BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE TOOLS: Meaning, Best Tools And Guide

business intelligence tools
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Business intelligence (BI) professionals, like handymen, need to know how to use specific pieces of software in order to do their jobs effectively. Organizational data gathering, processing, and analysis are all part of business intelligence. By analyzing data and gaining new insights, free business intelligence tools reporting help companies increase their ROI and gain a competitive edge. If you want to move up the corporate ladder quickly, you might want to familiarize yourself with one of these tools, as they are utilized by workers in every division and industry.See how BI software can help your business below.

What Is a Business Intelligence (BI) Tool?

Large volumes of data, both structured and unstructured, from various sources (both internal and external) are collected, processed, and analyzed by business intelligence tools. Images, emails, videos, journals, books, social media posts, files, and more could all be potential data sources. Using queries, BI tools collect this data and present it in a variety of digestible forms, including reports, dashboards, charts, and graphs.

Data mining, data visualization, performance management, analytics, reporting, text mining, predictive analytics, and many more are just some of the tasks that can be accomplished with these tools. Employees can use this data to improve decision-making in light of forecasts, market tendencies, and KPIs (KPIs).

Benefits of BI Tools

Using business intelligence tools, your company can move more quickly and efficiently toward its goals.

#1. Centralized Data

Everything you need to know, in a single location. Businesses mine information from databases, portals, CRM, ERP, and other sources. I need business intelligence tools to combine the data and provide specialized views (problems, trends, analytics) in response to specific questions.

#2. Self-sufficiency

Today, data no longer belongs solely to the IT department. In the past, only highly trained specialists had access to the data their teams required, but now even interns can do so.

#3. Make Predictions

Workers can now base their judgments on the abundance of historical and real-time data at their disposal. Using predictive analytics and forecasting, users can estimate a product’s future performance based on historical data. Smart tools may detect and quickly address problems in a business’s environment.

#4. Automatic Reports

Many business intelligence (BI) systems are automated, removing the need to manually enter data or switch apps. For any product, the tool can generate a report covering a specified time frame. If you think this data is important and want to include it in a presentation, you can make an interactive visualization and save the data in the form of charts and graphs.

#5. Reduces Business Costs

Due to the extensive capabilities of modern BI tools—which range from studying consumer behavior and sales forecasting to real-time process monitoring—the analysis, planning, and business intelligence tools reporting phases of every project are now faster, easier, and more accurate than ever. Over half of BI tool customers said that these advantages helped them cut expenses and boost profits.

Top Business Intelligence Tools

Let’s take a look at the top free business intelligence tools.

#1. SAP Business Objects

In terms of free business intelligence tools reporting, analysis, and dynamic data visualization, SAP Business Objects is unrivaled. The platform focuses on CRM, digital supply chain, ERP, and other areas. What’s great about this platform is that it lets users create their own dashboards and applications through self-service, role-based dashboards. SAP is sophisticated software that serves all users (IT, end users, and management) in a unified environment. There is an increase in cost due to the complexity of the product.

#2. Datapine

Datapine is a comprehensive business intelligence solution that makes data analytics simple for everyone, not just IT pros. With datapine’s solution, data analysts and business users alike can effortlessly combine disparate data sources, conduct advanced data analysis, create interactive business dashboards, and derive actionable business insights.

#3. MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy is a cloud-based, hyperintelligent business intelligence platform with robust data analytics, interactive dashboards, and cloud solutions. Users may spot patterns, new opportunities, boost productivity, and more with this solution. Users can link to a single source or numerous sources, including cloud services, corporate applications, and paper-based records. It’s accessible from both a computer and a mobile device. However, setup often necessitates the involvement of several people and requires a fair amount of familiarity with the software being used.

#4. SAS Business Intelligence

While SAS’ most popular offering is its advanced predictive analytics, it also delivers a great business intelligence platform. This self-service platform, created in the 1970s, lets clients use data and metrics to make educated decisions. Using their collection of APIs, users are provided with lots of customization choices, and SAS ensures high-level data integration and powerful analytics & free business intelligence tools reporting. They also have a terrific text analytics function to provide you with more contextual insights into your data.

#5. Yellowfin BI

An ‘end-to-end’ analytics platform, Yellowfin BI integrates visualization, machine learning, and collaboration into a single business intelligence solution. Thanks to this tool’s portability and straightforward filtering mechanisms, you can quickly sift through large amounts of data using checkboxes and radio buttons, and view dashboards from virtually any location (mobile, webpage, etc.). As a no-code/low-code development platform, this BI tool makes it simple to upgrade dashboards and visualizations.

#6. QlikSense

QlikSense, developed by Qlik, is an all-inclusive business intelligence and data analytics platform. Cross-platform and available whenever and wherever you need it, QlikSense.QlikSense is widely used because of its intuitive touchscreen interface. Unique features such as its associative analytics engine, advanced AI, and high-performance cloud infrastructure are further selling points. Using conversational analytics, users may ask questions and find answers rapidly.

#7. Zoho Analytics

When it comes to comprehensive business intelligence tools reporting and data analysis, Zoho Analytics is an excellent BI solution to have at your disposal. Data synchronization occurs automatically, and at preset intervals, in this BI tool. Using the integration APIs, you can quickly create a connector. Combining information from multiple free sources into unified business intelligence tools reporting. You may design custom reports and dashboards using a simple editor that will allow you to drill down into the relevant data with ease. It’s fantastic for teamwork because it has a special comments section inside the sharing options.

#8. Sisense

Sisense is a business intelligence and data analytics application with an intuitive interface that empowers non-technical users to manage and analyze complicated data sets without involving the IT department. It also allows you to combine information from many platforms, such as Adwords, Google Analytics, and Salesforce. It also uses in-chip technology, which allows for faster data processing than comparable equipment. In fact, numerous analysts, including those at Gartner, G2, and Dresner, have recognized this platform as a top choice for cloud-based analytics.

#9. Microsoft Power BI

When it comes to visualizing data, Microsoft’s Power BI web-based business analytics tool suite is head and shoulders above the competition. New connections can help consumers notice real-time trends and improve your advertising. Microsoft Power BI’s web-based nature makes it convenient to use from just about any location. In addition to facilitating app integration, this program also generates reports and real-time dashboards for its users.

#10. Looker

Looker, a data-discovery program, is another BI platform to keep an eye on. This one-of-a-kind technology, now a part of Google Cloud, works with any SQL database or warehouse and is ideal for small to large enterprises alike. Ease of use, helpful visualizations, robust collaboration options (data and reports can be shared through email or USL and connected with other apps), and dependable support are just a few of the many advantages of this tool (tech team).

#11. Clear Analytics

As a special treat for all you Excel fanatics, this business intelligence tool is built on top of Excel and is so user-friendly that even personnel with no prior experience with Excel can use it effectively. You get a Business Intelligence (BI) solution that you can use to create, automate, analyze, and visualize data on your own time. This solution is compatible with Microsoft Power BI’s Power Query and Power Pivot data cleansing and modeling capabilities.

#12. Tableau

Tableau is a Business Intelligence platform designed for exploring and visualizing information. It’s simple to use the software for data analysis, visualization, and collaboration without any help from IT. Excel, Oracle, SQL Server, Google Analytics, and SalesForce are just some of the data formats that Tableau can read. The user interfaces, or “dashboards,” are going to be very nicely made and straightforward. There are several other Tableau products available as well, such as Tableau Online (hosted analytics for organizations), Tableau Mobile (for anyone), Tableau Server (for organizations), and Tableau Desktop (for everyone).

#13. Oracle BI

Free Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) is a suite of tools and resources for large-scale implementations of BI across an organization. Users are provided with virtually every type of business intelligence tool imaginable, from dashboards to proactive intelligence to ad hoc analysis, and beyond, with the use of this technology. Oracle is great for firms that need to examine plenty of data (from both Oracle and non-Oracle sources). Features like as data archiving, versioning, a self-service portal, and alerts/notifications are also important.

#14. Domo

Domo is an all-in-one business intelligence platform that syncs information from many online locations and apps, such as spreadsheets, databases, and social media. Companies of all sizes can benefit from using Domo, from startups to multi-national conglomerates. Micro- and macro-level analytics can be performed on the platform (including predictive analysis powerd with Mr. Roboto, their AI engine). Everything from marketing ROI estimates to regional product sales rankings and cash flow statements. Domo’s only drawbacks are its high learning curve and the difficulties in obtaining cloud-based analytics for individual usage.

#15. IBM Cognos Analytics

Cognos Analytics is an end-to-end analytics cycle supporting a business intelligence platform powered by artificial intelligence. You may see, analyze, and share insights about your data with your coworkers at any stage of the discovery and operationalization processes. A major perk of AI is that it helps you spot previously unseen patterns in your data by interpreting it and delivering a visually appealing report. It’s important to remember, though, that learning how to use this solution’s many capabilities may take some time.

Business Intelligence Tools Reporting

On-premises and cloud-based data sources are both accessible to and read by BI reporting tools. Sales, revenue, inventory counts, and so on can all be identified by the reporting tool, and analysis can be built using dimensions like date, purchase order, or customer information. When making reports, users can select criteria by dragging and dropping fields. Your team can generate tables, histograms, and pie charts, along with forecasting models, based on the data selected. They can also use these charts to make dashboards that refresh automatically or almost instantly. Tableau offers presentations and training videos to help you get a better grasp on BI reporting and all its potential uses.

The Goal of Business Intelligence Tools Reporting

The purpose of business intelligence reporting is to offer valuable data insights to help in decision-making. The power and duty to slice data to discover insights and trends shouldn’t be limited to analysts and IT developers. Business leaders require reports tailored to their own needs and preferences. It is expected that they will be able to read the report, comprehend the information included inside, draw their own conclusions, and make sound judgments based on the data presented.

The consolidation of disparate data sets into a unified database is another desired outcome of business intelligence reporting. Teams can eliminate competing versions of the truth when they all analyze the same data using the same system. There is a considerable improvement in the precision and efficiency of data analysis, as well as the convenience with which decision-makers can now navigate, view, and modify their data. However, without a BI reporting tool, none of these objectives can be reached.

Business Intelligence Applications

It’s not a novel idea to use BI tools to improve your company processes. In reality, the term “business intelligence” was first used in a book written in the 1800s to describe how a financier had been tricked by competitors using market knowledge. Naturally, we’ll be using a more up-to-date definition of the term: business intelligence (BI) as it is commonly understood today refers to the technologies, practices, and applications that gather, integrate, analyze, and present business data for the purpose of making data-driven business decisions.

What Are Business Intelligence Examples?

Here are some real-world applications of BI from a variety of groups and divisions:

#1. Analysts and Data Scientists

Analysts are expert users of free business intelligence (BI) systems; they utilize this data, together with robust analytics tools, to identify areas for growth and provide strategic recommendations to upper management.

#2. Finance

Users can gain actionable insights and a better grasp of the variables that contribute to profit and loss by integrating financial data with data from other functional areas such as operations, marketing, and sales.

#3. Marketing

Marketers are able to monitor the success of their campaigns from one centralized digital location thanks to business intelligence technologies. Free business intelligence tools allow for constant monitoring of campaigns, evaluation of past and current efforts, and forecasting of future ones. The marketing department can now see the big picture and share meaningful visualizations with the rest of the firm thanks to this data.

#4. Sales

Sales data analysts and operation managers frequently used business intelligence (BI) dashboards and key performance indicators (KPIs) to gain instantaneous access to complex information including discount analysis, customer profitability, and customer lifetime value. Dashboards with reports and data visualizations help sales managers keep an eye on revenue goals, sales rep performance, and the health of the sales pipeline.

#5. Operations

Managers can use information like supply chain analytics to streamline operations and save time and money. Maintaining SLA compliance and enhancing distribution channels are two other uses for business intelligence.

Is Google Analytics a Business Intelligence Tool?

Google Analytics is not a business intelligence tool despite the popular notion.

There are a plethora of competing meanings, but this one will do:

To a greater extent than traditional business intelligence, web analytics seeks to examine user interactions across online marketing awareness, social media, mobile, video engagements, and the web itself. These kinds of actions are not personally identifiable, are not transactional (in the language of traditional IT), have a short shelf life, and are much more directly tied to statistics, with all the drawbacks that entail kinds. Business intelligence, on the other hand, relies on historical transaction data to bolster credibility, pinpoint target audiences, and conduct in-depth research and analysis to enhance operational procedures and strategic planning.

Is SQL a Business Intelligence Tool?

Because it is the only language that can be used to communicate with relational databases, SQL is a crucial aspect of business intelligence. In fact, SQL is so crucial that it is used as a differentiating factor among business intelligence systems.

One way to look at it is that SQL is the language you use to query and retrieve information about your data, while each BI tool offers a unique approach to doing so. And once you know, you can use that information to your advantage by making business decisions based on hard numbers.

What Questions Does Business Intelligence Ask?

Here are five questions to ask solution vendors about business intelligence to help you evaluate potential data analytics and BI products.

#1. Can Your BI Tool Scale With My Business?

It’s possible that you’ll need to make some adjustments to your present data sources, key performance indicators, business questions, and so on. Selecting a business intelligence platform only on its current usefulness is a recipe for disaster. The best solution today may be completely ineffective in two, three, or five years, as almost nothing stays the same. Think about the future of your business and how the vendor can adapt to it.

#2. Can You Provide Customer Recommendations?

You should inquire about references from prospective vendors that can attest to the software’s success in generating a positive return on investment for other customers. Since first-hand accounts from companies of a comparable size operating in related industries and analyzing similar data sources are the most reliable, we advise you to look for such accounts within your industry. It’s not about getting your hands on the best tool there is; rather, it’s about finding the best answer for your own problems.

#3. Is There a Support Package Included? What Does It Include?

Self-service has become increasingly popular, which has made a difference for many businesses. Support services are a necessity for solution providers to keep non-technical users operational. You should learn what kinds of support are included in the price of a license. Popular supplementary forms of support include deployment aid, devoted customer care reps, user training, certification, and community discussion boards.

FAQs

What is business intelligence examples?

Business intelligence is utilized by the operational, financial, marketing, and sales departments.

What are the 4 concepts of business intelligence?

To help businesses make better, data-informed decisions, “business intelligence” brings together techniques including business analytics, data mining, data visualization, data tools and infrastructure, and best practices.

What are the steps in business intelligence?

Data collection, storage, analysis, and access are the four pillars of business intelligence.

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