Business Intelligence (BI) Tools

Best Business Intelligence (BI) Tools include:

Alteryx Platform, TIBCO Spotfire, Domo, Looker, TIBCO Jaspersoft, Tableau Desktop, Microsoft Power BI, SAP Analytics Cloud, Google Charts, QlikView, Salesforce Einstein Analytics (formerly Wave Analytics), Qlik Sense, SAP Crystal, and SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform.

Business Intelligence (BI) Tools TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 50 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Business Intelligence (BI) Tools Overview

What is Business Intelligence (BI)?

Business Intelligence tools are designed to make sense of the huge quantities of data that organizations accumulate over time. BI tools analyze this information and present it as actionable information that can guide decision making.

Business Intelligence software (BI) makes up a large heterogeneous category of software. Not all tools in the category can be meaningfully compared to each other. There are several types of BI tools of which the most substantive are Full-Stack Business Intelligence Tools and Data Visualization Tools.

Business Intelligence Tools Features & Capabilities

  • BI Platform Type
  • Supported Data Sources
  • Standard Reporting
  • Ad-Hoc Reporting
  • Report Output and Scheduling
  • Data Discovery and Visualization
  • Access Control and Security
  • Mobile Capabilities
  • APIs / Embedding

Full-Stack Business Intelligence Tools

Full-stack or traditional products are enterprise-level BI tools designed to solve the specific problem of enterprise data silos. Much crucial business data is stored in a range of different data stores, many attached to business applications like ERP. Full-stack BI tools consolidate all data in a data warehouse which is a relational database designed for data mining instead of transactional processing.

Slices of data from the warehouse—usually summary data for a single department like sales or finance—are stored in a “data mart” for quick access. All of this structured data is normalized by using an ETL process (Extract, Transform and Load) whereby transactional data is combined into a single pool of data and then “transformed” into a more appropriate format for querying and analysis before being written in the data warehouse database.

The Full-Stack Business Intelligence TrustMap shows only those products that belong in this sub-category.

Data Discovery and Visualization Business Intelligence

Data Visualization products have a different purpose. These BI tools are primarily designed to help data analysts discover patterns in large quantities of data and to build compelling visual representations which allow these patterns to be easily understood.

These business intelligence tools often use a technology called in-memory analytics to query data residing on a computer’s RAM rather than on a physical disk. This means that the data does not have to be stored anywhere for subsequent analysis.

Data visualization products often have lower cost of implementation and require less support. This can make them good business intelligence tools for small companies that don’t need a full-stack business intelligence solution.

The Data Visualization TrustMap shows only those tools that belong in this sub-category.

Business Intelligence Software Comparison

When considering different business intelligence tools, consider the following aspects of each product offering.
  1. Ease of Use: Some BI tools offer high complexity and customization, but can be difficult for non-technical users. You should consider the technical ability of the staff that will be using the BI tools as well as if you need more complex features.

  2. Compatibility: Many BI tools are not complete, end-to-end solutions. For some organizations, purchasing BI software from multiple vendors may be necessary. If your business needs BI features that aren’t all covered in a single product, be sure to ask venders about integrations and compatibility with other software.

  3. Scalability: Some BI software doesn’t scale up very well as data needs increase. Consider the breadth of data generated by your organization and decide if that amount will stay the same or increase. If your data needs will increase, be sure to choose a BI solution that can handle your expected growth.

Pricing Information

Business Intelligence software is generally quite expensive. However, it’s worth remembering that it is often money very well-spent in terms of significantly improved decision-making.

One of the impediments to understanding pricing is that vendors base their pricing on a broad range of different variables from number of users to number of CPU cores.

However, as a very rough guide, advanced report authoring can cost $2,000 to $2,500 per seat, while interactive report viewing can be about half that amount. Static report viewing can be as little as $50 per seat.

More Resources

Business Intelligence (BI) Products

(1-25 of 204) Sorted by Most Reviews

Kyubit Business Intelligence
Kyubit Business Intelligence is software designed for web based OLAP analysis and Dashboard management within the Microsoft technology environment. The vendor says Kyubit allows users to easily create OLAP reports and Dashboards based on SQL and OLAP data. Users can share reports with a team or crea…
PivotData REST Service
PivotData REST Service is a .NET Core microservice (web application) that provides a web API for calculating pivot tables in the real time (in-memory OLAP engine + build-in ROLAP). It may be hosted either on Windows or Linux. Some key features include: direct connection to SQL or MongoDb databases…
i2e- Dynamic Enterprise Forecasting platform
i2e is a fully integrated forecasting and insights platform that leverages Microsoft Excel® for ease-of-use. The vendor says i2e enables organizations to conduct the following: Strategic long range forecasting and planning globallyOperational historical forecasting locally and globally i2e provides…
DAVinCI LABS is an artificial intelligence based predictive analytics software that discovers patterns within enterprise data with machine learning algorithms. The findings will be converted into a deployable prediction model that can be easily integrated with virtually any strategic system. It can …
Active Intelligence Server (AIS)
Active Intelligence Server (AIS) is a feature-rich Reporting Server used by millions of users from various open source reporting communities, i.e. BIRT, Jaspersoft and Pentaho. Users can deploy new and existing reports onto AIS. The vendor says AIS's self service BI capabilities are designed to enab…
SyncFirst Standard
SyncFirst turns text documents, PDFs, formatted ASCII files and electronic reports into usable data tables. Once the information is captured in a table, users can create filters to view subsets of the data, sort the table on any combination of fields, create summaries that show totals for numeric fi…
Metric Insights
Metric Insights is a business intelligence solution designed as a supplemental tool to Tableau. It monitors data and reaches out to users if key performance indicators, which are stored in a KP repository, vary to a significant degree. In the event of variance, the system send out an alert.
Starcom Business Intelligence tool is a self-service BI tool which allows business users to discover trends, track KPIs and visualize data, with the goal of enabling better decisions based on data. StarBI helps users connect to multiple data sources, create and schedule reports, set alerts and run p…
OZ Report
OZ Report is designed to allow users to create business sales reports, dashboards, scorecard, charts, and trends with ease. OZ Report supports the entire life cycle of business reports from scratch to distribution and operation.According to the vendor, users with and without coding backgrounds are a…
Altair SmartSight (formerly Carriots Analytics)
Altair SmartSight (formerly Carriots Analytics) is a cloud data analytics platform for embedded, Big Data, and IoT applications. It provides secure and rapid free-form data visualization and exploration, scalable throughout the enterprise in real time.
HelpSystems Sequel Data Access
Sequel Data Access from HelpSystems is a data querying tool for the IBMi series of computers.
Shyft Analytics
Shyft analytics is a data management and mobile analytics product for the life sciences industry.
Numerics aims to help companies make better decisions by making relevant KPIs accessible at the right time. It allows users to visualize all vital business statistics, live, in one place on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV. According to the vendors, key capabilities include:Visualize KPIs in …
Profitect in Burlington offers their retail analytics and exception based reporting (EBR) platform supporting retailers with machine learning of use for tracking and improving traffic and conversion, detecting fraud or unusual behavior (e.g. abuse of refund policy), and supporting operations inheren…
IBM Hybrid Data Management Platform
IBM Hybrid Data Management Platform is designed to manage data and facilitate analysis across on-premise or cloud databases or integrated across structured and unstructured data types. Deployable resources are tied directly to pricing via IBM FlexPoints, which are bought on a subscription basis.
Inzata Analytics
Inzata Analytics promises to be a full-service data analytics platform for integrating, enriching, and exploring data of any kind, from any source, at massive scale. Its AI-Powered data modeling and patented analytics engine aim to help users load, blend, and model raw and unstructured data at grea…
IBM Decision Optimization Center
IBM Decision Optimization Center offers a configurable and extensible platform for optimization-based planning and scheduling applications.
According to the vendor, Analance is a robust, scalable end-to-end advanced analytics platform that combines machine learning, artificial intelligence, business intelligence, and data management capabilities in one integrated, self-serve platform. The platform is built to deliver core analytical pro…
CrunchMetrics is a SaaS platform that aims to help users conduct business opportunity discovery through anomaly detection powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. According to the vendor, this product delivers business insights and helps users spot business opportunities that are oth…
CitiusTech Bi-Clinical
CitiusTech headquartered in Princeton offers Bi-Clinical, a healthcare analytics and business intelligence (BI) platform designed for healthcare delivery organizations.
Netlink headquartered in Madison Heights offers Lumenore, a business intelligence (BI) tool and analytics engine supporting a variety of purposes.
InsightSquared Slate
InsightSquared Slate is the company's custom report building tool. While InsightSquared's Tile platform contains a multitude of prebuilt reports designed to provide total sales performance and pipeline oversight, Slate is designed to provide insight into relatively business-specific or analytics uni…
Xavient Strategy Dashboard Solution
Xavient Digital offers their Strategy Dashboard Solution, a BI tool used to create executive dashboards.
Altvia Answers
Altvia Answers is purpose-built to private equity that provides an interactive business intelligence and analytics solution that allows you to view data from multiple sources all in one place. According to the vendor, Answers makes it easy to perform complex analyses at any time as an end-to-end, pr…
InsightHub offers a diverse array of qualitative and quantitative research tools all in one place, making it easy to manage, distribute and activate insight. Powerful user management features, the ability to run unlimited concurrent projects and a range of participant controls means access can even …

Frequently Asked Questions

What problem does business intelligence solve?

Business intelligence tools help to make sense of the enormous quantities of data business have regarding customers, suppliers, and business partners, and help uncover the insights within that data that are vital to winning in the marketplace. Business intelligence is an umbrella term for various methods of collecting and analyzing this data to help organizations make data-driven decisions.

What are data discovery and visualization products?

Data discovery and visualization products are primarily designed to help data analysts and business users discover patterns and outliers in large quantities of data, and to build compelling visual representations which allow these trends and patterns to be easily understood. Commonly available visualizations include charts, graphs, and maps.

What is embedded business analytics?

Embedded analytics is the integration of BI capabilities directly into a business application or portal. The idea is to provide analytics that are contextual. In other words, analytics tools are available directly within whatever business application is being used at a given moment, whether it be Salesforce, an ERP system, or a marketing automation tool.

What is augmented analytics?

Augmented analytics is a term used to denote the use of machine learning and natural language processing to automate insights into datasets generated by analytics and BI tools. Today, many well-known BI platforms have built-in capabilities to automate data preparation and detect some correlations and anomalies in large data sets. The ultimate goal is for this technology to be capable of analysis and even insight generation and action plan generation.

What is the difference between business intelligence and data science?

Both business intelligence and more recent technologies like data science are predicated on gaining business insight based on data analysis. The primary function of BI tools is to explore past trends in a business’s historical data and compare data across time. Data science tools, on the other hand, use algorithms to understand and predict a business’s future performance. Data scientists build data models to try to answer questions or discover predictive patterns in huge volumes of data.