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Best Business Intelligence Tools

Finding the best Business Intelligence Tools for your business is now faster and easier! Compare prices, reviews, features, and get free consultation to find the perfect software.

Table of Contents

What is Business Intelligence Tool?

Business Intelligence (BI) Tool is an umbrella application comprising of various dynamic modules and systems through which an organisation analyses its raw data. It has customised solutions that generate online reports and analytics and provide significant information about all business activities. Using BI data, organisations can identify the potential business markets, improve their decision-making capabilities, cut down on unnecessary costs, and enhance productivity. The software also helps them to streamline business procedures and maintain an easy-to-access centralised database. It works in real-time and delivers useful insights which further influence the company’s strategic plans.

Must-Have Features of Business Intelligence Tools

Today, the software industry offers various types of BI solutions. While some are cheap, others pinch hard on your pockets. Some others have lots of features. In such a scenario, always look for the following characteristics in your BI software. Regardless of your business, these must-have features will serve your purpose and enable you to take smart decisions.

 

  1. Auto Drill-Downs : Auto drill-downs provide a broader sight of your organisational data. Through this feature, you can easily be flexible and have a comfortable view of the information. Present in each row of your online data, drill-downs display high-level information and minute details- all in the same app.

  2. Report Filters & Selections : 

    Most BI solutions display consolidated information of your entire business. However, while viewing the data, not everything counts into making your strategic plans. This calls for filtering and selection options. The report filters enable you to select certain portions of your data, highlight important sections, and hide the rest of the view.

    Again you might want to analyse the more critical parts within your highlighted zone. The smart selection feature activates colors on selected sections and distinguishes text from other non-selected areas. Filters along with selections enhance your usability and allow you to choose the more significant portions of the application.

  3. Interactive Visuals: Graphs and Visuals communicate more than texts. Therefore, look for user-friendly Business Intelligence tools that present data in the form of charts and interactive visuals. Clicking on any portion of the graphs, you get the relevant information. As you select filters, BI software auto adjusts graphs and enables you to have the best view. Interactive visuals also present high volumes of data in a more simplified and easy-to-eye format.

  4. Online Analytical Process: Online analytical process (OLAP) is an optimised database that simplifies your querying and reporting procedures. With OLAP technology, you can organise data according to your hierarchies and store them in cubes. The feature also helps in easy analysis and allows you to make time-based comparisons of different data, within the same cube. Using the OLAP database, you can also identify growth, prospects, spot emerging trends, and look for bottlenecks.

  5. Mobile Accessibility: Mobile accessibility is another major factor while choosing the right BI tool. You will always prefer accessing business data from multiple devices. Thus, ensure that your BI solution is compatible with all mobiles and mobile-based devices. Irrespective of your device, the data content must fit within the screen and provide a complete view. Research has also confirmed that the use of mobile-specific BI tools increased by more than 80% in 2016. Therefore, your selected BI solution must be optimized for mobiles or at least have a mobile version.

  6. Integration with Office Tools: While analyzing and understanding your organizational data, you will also want to integrate the information with Microsoft Office tools, especially Excel. Select a BI solution that will help you develop pivot tables from accurate and updated warehouse data. Using this feature, you can also access spreadsheets, and as you do so, the BI application auto refreshes the relevant data.

  7. Standard Security Service: In today’s digital world, you can’t do without proper security. While selecting a suitable BI application, enquire about its security features and services. The best ones allow you to take a call on who sees what. You can exert good control and authority over viewing. Well-secured solutions offer groups, roles, rows, and columns using which your employees only see the requisite information. With this, you can use your BI software for sharing data with each member of your company, from the employees to the management, without worrying about security.

Benefits of Using Business Intelligence Tools

With the above BI features in place, you can enjoy the following advantages:

  1. Make Informed Decisions: BI applications display concrete information in the form of facts, numerical, graphs, and visuals. From customer data to business analytics, it easily presents every aspect of your business. And as you analyze such details, you enhance your understanding and broaden your knowledge. At the same time, you become aware of the past, current, and future business prospects. All these lead to informed decisions about your future organizational goals and further course of action.

  2. Personalize Sales, Improve Negotiations: Installing a customised BI also helps you increase your sales and negotiations. The software produces real-time sales reports and data that help your sales team identify emerging trends and think of ways to improve sales. Besides displaying unexplored markets, BI application tools also provide valuable information for establishing negotiation margins with your vendors and suppliers. The software is equally helpful for personalising sales. Based on audience insights and product details, you can customise your sales approach and offer your product to different consumer groups.

  3. Quicker Response: BI software provides a complete range of information in the same application. The Business Intelligence Software helps you to arrive at quicker solutions by enabling proper study and thorough analysis. Cases when your seniors ask you questions or you need to face the management board, you have your responses on your lips - all thanks to the BI software and tools. More than providing suitable solutions, you can also carry evidence and facts to justify your answers. With BI software, you can enjoy quick calculations and fast response.

  4. Market Insights and Consumer Behaviour: Besides your organisational data, BI app also virtually takes you through the market. From trending marketing activities to the overall situation; you get all market-related data at your fingertips. You can also use this software to fully know your consumers. The software also presents consumer statistics like their interests, preferences, desires, along with tentative time for purchasing your products, their purchase decision process, and other details. Thus, you can develop a good understanding of your market and your consumers, and can further shape your marketing efforts in an appropriate direction.

  5. Increased Speed, Efficiency, Accuracy: As the Business Intelligence tool simplify your day-to-day processes, streamline your activities, and make things flexible, you will subsequently be able to reduce wastage of time, money and effort. From your financial calculations to the present marketing situation, the BI software eases each corner of your business. As a result, you and your employees end up doing more work in less time without committing any error. Thus, your business will gain speed, improve efficiency and build accuracy, simultaneously!

    In conclusion, the BI applications which you choose must be compatible with your business and meet your requirements. All in all, a BI software is a flexible, user-friendly, convenient and cost-efficient solution. Of late, many companies are using Cloud BI software. Cloud solutions are more optimised and have higher security. You also pay as per use only. Overall, BI solutions increase your output and are most beneficial in today’s world of business.

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Chirantan MungaraBy Chirantan Mungara | Last Updated: October 29, 2020

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