Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of businesses choose the right big data tools to analyze their historical datasets and extract meaningful trends and patterns.

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Logi AnalyticsFrontRunners 2020

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

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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Sisense

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

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Phocas Software

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

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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NextGen Healthcare

NextGen Healthcare offers NextGen Office—a cloud-based EHR – specifically designed for private practices. NextGen Office is a fully integrated practice management solution that includes specialty-specific content, a claims clearin... Read more

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Google Cloud Platform

Featuring G-Suite and GCP, Google Cloud is a platform that provides a reliable and easy-to-use set of solutions that can be used to tackle the toughest challenges in any type of industry. It provides secure storage options, integr... Read more

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SPSS

SPSS is a cloud-based data analysis engine that helps individuals and enterprises by providing statistical foresight to improve efficiency across the business. Designed for businesses of all sizes, it offers solutions including fr... Read more

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MongoDB

MongoDB is a cloud-based and on-premise distributed database management system designed to help small to large organizations store data in JSON format and perform read and write query operations to sort data based on multiple fiel... Read more

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Minitab

Minitab is a cloud-based statistical tool designed to help small to large organizations across various verticals such as manufacturing, healthcare, energy, automotive or non-profit discover market trends, predict patterns and visu... Read more

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Qlik SenseFrontRunners 2020

Qlik Sense is a business intelligence (BI) and visual analytics platform that supports a range of analytic use cases. Built on Qlik’s unique Associative Engine, it supports a full range of users and use-cases across the life-cycle... Read more

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Wolfram Mathematica

Wolfram Mathematica is a technical computing solution that provides businesses of all sizes with tools for image processing, data visualization and theoretic experiments. The notebook interface enables users to organize documents ... Read more

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Looker

Looker is a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) platform designed to explore and analyze data. The solution helps businesses to capture and analyze data from multiple sources and make data-driven decisions. Looker provides... Read more

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Splunk Enterprise

The Splunk Enterprise platform allows users to process and index most forms of data in their native format. It includes data indexing tools, which enable users to locate specific data across large data sets. The software is d... Read more

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Datadog

Datadog is a network monitoring tool that helps companies gain visibility into application performance. The software provides an overview of a product to a single SQL query and correlates app performance or errors with infrastruct... Read more

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Prisync

Prisync is a price optimization and merchandise management tool for e-commerce businesses. The solution helps track competitor prices and stock levels. In addition, it allows users to report this data through various channels. ... Read more

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Elasticsearch

EndGame is a cloud-based and on-premise endpoint security solution, which assists medium to large organizations with threat detection and malware attack prevention. Key features include incident tracking, runtime analysis, role-ba... Read more

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SyncSpider

SyncSpider is the app-2-app integration tool built for eCommerce. Grow your revenue with multichannel sales automation. Manage stock from a single place. Connect your eCommerce tools to work in sync. Create a flawless buying exper... Read more

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Cleo Integration Cloud

Cleo Integration Cloud is a platform purpose-built to design, build, operate and optimize critical supply-chain integration processes. With greater choice, companies can blend self-service and Cleo Services for integration agility... Read more

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Cyfe

Cyfe is a cloud-based all-in-one dashboard application for small to midsize businesses that enables users to monitor all marketing channels including SEO, SEM, email marketing, web analytics, social media and more. It supports a v... Read more

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Cluvio

Cluvio is a cloud-based business intelligence and analytics solution that enables businesses to analyze data through a dashboard. The solution helps in running queries, filtering results, and displaying data via graphs and charts.... Read more

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Alteryx DesignerFrontRunners 2020

Alteryx is the launchpad for automation breakthroughs. Be it your personal growth, achieving transformative digital outcomes, or rapid innovation, the results are unparalleled. The unique innovation that converges analytics, ... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: June 17, 2021

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?
Common Big Data Tool Functionality
What Type of Big Data Tool Buyer Are You?
Key Considerations When Purchasing Big Data Tools
Other Big Data Tool Resources

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

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.
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  • 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.)
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  • 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.
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  • 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:

FrontRunners

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

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.