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Logi Analytics is a business intelligence (BI) platform that provides self-service analytics tools for businesses. It can be embedded directly into the applications that employees use every day. Key features include a dashboard, d... Read more
Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations
Sisense is an agile business intelligence (BI) solution that provides advanced tools to manage and support business data with analytics, visuals and reporting. The solution allows businesses to analyze big and disparate datasets a... Read more
Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations
Phocas is a cloud-based, SaaS company specializing in data analytics for manufacturing, distribution and retail industries. Phocas uses sector knowledge to consolidate essential business data from common ERP, CRM and AP/AR sy... Read more
Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations
It's safe to say that “big data" is no longer just a buzzword. Today it's a $200 billion industry addressing one of the most significant challenges facing organizations: analyzing vast amounts of disparate data to find patterns or trends that can potentially improve their business.
With the advent of social media and the internet, businesses from small startups to large enterprises are contending with more data than they know what to do with. Approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data are created every single day, meaning the need for big data tools to do the heavy lifting on this analysis will only continue to grow. According to Gartner, almost half of all businesses are investing in big data now, and a quarter plan to invest in big data soon. (Full content available to Gartner clients.)
That's where we come in. In this Buyer's Guide, we'll explain everything you need to know about the big data landscape so you can choose the right tool that will best suit your needs and budget.
Here's what we'll cover:
What Are Big Data Tools?
Gartner defines big data as “high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing."
Big data tools include any business intelligence (BI) tool that does this all-important processing.
More specifically known as big data analytics tools, these software platforms are designed to parse through large, disparate datasets—be they product data, customer data, employee data etc.—to discover meaningful patterns that connect them and visualize the results in an easily interpretable way for stakeholders to make decisions.
Big data analytics in Tableau
Common Big Data Tool Functionality
Because big data is such a broad term, the functionality of big data tools can vary greatly. Some tools represent robust BI suites that can handle data collection, extraction, cleaning, visualization and more, while others are more stripped down, focusing solely on one aspect of big data analysis.
In general though, here is some of the most common functionality you can expect to find in big data tools:
|Data extraction||Pulls raw data from various integrated sources and reformats it all into a similar schema or format for easier analysis.|
|Data mining||Uses statistics and data modeling to analyze vast amounts of disparate data and identify trends or patterns that connect them. Learn more about data mining here.|
|Data visualization||Visualizes trends in an easy-to-understand graphical form. These visualizations are usually customizable and interactive, allowing users to change various scales and data sources to analyze trends.|
|Predictive analytics||Applies discovered trends from historical data sets to create models predicting what's likely to happen with that data moving forward.|
|Reporting||Allows users to create and distribute a preloaded set of customized reports or customize their own.|
Not sure which functions to prioritize in your search? Check out "5 Core Data Analytics Software Capabilities For SMBs" for guidance.
What Type of Big Data Tool Buyer Are You?
Big data tool buyers generally fall into two categories, each with vastly different needs and priorities:
- Leadership buyers. These buyers represent your department managers, your vice presidents, even your CEO. Because they often lack in-depth tech knowledge, these buyers tend to prioritize the ease of use and fast deployment of self-service BI tools over in-depth functionality and customization found in more robust systems. Dashboards are key for these buyers, who want to see meaningful big data trends at a glance.
- IT buyers. IT department buyers are more common, and have the technological know-how to dive into complex functions. Ease of use is still a concern, but these buyers prioritize smooth integration with their existing data warehouses and other business applications first and foremost.
Key Considerations When Purchasing Big Data Tools
Simply picking a tool based on good reviews and signing on the bottom line is a surefire way to end up with buyer's remorse. When evaluating different big data tools and talking to software vendors, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
- What is your goal with big data? Ultimately, big data tools can't find meaningful patterns if you don't know where to look. That's why it's important for you to define a purpose for your big data tools before investing. According to Gartner, common reasons your company might invest in these tools include enhancing the customer experience, deploying more targeted marketing and increasing process efficiency. (Full content available to Gartner clients.)
- BoB or integrated suite? Best-of-breed (BoB) or stand-alone big data tools are robust but require integration with other systems to become useful. In some cases, a customer relationship management or enterprise resource planning suite with built-in analytics may be a better option, especially if you're only looking to gain insights from the data in that one system.
- Do you have all the parts in place first? Big data tools can't do it all. You need a secure, organized data warehouse to store your vast amounts of data. You also need skilled staff who are able to manage your systems and interpret the data. Don't put the cart before the horse, so to speak, by buying a big data tool without the right systems and employees to support it.
Other Big Data Tool Resources
If you're ready to find the right big data tool for your needs, call us at (844) 680-2046 for a no-obligation consultation. Our BI tool advisors will ask you a few questions about your business and your software needs and send you a shortlist of best fit products for free.
If you're not ready to take the plunge yet though, that's OK. This is a complicated software market for beginners. Here are a few more resources where you can learn more about big data:
- "How Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Boost Value-Based Care." If you're a hospital, this free e-book is for you. In it, we talk to experts to explain how big data can help you reduce costs, increase efficiency and make care more patient-centric.
- "A Beginner's Guide to Big Data Recruiting and Hiring." Big data is taking over recruiting in a big way. In this article, we cover everything you need to know about big data recruiting and hiring.
- "ETL vs. ELT: How to Choose the Best Approach for Your Data Warehouse." Just as big data looks to overwhelm current data storage capabilities, extract, load and transform (ELT) promises to keep things in check. Learn more about this new data integration approach in our buyer's guide.
Your Guide to Top Big Data Tools Software, November 2020
Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Big Data Tools products in North America.
Learn how products are chosen