Business Intelligence (BI): Applications and BI tools reviews

Business Intelligence (BI) Applications and BI tools reviews

Business Intelligence has been around for a long time. It is a set of tasks, processes, and solutions which help an organization collect and analyze data to increase performance. BI applications extract information from complex databases and consolidate it for all stakeholders in the business to identify trends, patterns, and potential opportunities.

The technologies currently available for BI cover software platforms that organizations can use to analyze their data, such as business intelligence tools like Tableau Pro or Qlik Sense; interactive analytic tools like Looker or Domo; visualization platforms like D3-js; cloud computing options such as Amazon Web Services (AWS); mobile apps – e.g., Bime, Boxbee; and many others.

At the heart of any BI, the business solution stands a well-built application that enables efficient data collection, processing, and visualization. Business intelligence tools help organizations analyze their data, identify previously hidden business opportunities, and make better decisions. Organizations can improve their efficiency by understanding how they spend and allocate resources; they can also gain valuable insights into customer behavior and satisfaction levels, which help optimize customer retention.

Also, the knowledge and insight gained through business intelligence tools help create a more effective sales process. Not to mention, improving the organization’s overall performance increases its competitiveness in a given market by increasing profits or decreasing costs. Business intelligence applications are designed to empower all the main stakeholders in an organization and enable them to make better decisions.

Benefits of Business Intelligence Tools

The tools allow you to work with the latest data, whatever its source and format is: Data is constantly changing, and if you want to make informed decisions, you need access to up-to-date data. Using modern business intelligence tools, you can pull information from the sources, combine and enrich it with other data that may be available somewhere else; transform all this information into valuable and meaningful insights, visualize them in a way that helps everyone to understand what’s going on.

BI tools can be applied across the organization: These are usually visual analysis platforms that anyone can easily use. There’s no need for advanced technical expertise or knowledge of statistics. BI used to be very technical and complex in the past, but nowadays, the technologies are more streamlined and easier to use for anyone. You can open them on a tablet or smartphone or even bring them with you as an offline tool to a particular location – your computer is not required.

They provide better reporting: Reporting is one of the most vital aspects of any business; there’s no way around it. You must obtain helpful information from all your resources to keep track of your business performance. BI tools help you create charts, graphs, and data visualizations that showcase the trends affecting your organization and make it easier for decision-making.

The impact on the decision-making process: Good data intelligence is crucial for optimizing business performance. A well-developed reporting strategy will help you make informed decisions based on meaningful findings. Business Intelligence tools are easy to use. They’re user-friendly and provide you with a clear overview of your business environment, leading to better productivity and increased profit.

They’re available both on-premise and in the Cloud: You have to choose which one is more convenient for you, but starting with the cloud option might make sense if you don’t have time for on-premise installation and maintenance. Most popular BI platforms offer both options at similar prices, except that you don’t have any upfront costs with the cloud solution.

Cons of Business Intelligence Tools

Though BI tools can help improve business performance, they also have disadvantages.

The increased level of data available can increase an organization’s risk profile. This is because the collected information increases an organization’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks.

Furthermore, expectations regarding what BI tools should do and how they work often differ drastically between organizations with data and those without it:

Some of the more advanced business intelligence applications may require additional investment in hardware infrastructure if they need heavy processing power or storage capacity.

BI applications can be quite costly: This is true; some of the most advanced solutions for data intelligence are pricey, but this doesn’t mean that you cannot find some excellent options if you know where to look. You can even opt for cloud-based solutions that are not as expensive but still offer a great performing platform.

It’s not easy to use: BI applications are a unique set of tools you can use to obtain more value from your data. But they require in-depth knowledge and expertise. The best way to adopt a new solution is by leveraging technology experts who have already implemented these tools and can provide you with instructions on how to get started and make the most out of them.

These advantages and disadvantages of business intelligence apply to both small and large businesses. If you want to keep track of your data and understand what’s going on in your business, BI is the way to go. We’ve compiled a list of business intelligence tools reviews that will make data management and discovery more intuitive and straightforward to use, keep your data secure, and assure a higher level of productivity, resulting in increased revenues.

SAS Business Intelligence

SAS BI offers a wide variety of applications. More than 50 SAS BI components are available; You can choose from a wide range of analytical, visualization, and reporting options to address the most critical business needs and deliver insight to the top-level management teams.

Key Features

  • Data connectors and visualizations: Connect the disparate data sources to maintain a single consolidated view of your business operations, network, customers, and opportunities. You can also build interactive dashboards that organize your data in an elegant and informative manner.
  • Dynamic views: You can create self-service reporting or dashboards for different target audiences and help them make better decisions using filters, charts, and sophisticated comparison methods with flexible options for user interface customization if needed.
  • Data mining: This platform integrates powerful data mining functionality developed by IBM Watson to gain insights from your unstructured data sources faster.

Shortcomings

  • SAS BI is one of the most expensive emerging platforms in this segment. It is well-suited for large enterprises needing to consolidate data from multiple sources to perform business analysis and customer profiling.

DOMO

Domo is a BI platform that allows business users to connect to and analyze the data from any source, no matter where the data is held.

Key Features

  • Timesaving dashboards: The platform enables users to make sense of their data on a real-time basis and monitor relevant metrics to identify opportunities for change. It also helps improve company productivity through monitoring performance trends and providing its workforce with key insights that can be acted upon.
  • Interactive dashboards: Users can create powerful interactive dashboards which make the most crucial information readily available for everyone to understand and act upon.
  • Data exploration and analysis: This platform allows you to dig into your data in real-time using visual data discovery and analytical capabilities. It will enable you to gain insights from your data without any training quickly. The process also facilitates the set-up of user-defined view definitions, so you can easily define any customized models.
  • Magic ETL feature: This feature allows you to connect your data sources and analyze them to gain better insights from your data and quickly identify opportunities for change.

Shortcomings

  • Domo is not designed for newbies because the learning curve can be steep; however, they provide training, so be ready to learn. Their pricing models aren’t transparent, but based on the facts on the web, you may conclude it’s the most expensive option on our list.

SAP BI Platform

SAP BI provides a comprehensive business intelligence platform that enables users to consolidate and analyze data from multiple sources. It also allows them to explore that data in real-time and map and model that data.

Key Features

  • Data exploration: SAP BI allows users to explore their data in real-time and analyze trends and correlations. It also enables users to monitor performance metrics and user behavior data for increased efficiency and productivity.
  • Visualization: The platform provides users with powerful visualizations, allowing them to display their data intuitively and find key insights from the data quickly.
  • Integration with Office: SAP has developed an integration with Office to enable users to create reports and visualizations using any Office application easily.
  • In addition, users can also use SAP BI for Excel, a plug-in that enables them to connect with the SAP HANA platform and work with the data from the SAP Business Suite directly within Excel.

Shortcomings

  • Extensive analytical functions, according to some reviewers, are rarely usable without further user training. Furthermore, individual module costs are incredibly costly, and there are relatively few feature updates.

MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy is a business intelligence platform that allows users to consolidate, explore and analyze data from multiple sources. It also provides them with the means to perform predictive analytics.

Key Features

  • Federated analytics: It produces a simple data glossary built on an enterprise semantic graph that indexes all disparate data systems and allows visualizations of the same data, regardless of the tools you use.
  • Hyperintelligence pulls your data: This feature allows you to pull data from various systems in real-time, including databases, applications, and cloud storage.
  • MicroStrategy Analytics Accelerator: This feature allows users to improve performance within the platform and gain insights from their data at a faster pace.
  • Data models: This platform allows users to create advanced data models which can be used for further exploration and analysis.
  • Unified analytics: This platform integrates the capabilities of predictive analytics and business rules, allowing users to create detailed cross-tabs and cohort analyses easily.

Shortcomings

  • Because it involves multiple parties and an in-depth understanding of the application, some users report a complicated initial setup. The software’s ease of use is unquestionably lacking; “getting it up and operating” will necessitate highly skilled personnel.

Tableau

Tableau is a business intelligence platform that offers users an intuitive and visual way to explore and analyze their data. This platform allows users to consolidate, analyze and visualize any data in real-time.

Key Features

  • Low-code functionality: This platform allows users to build interactive dashboards using drag-and-drop functionality, making it easy to arrive at insights from their data without any training. Its easy-to-use interface also makes it possible for anyone to create visualizations and create data-driven insights within a short period.
  • Data model: Users can create and share data models to gain more insights from their data. These models, built using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, can be used to analyze and predict events based on past user behavior.
  • Easy collaboration: The platform offers users a suite of collaboration tools to work together remotely via a cloud-based architecture. The platform also allows users to quickly create reports and visualizations based on their data.

Shortcomings

  • The platform does not provide users with a means to integrate data from multiple sources in one place. It also lacks a visual interface, making it difficult for its users to quickly learn how to use its features.

Features and Factors to Consider in BI Platforms

  • Price: Know the pricing models of each platform you are considering. Examine subscription fees, per-user fees, and other costs associated with each business intelligence platform. Look into whether or not your business will have to pay an additional amount later if they decide they need more users or if they need to upgrade their current software.
  • Cost: Businesses should also understand the cost and efficiency of each platform. Consider how you will integrate the new platform with existing systems to leverage existing infrastructure and reduce costs. Look into whether or not the BI platforms offer customization options if you need them.
  • User Experience: Businesses need to look into whether or not the business intelligence platforms they are considering offer a seamless user experience. Find out if there is a user interface that can be used to set up, run and monitor reports. Organizations should also ensure that the platform offers support for data discovery, self-service analytics, collaboration, knowledge discovery, and interactive visualizations.
  • Offline Online Mode: Businesses should consider whether or not the business intelligence platform they are considering offers an offline mode. This will be important for companies that do not have access to a constant internet connection, especially in remote areas. Businesses should also find out if the platform allows users to run reports and analytics on mobile devices.
  • Ease of Integration: Businesses need to consider how easy it is to integrate the BI platforms they are considering with other systems in use by their company. Organizations need to be sure that their platform will integrate with their existing business intelligence, data warehousing, and business analytics systems. Businesses should also consider whether or not the business intelligence platform they are considering integrates with all of their data sources.
  • Customer feedback and reviews: Businesses need to consider customer feedback when choosing a business intelligence platform. They should look into what features customers like and dislike and how customer satisfaction has been in the past. Businesses should find out if the business intelligence platform has an established community of people developers can communicate with for customer support purposes.

Final Thoughts

It is important to note that choosing a business intelligence platform involves an immense amount of knowledge and research. It is necessary to look at what business needs the user’s company has, how much money they are willing to spend and if the platform can support their company’s goals.