Last editedApr 20212 min read
With such a vast selection of data out there, how can a business sift through it all to extract meaning? This is where business intelligence tools can help. We’ve rounded up six of the most useful business intelligence solutions below.
What is business intelligence?
Business intelligence software analyses, processes, and converts data into useful information. It can be used by analysts and business managers alike to make more informed, data-driven decisions. Because big data is so vast and complex, you need the right tools to process these quantities of structured and unstructured data. Business intelligence might use concepts like a data warehouse, which is a system for processing big data to support decision making.
Data mining is another technique used in this process, applying statistical techniques to large quantities of raw data. Through data analysis, you can pick out useful trends, patterns, and relationships between large databases.
How is business intelligence useful?
This process can be quite important for today’s businesses, applicable to numerous industries beyond tech and IT. Here are a few benefits of finding business intelligence solutions:
Gain new insights into customer behaviour
Cut costs by analysing trends
Cut down time spent on data analysis
Boost inter-office productivity
Sifting through data without the right tools means you may be missing important patterns that could otherwise benefit your business. These business intelligence tools make it easier to visualise patterns, including dashboards, data warehouses, data discovery tools and more.
The best business intelligence solutions
Here’s our choice of the best BI tools on the market for 2021.
The first pick on this list is Sisense, a comprehensive tool with built-in IoT, AI and machine learning. You don’t have to be an authority in any of these fields to use this software, however, which is perhaps its main strength and why it’s used by a wide range of big-name corporations. Additional features include the ability to analyse data in area-specific and wider landscapes, visualising both live and cached data on a streamlined dashboard. You can choose from cloud-based or on-premises versions, with solutions for logistics, marketing, finance, sales, HR, and IT.
2. Oracle Analytics Cloud
You’re likely already familiar with some form of Oracle software, but Oracle Analytics Cloud is ideal for business intelligence. The original version was launched in 2014 but it’s since added a new Cloud HCM offering workforce analytics. This software’s strength is its user-friendly design, combined with powerful machine learning and analysis features. Tools available include predictive analytics, data connectors, and data preparation along with an accompanying app.
3. Microsoft Power BI
Microsoft’s addition to the business intelligence software landscape is Microsoft Power BI, available free to Windows users. You can purchase the enhanced Pro version, which includes collaborative analysis tools that work alongside Teams, SharePoint, and Office365. Features include data preparation, dashboard views, and augmented analytics.
4. Board International
Board combines business intelligence with performance management and predictive analytics, making it an extremely useful tool for any corporation setting. The main emphasis is on BI, with features designed to analyse and present finance-related data. But all departments will find useful features embedded within Board, including up-selling analyses for the sales department and social media analysis for marketing purposes.
Another great all-rounder is Tableau, with versions available both on the premises and in the cloud. You can choose from tailored platforms designed for an array of industries, whether you work in healthcare, finance, or the retail sector. Standout features include survey mapping and analysis, as well as AI-based language processing and predictive analytics.
Our final choice in this roundup of business intelligence software is Domo, a cloud-based platform offering user-friendly dashboards. Tools are tailored to a range of different industries, including education, finance, and healthcare. You can also drill down to find tools assigned to each role within an organisation, which means both CEOs and sales professionals should find useful data.
To choose the best business intelligence tool, you should look at options that cater to your industry and business size. By harnessing the power of big data, you can improve productivity, streamline workflows, and boost overall profitability.
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