7 best Business Intelligence tools for 2022
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According to Forbes, 54% of enterprises say cloud Business Intelligence (BI) is either “critical or very important to their current and future strategies.”1 BI’s importance fundamentally boils down to the fact that it makes data-driven decision-making a tangible reality.
Whilst BI tools can analyse and convert business data into presentable and analytical formats like reports and dashboards, Business Performance Management complements this with actionable insights, making a hybrid of the two an optimal solution.
Business intelligence fits with digital transformation efforts across a wide variety of industries. Data, workflows, and collaboration are intersecting, and whether it’s adjusting supply chains or deciding which product lines to focus on, it’s clear that intuition is nothing without data-based insight.
There are a number of essential requirements for an efficient BI strategy in 2022 and beyond, including:
- Connectivity: Feeding data into your BI system is crucial in order to stay up to date and ensure accuracy.
- Visualisation: The presentation of data is vital when it comes to reporting. The results have to be clear and relevant to guide those who need access to them.
- Analysis: Data analysis is key to providing real business insights. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are the foundations for both situational and predictive analysis of the data provided.
- Actions: This is often overlooked, but without actionable insights analysis is largely redundant, and unless there is immediate action taken and outcomes measured, the data will be outdated before your business can react.
Suggested reading: If you want to read more about the direction of business intelligence going forward, check out our blog — 6 Business Intelligence Trends to Watch for in the New Decade
Let’s look at some of the top players in business intelligence and their different solutions, starting with our powerful BI tool — Loop.
Loop is a hybrid of business intelligence software and business performance management software. While organisations can apply business intelligence daily to decipher big data and analyse customer behaviours, adding business performance management capabilities helps create a concrete plan and actionable outcomes.
Loop delivers both business intelligence and business performance management capabilities within a single system. It provides strategic business intelligence analysis and helps put plans into action with communication, KPI tracking, and survey tools. Customisable dashboards to facilitate in-depth analysis, and the gathering, cleaning, and centralisation of client data are among Loop’s strongest attributes. This functionality makes it ideal for organisations looking to simplify their reporting, especially franchise networks with decentralised leadership and multiple sites.
- Enhanced dashboards provide access to data visualisations and cataloguing tools, making it easy to look at the right data at the right time and share that information with the people who need it most.
- Action planning features assign specific tasks to individuals and tracks their performance against designated KPIs.
- Strategic analysis is enabled by measuring the efficiency and inefficiency of strategies, and the tracking of every aspect of the business process on multiple levels with business-specific scorecards.
Suggested reading: To find out more about the hybrid capabilities of business intelligence and business performance management, take a look at our blog — Business Intelligence vs Performance Management Software
Microsoft Power BI
Power BI offers data preparation, visual-based data discovery, interactive dashboards, and analytics. By making Power BI part of Office 365 E5, Microsoft has created an enormous channel for take up. However, this “self-seeding” can create difficulties in the management and coordination of outputs.
- Easily upload data into Power BI from an Excel sheet or import data from the web.
- Simple creation of shared dashboards from Excel data.
- A range of visuals and graphics is readily available.
Domo is a cloud-based platform focusing on ease of use. It can view data sets and turn them into workflows. Domo also provides engaging and scalable visualisations, alongside advanced security features and mobile support.
- A focus on consumer design to avoid the power-user approach of other more prominent competitors.
- Advanced data visualisation with numerous options for data representation and drag-and-drop dashboard building.
- Novel social media approach to communicating insights.
Owned by Salesforce.com since 2019, Tableau offers cloud-hosted solutions (Tableau Online and Tableau CRM), but the company’s heritage is really in on-premises deployments.2
Tableau is designed specifically to enable users to access, prepare, analyse and present findings from their data. The platform also benefits from powerful marketing and enterprise product offerings.
- Tableau maintains a smooth experience for users, with its patented VizQL engine driving its intuitive analytics experience.
- Support for establishing connections with many data sources, such as HADOOP, SAP and DB Technologies, improving data analytics quality.
- Integration with other Salesforce acquisitions such as MuleSoft and Slack will give Salesforce clients a solid reason to consider Tableau.
Dundas BI is a combination of BI and analytics in one web-based platform, and it is used predominantly for creating dashboards and scorecards. According to Gartner, Dundas sells to large enterprises but specialises in embedded BI.3 OEMs can integrate, extend, customise and embed Dundas BI into their applications.
- Strong focus on self-service.
- A flexible HTML5 interface that can support any device.
- The ability to link to Microsoft Active Directory (AD) and local user accounts.
Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC)
Oracle Analytics Cloud is an AI-powered solution that provides both reporting and analytics features. It delivers speed through its own data processing engine, especially for larger businesses looking to consolidate and automate their reporting processes.
- With a wide range of analytics capabilities, users can leverage analytics through various chatbots and collaboration interfaces powered by Oracle Digital Assistant.
- OAC prepares and analyses data to discover trends and turn that data into an intuitive visualisation.
- OAC will integrate closely with Oracle’s wider installed base of software.
Qlik aims to give the most comprehensive enterprise access to all the data, subject to corporate governance policies. It offers “pre-canned” dashboards — configured specifically for data analysis and interpretation.
- Strong product vision for many years based on machine learning and AI.
- Qlik can flexibly be deployed on-premises or with any primary cloud provider, with multi-clouds, or with a combination of these approaches.
- Qlik’s purchase of new companies is expanding its offering of comprehensive capabilities, but may result in integration complexity.
Take the hybrid approach with Loop
Most of the companies in this list are embracing connectivity, visualisation, and analysis requirements to augment their BI offerings. Some are coming at it from a visualisation perspective, such as Tableau, while others are adding BI to leverage their existing user base, such as Microsoft and Oracle. However, only Loop has created a seamless service linking BI, analytics, and Business Performance Management.
With Loop, businesses can develop measurable KPI-based processes which meet strategic goals, while delivering context to improve your organisation’s performance. The outcome is an ability to identify and prioritise problems and quickly communicate solutions across the business or franchise, even those with complex hierarchies that make data collection and interpretation difficult. Regardless of your business needs, finding and implementing the right software is the first step in developing the right strategy. Schedule an introduction call today and see how Loop’s hybrid solution can transform your approach to business intelligence.