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Domo puts data to work for everyone so they can multiply their impact on the business. Our cloud-native data experience platform goes beyond traditional business intelligence and analytics, making data visible and actionable with ...Read more about Domo

4.27 (277 reviews)

10 recommendations


Grow is a cloud-based, business analytics and reporting solution suitable for small to midsize organizations. The solution allows users to create customizable dashboards for monitoring business workflows and key activities. Grow...Read more about Grow

4.50 (335 reviews)

8 recommendations


Centralpoint, by Oxcyon is featured in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms is a Microsoft based technology which be installed either on-premise or in the cloud. It is an N-Tiered, highly scalable, roles based...Read more about Centralpoint

4.63 (8 reviews)

5 recommendations

Style Intelligence

InetSoft Style Intelligence is a business intelligence software platform that allows users to create dashboards, visual analyses and reports via a data mashup engine—a tool that integrates data in real time from multiple sources. ...Read more about Style Intelligence

4.55 (42 reviews)

3 recommendations


Toucan is a customer-facing analytics platform that empowers organizations to drive engagement with the best end-user experience. Even complex tasks are made simple with the Toucan platform: Data visualization is guided, allowing...Read more about Toucan

4.68 (34 reviews)

2 recommendations


Adverity is an integrated data platform that helps brands and agencies to connect and manage their data sources in a single place. Key features include standardized database and spreadsheet integration, a data quality monitoring s...Read more about Adverity

4.52 (25 reviews)

2 recommendations


AnswerRocket uses natural language processing and AI-driven automation to generate in-depth insights and visualizations in seconds. AnswerRocket is built for businesses needing direct access to their enterprise data. Our powerful...Read more about AnswerRocket

4.60 (15 reviews)

1 recommendations

Google Analytics 360

Google Analytics 360 is an enterprise-level analytics platform with in-depth performance indicators, such as ROI analysis reports. The app's primary function is to provide insights into customer behavior interactions with websites...Read more about Google Analytics 360


Tableau is an integrated business intelligence (BI) and analytics solution that helps to analyze key business data and generate meaningful insights. The solution helps businesses to collect data from multiple source points such as...Read more about Tableau

Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server Business Intelligence (BI) Edition is a database management and BI software solution designed for companies of all sizes. The system offers relational database management, which allows users to access enterpri...Read more about Microsoft SQL Server

Google Cloud

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 about Google Cloud

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a web-based business analytics and data visualization platform that is suitable for businesses of all sizes. It monitors important organizational data and also from all apps used by organizations. Microsoft P...Read more about Microsoft Power BI

Google Charts

Google Charts is a cloud-based business intelligence solution designed to help teams visualize data on their websites in the form of pictographs, pie charts, histograms and more. Key features include content management, custom das...Read more about Google Charts

IBM SPSS Statistics

IBM SPSS Statistics 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 solutio...Read more about IBM SPSS Statistics


ActivTrak helps companies unlock productivity potential. Our award-winning workforce analytics and productivity management software provides expert insights that empower people, optimize processes, and maximize technology. Addit...Read more about ActivTrak


Sisense goes beyond traditional business intelligence by providing organizations with the ability to infuse analytics everywhere, embedded in both customer and employee applications and workflows. Sisense customers are breaking th...Read more about Sisense

Revel Systems

Revel is a cloud-based business platform that integrates operations and customer channels with point-of-sale (POS) functionality in a single dashboard. It is suitable for stores and restaurants of all sizes and provides users with...Read more about Revel Systems


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 about Minitab

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a cloud-based reporting solution designed to help small to large businesses customize, share and visualize data through configurable charts and tables. Features include team collaboration, filtered views, cus...Read more about Google Data Studio

Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics is a cloud-based reporting and business intelligence solution that offers several applications within its suite, including dashboards, analysis, reporting, data warehousing and more. This solution is used in multipl...Read more about Zoho Analytics

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

As more companies seek information and insight into their operations, the demand for business intelligence (BI) software is growing. A multitude of software products are now available to meet this demand. Many of these solutions are also cloud-based, offering the advantages of affordability, mobility and flexibility.

But is a cloud-based business intelligence system right for your business? This guide will help you answer that question. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Cloud BI?

Key Capabilities of Cloud BI Software

Benefits and Potential Issues

What Is Cloud BI?

Organizations today generate a staggering amount of data. BI software helps businesses gather data from disparate sources and collate that information into a single source. This single source acts as a historical data archive that allows businesses to make more informed predictions and decisions regarding future business operations.

What distinguishes cloud BI software from other business intelligence and analytics solutions is that it is hosted offsite, typically on the software vendor’s servers. Users access the system remotely through a network (i.e., the Internet).

Cloud-based software is commonly sold via subscription licensing, which means that businesses pay a recurring monthly or annual fee to use the software. This fee includes the cost for hosting, support, maintenance and automatic updates to the system.

Cloud-based hosting means that organizations don’t incur the costs of maintaining the software on their own internal servers. As a result, upfront costs for cloud-based software are generally lower than for on-premise—though over time the costs for subscription and perpetual licensing eventually converge.

Cloud BI systems can integrate with other software your organization is already using, including customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.

Integrating BI software with these systems provides businesses with unique understanding on the scope of business operations, including:

  • Customer buying trends

  • The effectiveness of sales and marketing campaigns

  • Performance of staff

  • Market changes and demands

Analyzing data from a variety of sources using cloud BI tools can provide a wealth of insight on your customers, clients, sales, operations and more.

While capabilities vary, cloud BI software typically helps businesses gather, catalogue, store, analyze and interpret data from a variety of sources in order to make better business decisions.

Gather: Data can include internal data, i.e., within company departments or data from external sources, such as marketing, social or industry information.

Catalogue: Many data management tools help organizations “clean up” bad data and organize information according to type, format and source. Cloud BI tools help standardize and integrate data from diverse sources.

Store: Data is then loaded and stored in a target system, i,e., a database or warehouse, where analysts can later sift through the data.

Analyze: Data discovery applications, such as data mining or online analytical processing (OLAP), help analysts sort the data and generate reports on findings.

Interpret: Data visualization tools, such as dashboards and reports, help present BI data in meaningful ways that allow executives to make better business decisions.

Key Capabilities of Cloud BI Software

The functionality that cloud BI software offers can be very complex and technical (visit our BI page for more detailed information). Broadly speaking, however, the capabilities of cloud BI software include some or all of these categories:

Data management

Tools for data quality management help users standardize information collected from various sources and ensure data is accurate. Extract, transform and load (ETL) functionality collects data from other sources, transforms it into the right format and uploads it to a database or data warehouse so it can be analyzed.

Data discovery

Allows users to analyze data sets to spot trends and make predictions. Data mining tools sort through large data sets to identify patterns and guide further analysis. Predictive analytics functionality allows users to make predictions based on past and current trends, while semantic and text analytics tools identify patterns and sentiment in text data (e.g., data collected from social networks).


These tools present the results of data analysis in an easy-to-understand way. Visualizations display information in charts, graphs and other visual formats. Dashboards present a snapshot of key performance indicators (KPIs) at a glance. Scorecards rate performance and show progress toward goals, while report writers allow users to easily create custom reports. Dedicated KPI applications can pull performance data from disparate systems to report on it in one view.

Benefits and Potential Issues

Some businesses may have concerns about the safety of storing sensitive corporate data in the cloud. For example, the high-profile data security breaches of the past two years rattled consumers and business leaders alike. But the truth is that, with the right safeguards in place, data stored in the cloud is just as secure as data stored on-premise—if not more so.

The benefits of cloud BI are vast, including:

Mobility and remote access. One of the biggest advantages of cloud-based systems is that they can be accessed from any compatible device with an Internet connection. That means users aren’t tied to their desks: They can log in from their laptop, home computer, tablet or smartphone to access the information they need at any time. If your users will need frequent mobile access, look for a system with a native mobile app, as these are designed to perform better on small screens.

Lower costs of entry. Cloud BI systems are typically easier and cheaper to implement than their on-premise counterparts. There’s no additional hardware to purchase, since the system is housed on the vendor’s servers. Implementation also tends to be quicker, because there’s both nothing physical to install and the vendor typically handles the initial setup after the company sends over its data.

Faster analytical insights. In today’s business environment, things are constantly changing, and users need to have critical reports and analytics information in real time. Cloud BI systems can be accessed from anywhere and update automatically, so you’ll always have the most current data at your fingertips.

Business users can access information without the IT department. Cloud BI systems are more intuitive and user-friendly than traditional BI and analytics software. Increasingly, these solutions are being aimed at—and adopted by—the business user. No more going through the IT department to gather insights or produce a key report, only to have the information be outdated by the time it gets to you. Get information when and how you want it, and all without a technical background.