall, Tableau is a feature-rich BI solution that helps companies harness the power of visual analytics with relative ease of use but may not suit all users’ needs.
● The platform is intuitive and user friendly
● Excels at data storytelling, turning raw data into visually appealing, customizable graphs and charts
● Quick response times from the support team and frequent updates
● BI functionality allows the team to dig deeper for specific information
● Tableau Server does not support data encryption
● Cannot restore individual customer workbooks or data lost due to events other than system failure
● Only site administrators, not end-users, can enable or disable alerts
● Provides predictive analytics but doesn’t allow users to customize the predictive analytics algorithm
Quick View is one of the BI applications offered by Qlik as part of its data analytics platform focused on rapid development and guided analytics applications and dashboards. It’s built on an Associative Engine that allows data discovery without using query-based tools, eliminating the risk of data loss and inaccurate results.
Qlik View’s built from the ground up to be affordable, scalable, and adaptable. It can ingest data from diverse sources like big data streams, file-based data, and on-premise or cloud data. It is well-known for its data associations and relationship functionality, keeping data in context automatically.
This BI tool fosters a data-driven culture by empowering employees to share data and insights directly or outside the platform. You can monitor and track employee performance using KPI dashboards across organizations and analyze changes in empirical data and make decisions to capitalize the profits.
● Connect to almost any data source, i.e., cloud, big data, file-based, and on-premise data
● Spot anomalies and outliers by requesting context-aware alerts
● Facilitate collaboration for users to share the same dashboard
● Offer interactive displays and represent data in multiple visualizations
● Extract data from multiple social networking sites and web-based sources using web APIs
● It does not support online analytical processing (OLAP)
● Users cannot predict the profitability of projects or departments
● It does not help users identify patterns within data
● Lacks ad hoc reporting functionality
● It does not allow users to schedule receiving BI reports in a particular format at specific times.
Looker is one of the best business intelligence tools and data visualization platforms for companies with an existing data analytics team. It is a web-based analytics solution that offers businesses the ability to explore, discover, visualize and share data insights. With its scalability and data accessibility, Looker makes a stellar solution that can align departments and provide thousands of users access to data insights.
Looker is a forerunner in the business intelligence field for a reason. It generates reports that include easy sharing via a link, automatic scheduling, and a level of granular detail that allows for a deeper analysis below the surface. It excels in its filter and drill-down features and creates unique URLs when users make data changes, leading to enhanced sharing.
Using a simple proprietary modeling language, Looker helps define data relationships while bypassing SQL. It facilitates data literacy and accessibility, irrespective of technical skill levels. It has prebuilt codes for building data analytics models with customizable code blocks.
● Real-time updates to dashboards and other visualizations
● Create live connections to over 35 SQL databases through a code-based virtual query-time schema
● It uses local databases, so there is no need to rely on parallel data pipelines
● It can deploy into third-party solutions like a CRM or ERP
● Creates custom dashboards to reflect specific KPIs as per the business’ specific needs
● Setting up the platform is difficult, with integrations not being as plug-and-play.
● Slow to render certain queries and often takes a while to load
● Limited in customization while some features are too complex to use
● A tough tool to pick up as a beginner with a lack of programming language
Apache Spark is an open-source unified analytics software for distributed, rapid processing. It distributes data across clusters in real-time to produce market-leading speeds. It is rising in popularity in the space, catching up to its sister-offering, Hadoop, because of its quicker speeds and specific focus on optimizing processing performance and ability to stream data.
It enables insights to develop quickly through advanced processing techniques, including interactive data processing, distributed databases, in-memory processing to enable real-time data streaming, and sophisticated analytics like machine learning.
Spark Streaming is an extension that allows for a continuous data flow, enabling real-time analytics. It receives live data in a stream that it partitions into batches before sending it to the Spark Engine for processing through a high-level abstraction called discretized stream.
Because it is open-source, a vast community constantly adds extensions and API to the core software. Spark can connect to virtually every mainstream data source, big data solution, warehouse/lake, or visualization program. If the connector does not already exist, it could likely be developed.
● Prebuilt APIs make connections to datasets and third-party analytics components easier to execute
● It functions stand-alone or can be integrated into most mainstream big data systems.
● It recovers operator state and lost work out-of-the-box, without the need for software extensions.
● An extensive community props it up to develop extensions and offer support.
● Security is defaulted to off, potentially meaning deployments are vulnerable to attack.
● Backward compatibility is not supported in newer versions
● A caching algorithm must be manually set up
● In-memory processing occupies a large amount of memory.
TIBCO Spotfire is a complete business intelligence and data discovery platform that can perform various functions, including in-depth analysis and robust visual reporting, all powered by artificial intelligence. It offers data streaming technology, which can support insights with AI, big data integration, integration with the Internet of things (IoT), and more.
TIBCO Spotfire is suitable for large organizations while scaling well to small organizations, making the software flexible and keeping users in control of their data. Built with the individual analyst in mind, Spotfire desktop handles insights and data discovery versus an analyst deriving their insights from intel.
It comes equipped with advanced predictive analytics tools that help enterprises stay agile in a constantly evolving business space. Spotfire is tailored to non-technical users and lets them combine geographical data, big data, and more to solve complex problems. The Tibco Spotfire community churns out e-learning courses, wiki entries, and freely distributed dashboards for businesses to utilize.
● Utilize geocoding, reverse geocoding, and multi-layered maps right out-of-the-box
● Create interactive dashboards and integrate with the IoT, social messaging, and more
● It is easy to find data with an intuitive UI and its visual analytics capabilities.
● Automatically find data outliers, deficits, and discrepancies, and analyzes data.
● The system can crash while extracting large volumes of data
● The user interface is not intuitive and straightforward
● It is not suitable for small datasets
● Lacks proper documentation capabilities
Oracle Analytics Cloud
Oracle has spent several years bulking out its Oracle Analytics Cloud offering, launched in 2014 as an outgrowth of its flagship Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition suite. In 2020, it added a Cloud HCM offering to provide self-service workforce analytics to HR executives, analysts, and line-of-business leaders.
Oracle Analytics Cloud is an AI-powered solution that provides robust reporting and analytics features to businesses. It offers tailored responses to queries made in the personalized search feature, which can answer users’ specific business questions.
It automatically generates natural language explanations of results to explain visualizations and trends. Users can receive guidance from chatbots across datasets to improve data literacy, allowing non-technical users to interact intimately with data.
It makes accurate predictions and forecasts through what-if modeling, using a native multidimensional analysis engine called Oracle Essbase to develop complex business models. You can share content in real-time with other employees, shareholders, contractors, and more with collaboration features.
● GUI and intuitiveness of the platform are user-friendly
● Offers mobile compatibility and super-solid reporting
● Its drill-down and filter functionalities make it a hit
● The system autonomously identifies patterns and trends through machine learning algorithms
● Expensive for small enterprises
● Technical support is slow to respond
● Constant updates invite bugs, and some of these errors are difficult to resolve
SAP BusinessObjects is a business intelligence platform designed for comprehensive reporting, analysis, and data visualization. They provide Office integrations with Excel and PowerPoint, where you can create live presentations and hybrid analytics that connects to their on-premises and cloud SAP systems.
SAP’s analytics applications and data visualization focus on self-service capabilities, similar to other tools, where you can build your role-based dashboards and applications to assess risks.
Reporting and analysis are done with ad hoc queries and a complex BI enterprise reporting system designed to guide a business’s overall strategy. Users can create a cross-enterprise sharing functionality to communicate their findings with other stakeholders and partners.
Multidimensional data analysis enables users to filter and manipulate data with real-time analytics when connecting with SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) or SAP HANA. Using Microsoft Excel with SAP allows you to analyze larger volumes of data and embed analytics in PowerPoint, making this solution easily integrated with Office.
● Highly customizable and offers comprehensive integration capabilities
● Integrates and connects seamlessly with other SAP tools through built-in APIs
● Can handle the largest, most complex data sets for any size enterprise
● Create a variety of intuitive visualizations from data, making patterns and trends more apparent
● Extensive analysis functions are rarely usable without additional user training.
● The costs for the individual modules are relatively high
● Comparatively few feature updates are offered