Top 10 Popular BI Tools for Insightful Data Analytics and Visualization
“Business intelligence is not just about turning data into information, rather organizations need that data to impact how their business operates and responds to changing marketplace.” – Gerald Cohen
Businesses worldwide are drowned in data of all categories, most of which are uncertain and vague. To get valuable and organized information out of this, business intelligence (BI) is a must. BI helps in structuring the data and exhibiting significant figures and trends. And to leverage the potential of BI comes hi-tech business intelligence tools. These BI tools act as an intermediate connecting technology with business, offering useful information as an output in a user-desired manner.
Before we investigate popular BI tools popularly today, let us briefly understand business intelligence and BI tools.
Business Intelligence – An Overview
Business intelligence comprises the strategies and technologies used by enterprises for the data analysis and management of business information. – Wikipedia
BI is a group of software components, technologies, processes, and systems that support business decision-making by analyzing and processing huge bulk of data and converting it into knowledge-based information. It consists of data and business models, ETL tools, and BI tools to perform the data transformation and exhibit data as needed.
Revenue in the Business Intelligence Software segment is projected to reach US$25.73bn in 2023. Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 6.00%, resulting in a market volume of US$32.48bn by 2027.
What Are Business Intelligence Tools and Why Are They Important?
BI tools are appropriate software tools that collect, transform and showcase data to assist stakeholders in taking decisions that accelerate business growth. These tools consume all types of data – structured, semi-structured,d or unstructured, and undergo a transformation, and derive intuitive business output from it.
Here are some of the key benefits that come along with BI tools:
- Identify client behavior and insight
- Increased business visibility, productivity, and efficacy
- Data retrieval, analysis, transformation, and visualization
- Intuitive dashboards and reports for evaluation
- Fast solutions to critical business issues
- Self-service analytics with unlocked data access
- Predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics, and descriptive analytics
- Reduced costs and elimination of manual tasks
Top 10 BI Tools, To Look For, in 2023
Though there are many business intelligence tools in the market, here are 10 of the lot, that have been popular for their salient features:
- Power BI
- Oracle Analytics Cloud
- Qlik Sense
- TIBCO Spotfire
- Cognos Analytics
- SAP BusinessObjects
Microsoft Power BI is a popular BI & analytics tool that empowers faster exploration of data with enhanced decision-making. It helps in reporting, and data visualization by connecting to different sources of data and creating a variety of dashboards and reports. There are multiple graphics that are created for better visual representation. Power BI is meant to suit the needs of small, medium to large organizations with equal efficacy.
- Visualizing insightful data trends and patterns
- Ease of use and secure insights
- Seamless collaboration within organizations
- Access analytics on the go
- Robust, scalable, and flexible
Pentaho is a complete data integration tool that provides varied BI competencies like data mining, data integration, OLAP services, ETL, etc. It helps users in attaining insights for managing data to garner the best visualization capabilities, reporting, and modeling facilities. Pentaho is said to empower businesses of all sizes and segments. It is based on open-source principles and hence empowers users of any skill level.
- Cloud data integration
- Pentaho Report and Dashboard Designer
- Enhanced, embedded, and predictive analytics
- Effective data management
- Tracking the progress of KPIs
Oracle Analytics Cloud
Powered by the tech giant, Oracle Analytics Cloud is an AI-empowered BI solution that offers business owners a complete view of dynamics, metrics, and statistics in a visually appealing manner, just the way they want it, whenever and wherever they need it. There are pre-created functions that can help in data visualization, merging data from different data sources for trustworthy predictions.
- Conversational analytics
- AI and ML-powered analytics
- Finding out patterns, trends, and insights
- Predictions and forecasts for complex business scenarios
- Data preparation and enrichment
Tableau is a leading business intelligence tool that is leveraged by all for its enriched visual analytics. It connects data that is on-premises or based on cloud sources, belonging to varied data sources. It finds out trends and patterns for taking data-driven business decisions. There is drag and drop feature for in-depth visualization and an NLP feature for better enrichment of decisions.
- Faster and robust analytics
- Easy conversion of unstructured data into logical units
- Access to all types of data sources
- Regular updates with newer features
- Multi-layered security and authentication
Looker is a known BI software tool with big data analytical competencies that empower users in discovering, evaluating, and sharing real-time business information with ease. It offers an integral view that includes interactive visualizations giving a complete picture of the business functioning. As a web-based solution, it assists in developing newer apps on top of the Looker Data Platform along with integration with other tools.
- In-depth understanding of metrics and business
- Accelerates data literacy and availability
- Embedded analytics and self-service analytics
- Real-time updates for enhanced visualization
- Live connect with multiple databases
Qlik Sense is a data analytics platform that looks at faster development of dashboards and reports based on next-gen cloud analytics. The type of analytics that it offers is enhanced and includes a variety of business empowering features such as reporting, dashboard, NLP, embedded analytics, etc. As a data discovery and customer insight platform, it offers the self-service capability for better decision-making and RoI.
- Accurate and augmented business decisions
- Affordable, scalable, and secure control
- In-memory data processing
- NLP-based insight advisor chat facility
- Optimized connections and functionality
TIBCO Spotfire is a comprehensive, smart, and secure BI tool that offers different functions with inbuilt data wrangling that supports AI-powered visual analytics and reporting. It integrates well with big data technologies and IoT-based devices too. It provides guided insights from customized business apps to take further action from AI-based analytics. It compares the data that is at rest and in motion to avail future predictions, trends, and patterns through data science and analytics.
- Real-time, agile insights for all
- Suitable for all types of organizations
- Immersive visual analytics with detailed insights
- Embedded data science with interactive AI
- Large community and documentation support
Sisense is one of the most viable tools for effective business intelligence and smart analytics. It embeds analytics into your business workflows to avail a self-service, agile output with AI-powers insights. There are inbuilt connections for extracting information from different databases which creating a variety of dashboards and reports becomes easier. It is leveraged for collecting information from data sources and unifying them into a single repository.
- Embeddable and scalable architecture
- Infusing data to unveil robust insights
- AI-based powerful analytics and visualization
- On-premises or private, cloud-based
- Quick intelligent output with high-end data security
Powered by IBM, Cognos Analytics is a web-based and integrated BI suite that seamlessly integrates analysis, reporting, modeling, dashboards, and stories for a better understanding of business information for taking appropriate decisions. Being a cloud-based solution, it makes the best use of AI features to create dashboards and geospatial competencies. It is a self-service platform that helps users in improved visualization and shares it further with other users.
- Integration with Watson Analytics for better AI capabilities
- New Cognos Analytics search facility for searching, filtering, and saving
- Unified data repository for self-service insights
- Flexible deployment in the cloud or on-premises
- Automated recommendations for better visual elements
SAP BusinessObjects is a centralized pack of BI tools that acts as an on-premise business intelligence layer for SAP’s business platform. It transforms business data into valuable insights that are accessible to users from anywhere at any time. There is integration with Microsoft products for creating enhanced presentations and analytics with inbuilt connections with SAP systems. Their major focus area is augmented client experience and enterprise-level reporting.
- Data discovery and visualization
- Scalability and enhanced task management
- Ad-hoc queries and complicated enterprise reporting
- Role-driven, self-service analytics
- Easy connection with SAP Warehouse and systems
Data analytics has been the key component today to analyze and automate datasets for getting insightful information and empowering data-driven decisions. The above-listed popular BI tools and many others have been highly influential in garnering optimal information out of huge bulks of data.
It is interesting to see how the world leverages the potential of business intelligence and its associated BI tools. Wait till you watch almost all industry segments go deep down into implementing BI solutions in their work area. And to extract the most out of it, it is best to partner with a proficient data analytics firm that can help big time.