Finest Software Business Intelligence – BI Tools (or business intelligence software) are designed to help key decision makers make informed decisions by pulling financial and non-financial data directly from ERP systems. BI tools transform this data into powerful analytics and reports.
To help you choose the best solution to integrate with your existing system, we evaluated some of the most popular options on the market. We decided that the best software should have features like online analytical processing (OLAP), big data, key performance indicators (KPIs), and data integration. From our research of over 20 options, we have compiled a list of the best BI Tools software.
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Microsoft’s flagship Power BI tool is available for free and can be downloaded directly from the Microsoft Store. The free license will enable only some of the features of Power BI, such as connection to 70+ data sources, the ability to publish to the web, and the ability to export to platforms such as PowerPoint and Excel. This version is great for doing your own analysis, as long as you don’t need to share that analysis with any other end users (which is a feature of the Pro version).
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The Oracle Business Intelligence 12c solution provides visual analytics to let any department in your organization make better decisions. They market themselves as having a modern analytics platform, advanced analytics capabilities, data visualization, mobile access, and self-service capabilities.
Adaptive Insights markets itself as a corporate performance management (CPM) tool to provide business planning and analytics at scale. The software is cloud-based and intended for use by larger enterprises. Adaptive Insights provides standard reporting features as well as data discovery, visualization, and available versions for your most important Finance, Sales, and Workforce Planning departments.
SAP Analytics Cloud is known for their ERP solutions like SAP Business One. They are also a leader in data analysis and visualization. Their cloud BI software uses the in-memory computing power of SAP HANA to deliver real-time SaaS business intelligence.
Tableau has many great features that make it easy to share data across interactive dashboards. Involve your entire team or organization in the decision-making process to get better results. Embedded analytics are scalable to fit your business needs.
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QlikView is a free cloud BI intended for use by individuals. Both the Desktop version and the Cloud Basic version have fully interactive apps, sharing capabilities (up to 5 users), and free access to the Qlik DataMarket. QlikView has a Personal Edition that offers unlimited access (not a trial product) for user-driven exploration and analysis.
Business intelligence software, also known as BI tools, are designed to collect and sort historical data, create engaging visuals, then help you analyze and report on your findings. Business intelligence software is aimed at providing detailed data visualization to higher levels of management. This gives key decision makers the ability to make better decisions based on relevant business data pulled from their ERP systems, rather than on gut instinct. Machine learning applications further assist data analysts in visualizing actionable insights.
What sets business intelligence software apart from standard reporting is the ability to report on both financial and non-financial data sources. Each data set can be customized to your business needs. Now you can see the time it takes to produce each product, how many parts and materials are needed, how much is produced per hour by each worker, etc. The more independent datasets you have, the better performance overview you get.
The information collected enables users to make informed decisions going forward such as: Do we hire more workers? Can we afford to take on a new customer who will double the output? Will a new machine speed up the processes and efficiency of the manufacturing process?
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Successful companies are always planning, analyzing and reporting on practical activities in order to gain more efficiency, reduce costs and gain more market share. The following applications can be part of any business intelligence software and help you achieve results:
OLAP performs multidimensional analysis of business data. They allow companies to perform complex calculations, evaluate trends, and work with data modeling to predict future events.
Big Data is another way of referring to a large data set. Big Data can be analyzed through computer software to reveal patterns, trends and connections.
A KPI is a business metric that has been deemed particularly useful in reflecting the achievement of an important business outcome.
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These are commonly used by organizations to evaluate the success of a particular activity in which it is involved. These assessments often lead to the identification of potential improvements. Include the modifier “key” that is most important in qualifying for KPI status.
Once the goals are identified and you have solid key performance indicators, a business management system will help track those goals. Graphical reports and sorting/filtering capabilities keep managers up-to-date on the progress of those goals.
Data integration refers to the ability to import whatever data is deemed necessary for analysis and creation into visualizations, reports, or other types of business information. Data integration tools are the foundation of business intelligence, as BI functions would be impossible without first collecting data from multiple sources and bringing it together into one comprehensive platform.
These data integration tools are sometimes referred to as Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), Enterprise Information Integration (EII), or Extract, Transform Load (ETL). Use these tools with BI software to generate complex data centers.
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Beyond the previously mentioned features in BI systems, you’ll want to look for the following functionality to ensure you have an adequate option:
BI software pricing is highly dependent on the number of users (report creators and viewers). Another primary cost factor is the amount of data stored in the application (file size) and how often this data needs to be updated (ie data captured from sources such as your underlying financial system ). Likewise, choosing an on-premise or Cloud solution will affect the overall cost.
Some business intelligence software will advertise as low as $10/user/month, but these pricing plans are usually very limited, and designed to get users in the door. When you look at adding necessary functions, the price of the software will increase.
It can be a great guide to look at the relationship between user count and the most realistic price:
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Of course, there are a number of free options available. Most developers understand that business intelligence software is a tool that any size business can apply to their operations. Most free solutions offer a stripped down version of the paid software. Other plans offer a basic product for free with the ability to add features and functionality as you go for a cost.
Microsoft Power BI Desktop can help you create unique dashboards from your data for free, but you’ll need a paid license if you want to send or share this data with others in your company.
Business intelligence tools boost efficiency, reduce costs, provide data integration and integrity, and allow for faster identification of actionable insights. All of this gives users the information they need to improve decision making.
Real-time BI tools enable dashboards to compare historical data with the most current data available. Predictive analytics is built on top of having real-time insight into your numbers, and will pull data from whatever source is needed (inventory, customers, services, and more).
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Financial indicators enable managers to see where they stand for the day, month, quarter and year. Through business intelligence software, managers will also be able to review the financial data for the year but also look at the current year and compare it to previous years. As well as looking at past data, business intelligence tools also create projections based on past performance showing possible outcomes.
Analytics platforms can provide you with data or trends on whatever platform you want. And while business intelligence is often linked to financial insights (such as for budgeting purposes), the core function of any BI tool is the ability to collect raw data. When it comes to marketing and social media insights, this can mean customer demographics, behaviors, and search habits. For businesses on the go, it could mean access is required on mobile devices.
While BI isn’t necessarily going to make you sales, it will help you build existing relationships with your base, whether it’s direct consumers or other businesses. Developing profiles of the buyers your company is targeting used to include surveys, focus groups, and other forms of interaction that once required a lot of time and user engagement. Business intelligence software automatically gathers real-time marketing insights about customers so you no longer have to comb through the results manually.
Most importantly, social media will help you find clusters of people with similar interests and sort them based on their age, income, gender, and more. This can be vital information for marketers who want to connect with the people most interested in their products.
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Business intelligence modules were initially designed for data preparation and visualization in large companies. The focus was to take all the raw data locked up in financial and operations systems and turn it into useful business intelligence. Although this software
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