Business Intelligence software was once exclusively available to large companies with excessive IT budgets, but thanks to the advance of such technologies as cloud-based computing and SaaS (software as a service); small organizations are taking advantage of today’s affordable options. The omnipresence of data means that SMBs need access to business intelligence software to stay in competition with their enterprise counterparts.
What is business intelligence software?
Business intelligence is primarily concerned with finding marketing trends in data and returning information that companies can use to make more thought-out decisions. Using BI, businesses can identify their potential customers, forecast future sales or analyze their efficiency. In the past, bigger companies needed financial resources and an in-house expert to implement BI, but in the last couple of years, over 30% of SMBs have used the software according to a Dresner study. The new solutions available offer entry into the market through reasonable financial investments to small organizations.
Here are the best four products that can help SMBs everywhere use their data for better decisions and reap the benefits of smart analytics.
DBxtra is designed to help newbies generate the sort of insights traditionally reserved for IT workers and programmers. Without knowing SQL, you can turn the data it receives into charts, tables or PowerPoint presentations. Report generation is just one of its many tools; other features include auto-generating and distributing reports, pulling data right into Excel and interactive dashboards, amongst others. DBxtra can cost you anywhere from $1000 to $4000, due its modular format. However, there is a 30-day free trial version, so that you could try it before you buy it.
Developed in 2003 at Stanford University, Tableau business intelligence offers impressive data visualization; users are able to integrate documents, images and even web pages into its dashboards to expand the narrative behind data presentations. In addition, VizQL allows you to filter data simply by using the drag-and-drop function. The dashboard simplifies the drill-down process by integrating multiple data resources. If you are looking for an economical solution, you have the free, cloud-based version. Tableau Public can be accessed from any mobile device, and their data charts can be embedded into websites just like a YouTube video or a Spotify playlist.
Panorama’s Necto is an end-to-end business intelligence software that is designed to work with any data source from spreadsheets to OLAP (this technology was originally developed by Panorama and purchased later by Microsoft). The program has three core applications: automated relevant insights, advanced analytics and social BI. Working together, these apps create a socially enabled business intelligence solution that helps small companies both analyze and understand consumers’ behavior in order to gain insights into operational difficulties as well as potential prospects.
Of all BI solutions on the market, Pentaho is one of the rare ones with an open source and a paid version; however, you need to know that the open source version has its limitations and is of course inferior to the paid one. If your needs are basic, and your budget is limited, Pentaho’s community version might be the right choice for you. Like some of the other programs on this list, Pentaho allows you to share databases without any programming expertise, it is intuitive and you can implement it without problems. One of its key-features is the “adaptive big data layer” that segregates data from analysis tools, so that changes in the data or the tools do not affect your system.
In the contemporary world of business, maintaining a revenue is literally unimaginable without intelligence software. In the competitive environment and revolutionizing trends emerging daily, you can use every insight that you get.