Business Intelligence Systems: An Overview of Top Solutions
It has become incredibly important for modern businesses to implement accurate and data-driven strategies to stay ahead of their competitors and retain clients. But how can one properly process massive volumes of data and derive needed insights from it? This is where business intelligence may come to the rescue.
Business intelligence is a great tool to ensure everyone in the company has access to high-quality data and makes the right business decisions. In this article, we'll cover the top benefits of Business Intelligence and its core features and an overview of the top BI solutions to choose from.
What is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence (BI for short) is a set of processes for collecting, processing, analyzing, and transforming business data into meaningful insights that companies can use to make data-driven decisions. A business intelligence system consists of multiple technologies (Software-as-a-service BI, Mobile BI), processes (data mining, reporting), and tools (Sisense) that companies use to work with their data.
The main benefits of BI for companies include:
- Valuable business data: business intelligence eliminates guesswork from decision-making and uncovers many hidden insights;
- Competitive analysis: companies can monitor their sales and marketing performance and compare them against the competition;
- Improved operational efficiency: BI provides a holistic view of the company’s performance and helps identify development opportunities;
- Increased revenue: business intelligence helps companies ask more accurate questions about why things are happening, make comparisons across various metrics, and identify weaknesses in sales.
Key features of Business Intelligence
In general, BI encompasses three core processes:
- Data management: helps organize an unstructured set of data by processing it in a BI system;
- Data discovery: the ability to explore and discover needed data and extract meaningful insights from it (data mining, OLAP);
- Reporting: presents information in a user-friendly manner and effectively communicates the consequences of data analysis (visualizations, dashboards).
A BI tool includes a variety of complex processes that perform different functions - let’s focus on the key ones below:
- Data mining: the process of discovering and collecting data;
- Reporting: provides data analysis to stakeholders in the form of easy-to-understand reports;
- Dashboards: dashboards center around KPIs (key performance indicators) that help decision-makers focus on critical metrics;
- OLAP (Online Analytical Processing): supports complex data analysis and manages large datasets;
- Data visualization: transforms data into clear and understandable charts, graphs, and bar graphs;
- Predictive analytics: statistical, modeling, machine learning, and data mining tools allow companies to develop strategies for the future, assess unknown risks, and recognize opportunities;
- Data processing: compiles multiple data sources, dimensions, and measurements, and prepares them for analysis.
Top 5 Business Intelligence solutions
While companies can require a software vendor to design a custom Business Intelligence system, the process might take too much time and financial investment. Hence, we suggest looking at the top BI solutions available in the market.
Price: free demo, contact the vendor
Sisense is considered to be a leading business intelligence solution that offers robust features for real-time data collection, organization, analysis, and visualization. The platform offers interaction with the data through low code, no code, or classic coding so the solution is suitable for users of all levels of technical expertise.
The core benefit of Sisense is its powerful OLAP-like functionality and scalable ad-hoc analytics. And since Sisense is preferred by such brands as eBay, Philips, and Samsung, there might be a very good reason for its popularity. The answer lies in the many benefits that this software offers:
- Instant deployment: сonnecting Sisense BI to the SQL Server occurs instantly and without the need to attract IT specialists;
- Minimal cost of ownership: with Sisense, companies can use a single tool to handle any type and size of data, without having to invest in additional services;
- High performance: The Sisense In-Chip technology allows the system to leverage the CPU cache and quickly process and prepare the data when a new query is executed;
- Integration with other products: Sisense's REST API provides seamless integration with other applications.
Price: free demo, Tableau Browser is $35/month, Tableau Creator is $70/ month
Tableau is a comprehensive software with powerful analytics that focuses on large and medium-sized enterprises. Tableau helps companies quickly connect, modify or convert vast amounts of raw data into a convenient format. The solution offers many benefits to users and helps analyze data in a way that helps users make profitable decisions. The main benefits of Tableau are:
- Connection with various data sources: Tableau allows users to connect to a variety of data sources, thus importing and visualizing data quickly and easily;
- Advanced collaboration: Tableau offers a feature-rich dashboard where multiple users can collaborate on the data;
- Multiple methods of data exploration: instead of having to conduct analysis using a single method, the user can combine different approaches and data views to obtain a holistic view of the data;
- Flexible pricing and deployment: Tableau allows users to deploy the system either in the cloud or on local servers, and offers both annual subscriptions and one-time payment licenses.
Price: free demo, $175/month plan
Domo is a versatile and comprehensive business intelligence software with reliable analytics, collaboration, and dashboard tools. There are two main Domo features that are worth highlighting though. The first one is a social collaboration which grants users access to collaborate through social networks and discuss topics online. The second feature is rich data visualization which allows users to choose the most suitable format.
Domo is an open-source platform that offers a set of development tools and APIs for quick application setup. If you have a technical team, the software offers integration with third-party services in order to maximize its potential. The main benefits of Domo include:
- Easy access: Domo has a flexible set of connectivity options for smooth data transfer;
- Mobile-friendly: Domo is available on Android and iOS mobile devices, thus allowing users to manage their business from anywhere;
- Domo Support: Domo University is a database that contains support reports, testimonial videos, white papers, and interactive tutorials that can help users with using Domo;
- Suitable for all types of businesses: the business cloud is built to work at a scale thus offering a suitable solution for businesses of any size and type.
Price: contact the vendor
GoodData specializes in cloud-based business intelligence and big data analytics. Its core offering is Platform as a Service (PaaS) - an Open Analytics Platform. GoodData helps companies gain deep insights into their enterprise data, improves the efficiency of business processes and helps increase revenue without sacrificing the functionality or performance of their systems and apps.
GoodData has a marketing analytics feature that allows companies to understand and respond appropriately to the behavior and needs of their customers. GoodData has it all: data warehousing, self-discovery, advanced analytics, and visualization gathered together in one convenient cloud-based analytics platform. The main benefits of GoodData are:
- Collaborative learning in the cloud: email sharing and collaboration make it easy to adapt and share information with all stakeholders;
- Flexible workspace management: provides decentralized productivity for analysts while maintaining centralized control of the environment at the production level;
Price: contact the vendor
Looker is a BI tool that specializes in data discovery. With Looker, companies can analyze various data sets regardless of their size. One of the interesting features of Looker is its collaboration feature. That means, data projects or datasets can be saved as Git projects, thus allowing developers to track changes in the SQL code and work together.
Looker's ease of visualization allows users to place objects of different sizes on the dashboard, add new display options, or even import visual elements. Because it's a web application that runs in a browser, Looker supports multiple devices and can run on laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets. The main benefits of Looker that you should know are:
- The convenience of use: Looker is compatible with any web browser and mobile device, thus enabling greater mobility during collaboration;
- Ease of use: Looker does not require technical skills to work with it so users can immediately drill down into data analysis.
- Flexible LookML language: data analysts can use flexible and simple LookML language to create mini-applications that increase the efficiency and power of data exploration.
A Business Intelligence system can greatly improve the performance of your company but only if you select a tool that aligns with your objectives and goals. When choosing a BI solution, consider different criteria such as access to different data sources, ease of reporting, collaboration options, and data management structure. A company can reap the full benefits of Business Intelligence by choosing the right vendor so we highly recommend investing a certain amount of time into researching available options.
Business Intelligence systems is greatly helpful for business enhacements. This is so informative and a good content, thank you for sharing.