Integrating business intelligence software into your company is an excellent start if you want to make more informed use of organizational data. We’ve created this guide detailing five of the best business intelligence tools available in 2020 if you want to maximize your organization’s growth.
The Value Business Intelligence Tools Can Offer Your Business
Business intelligence tools are used by executives, managers, and other employees to make well-informed organizational decisions and benefit from the variety of ways data analysis can enhance processes and scalability.
BI tools replace what can be a frustrating and time-consuming process of manually creating reports. Oftentimes, this data is presented as a data dashboard, which makes it simple for people to visualize data as opposed to merely conceptualizing it.
The time an employee would spend planning, designing, constructing, and entering data for a report could be used drawing conclusions, recognizing patterns or trends, and making actionable decisions based on the findings the tool put together for the user. This equates to spending less time putting together pieces of information and more time focusing on taking action.
Some organizations use BI programs to track metrics such as key performance indicators and customer behaviors so individuals, teams, and businesses can learn from trends and other findings.
Whatever your position in the workplace may be, your performance – and the accomplishments of those around you – can be linked to the use of organizational resources. While performance management is determined by a variety of factors, business intelligence tools can help determine the roots of frustration, lack of productivity, places of inefficiency, and more. The tools ultimately help to identify and resolve problems within the company.
Arguably the greatest value business intelligence tools can offer an organization is the ability to track performance and identify the steps it will take to achieve goals. Data-driven decision making helps the company learn and advance because insights can be leveraged, thus creating a competitive advantage among other benefits.
Aspects to Consider When Choosing a Business Intelligence Platform
When considering a tool for the business to use, integration capabilities, pricing, customization options, and more are often researched, which is why Gartner distributes a report detailing the key differentiators of popular business intelligence platforms.
The Gartner Report is used as a reference by analytics and data leaders who are interested in learning about the reception of the product(s) that are in use at their place of business, as well as about potential alternatives.
The following categories of capabilities are assessed by the aforementioned professionals to analyze business intelligence tools based upon their positioning on the Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms, which is illustrated in the Gartner Report:
- Data management
- Analysis and content creation
- Sharing of findings
- Overall platform
When creating the list of pros and cons for the five BI platforms below, we relied on The Gartner Report, BI tool review sites, and the platforms’ websites themselves for information.
Each of the tools listed below are located within the ‘Leaders’ quadrant; they are delivering tech that outperforms the competition through execution, innovation, and more.
The Best BI tools to Use in 2020
We are reviewing the following business intelligence platforms to help you determine the best BI tool for your company to use in 2020: Power BI, Tableau, Qlik, ThoughtSpot, and Sisense.
Known as one of the most popular BI tools, this program is ideal for companies of all sizes. Power BI was initially released by Microsoft in 2014, and has since been used to gather and interpret information by millions of people.
- Customer support
- Mobile app and desktop availability
- Value for money
- Growing customer base
- Part of the Microsoft Analytics Platform System
- Lacks interactive mapping
- Difficult to extend application functions
- Must use Azure
Another major business intelligence product is Tableau, which is a data visualization company that was founded in 2003. The platform is known for its wide range of visualization capabilities, which aid in data discovery and insight processes for businesses of all sizes.
- Data blending capabilities
- Comprehensive online guides, forums, and training
- Highly interactive and intuitive interface for data preparation, data discovery, and self-service analytics
- Ease of use for business end users
- Stunning data visualization features
- Easy sharing capabilities
- Expensive to license
- Limited functionality for the free version
- Lacks scheduling and notification abilities
This data discovery and visualization platform was one of the earliest business intelligence tools available for public use. The first version of QlikView came out in 1994, which is only six years after business intelligence was conceptualized.
The company has released two products: QlikView and QlikSense. There are many differences between the platforms, as they perform different functions, which is why one is not a replacement for another. Arguably the main differentiator to note is that QlikView concentrates on the user as the data recipient.
- Highly interactive dashboards
- Large-scale system of record reporting
- Associative and fast in-memory engine
- Enterprise-level reporting abilities
- One of the most expensive platforms to use
- Reporting on email
- Must be a skilled developer to understand
ThoughtSpot is a self-service BI tool that can be used to replace a business’ general reporting processes. Thanks to its strong search and data analytics functionalities, medium-sized businesses, as well as enterprises, can learn from company information in a timely manner.
The AI-powered analytics platform is rapidly becoming a popular option as a business intelligence tool; it was founded in 2012 and has garnered the attention of thousands of users since the product’s release.
- SpotIQ uses your usage history to reveal further insights
- Unlimited data scaling
- Organized user interface
- Fast search results for large data sets
- Extract, transform, load procedure isn’t simplified
- Graph options aren’t as flexible as other platforms
- Customer support can be lacking
This tool is positioned slightly outside of the leaders quadrant, but we believe it’s appropriate to include based upon its close proximity to the leaders quadrant and the business’ growth rate.
- A focus on small and medium-sized businesses
- Supportive customer service
- Great for non-technical users
- Embed entire dashboards or widgets
- Data unification
- Navigation and filtering is difficult
- Managing the ElastiCube
- Limited amount of widgets to use compared to other platforms
Learn from Your Data with Business Intelligence Software
The five data visualization platforms we highlighted have pros and cons. The best way to determine which tool is best for your business to use is by trying them out yourself. Many of the products mentioned offer free trials, so check them out today!
Bryan, our associate vice president of business development and projects, has worked with a variety of business intelligence tools and can offer you guidance and technical assistance with your organization’s project. Give him a call at (469)656-5022 to learn how self-service reporting can save your company time and money, or visit us online to request your free business intelligence consultation.