Top Business Intelligence (BI) Tools – 2016 Reviews & Pricing #get #a #business #loan
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Compare Business Intelligence (BI) Software Tools
Business intelligence (BI) software has gained considerable traction since its introduction as “decision support systems” in the 1960s. Today, there are over 100 BI software companies selling some type of business intelligence tool. We put together this buyer’s guide to help buyers understand the market. In this guide, we’ll review:
What Is Business Intelligence Software?
BI software helps organizations organize and analyze data to make better decisions. This could include internal data from company departments as well as from external sources, such as marketing data services, social media channels or even macroeconomic information.
The BI market is growing rapidly because of the proliferation of data to analyze. Over the past few decades, companies that have deployed Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and other applications are now sitting on a mountain of data that can be analyzed. In addition, the growth of the Web has increased the demand for tools that can analyze large data sets.
One of the biggest trends in the BI market is the shift in software architecture and design to more user-friendly applications. These applications are now being used by business users not just IT staff to analyze particular sets of departmental data, including marketing, procurement, retail and Web data.
Common Features of Business Intelligence Software
BI software can be divided into three broad application categories: data management tools, data discovery applications and reporting tools (including dashboards and visualization software). In the next section, we’ll explain how these applications can help your organization’s decision-making process become more data-driven.
What BI tools you need depends on how your data is currently managed and how you would like to analyze it. For example, if it is currently scattered across disparate transactional databases, you might need to build a data warehouse to centralize it and invest in data management tools that offer Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) functionality to move and re-structure it.
Once data is given a common structure and format, you can invest in data discovery solutions such as Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), data mining and semantic or text mining applications, with the capability to create custom, ad hoc reports. And because information is stored within the warehouse, users can quickly pull reports without impacting the performance of the organization s software applications, such as CRM, ERP and supply chain management solutions.
We ve illustrated this concept in the image below:
But this isn t the only way to implement BI within your organization. If you re only analyzing data from a single source, ETL and data warehouses are unnecessary. Alternatively, you might require multiple warehouses, and thus, require different tools to connect data between both these servers and other BI applications that need access to this data.
We’ll cover these in detail in the next section, but in general, the features you should seek in a new BI solution should include:
- Data quality management
- Extract, transform and load (ETL)
- Data mining
- Online analytical processing (OLAP)
- Predictive analytics
- Semantic and text analytics
- Report writers
Top Business Intelligence Tools
This table will help you understand some of the top BI tools available on the market today.