Is there such thing as too much data? If you’re conducting some kind of research for your term paper or just want to dive deeper into one of the controversial news pieces, it might be. But if we are talking about business, there is no such thing as too much data. Surely, sometimes it may seem that the amount of business data you have is just insurmountable — but the problem is not in the data itself but in how you approach it.
Manual analysis of dozens of spreadsheets rarely gives rise to actionable insights, that’s for sure. But here comes automation and business intelligence — a technological process for efficient analysis that helps make data-driven business decisions. Business intelligence allows for accessible and understandable corporate data analysis for everyone — from IT professionals to HRs and sales managers. The market is saturated with various business intelligence service providers, but what are the key players? Let’s dive right into it!
Microsoft, a giant with over 1.9 trillion market capitalization, boasts not one but a couple of business intelligence tools.
If you go on the street and ask any data analyst from a mid-size or large company about the visualization tool he likes or uses the most, chances are in most cases the answer will be “well, Tableau, of course.” Why is Tableau so popular? Intuitive functionality makes it easy to use, so even rookies can master its basics in a matter of hours, if not minutes. Tableau boasts its comprehensive integration capabilities — it can be deployed on-site, in the cloud, or natively integrated with Salesforce CRM. Raw and seemingly unuseful data becomes a great helper in business decision-making as it converts into an easily understandable format. Tableau has a notable feature — it employs NLP (natural language processing) that enables its users to say what they would like to see and do instead of traditional click and drag. Tableau has several monthly pricing options starting from $12 per Viewer.
Sisense, with offices in NY and Tel Aviv, offers a business analytics tool that allows for the creation and management of complex data sets, from multiple sources. With simple drag-and-drop functionality, it helps its users make sense of finance, sales, HR, IT, logistics, and marketing data. It also helps with understanding customer service and operations departments. Sisense’s target audience is mainly SMEs, and it provides an annual subscription for the software and service.
This tool consists of three tools: performance management, predictive analytics, and, of course, business intelligence. It has quite a wide range of application and offers modules for marketing (SMM, monitoring of retention and customer loyalty), sales (cross- and up-selling analysis), finance (planning as well as consolidation), HR (workforce planning and mapping of employee skills), and IT (monitoring of service levels and KPIs). The tool supports various languages — English, Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese — and is priced as the license per user.
Domo is applicable in a variety of industries — from health care and manufacturing to education and finance. As for the roles, Domo is best suited for business intelligence specialists, CEOs, sales managers, and IT professionals. Domo boasts over 500 integrations and a convenient mobile interface. As for the pricing, it uses on request model.
Apart from those five BI tools, there are other popular business intelligence service providers such as Dundas BI, MicroStrategy, Qlik, Tibco, and SAS among others. Those are out-of-the-box solutions that provide one-size-fits-all tools.
However, there are cases when companies need customized solutions, tailored to their specific niche needs. So there is another option for such businesses — to tap custom business intelligence service providers, like Idealogic. How to understand what kind of solution would suit your business the best? Simply ask yourself a question: “Does any of the existing BI tools satisfy the needs of my company?” If the answer is yes, go ahead with using it. If the answer is no and you want to dive even deeper into some of the data sets, your best choice would be to tap some custom BI service provider.
Summing up, almost every business has a plethora of corporate data that can be used for analysis and prediction. While it used to be difficult to extract actionable insights from the piles of data, business intelligence service providers became a helping hand in visualizing and understanding business data. The market is saturated with efficient out-of-the-box tools that can be of use to both small and large companies, the most prominent examples being Tableau, Power BI, Board, Sisense, and Domo. Yet, such general solutions may not fit the bill for every company, so many businesses turn to custom business intelligence service providers that create solutions tailored specifically to the needs of the particular business.