4 questions to ask before picking a business intelligence software
Regardless of their size, organizations across different sectors use a massive amount of data to make fundamental business decisions. With business intelligence (BI) software, data collection and organization becomes simpler. Using various tools offered by business intelligence software, people at different levels of an organization can pull data into reports for monitoring, analysis, and presentation purposes. A good business intelligence software can make business workflows more efficient and increase productivity. Read on to make better decisions about picking the right business intelligence software.
How does business intelligence work?
- All business intelligence software use three primary processes to analyze and manage data used across an organization. These processes include extracting data from multiple sources, processing the data, and storing the processed data in a data warehouse.
- An organization may store data from various teams and departments that use different software such as spreadsheets, database, and operational applications. The first process of a business intelligence tool is to extract the data from various sources. The extraction takes place on a fixed schedule, mostly on a daily basis.
- The data extracted from various sources are in different formats. To link the data from different sources in a meaningful way, a business intelligence software processes or transforms this data.
- A data warehouse stores the transformed data. A data warehouse is a massive server or cluster of servers that can span across different locations. The data from the warehouse is then presented to the end user by the business intelligence software using various tools, such as reporting tools.
Why should an organization use business intelligence software?
- Quick business decisions: Using business intelligence software and tools, people across various levels of the organization can make swift business decisions based on accurate historical data, real-time updates, forecasts, and trend reports.
- Faster information gathering: With the help of various business intelligence tools such as interactive reports, organizations can get quick answers to questions related to different business processes. Without going through volumes of printed reports, users can analyze and gather information faster.
- Instant access to key performance metrics: These days, many business intelligence software provide access to data and reports through various devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Users can get instant access to vital business performance metrics and reports from anywhere and at any time.
Which are some of the well-known business intelligence software tools?
- Yellowfin BI: This business intelligence software tool is known for its ease-of-use. This tool lets organizations analyze, understand, and monitor data through various means such as dashboards, storyboards, mobile BI, mapping, and data discovery. This tool also has capabilities for collaborative business intelligence.
- SAP NetWeaver BI: One of the most widely used business tools in the market, SAP NetWeaver BI is an integrated platform that gives detailed and complete information about each process in the organization. This tool can be used by all teams in the organization, right from the IT team to the management. Its wide-ranging functionality also lets end users gain insights into performance indicators and data.
- Oracle Hyperion System: This is another well-known business intelligence application from Oracle. This tool can be used through its MS Office interface as well as from mobile or desktop interfaces. Organizations can use this tool to carry out planning, budgeting, and forecasting across the enterprise.
- Pentaho BI: Known as a leader in business intelligence, Pentaho BI lets organizations use its data analytic functions through the cloud and even on-site. By integrating data from different sources, this tool generates comprehensive and detailed analytics so that organizations can gain useful insights into various performance indicators.
What are some of the popular business intelligence software for small businesses?
- IBM Cognos Analytics: Known as a smart business intelligence software, IBM Cognos Analytics has pre-formatted and interactive dashboards with scheduling functions. So, users can schedule periodic reports to be pulled out from the business intelligence software. It is highly scalable, so it can grow as the small business grows.
- Sisense: One of the top-rated business intelligence solutions, Sisense lets small, as well as large businesses, gather, analyze, and view data. It has a simple interface with dashboards that have drag-and-drop functionality and visual reports that are easy to navigate and generate.
- Looker: This business intelligence software is known for its intuitive data exploration approach. With its web-based interface, it lets analytics’ teams of businesses instantly create reports and share them with other units and departments. One of the notable features of this business intelligence software is that it lets organizations create personalized analytic modules for customized analysis of data.
- Tableau: This business intelligence software is known for its easy-to-use features and intuitive interface. Using a personal computer or a mobile device, users can use this business intelligence software to visualize and share data. This software lets users create customized dashboards and share them with other users.
Tags: business intelligence software