Best Business Intelligence Software Tools

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Business Intelligence Tools Buyer's Guide

Last updated on October 6th, 2020
Business Intelligence Software Is All About Discovering Insights

BI Tools Buyer's Guide

Business intelligence is the key to unleashing the full value of your enterprise data. As the name would indicate, BI focuses on helping businesses operate more intelligently. Arguably some of the most widely implemented enterprise solutions, business intelligence tools help users derive actionable insights from their data that can empower better decision making. When used effectively, BI solutions can increase productivity, visualize important information, streamline and improve processes and give companies a competitive edge.

This buyer’s guide provides a crash course on how to find the perfect BI platform for your business. You’ll learn about what benefits BI can offer, which features to look for and how to narrow down a list of capabilities that your specific organization requires. After covering the basics, we’ll give you some methods and tools you can employ throughout your BI tools comparison and selection process. Let’s get started.

Executive Summary

  • Empower organization-wide data literacy, data-driven decision making and improved operational efficiency with BI.
  • In order to accomplish implementation goals, BI software buyers need to create a list of requirements.
  • BI solutions offer core features like data visualization and reporting, as well as more advanced capabilities like data mining for more complex operations.
  • The BI market is trending towards cloud-based tools, but on-premise deployments are here to stay.
  • Augmented analytics is the future of BI.
  • Preparing a list of questions to ask yourself and vendors can help you narrow down your options.

What is Business Intelligence Software?

BI tools collect, organize, visualize and analyze data accumulated through business operations to highlight trends and patterns. They import and blend data from disparate sources, converting it into intuitive visualizations and dashboards that non-technical users can easily interpret. Users can take the insights generated by BI software and turn them into decisions that influence key metrics.

BI is an umbrella term that encompasses many other categories of software, including business analytics, enterprise reporting, big data analytics, visual analytics and embedded analytics.

Deployment Methods

Nowadays, business intelligence software vendors offer a variety of deployment methods that cater to the diverse needs and infrastructures of today’s business market. Customers can choose between on-premise installation, cloud-based deployment or a hybrid combination of the two. While many businesses are leaning towards adopting cloud-based systems, it’s important to determine which deployment method fits your company’s needs best. Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of both:

Business Intelligence Software Deployment Methods

On-Premise

Installed directly onto hardware that your business owns and maintains, on-premise deployment offers several advantages:

Benefits
  • No Connection Required: Because on-premise systems don’t rely on internet connections, an interruption in internet service won’t affect your BI solution.
  • Improved Security: All of your crucial data is kept on site, meaning that your valuable business information is less likely to be exposed, as your systems are less likely to be targeted in hacking attacks. Your business can adjust the security measures to your particular needs and have better control over auditing.
  • Guaranteed Maintenance: The business manages all of the hardware and systems, with total flexibility in expanding storage, planned downtime, maintenance and upgrades, as well as data backups and contingency plans.
  • Single Payment to Own: The cost of deploying on-premise BI solutions are limited to a one-time, lump-sum payment for a perpetual license, as opposed to a recurring subscription to a service whose price may increase over time.
Limitations
  • Difficult Implementation: Deployment on an on-premise BI tool is a hands-on, time-consuming process. It can take days, or even months, to get your BI software integrated and running, not to mention the need to train employees on how to use it.
  • IT Resources Necessary: You’ll need staff to implement, maintain and fix your systems and hardware. If any technical issues arise, you’ll have to manage them with your IT department, with no guaranteed support from the BI vendor. You’ll also require a server room or space to keep your hardware.
  • Higher Cost of Entry: Not only do you need to pay for the BI solution, usually by buying a costly perpetual license, you also need to pay for the hardware and infrastructure necessary to run it. That’s money in the hole, a significant investment that not every company can or wants to make before they see any ROI.
  • Hard to Scale: Everytime your business grows, you’ll have to sink valuable resources into scaling, including cost, personnel and time. Keeping up with the latest BI trends and updating your system will be your responsibility as well.

On-premise deployments, while still favored by many companies, are becoming less popular, especially as mobile workforces and remote teams are on the rise.

Cloud-Based

In contrast, cloud-based deployments store, manage and process information on public or private cloud servers hosted on the Internet. This infrastructure offers unique advantages of its own:

Benefits
  • Painless Implementation: What used to take months now takes days or even hours; integrating and deploying a cloud-based BI tool means that users can get their hands on the new tool much faster.
  • Scalability: Most cloud-based BI vendors allow customers to adjust, add or remove features and storage to their plans, allowing for ease and flexibility in scaling up or down as needed.
  • Always Accessible: When data is in the cloud, users can reach it anytime, anywhere, without needing to connect to an on-site server. Web-accessible BI solutions enable users to collaborate by sharing links instead of huge files.
  • Lower Cost of Entry: Cloud-based BI software often features monthly or annual subscription-based pricing plans, which allows smaller businesses to adopt BI without making a massive investment in capital.
  • Inclusive Service: When purchasing a SaaS BI tool, as the name would suggest, you’re not only paying for the software, but also the service. Vendors who provide cloud-based BI tools are responsible for maintaining the platform’s infrastructure, updates and resources; this allows your IT teams to focus on other tasks instead of server maintenance.

However, the cloud isn’t right for everyone. Consider these limitations:

Limitations
  • Security: Trusting the cloud with your proprietary data, which may include trade secrets, finances or other similarly private information, might not be a choice you’re comfortable making, especially as even tightly secured cloud-based systems can be susceptible to hacking.
  • Connectivity Issues: Having access to data wherever you have internet is great, but on the flip side of the coin, whenever you lose your internet connection, your connection to data will also be severed. The cloud isn’t perfect, and any lags or connectivity problems mean performance issues for your users.
  • Costs Add Up: A lower monthly payment sounds nice, but those costs can stack up quickly. The more licenses, modules and upgrades you need to purchase, the greater your monthly payment becomes.
  • Reliance on a Third Party: No matter what provider you choose, purchasing from a third party means that your access to data depends on their servers. If those go down, even temporarily, it can greatly affect your business.

Hybrid

Another option is a hybrid environment, which combines the flexibility and scalability of cloud BI with the security of on-premises solutions. Hybrid deployments can provide a best-of-both-worlds BI solution for companies looking to scale quickly, while still being mindful of security risks and maintenance costs.

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Benefits

Benefits of BI Tools

While data connectivity, data management, reporting, data visualization, dashboarding and more are all essential features of BI tools that translate into tangible results, the true benefits of BI extend far beyond that. Implementing a BI solution enables users all throughout your company to:

Empower Organization-Wide Data Literacy

BI software revolutionizes how companies access insights. Instead of needing a specific IT team for analysis and reporting, companies can now implement business intelligence software that allow everyone to log in and quickly run ad-hoc reports, analyze their KPIs at a glance and share their findings with ease. Business intelligence transforms the world of data from highly technical, exclusive spaces to accessible BI platforms that anyone and everyone can utilize to get data-based answers to their questions. When all users are comfortable working with data, it not only allows employees at all levels of an organization to make data-driven decisions but also relieves the burden on IT departments, allowing them to focus on more strategic efforts.

Make Better Decisions

Everyone wants to make the decisions that will have the most impact on business, and BI is all about empowering users to do just that. Through real-time analysis, reporting, forecasting, predictive and prescriptive analysis, BI tools deliver actionable insights that guide businesses in improving their decision making. Companies can greatly increase operational efficiency and on-the-fly decision-making in this way, especially when users all throughout the organization have information at their fingertips. Business and the decisions tied to it are no longer confined to the office, and neither is BI. An excellent business intelligence platform will be compatible across all devices, including iOS and Android smartphones, tablets, and laptops, either through a native mobile app or responsive web design. Users should be able to remotely access most, if not all, business intelligence software from any network they are connected to.

See the Bigger Picture

Business intelligence software connects to and integrates with a plethora of data sources, and with big data and data mining, they can pull massive amounts of information from virtually anywhere for analysis, granting organizations the ability to get the most complete look at their business and operations possible. Another way that BI helps businesses literally see the bigger picture is through data visualizations that transform information into rich graphics that summarize metrics in an easily understandable snapshot format. Tables have their place in business reporting, but interactive data combined with useful and interesting visuals make information more consumable and actionable. Trends and connections that may go unnoticed in traditional reports can now be discovered with BI tools.

Find Answers Independently

When users have specific business questions, such as “How can I reduce my operating expenses?” or “Are we on track to meet our sales objectives this quarter?” - BI can help them find the answers. Through ad-hoc inquiries and analysis, interactive dashboards, filters and more, self-service business intelligence allows end users to design, deploy and publish their own reports and analyses. Because users have access to data anytime and anywhere through BI tools, they can leverage that data at will to tackle their individual problems and challenges efficiently without depending on resource-drained analysts and IT departments.

Anticipate the Future

Businesses don’t need crystal balls to see the future; all they need are BI solutions that have powerful predictive analytics features like forecasting, budgeting, scenario modeling, regression analysis, advanced statistical functionality and segmentation. With these tools, companies can simulate outcomes based on specific variables and use data modeling, statistical analysis and other mathematical functions to depict “what-if” scenarios and navigate potential obstacles.

Another way that modern BI tools help businesses prepare for the future is through augmented analytics. Machine learning algorithms that get smarter as they learn from your data as well as artificial intelligence that can prescribe advice on how to handle potential situations help businesses stay proactive, managing risks before they manifest and mitigating consequences should they arise.

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Implementation Goals

When looking to make a purchase in BI software, it’s important to set goals to ensure successful implementation. While we’re providing some ideas for your own list of implementation goals, these will vary from business to business, depending on specific needs. To set your own implementation goals, we recommend conducting an internal evaluation of your current projects, resources and processes.

Goal 1

Integrate Seamlessly With Existing Systems

Connect to all existing and future data sources and technologies, combining and centralizing information from all different areas of the company. This provides businesses with a more holistic, complete view of their business.

Goal 2

Organize and Visualize Data

Translate data into graphs, charts and maps, among other graphics. When compiled into a dashboard or report, data is presented in a format that is shareable and easy to understand for all viewers, including stakeholders and executives.

Goal 3

Discover Deeper Insights

Analyze your data and interpret it into meaningful findings. Users can dig deeper to find the answers to their questions, through drill-down, sort and filter options. BI software goes beyond the numbers to add value to your data.

Goal 4

Make Better Decisions

Guide data-driven decision making. With the insights provided by BI software, your teams have the tools and resources to make more accurate, impactful decisions.

Goal 5

Stay Ahead of the Competition

Be proactive, not reactive. With real-time insights, predictive and prescriptive analytics, as well as AI and machine learning, modern BI should help you stay ahead of everyone else, including your own potential outcomes.

When evaluating business intelligence software, keeping implementation goals in mind will help you decide which features are required to accomplish those goals.

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Basic Features & Functionality

Constructing a requirements list will provide a framework for determining which BI solution is the best fit for your company’s needs. While BI software vendors often advertise the newest, shiniest features they have to offer, identifying your basic functional requirements first sets a sound foundation for your software selection search.

Data Connectivity BI helps companies maximize the wealth of their data through data connectors and integrations. BI tools integrate with databases, datasets, files and systems of many varieties, whether in the cloud, in other platforms or on-premises, to ensure that they can analyze information from all sources.
Data Preparation Importing data is one thing, but turning it into something useful is another. BI software pulls, combines, transforms and stores data in ways that provide an accessible, single source of truth for all data analysis.
User Experience Data analytics may already be off-putting to many professionals, which is why choosing business intelligence tools that are not dependent on your IT department is crucial. Unless you are willing to employ a programming specialist whose only job is to run your BI software or you have a surplus of coders, it is best to invest in a software that gives the user full access without the knowledge of a programming language. BI software that ensures a smooth, consistently user-friendly experience across all devices and operating systems enables faster, more effective user adoption throughout an organization.
Data Visualization Users can design charts, graphs and visual aids that convert data into easy-to-understand insights. They can choose from various types of visualizations - like bar charts, pie charts, histograms, scatter plots and more - and customize these according to their preferences. Many tools also offer templates or auto-charting. Data visualization allows BI users to turn their data into narratives that others can easily consume and utilize.
Interactive Dashboards Digital dashboards are essential BI tools that bring together graphs and charts on a single part to provide a graphical summary of an organization’s current status and historical trends. Dashboards can be specialized, providing information about a certain facet of your business, or they can be generalized, giving your high-level executives a quick overview to facilitate their decision-making. With a configurable and real-time dashboard you can ensure the KPIs and metrics you reference frequently are always readily available. Users can often share dashboards with others to communicate information quickly and easily.
Reporting The best BI tools provide their users with plenty of options for generating reports that organize historical data to show how their business is performing at any time. As a prerequisite step to analysis, reporting collects and presents information in a way that users can see and understand their data, as well as act on it. BI tools with ad hoc reporting allow all users to create, design, edit and share their own reports, extracting relevant insights at will.
Accessibility Nearly half of all enterprises globally host their analytics on the cloud, as of 2020. Why is that? A major reason is greater accessibility. Hosting from the cloud not only allows users to stream data 24/7, but enables access from multiple devices and opens the door for mobile support and producing reports that can be effectively delivered to any device. The priority of velocity no longer applies to just the production of information, but access to it as well.
Security Every decent business intelligence solution will have security features like permissions parameters that executives or department leaders can set. This ensures that sensitive data cannot be accessed, transmitted or modified by any unauthorized personnel. Security and user administration, at a minimum, needs to include role-based authentication, support for selective workflow and resource assignments, and administrative control over auditing and traceability. Security also needs to include advanced authentication and verification techniques, as well as full backups of all data on a regular basis.
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Advanced Features & Functionality

While not offered by every vendor, these advanced features are worth considering if your company has specific needs in terms of data analysis, accessibility and scalability. As they can greatly enhance and deepen the level of insights that a BI tool can deliver, take a look and see if these are features that your organization should include on your requirements list.

Data Mining Data mining is the technological advancement that makes BI solutions possible. The term refers to the process of computationally uncovering patterns and trends in large data sets that could not be analyzed by human effort. Particularly helpful for enterprises with massive blocks of big data, data mining accelerates many of the repetitive data preparation and data modeling processes in analytics.
Data Warehousing A data warehouse is a central repository for all or significant parts of the data an enterprise’s various business systems collect. Data warehouses are distinguished from databases in that they are dedicated to analytics, rather than the basic transactional queries that a traditional database would support. It is important you make sure the BI applications you are evaluating can accommodate the amount of data you anticipate storing.
Scalability and Extensibility If you’re investing in a BI solution, you don’t want it to be obsolete in a year. BI should be scalable — plan to implement software that will last at least ten years. As your technology tools and business needs are always evolving, your company needs business intelligence software that can accommodate these changes without interrupting the flow of business. A scalable BI platform can handle a growing workload by adding extra resources. Software that is extensible can add new features through coding or development. A good BI provider is one that frequently updates its existing platform and provides options for businesses to expand as they grow.
Embedded Analytics Embedded analytics allows a BI solution to be embedded into other kinds of software, extending analytical capabilities to a third-party platform. It integrates insights within an existing non-BI application through APIs and connectors. Embeddability is particularly valuable for software vendors looking to add insights to their offering without building an in-house analytics tool from scratch.
Natural Language Processing and Query Natural language processing (NLP) serves as a kind of translator that facilitates conversations between humans and machines. It allows users to ask questions in the same way they might address a colleague, receiving an answer in the form of a visualization or an explanation written through natural language generation (NLG). This makes insights more accessible to non-technical users.
Machine Learning and AI Artificial intelligence is becoming a new norm in BI as more and more vendors add and improve upon their augmented analytics technologies. Machine learning algorithms are pushing the boundaries of analytics to places they’ve never reached before. Automation is speeding up how humans analyze data, and modern BI solutions can return deeper, more valuable insights without human bias.
Mobile As the mobility of business all over the world increases, so does the need to make decisions on-the-go. Many BI solutions have a native mobile app or responsive web design, allowing users to log in and retrieve insights from anywhere, at any time, from any device.
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Current Trends

Business Intelligence Trends

Proactive Over Reactive

While traditional, historical reporting explains “what happened,” modern BI looks to explain “why did it happen?” With advanced analytics and augmented analytics, we can now take a closer look at “what might happen?” and “what can we do about it?” BI software is moving away from historical reporting and towards forecasting and predictive analytics, shifting business decisions from reactive to proactive in nature. In addition, data proactivity means that as BI tools get smarter, instead of users going to find information, information will come and find users, bringing the answers directly to them.

Cloud-Based Tools

Across all industries, more and more businesses are looking to the cloud, with 54% of enterprises saying that cloud BI is either critical or very important to their current and future initiatives, according to Dresner Advisory Services’ 2020 Cloud Computing and Business Intelligence Market Study.

Importance of Cloud BI Software

We discussed earlier a few of the reasons why cloud-based solutions are attractive: lower capital investment and maintenance costs, greater flexibility and scalability as well as accessibility from the web. While not a one-size-fits-all solution, cloud-based BI tools are here to stay and grow in the years to come.

Augmented Analytics: AI + BI

BI is becoming increasingly intuitive and predictive. NLP and NLG make insights accessible to users of all technical skill levels, while machine learning algorithms deliver more relevant, personalized answers over time. With significant speed in data analysis processes, ML-enabled BI helps users make better decisions by analyzing past trends to make educated guesses about the future, as well as unearth potentially unknown or unconsidered relationships. Machine learning and AI will improve the way that users interact with BI tools, while leaving decision-making in the reliable hands of humans.

Commitment to a Data-Driven Culture

More and more businesses empowered with BI are seeking to commit to a data-driven culture, in which all employees and teams are involved in BI, integrating insights into the workflows. As BI software becomes more user-friendly, this growth is encouraging a more knowledgeable workforce that isn’t afraid to engage in data discovery. Businesses should look to invest in aligning all employees with their overarching priorities and goals, while educating everyone on how to use BI to accomplish those objectives. As more and more users become data-literate, BI platforms will also feature improved collaboration tools that allow for shared analytical experiences.

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How To Begin Your Software Comparison

With so many features and vendors to consider, choosing the right BI solution among hundreds of options may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. It all starts with outlining a clear series of objectives that encompass the core strengths of your business and laying down a solid framework based on your company’s needs.

We have some great resources to help you get started.You can gather your requirements into a checklist with our BI requirements template and then select and compare vendors against those requirements with a personalized scorecard and our in-depth BI software comparison report.

Cost & Pricing Considerations

When evaluating BI software, it’s important to keep your company’s budget in mind. Pricing depends on a variety of factors, including the deployment strategy, the number and type of user licenses required, as well as the modules and add-ons purchased. You can also consider support options and packages, if those are necessary. You should always carefully evaluate the cost of a BI solution before you buy it, either on the vendor’s site or by requesting it from the vendor themselves.You can also get our free BI pricing guide that will help you determine which top vendors align with your budget.

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The Best Business Intelligence Software

Navigating the inundated market of BI solutions can be overwhelming. Check out our BI leaderboard, curated by the SelectHub analyst team; this list ranks the top performers today based on how well they deliver on the most essential requirements.

BI Tools Leaderboard

Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a data analytics business intelligence software that derives business insights through reporting, data mining, data visualization and dashboarding. Its user-friendly interface simplifies data integrations, dashboard design and report generation. Originally born from Excel as an add-on, it now stands on its own as a fully-fledged BI platform that can fulfill the requirements of small businesses to large enterprises.

Power BI Mobile

Oracle Analytics Cloud

This AI-powered BI platform from Oracle provides robust reporting and data analytics, all from the convenience and availability of the cloud. Oracle Analytics Cloud prepares and analyzes data for trends, then turns that data into intuitive visualizations for users to explore and share. Its augmented analytics capabilities make actionable insights accessible for users of all technical skill levels.

Oracle Analytics Cloud

MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy is a data analytics BI platform that empowers organizations of all sizes with the intelligence necessary to make better decisions. It allows users to customize data visualizations and build personalized real-time dashboards. Due to its ease of use and scalability, it stands out as a leader in the enterprise analytics field.

Microstrategy Trends

Spotfire

TIBCO Spotfire is a comprehensive business intelligence and data discovery platform that provides in-depth analysis, colorful dashboards and robust reporting. Built to handle the needs of large enterprises, it delivers insights designed with the individual analyst in mind. Through advanced predictive analytics, users can stay on top of the future, wrangle data with ease and solve tough business problems.

TIBCO Spotfire

SAS Visual Analytics

SAS Visual Analytics provides quick answers to complex questions by pulling information from datasets of all sizes. Users of all technical skill levels gain visibility into insights through guided exploration, interactive dashboards, smart visualizations and self-service analytics. Built on a cohesive in-memory architecture, it promotes intelligent action driven by insight.

SAS Visual Analytics

To learn more about this shortlist and see how different features of these industry leaders compare, check out our in-depth BI software comparison matrix.

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Questions to Ask Yourself

Questions to Ask About BI Tools

Selecting a business intelligence solution is a unique process for each organization, and what works best for one business may be totally wrong for another. To make matters worse, there are countless vendors on the market, each offering unique BI platforms. Fortunately, SelectHub is here to help. Ask yourself these questions as a starting point to properly evaluate BI tools in the context of your organization and its needs:

What challenges do you face now?

  • If you have a BI solution in place, what are you hoping to improve upon compared to your current system? If you don’t have one, what do you hope to gain by implementing business intelligence software?
  • What are your company’s current and future priorities?
  • Who will use the system and what are their must-have and nice-to-have features?
  • What problems are your users seeking to solve with your current BI platform or current lack of one?
  • What’s your budget? Are you overpaying for your current BI solution?
  • Do you have a lot of time to dedicate to using the BI tool to find your own answers, or would you prefer a tool that monitors your data for you and delivers regular alerts?

What kinds of technology do you or will you use?

  • What are your current business needs for a database? Are you expecting growth in future years, which will require your business intelligence software to be scalable?
  • What kind of database systems do you need to integrate with, e.g. SQL Server, MySQL, Amazon database servers, etc.?
  • How many users and data sources do you anticipate now and in the future, and what will the volume and complexity of the data be?
  • What devices will the business intelligence system need to run on throughout your company?
  • How will the system integrate with your current or future technologies?
  • How important is it that your BI tool has a native mobile application to keep users in the loop on-the-go?

How will the BI platform perform once deployed?

  • What does the business intelligence software offer in terms of collaboration, modeling and visualization features?
  • Will the BI platform be easy to use for technical and non-technical users alike?
  • How well will it replace or improve upon the functionalities of any existing BI solutions you have?
  • How much customization do you expect your business intelligence system will require before installation?
  • Do you have IT resources to help with deployment?
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Questions to Ask Vendors

Vendor comparison based on requirements is a crucial component of the software selection process. Having a conversation with potential vendors can illuminate whether or not they satisfy your requirements. These conversations may include discussion of features and deployment options, as well as the chance to ask questions about how the business intelligence software and vendor can benefit your business.

Does the tool offer robust data integrations?

  • Does the BI platform connect to “XYZ data source that we use”?
  • Does the platform work with data warehouses?
  • How does it blend and prepare data for analysis?

How does the tool visually express data?

  • What's the workflow for creating a new dashboard and populating it with metrics and KPIs?
  • What kinds of visualizations can users create?
  • Are dashboards interactive with filters and drill-downs?
  • Are there pre-built templates available?
  • Can the tool deliver reports and dashboards easily understandable by business users, stakeholders and executives of your organization?
  • How can users share or collaborate on dashboards?

How will the BI tool grow with my business?

  • How scalable is your infrastructure?
  • What are the limitations on data capacity?
  • What upgrades are possible?
  • How easy is it to scale up or down?

Can users access data anytime, anywhere?

  • Is there a mobile app? If so, what devices are supported?
  • Is there a seamless user experience across all devices?
  • What features are and aren’t supported on mobile devices?
  • Is there offline data access?
  • Is there real-time access to data? If not, how regularly does data update?

What does the implementation process look like?

  • What support or training do you provide before, during and after installation?
  • Who are we able to contact if we encounter issues during implementation and what is the response time?
  • How long will implementation take, approximately?

How often does the vendor update their BI platform?

  • How often does the vendor release updates for the application?
  • Is there a continuous stream of new features and periodic updates to guarantee greater value over time from our investment?
  • How closely does the vendor consider user feedback in designing updates?

How does the vendor ensure customer success?

  • How will the vendor assist in user adoption?
  • What training options, documentation and resources are available to help end users learn how the business intelligence software works? Are they free and easy to understand?
  • How dedicated to customer support is the BI software provider? What support avenues do they offer (phone, live chat, email, ticket system, community forum, dedicated customer success representative)?
  • Are there on-site services included?
  • Does the vendor have a service-level agreement (SLA) that lays out the metrics by which service is measured?

In Conclusion

Choosing a business intelligence software provider is a task that should be given the utmost consideration. This buyer’s guide is meant to serve as a starting point to guide IT professionals who are tasked with making this decision in finding the top BI solution for their needs.

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Einstein Analytics

User Sentiment:
81%

Einstein Analytics is a suite of analytics applications that use artificial intelligence to supply insights. With predictive, tailored analytics, it can build AI data visualizations and deliver recommendations to help you accomplish your business goals. Developed by Salesforce, it integrates natively with their CRM to boost understanding of sales pipelines and customer satisfaction.It offers three editions: Predictions, Analytics Growth and Analytics Plus. Until 2017, it was known as Salesforce Analytics Cloud or Wave.

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Vyopta

User Sentiment:
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Vyopta is an analytics platform that monitors and improves the performance of UC systems and collaborative technologies such as Cisco, Microsoft, BlueJeans, Polycom and more. It generates insights on how to better the user experience, streamline adoption and maximize return on technology investments by monitoring an enterprise’s entire collaboration environment.The CPM suite includes two modules: Monitoring and Analytics, with different capabilities. It was formerly known as vAnalytics.

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Jet Reports

User Sentiment:
85%

Jet Reports offers easy-to-use reporting services designed to integrate with ERP platforms, especially Microsoft Dynamics. It addresses data warehousing, reporting and analytics needs, allowing users of all data literacy levels to perform data exploration tasks to generate reports and glean insights from their data.

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Phocas

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Phocas is a cloud-based data analytics tool that helps users manage their business operations. Designed for non-technical users, it uses simplified self-service reporting to deliver customized insights. Users can build dashboards to their specifications and view them through an ad hoc analysis layer called “The Grid” to uncover business opportunities.

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SAP Analytics Cloud

User Sentiment:
82%

SAP Analytics Cloud is an augmented analytics solution that uses machine learning technology to generate data visualizations and simulate predictive scenarios. It provides every member of an organization with access to automatic, interactive insights via natural language processing. Powered by artificial intelligence, it helps businesses make decisions with confidence by exploring what-if possibilities based on historical data.There are multiple plans available with different functionality levels, so users can choose the subscription that provides the best fit for their business.

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TARGIT

User Sentiment:
85%

TARGIT Decision Suite is a self-service, end-to-end BI tool with a focus on creating unique and actionable information for each department in an enterprise. It merges internal and external data and presents it in customizable dashboards and storyboards for each division of a business. Its proprietary in-memory technology makes it flexible and accessible. With variable deployment and stand-alone or embedded delivery options, it makes data accessible and actionable from most devices with web-browser capability.

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iDashboards

User Sentiment:
n/a

iDashboards provides easy-to-use, visually appealing, and cost-effective data visualization software for clients in a wide variety of industries. With customizable and flexible dashboard solutions that easily integrate with key data sources, iDashboards users can quickly and effectively view and analyze critical performance metrics—ultimately leading to enhanced decision-making capabilities. Increase transparency, reduce resource burdens, and improve decision-making with secure and shareable dashboards.

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Keen IO

User Sentiment:
n/a

Keen IO is an embedded analytics service focusing on customer-facing data reporting. It allows for real-time data presentation, relying on a robust network of APIs, SDKs and integrations to discover and process big data. Customers can quickly develop workflows that lead to actionable data that can increase CRM, e-commerce and advertising/marketing. It is fully customizable end-to-end and can be directly embedded into a business’s website. It allows variable levels of user access via API keys.

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USEReady

User Sentiment:
n/a

USEReady is a company that offers a suite of supplemental modules that add value to a user’s existing data analytics solution. They provide the means for organizations to optimize user adoption and foster collaboration by building a collective intelligence.Their main focus is in marketing data consulting services for their partners, who include many leading companies in the field, such as Tableau, Snowflake, Exasol, Alteryx, Microsoft and more.

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Gryphon Networks

User Sentiment:
n/a

Gryphon sales intelligence improves employee effectiveness, facilitates coaching, and streamlines training for a range of sales and marketing teams. It combines call center technology, data processing and performance management, allowing access to all three from a single cohesive platform to manage your sales data.

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Avora

User Sentiment:
n/a

Truedash is a cloud hosted business analytics platform that converges various data channels into a central repository for in-depth and predictive analytics. Eliminate the guesswork and make informed decisions with a truly intelligent platform.

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Grow Dashboard

User Sentiment:
n/a

Grow is a cloud-based data visualization solution that helps users derive insights from their data to evolve their businesses. As their brand name may suggest, the vendor designed it to help growing small to mid-sized businesses to access actionable insights. Suitable for the average user, it turns spreadsheets into dashboards that simplify metrics for understanding and can be sent quickly to customers or other employees. It has three offerings: Basic, Professional and Enterprise, which offer varying levels of connectivity as well as varying prices for additional dashboards. All three allow for an unlimited number of users.

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SPSS Statistics

User Sentiment:
86%

IBM SPSS, or Statistical Product and Service Solutions, is a data analysis platform that provides advanced statistical insights to propel business decision-making and research by crunching large datasets. With a user-friendly interface, it empowers everyone from basic users to experienced data scientists to perform statistical analysis. Scalable and agile, it is suitable for companies of all sizes. Users can purchase it through an on-premises license or a subscription plan to a hybrid SaaS. Users who choose either monthly or annual subscription receive access to the base version and can choose which of three optional add-ons to include, if any, between Custom Tables and Advanced Statistics, Complex Sampling and Testing and Forecasting and Decision Trees. Perpetual and term licensees can choose between four editions that offer different levels of functionality: Base, standard, professional and premium. It was first launched as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences by three Stanford students in 1968 and later acquired by IBM in 2009.

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Solver

User Sentiment:
89%

Solver BI360 is a corporate performance management suite of four modules that assist organizations in boosting productivity and accelerating decision-making processes: reporting, data warehouse, dashboards and analysis and budgeting and forecasting. It can be deployed either on-premise or in the cloud and integrates with many data sources, including accounting, ERP and CRM. It caters to growth-focused organizations, from small businesses to large enterprises, and serves customers across the globe with its teams located in North America, Latin America, Africa, the Asia Pacific and Europe.

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ClicData

User Sentiment:
90%

ClicData is a cloud-based analytics solution that collects data from multiple sources and delivers insights that are easy to use, embed and access on any device. It enables users to design and share dashboards. It serves companies ranging in size from small businesses to large enterprises. It has four different pricing plans with varying levels of functionality: Premium, Team, Enterprise and Dedicated. Users can purchase subscriptions at a yearly or monthly rate.

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Jedox

User Sentiment:
n/a

Jedox is a solution that helps organizations optimize business processes such as budgeting and forecasting through efficient planning, analysis and reporting. Easy to set up and maintain, it has the flexibility to seamlessly integrate with other sources and be tailored to specific needs and industry requirements. Through intuitive user interfaces as well as mobile accessibility, employees of all technical skill levels can work with data on a self-service basis. It provides flexible deployment options, including SaaS, public or private cloud, on-premises and hybrid.There are four pricing plans which fulfill the varying requirements of different organizations: Essential, Business, Professional and Performance. Suitable for companies of any size, it can help small and midsize businesses make the jump from spreadsheets to a method of more accurately and transparently planning for the future. It also assists global enterprises in centralizing and streamlining their operations for greater efficiency.

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Call SelectHub for a free 15-minute selection analysis: 1-855-850-3850

SAP Predictive Analytics

User Sentiment:
n/a

SAP Predictive Analytics is a fully-featured, on-premise analytics solution from SAP. This software has a multitude of features, though topping the list is its full connectivity to Big Data and other third-party sources, as well as its integration with SAP’s line of software.SAP’s Predictive Analytics solution also integrates with existing data warehouses, data mining operations, and existing R scripts, giving users power over their already powerful pools of data. Reporting tools deliver automated insights and let you deploy code across your enterprise.

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Decision Lens

User Sentiment:
n/a

Decision Lens is the complete, end-to-end software solution and business process for identifying, prioritizing, analyzing, and measuring which investments, projects, or resources will deliver the highest returns to your organization, while empowering you to quickly react to ever-changing data.

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Dimensional Insight Diver

User Sentiment:
n/a

The Diver Platform is a complete end-to-end suite of data analytics and management tools that deliver measurable insights for informed decision making. It acquires and organizes data from dozens of disparate sources into a single, actionable database. With interactive dashboards, it invites users to “dive” in to ad hoc analysis and self-service information discovery. It offers a variety of deployment and licensing options which allow for different tiers of access. It is published and maintained by Dimensional Insight, which also offers business consulting services.

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sales-i

User Sentiment:
n/a

Sales-i is a cloud-based solution that helps salespeople make data-driven sales decisions by giving them insight into processes and customer relationships. It offers users the option to use the built-in CRM or integrate with other CRM and ERP data sources. It empowers users to spot new sales opportunities by analyzing data and delivering a complete picture of their customers, business prospects and interactions.

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AnswerRocket

User Sentiment:
91%

AnswerRocket is an AI-powered augmented analytics tool that quickly provides the answers to questions decision makers ask, delivering actionable, accessible insights. It targets business users, enabling users of all technical skill levels to explore their data through natural language processing and an intuitive interface. Users can generate customizable interactive visualizations and dashboards from queries entered in plain English.

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ReportServer

User Sentiment:
n/a

Powerful, web-based open source business intelligence solution. ReportServer combines a maximum of flexibility with a surface easy to handle for expert users.

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Hortonworks

User Sentiment:
79%

Hortonworks Data Platform is an open-source data analysis and collection product from Hortonworks. It is designed to meet the needs of small, medium and large enterprises that are trying to take advantage of big data. The company was acquired by Cloudera in 2019 for $5.2 billion.HDP has a number of features that help it process large enterprise-level volumes, including multi-workload processing, batch processing, real-time processing, governance and more.

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InPhase

User Sentiment:
n/a

Enables you to implement continuous improvement at all levels of the business. Seamlessly aligning data from across the entire business to captured, tracked and managed activity and business plans. InPhase lets you find the change levers in the business that have the highest positive effect.

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Oracle Discoverer

User Sentiment:
n/a

Discoverer is an intuitive ad-hoc query, reporting, analysis, and Web-publishing tool that empowers business users at all levels of the organization to gain immediate access to information from data marts, data warehouses, online transaction processing systems and Oracle E-Business Suite..

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DataRPM

User Sentiment:
n/a

DataRPM delivers industry's only Cognitive Predictive Maintenance (CPdM) Platform for Industrial IoT. DataRPM uses patent pending Meta-Learning technology, integral component of Artificial Intelligence to automate predictions of asset failures. CPdM is a full stack platform available on cloud or on premises that connects to the data lake and then automatically runs multiple Machine Learning experiments, finds patterns anomalies in data, identifies influencing factors predictors, and builds an ensemble of predictive models to automate Predictive Maintenance. Not only does CPdM platform delivers descriptive, predictive, prescriptive analytics through Natural Language Discovery module but also provides a closed loop system by integrating these actionable insights through APIs to ERP, CRM, and CMS systems.

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WorkMax

User Sentiment:
n/a

Insight gives 360 degree visibility across all of your teams and resources right now. Make better decisions quicker by knowing what is happening now across your entire network of resources.

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Yellowfin BI

User Sentiment:
n/a

Yellowfin BI is an integrated platform that helps users transform their business through data by combining automated data analysis, interactive dashboards and storytelling. It also enables intuitive filtering of large amounts of data in real time. It facilitates organization-wide understanding through data sharing and collaborative action. It has a customizable architecture and has the ability to add an organization’s branding, such as its logo. It offers either enterprise or embedded analytics and is deployable in the cloud or on-premise.

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AnyChart

User Sentiment:
n/a

AnyChart, one of global leaders in interactive data visualization, offers flexible, cross-platform, cross-browser JavaScript (HTML5) charting solutions for easily creating charts, maps, stock and financial graphs, Gantt charts, and dashboards for any websites and apps.

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Slemma

User Sentiment:
n/a

Slemma is a user-friendly business intelligence and data visualization tool designed specifically for startups and small to medium enterprises. It enables users to create simple, easy-to-use and dynamic data reports from multiple data sets. The web-based tool connects to over 75 data warehouses, databases and cloud service solutions. Slemma’s step-by-step Chart Wizard makes report generation quick and seamless, allowing anyone to visualize their third-party data in minutes. Dynamic reports can be shared to both clients and colleagues alike and exporting dashboards and reports to PDF is very convenient. User permissions ensure that sensitive data can only be accessed, viewed and edited by individual members. Slemma’s data dashboards can be accessed on virtually any device for easy presentation.

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Upper Quadrant

User Sentiment:
n/a

UQube is a grid technology for data capture, online collaboration, that is protected, flexible, scalable, and functions similarly to Excel™, but is fundamentally better because it consolidates data enabling analysis, discovery, brainstorming and accountability.

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KnowledgeHound

User Sentiment:
n/a

KnowledgeHound simplifies how companies organize and access consumer insights—we build a unified, searchable database for your market research data, so your team can easily and efficiently locate the insights you need. Stunning visualization tools and powerful analytics make it easy to transform data and insights into effective business intelligence, while secure, cloud-based technology lets your team share information across units, geographies, and business partners for a broader impact.

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Corporater

User Sentiment:
n/a

Corporater is a global software company that empowers medium and large organizations to evaluate, manage, and continually improve business performance by providing a business management platform that adapts to client's unique business model, out of the box.Corporater’s Business Management Platform is a revolutionary platform that enables businesses to link multiple management disciplines, including compliance, risk, strategy, operations, quality, projects, processes, HR and finance within a single interface to provide the right business context to make the right decisions.Using Corporater, you can create your own business management solutions for business dashboards, strategy management, KPI management, corporate performance management, BI analytics, employee performance management, corporate reporting and more. Corporater's 250 ready-made business objects, out of the box, supports any full business framework – from data to business outcomes.

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IBM Planning Analytics

User Sentiment:
n/a

IBM Financial Performance Management solutions help companies of all sizes automate and transform planning, reporting and analysis processes. IBM solutions help you anticipate performance gaps, analyze root cause, assess alternatives and enable more effective decision making and execution.

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CoolaData

User Sentiment:
n/a

CoolaData transcends BI, with a cloud-based behavioral analytics infrastructure

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Spreadsheet Server

User Sentiment:
n/a

Spreadsheet Server is a reporting solution that combines the power of ERP with Microsoft Excel. It transforms real-time financial and operational data into impactful dashboards that empower data-informed decision making. It streamlines reporting processes for greater efficiency and eliminates dependency on IT by enabling business users to retrieve the information they need to drive better business outcomes.

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Comparison of Business Intelligence Tools Leaders

GET THE IN-DEPTH REPORT

Advanced Analytics - Top 10

Supports advanced and sophisticated data manipulation and data analysis by using libraries and packages of Python and R programming languages.

Augmented Analytics - Top 10

Leverages Machine Learning (ML) automation to augment data profiling and data quality, harmonization, modeling, manipulation, enrichment, metadata development, and cataloging. It includes capabilities like automated matching, joining, profiling, tagging and annotating data prior to data preparation, sensitive attribute recognition, automating repetitive transformations and integrations, data quality and enrichment recommendation.

Dashboarding and Data Visualization - Top 10

Supports creating advanced and sophisticated visualizations, enables data to be presented as an animation, guides the users by suggesting the best suitable visualization for the graphical representation of the selected data, and five other functional requirements.

Data Querying - Top 10

Allows users to Batch Updates, perform Complex Queries, execute In-Memory Analysis, maintains a direct connection and five other key requirements.

Mobile BI - Top 10

Offers team collaboration features, mobile-optimized dashboards and reports, supports geospatial analysis on mobile devices, and six more key requirements.

Reporting - Top 10

Offers Ad-hoc Reporting, Auto-scheduling, Built-in Alerts, Canned/Managed Reports, Conditional Formatting, Interactive Reporting, and three more key requirements.

Data Sources Connectivity - Top 10

Connects to popular accounting platforms, various tools and platforms related to Big Data ecosystem and twenty more key requirements.

Security - Top 10

Maintains a record of administrative and user actions, provides encryption capabilities for stored data, and five other key requirements.

Best of 2020 - BI Software Awards

Compare these leaders

SelectHub analysts have spent over 2,000 hours evaluating over 300 business intelligence tools, ensuring we understand each software’s capabilities, strengths, and limitations.  From this, we recognize which BI software really lead the pack, and deliver the features and capabilities companies actually need, based on crowdsourced requirements from the SelectHub platform.

Below, are the awards given to the people behind those products.

Analyst Pick
Analyst's Pick Award
Presented to the top 10 BI products as determined from analysis of each product's capabilities.
Domo: Adam Landefeld - Senior Vice President of Product, Matt Chandler - Director of Product Management
Micro Strategy: Vijay Anand - Vice President, Product Marketing, Rich Rodgers - VP, Product Management
Oracle Analytics Cloud: Brendan Doyle - Senior Product Manager
Power BI: Nikhil Gaekwad - Senior Product Manager, Kim Manis - Principal Group Product Manager
SAS: Robby Powell - Advisory Product Manager, Amy Peters - Principal Product Manager
Sisense: Emily Arent - Customer Advocacy Lead
Tableau: Ellie Fields - Sr. Vice President of Product Development, Stephanie Richardson - VP, Product Marketing
TIBCO Spotfire: Tobias Lehtipalo - Senior Director of Product Management
Yellowfin: Brad Scarff - CTO
User Favorite
User Favorite Award
Awarded to products receiving a User Sentiment Score of Great or Excellent.
Board International: David A. Carlson - Sales Performance Management, Product Manager
Domo: Adam Landefeld - Senior Vice President of Product, Matt Chandler - Director of Product Management
Dundas BI: The Dundas R&D Team
Exago: Alexander Agoado - Director Of Product Management
Information Builders: Walter Blood - Director of Product Management and Support, Alan Dix - Director of Product Management
Looker: Jamie Davidson - VP Product, Steve Mahoney - Director of Product
Power BI: Nikhil Gaekwad - Senior Product Manager, Kim Manis - Principal Group Product Manager
Sisense: Emily Arent - Customer Advocacy Lead
Tableau: Ellie Fields - Sr. Vice President of Product Development, Stephanie Richardson - VP, Product Marketing
TIBCO Spotfire: Tobias Lehtipalo - Senior Director of Product Management
Augmented Analytics
Augmented Analytics Award
For excellence in developing cutting-edge Augmented Analytics capabilities.
Domo: Adam Landefeld - Senior Vice President of Product, Matt Chandler - Director of Product Management
Oracle Analytics Cloud: Brendan Doyle - Senior Product Manager
Power BI: Nikhil Gaekwad - Senior Product Manager, Kim Manis - Principal Group Product Manager
SAS: Robby Powell - Advisory Product Manager, Amy Peters - Principal Product Manager
Sisense: Emily Arent - Customer Advocacy Lead
TIBCO Spotfire: Tobias Lehtipalo - Senior Director of Product Management
Yellowfin: Brad Scarff - CTO
Advanced Analytics
Advanced Analytics Award
Board International: David A. Carlson - Sales Performance Management, Product Manager
Domo: Adam Landefeld - Senior Vice President of Product, Matt Chandler - Director of Product Management
Dundas BI: The Dundas R&D Team
Information Builders: Walter Blood - Director of Product Management and Support, Alan Dix - Director of Product Management
Micro Strategy: Vijay Anand - Vice President, Product Marketing, Rich Rodgers - VP, Product Management
Oracle Analytics Cloud: Brendan Doyle - Senior Product Manager
SAS: Robby Powell - Advisory Product Manager, Amy Peters - Principal Product Manager
Yellowfin: Brad Scarff - CTO
Data Visualization
Data Visualization Award
Domo: Adam Landefeld - Senior Vice President of Product, Matt Chandler - Director of Product Management
Dundas BI: The Dundas R&D Team
Micro Strategy: Vijay Anand - Vice President, Product Marketing, Rich Rodgers - VP, Product Management
Oracle Analytics Cloud: Brendan Doyle - Senior Product Manager
Power BI: Nikhil Gaekwad - Senior Product Manager, Kim Manis - Principal Group Product Manager
SAS: Robby Powell - Advisory Product Manager, Amy Peters - Principal Product Manager
Sisense: Emily Arent - Customer Advocacy Lead
Tableau: Ellie Fields - Sr. Vice President of Product Development, Stephanie Richardson - VP, Product Marketing
Yellowfin: Brad Scarff - CTO
Reporting
Reporting Award
Board International: David A. Carlson - Sales Performance Management, Product Manager
Dundas BI: The Dundas R&D Team
Information Builders: Walter Blood - Director of Product Management and Support, Alan Dix - Director of Product Management
Micro Strategy: Vijay Anand - Vice President, Product Marketing, Rich Rodgers - VP, Product Management
Oracle Analytics Cloud: Brendan Doyle - Senior Product Manager
Power BI: Nikhil Gaekwad - Senior Product Manager, Kim Manis - Principal Group Product Manager
SAS: Robby Powell - Advisory Product Manager, Amy Peters - Principal Product Manager
Sisense: Emily Arent - Customer Advocacy Lead
Tableau: Ellie Fields - Sr. Vice President of Product Development, Stephanie Richardson - VP, Product Marketing
Yellowfin: Brad Scarff - CTO
Data Querying
Data Querying Award
Dundas BI: The Dundas R&D Team
Information Builders: Walter Blood - Director of Product Management and Support, Alan Dix - Director of Product Management
Looker: Jamie Davidson - VP Product, Steve Mahoney - Director of Product
Oracle Analytics Cloud: Brendan Doyle - Senior Product Manager
Power BI: Nikhil Gaekwad - Senior Product Manager, Kim Manis - Principal Group Product Manager
Sisense: Emily Arent - Customer Advocacy Lead
Tableau: Ellie Fields - Sr. Vice President of Product Development, Stephanie Richardson - VP, Product Marketing
Yellowfin: Brad Scarff - CTO
Security
Security Award
Domo: Adam Landefeld - Senior Vice President of Product, Matt Chandler - Director of Product Management
Micro Strategy: Vijay Anand - Vice President, Product Marketing, Rich Rodgers - VP, Product Management
Oracle Analytics Cloud: Brendan Doyle - Senior Product Manager
Power BI: Nikhil Gaekwad - Senior Product Manager, Kim Manis - Principal Group Product Manager
Yellowfin: Brad Scarff - CTO
Mobile BI
Mobile BI Award
Board International: David A. Carlson - Sales Performance Management, Product Manager
Information Builders: Walter Blood - Director of Product Management and Support, Alan Dix - Director of Product Management
Micro Strategy: Vijay Anand - Vice President, Product Marketing, Rich Rodgers - VP, Product Management
Oracle Analytics Cloud: Brendan Doyle - Senior Product Manager
Power BI: Nikhil Gaekwad - Senior Product Manager, Kim Manis - Principal Group Product Manager
SAS: Robby Powell - Advisory Product Manager, Amy Peters - Principal Product Manager
TIBCO Spotfire: Tobias Lehtipalo - Senior Director of Product Management
Connectivity
Connectivity Award
Domo: Adam Landefeld - Senior Vice President of Product, Matt Chandler - Director of Product Management
Micro Strategy: Vijay Anand - Vice President, Product Marketing, Rich Rodgers - VP, Product Management
Power BI: Nikhil Gaekwad - Senior Product Manager, Kim Manis - Principal Group Product Manager
Sisense: Emily Arent - Customer Advocacy Lead
TIBCO Spotfire: Tobias Lehtipalo - Senior Director of Product Management

Price Guide

See the Price/User for the top business intelligence tools… plus the most important considerations and questions to ask when shopping.

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As you get started with us, whether it be with Software Requirements templates, Comparing, Shortlisting Vendors or obtaining that elusive Pricing you need; know that we are here for you.

Our Market Research Analysts will take calls, and in 10 minutes, take your basic requirements and recommend you a shortlist to start with.