How do executives use business intelligence software

Business software

The volume of data is not only increasing incessantly in the corporate environment. It is all the more important to focus on the data that is relevant in order to come up with realizable solutions for all kinds of business problems. That is exactly what Business Intelligence (BI) is all about.

BI tools can help correlate the right data and visualize it in such a way that the relationships are understandable. How simple this process is and how (well) data can be visualized in concrete terms depends heavily on the business intelligence software chosen: It is important that the BI solution fits the company's requirements.

This list of the best business intelligence tools currently available is designed to help you determine the most suitable solution for you. The following BI tools are covered in this article:

Board: 3-in-1 Business Intelligence

Board combines three tools in one solution: Business Intelligence, Predictive Analytics and Performance Management come together in the software that wants to offer something for everyone - but basically focuses more on finance-oriented BI. However, the board solution provides various modules - for example for finance (planning and consolidation), HR (skills mapping and workforce planning), marketing (social media analyzes, loyalty monitoring), supply chain (delivery optimization, supplier management) ), Sales (various sales analyzes) and IT (KPIs, service levels). The company is based in Switzerland and offers its BI tool in various languages. Since the last software update, Board has moved away from the MOLAP approach and instead relies on in-memory calculations.

  • Target group: Enterprise (all areas, but focus on finance);

  • Special Features: Multi Language Support (English, Spanish, Chinese Japanese, French, Italian and German);

  • Price: license costs depend on the role of the user;

Domo: BI made simple

The cloud-based BI platform Domo primarily relies on user-oriented dashboards and simple user guidance. Domo includes BI tools for various industries (such as financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and education) and roles (CEOs, sales, BI and IT professionals). CIOs should first test data integration with AWS, Jira, GitHub or New Relic before using the more than 500 other integration options to their advantage.

  • Target audience: CEOs, sales and marketing, BI professionals;

  • special features: reliable, mobile interface;

  • Price on request;

Dundas BI: Flexible and Embedded

The BI solution from Dundas, "Data Visualization", is primarily used to create dashboards and scorecards. In addition, it is also suitable for standard and ad-hoc reporting. Analyzes and visualizations are carried out via a web interface that can be adapted to the skills of the user: Power users can enjoy extended features. The latest version of the Dundas Business Intelligence Tool includes an in-memory engine, natural language search queries, trend analyzes, Linux support and an application development environment for specific analyzes. The BI solution is primarily aimed at large companies in various industries and specializes in "Embedded BI".

  • Target group: C-Level, HR, finance department, sales, marketing, customer service;

  • special features: flexible HTML5 interface that can be adapted to all types of devices;

  • Price: depends on the number of parallel users;

Google Data Studio: Free Business Intelligence

As is well known, Google constantly analyzes the entire World Wide Web. So why not corporate data as well? Google's Data Studio was once a dashboard and reporting tool for analytics - in the meantime it has been expanded to a comprehensive business intelligence tool through the integration of connectors (including for Criteo, LinkedIn, MailChimp, PayPal, Salesforce, Stripe and Twitter) . As expected, Google Data Studio is hosted in the cloud and operated via a web interface.

  • Target group: everyone with a Google account;

  • special features: the price;

  • Price: free;

Looker: Two ways to BI happiness

Looker takes a two-pronged business intelligence approach: On the one hand, users can search through data according to their own criteria. For those who don't really know what they are actually looking for, the BI tool integrates additional experts in the form of external software providers who can provide their own analytics capabilities in the form of vertical apps "powered by Looker" . Looker supports cloud-based analytics databases such as Amazon Redshift and Athena, Google BigQuery, Microsoft Azure and Snowflake. Since the acquisition by Google in February 2020 (purchase price: 2.6 billion dollars), Looker has been part of the Google Cloud platform.

  • Target group: small and medium-sized companies;

  • special features: web-based with the option of integrating live data from all SQL databases;

  • Price on request;

Microsoft Power BI: The 365-degree view

With the help of the Power BI desktop application for Windows systems, users can analyze and visualize data from local or cloud-based sources and publish the results in reporting form on the Power BI platform. According to the Gartner Quadrant, the leading business intelligence solution from Microsoft supports data preparation, visual-based discovery, interactive dashboards and augmented analytics.

The free version of the Power BI app is aimed at individual users, while the pro version is intended to simplify collaborative analyzes. The paid version also enables the integration of raw data via Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint and Teams. In addition, it is also possible to integrate company data that is stored in Microsoft Dynamics 365, Azure SQL Data Warehouse or third-party sources such as Salesforce via connectors.

  • Target group: Microsoft users;

  • special features: mobile app allows touchscreen annotations for reports;

  • Price: free, pro version for around 10 dollars a month, premium on request (depending on capacity);

Qlik Sense: Self-Service Business Intelligence

In the case of Qlik, the objective is: Everyone in the company should have access to all of their data - in compliance with the applicable data governance guidelines, of course. The amount of this data is capable of bringing most database engines to their knees. At Qlik, however, they are convinced that the in-house "Associative Engine" masters data correlations of any granularity inside out and therefore makes the search for a connection much easier. In the meantime, this database engine also uses AI or machine learning capabilities. Qlik Sense comes as a self-service BI tool either from the cloud or as an on-premises version.

  • Target group: all companies;