What Are BI Tools? (Including 16 Various BI Tools and FAQs)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 29, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Gaining insight into how organizations perform helps companies make better decisions to increase productivity and profitability. Business intelligence (BI) helps maximize processes and operational efficiency to compete more effectively with other businesses in their niche. Understanding business intelligence tools can help you learn how to operate various discovery and dashboard technologies. In this article, we explore what BI tools are, discover 16 different business intelligence tools, and answer a few frequently asked questions.

What are BI tools?

Businesses use BI tools to transform raw data into useful information to support strategic and operational decisions. The most effective business intelligence comes from combining market data with internal data from the company, such as operations and financial information. A combination of data from internal and external sources, such as documents, health records, journals, videos, emails, and images, can provide a comprehensive view of the business's performance. It can also deliver a level of intelligence that's not achievable with a single source of information. Here are some advantages of BI tools:

  • Increase the speed of decision making

  • Enhance operational efficiency

  • Present alternative revenue sources

  • Optimize business processes

  • Provide a competitive advantage over competitors

  • Identify potential operational problems

  • Improve and speed up productivity

Related: 18 Data Analyst Skills for Success

16 business intelligence tools

The discovery of data traditionally required the expertise of analysts. Business intelligence reduces the amount of work for analysts by making it easier to gain insights into data, increase growth, resolve problems, and predict future results. Here are explanations for 16 different business intelligence tools:

MicroStrategy

The MicroStrategy tool provides users with a dashboard and data analytics to monitor trends, improve productivity, and identify growth opportunities. This tool can connect to several sources, including cloud-based data, spreadsheets, and business intelligence software. It's a good choice for individuals or companies who are new to business intelligence software.

Systems, applications, and products (SAP)

SAP is extremely versatile as a management and IT software program. SAP software includes modules for human resources, finance, and sales. As a BI tool, SAP provides machine learning, predictive analytics, planning, and analysis. Its capabilities include analytics, reporting, office integration, data visualization, and mobile analytics.

Related: 10 Skills Business Analysts Need for Workplace Success

Sisence

You can use and interact with data from a variety of sources with this user-friendly tool. Individuals can more easily manage large and complex sets of data by using in-chip technology. This tool also processes data more quickly than many other tools because of its in-chip technology. A chip is a small wafer of semiconductor material embedded with integrated circuitry.

Statistical analysis system (SAS)

With the SAS Business Intelligence tool, you can make informed decisions by leveraging metrics and data. With the application programming interfaces (APIs) offered by the software, the system allows for easy customization and easy integration of analytics and reports. API is a software intermediary that allows two applications to communicate with each other, such as using an app, sending an instant message, or checking the weather on a smartphone. Using SAS, users get a clear overview of information through fast processing and guided exploration.

Tableau

The purpose of tableau software is to help people view and understand their data. Using Tableau, you can visualize, analyze, and share data. Its non-technical design allows non-technical users to create dashboards and reports to get useful insights into a company's performance.

Qlik

Qlik offers interactive data analysis, which means you can explore data during input, processing, and output. It also provides a system memory feature that enables users to see each action during the analysis process. Its features include intuitive searching, interactive analytical tools, and visualization processes. Qlik is accessible to both desktop and mobile devices.

Dundas BI

With Dundas Business Intelligence, users can export data to any device or connect to any source of data. It includes data transformation tools, scaling modes, quick filters, and data generators. It's one of the leading tools for data visualization because it allows single-click, in-memory analysis.

Microsoft Power BI

With Microsoft Power BI, you can visualize data, perform predictive analytics, integrate big data, create storyboards, and easily export analytics reports. Since it's a web-based tool, anyone can access it regardless of location. Using this tool enables you to identify trends in real time and boost the company's campaign performance. Campaigns are sets of strategic activities that promote a business's goal or objective. A marketing campaign can promote a product, a service, or a brand.

Looker

Looker is a type of business intelligence that integrates with structured query language (SQL) databases. SQL is a domain-specific programming language designed for data management. It has powerful visualizations, collaborative capabilities, and reliable support. This BI tool platform is an excellent option for start-ups, midsize businesses, or enterprise-grade companies.

Domo

Domo BI platforms offer micro and macro-level analysis and data visibility, such as analyzing bestselling products or cash balances. A micro factor is something internal like customers, suppliers, and competitors, whereas a macro factor is something external, like political, social, and economic factors. Domo can integrate information from a variety of sources, including databases, spreadsheets, and social media.

SplashBI

Through SplashBI, organizations can equip their users with data-driven decisions, offering insights into sales, marketing, human resources, accounting, finance, and customer service. You can also access databases and software that provide functionality for blending, visualizing, analyzing, and reporting data. With SplashBI, you can access data across various systems as reports, visualizations, and trends.

WebFOCUS BI

The unique aspect of WebFOCUS BI is that it allows both employees and customers to use the platform. The company offers apps that can organize data and make informed decisions. These apps are available on-premises or in the cloud for ease of use. Rather than locally storing data on your computer, cloud computing involves running software and services over the internet. Software that runs on-premises is in the computer or device of the person or company using it, rather than in a remote facility, such as the cloud.

Oracle BI

The Oracle BI tool has powerful geospatial visualization capabilities and is efficient with exporting reports. Geospatial visualization integrates digital visualization into traditional mapping, allowing the user to explore distinct layers of the map and zoom in and out. This tool also allows them to change the map's appearance and relate a variety of factors to the geographic area.

Users can view, schedule, send, and post reports to various outputs, including SMS, with this tool. Oracle BI provides users with a scorecard and management features that allow them to set goals and monitor progress. This allows them to communicate success to the organization.

SAP BusinessObjects (BO)

With SAP BO, you can easily create reports and perform predictive analytics without involving data analysts. SAP BusinessObjects provides storyboarding, reporting and accessibility features with an emphasis on performance in visualization, visual querying, and integration with geospatial data. A storyboard is a graphic organizer that displays illustrations or images in sequence to visualize a motion picture, animation, motion graphic, or interactive media sequence.

Yellowfin BI

Yellowfin BI provides businesses with advanced reporting tools that are beneficial for driving exponential data growth. Yellowfin is an effective analytics platform that combines machine learning with collaboration and visualization to help filter data. You can use the tool on desktops and mobile devices.

The information bus company (TIBCO)

An information bus is a means for distributing work to connected components within an application. TIBCO integrates executive dashboards, data visualization, and analytics. Its key performance indicators (KPIs) and smartphone alerts make it an ideal tool for collaborating with digital teams.

Business intelligence tools FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about business intelligence:

What is analytics?

The goal of analytics is to identify, interpret, and communicate significant patterns found in data. Business analysts and data scientists use data analytics techniques to inform their research and decisions. By using data analysis, companies can develop better products, evaluate their advertising campaigns, create content strategies, and more easily understand their customers.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Data Science as a Career

What is a dashboard?

A dashboard helps businesses turn large amounts of information into actionable insights. With a dashboard, you can see data from various sources, such as web analytics solutions, social media metrics, and customer relationship management (CRM). This allows you to compare them and monitor how they progress. CRM systems enable organizations to build relationships with customers and streamline processes so that they can increase sales, enhance customer service, and raise profitability.

Related: What Is a CRM? (Types, Features, and Benefits)

What is data visualization?

Data visualization is the use of visual tools like charts, graphs, and maps to present information and data. By using data visualization tools, you can more easily view and understand trends, deviations, and patterns. Data visualization uses many types of visualization, including scatter plots, line graphs, pie charts, bar charts, heat maps, area charts, and histograms.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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