Business Intelligence (BI) Software

What is Business Intelligence (BI) Software?

Business Intelligence (BI) software is a suite of tools organizations can leverage to collect, analyze, transform, and report on business data from internal and external data sources, to guide business decisions, identify issues, uncover market trends, and find new revenue streams. BI software can access and analyze structured and unstructured data from various sources, such as historical or current in-house business data, third-party data, or social media.

BI works by collecting and analyzing business data and transforming that data into insightful reports, graphs, charts, or dashboards to provide companies with insights into their business. In turn, this helps foster data-driven decision-making across the organization. The benefits of BI software include the following:

  • BI software helps organizations analyze data to make informed and timely decisions, enhancing business performance.
  • BI tools automate data processes, reducing time and effort for data analysis, and allowing focus on strategic tasks.
  • BI software ensures data accuracy and consistency, improving the reliability of insights and decision-making.
  • BI software analyzes customer data to provide insights into behavior and preferences, enabling tailored marketing and improved satisfaction.
  • BI tools offer insights into market trends and competitor performance, helping organizations identify opportunities and stay ahead of competitors.

Key Features of Business Intelligence (BI) Software

  • Data Visualization: BI software provides data visualization tools that analyze raw business data and transform it into visual representations that organizations can use to refine business understanding, and make data-informed decisions. BI data visualizations include charts, graphs, animations, infographics, or other types of visualizations.
  • Data Mining: BI solutions provide data mining capabilities that enable companies to extract information from large data sets, and prepare them for processing and analysis.
  • Data Transformation: BI software provides data transformation tools that convert different forms of data from various sources into a human-readable format that the BI system can process.
  • Data Warehousing: BI software offers data warehousing, which is the process of collecting and storing data from multiple sources and consolidating it into a singular data warehouse that can be analyzed by BI tools.
  • Predictive Analytics: BI software (especially platforms that have adopted AI-based capabilities) offer Predictive Analytics tools, which leverage a combination of historical data, data mining, and machine learning to identify patterns and help companies predict future behavior.
  • Augmented Analytics: BI software provides augmented analytics, which leverages Machine Learning (ML) tools and Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools to enhance data analysis and automate complex data preparation, data insights, and data visualizations.

To learn more about Business Intelligence software, please visit our Business Intelligence FAQs.

Top 10 Business Intelligence (BI) Software Providers

Necto / Looker / NetSuite / SAP Analytics Cloud / TIBCO Spotfire / Tableau / Oracle ERP / Infor Birst / Sisense / IBM Planning Analytics

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Panorama Software is the next generation smart data discovery and visualization solution. Panorama Necto is a leader in the next generation self-service smart data discovery worldwide. It supports a suggestive discovery engine, which unravels the data preparation for business users while automating ...
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Starting Price:$5000 per user / per month
Looker is a powerful business intelligence software that provides companies with valuable insights into their data. With Looker, organizations can easily access, analyze, and share data across their entire organization.
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Oracle's NetSuite is the world's #1 cloud ERP solution. This ERP provides over 40,000 organizations worldwide with a modern, scalable, and unified platform to streamline all crucial back-office processes, from financial management and planning, to warehouse and fulfillment, and beyond. With built-in...
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SAP Analytics Cloud
Starting Price:$36 per user / per month
SAP Analytics Cloud is an all-in-one cloud solution providing businesses with powerful analytics and intelligence capabilities. The software is designed to help organizations make data-driven decisions by providing them with real-time insights, predictive analytics, and data visualization tools.&nbs...
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TIBCO Spotfire
Starting Price:N/A
TIBCO Spotfire is a comprehensive reporting & analytics software designed to assist businesses in understanding their data more effectively. Its user-friendly interface coupled with advanced analytics features, empowers users to visualize intricate data sets, facilitating the discovery of insigh...
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Starting Price:$15 per user / per month
Tableau Business Intelligence is user-friendly BI software utilized by more than 26,000 organizations worldwide. It allows the user to access data and develops interactive dashboards that one can share with other people. It has queries cubes, cloud databases, relational databases and spreadsheets th...
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Oracle ERP
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Oracle ERP represents one of the globe’s leading enterprise software organizations. They have built a sophisticated portfolio of business software applications through high-profile acquisitions. The company is well-known for its strengths in the database, and infrastructure systems. It offers ...
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Infor Birst
Starting Price:N/A
Birst offers an excellent, cloud based business intelligence. Birst offers an automated storeroom and first-rate visual analytics, so users can draw meaning from data of all types and sizes. Moreover, it is cheap and nimble solution compared to most legacy BI systems. 
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Sisense BI has been designed to handle a wide variety of data types and sizes. Sisense BI is highly scalable and allows companies to operate on huge data volumes without worrying about servers or computer memory. Sisense BI uses parallel processing and memory columnar database to crunch terabytes on...
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IBM Planning Analytics

IBM Planning Analytics

Starting Price:$150 per user / per month
IBM Planning Analytics is an administered SaaS (Software as a Service) solution that offers the market's most precise, consistently accessible, and flexible planning and analysis platform. IBM Planning Analytics is a comprehensive corporate planning system that fuses spreadsheet adaptability with th...

Learn more about Business Intelligence (BI) Software

What is the difference between BI and data analytics?

Business Intelligence (BI) refers to the strategies, processes, and technological tools used to collect and analyze historical business data to help organizations make data-driven business decisions. Data analytics, on the other hand, leverages algorithms to extract actionable insights from raw data. While data analytics is typically used to prepare and analyze datasets, BI transforms that data analysis into insights and visualizations that help organizations use historical and current data to make decisions about the future of the business.

Does BI software require coding expertise?

Most SaaS BI platforms do not require coding expertise and can be used by all members of an organization, across the hierarchy. This is because SaaS BI solutions offer drag-and-drop interfaces that are easy to understand and use, thereby presenting little to no learning curve, even for the most non tech-savvy team members.

However, for availing more advanced capabilities pertaining to data mining and data transformation, some expertise in coding may be required. This is especially crucial when building and tuning AI-powered data models. If your organization does not have any skilled programmers available, your BI software vendor should be able to offer you guidance and recommendations.

How is data migrated into a new BI platform?

Data migration when implementing a new BI system can be challenging, but it is a crucial part of the implementation process as it determines the overall workability and efficiency of your new BI platform.

Whether you are migrating data from static databases or from one BI platform to another, most migration processes typically involve:

  • Scoping the volume of data available,
  • Transforming/cleaning/decluttering any data (if needed),
  • Loading data onto the new platform in small batches,
  • Conducting repeated yet comprehensive tests, and finally,
  • Repeating the above process to ensure full workability and a smooth transition.

Data migration workflows and strategies may depend on the BI vendor you have partnered with, as well as any nuances pertaining to your enterprise data. As a result, your BI software vendor should be able to advise on data migration workflows and strategies that are most suitable for your business’s unique requirements.

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