Best Business Intelligence Tools

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If you’re still manually managing and analyzing your data… stop. The robots are now smart enough to do that for you, and you have better things to do with your time, like using AI-generated insights from your data to make big decisions that impact the bottom line.

Best Business Intelligence Tools

Business Intelligence (BI) software uses APIs, automation, AI, and other tools to simplify the process of data compilation, organization, analysis, and visualization. It takes data and basically does everything except the actual decision making for you.

Best Business Intelligence Software Of 2023

There are hundreds of platforms that market themselves as BI or BI-adjacent tools, but not all of them will help you get actionable insights from your data while remaining accessible to companies of all sizes. I spent several weeks testing dozens of BI tools, and based on my research and time testing the platforms, these eight stood out from the rest.

Our best apps reviews are written by people who have spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app for its intended purpose and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We are never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site. We value the trust readers place in us to provide authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full breakdown of how we select apps for the blog.

To test these business intelligence tools, I created an account with each platform, imported sample data, and tested crucial features such as linking data sources, linking datasets, visualization and dashboard building, and AI-generated insights .

Using the criteria above, extensive research into these apps, and my insights from testing them, here are my picks for the eight best business intelligence software solutions.

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Datapine’s reviews alone were enough for me to suspect that it would deserve a place on this list, and testing it only confirmed my hypothesis.

I was particularly impressed with the platform’s Smart Insights tab. You’ll be greeted by a series of written takeaways about your data, alongside annotated charts that drill down on these insights. They’re organized by category, with tabs for growth and forecasts, value drivers, key segments, outliers, correlations, and even interactive what-if scenarios that let you see how results would be affected if certain factors changed.

I also found the app’s dashboards to be very flexible (and almost…fun?). You can drag charts anywhere in a dashboard and they are highly customizable. Customize fonts, colors, gradients, drop shadows, titles and subtitles and even highlight your dashboard with hundreds of fun icons. Certain visualizations, including maps, offer interactivity, allowing you to zoom in on specific areas to take a closer look at your data.

When creating a new data visualization, you can implement several conditional formatting options. For example, you can assign meaning to colors, gradients, and more so that they reflect a quality, such as values ​​or solid boundaries.

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The app also integrates AI and intelligent forecasting. You can enable alerts that identify anomalies in the data and indicate how you track your KPIs so that you are notified of any changes. You can even customize graphs to predict how your data will evolve over time.

There are other great features, including sharing dashboards with colleagues, automating reports to be sent on a specific schedule, and more, but you get the idea. datapine is a premium BI app that will almost certainly cover all your bases.

Admittedly, as a fairly comprehensive premium option, datapine comes at a very high price compared to many other BI software options. Confirm you need all the features before dropping the cash.

If you are a solopreneur looking for a free BI tool to help you manage and analyze your data, Zoho Analytics has the solution for you. With the Personal plan, you can download the platform for free to your local server and gain access to some powerful features that many BI tools would charge for: conversational AI, unlimited reports, predictive analytics, and more.

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Not everyone can (or wants) to be an expert in BI. For the newbies in the crowd, Zoho Analytics is also one of the easiest options to pick up. It offers simple walk-throughs and demo videos to help you get started, and the interface is simple enough to navigate without much of a learning curve.

I’ve used Zoho’s AI assistant Zia through the other apps in the suite of tools, but this was still the most impressive part of the app for me. Zia not only generated a formula to manipulate my data exactly as I needed it, but was also able to perform predictive analytics based on natural language. I asked him what my earnings would be at any given time, and it generated a written and graphic representation of his prediction.

Zoho products are quite notorious for having a relatively old-fashioned feeling interface, but in the case of BI software, that doesn’t really matter. Most platforms in this category haven’t quite mastered the chic, modern interface of the mid-20s, so Zoho fits right in.

While it integrates seamlessly with other Zoho apps, if you can’t find the integration you need in the Zoho suite, you can integrate Zoho Analytics with , opening the door to countless automations. Direct leads from your advertising tool directly to Zoho, or connect it to your favorite spreadsheet app so that your newly entered data is automatically imported.

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Domo shines all around as a great BI tool, to the point that it was difficult to decide which superlative it deserved most. Overall, I found it to be an incredibly solid option for all your data management needs.

First, it supports more data connectors than any other platform I tested, over 440. And with its own app store, you’ll almost certainly find the APIs you need to get the job done.

Once your data is connected to the platform, managing it is just as easy. The Magic ETL tool features a drag-and-drop interface and allows you to prepare your data for analysis, create relationships in your data, and automate data filtering without any SQL knowledge. Using the app’s Beast Mode feature, you can also perform calculations with your data.

Aside from these whimsically named data management and manipulation features, I was surprised at how quickly the app loaded. Whether I opened a sample dataset to view the raw data or generated a new dashboard with custom insights, it took a few seconds at most to load.

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As someone who has used Microsoft Word and Excel for over a decade, Microsoft Power BI felt eerily familiar. The interface is very similar to other Microsoft products: similar icons, menu placement, and everything in between. I found this very helpful when using the app, as BI software in general has a notoriously steep learning curve.

It’s not just the layout that makes this app great for those experienced with Microsoft’s tools. Integrations with Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Teams are all just a few clicks away from the top menu bar. It allows you to import data from Excel spreadsheets into Power BI, export data visualizations from Power BI to PowerPoint, and more.

Additionally, the app integrates natively with Power Automate, Microsoft’s platform for connecting and automating hundreds of software (including virtually all of Microsoft’s apps). Like many other Microsoft apps, the platform offers both desktop and web-based versions.

Aside from all these Microsoft integration wins, I found the app to be very intuitive. Without doing any manual data modeling or connection drawing, the platform automatically recognized that two of my data sets were connected. Once that connection was established, a change in one automatically affected the other.

Tips For Choosing The Best Business Intelligence Tools

I also appreciated the app’s Query Editor, which keeps track of all historical changes to data. If I were

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