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Grow

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

4.5 (383 reviews)

5 recommendations

Domo

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

4.3 (296 reviews)

5 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

Procore

Procore manages your projects, resources, and financials from project planning to closeout. The platform connects every project contributor with the owner and general or specialty contractor. The centralized dashboard allows manag...Read more about Procore

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Tableau

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

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

XLSTAT

XLSTAT provides a multitude of functionality to help companies generate analysis from data according to needs. It works through an integration with Microsoft Excel and is accessible in the form of a drop-down menu. Businesses can ...Read more about XLSTAT

Sisense

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

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 about Minitab

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

Qlik Sense

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 about Qlik Sense

Reportei

Reportei is a cloud-based software designed to help businesses integrate with third-party applications and generate professional reports or custom dashboards on a centralized platform. With the Reportei dashboard, professionals ca...Read more about Reportei

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 desi...Read more about Splunk Enterprise

Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics is a web insights solution that provides deep analytics, marketing attribution and predictive analytics. The cloud-based platform provides businesses with deep insights by allowing them to mix and match data from d...Read more about Adobe Analytics

Workday Adaptive Planning

Workday Adaptive Planning is the only native-cloud planning solution that empowers finance to configure sophisticated, driver-based models with ease, analyze unlimited scenarios on the fly, and use AI and machine learning (ML) to ...Read more about Workday Adaptive Planning

OriginPro

OriginPro is a cloud-based data analysis and graphing solution, which assists academic institutions, government organizations, non-profits or businesses with data exploration and provides tools for peak fitting, surface fitting, s...Read more about OriginPro

Klipfolio

Klipfolio PowerMetrics is a powerful, metric-centric, analytics and BI platform used by the world's fastest growing businesses to make better decisions. From data ingestion, transformation and modelling, to a self-serve metrics ca...Read more about Klipfolio

Stata

Stata is a statistical analysis solution designed to help businesses streamline data analysis, manipulation, visualization and management. It allows businesses to create, merge, sort, and merge multiple datasets, import/export dat...Read more about Stata

TapClicks

TapClicks is a smart marketing cloud-based set of automated marketing solutions designed to work in unison, powered by your data. We make the complex world of marketing easy with everything a business needs to differentiate itself...Read more about TapClicks

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

What are Data Analysis Tools?

Data Analysis Tools is a set of technology that enable users to analyze and visualize data in order to identify trends and correlations with the goal of supporting decision making.

Gartner defines BI as “the applications, infrastructure and tools and best practices that enable access to, and analysis of, information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.”

Given this, data analysis software is a central requirement for any business that wants to improve BI. In this guide, we’ll outline the main role of data analysis software and describe its functionality. This can help buyers select the best solution for their needs. We’ll cover:

What Is the Role of Data Analysis in BI?

Data Analysis Software Explained

Common Functionality of Data Analysis Software

Benefits of Data Analysis Programs

Key Considerations for Buyers

What Is the Role of Data Analysis in BI?

While the term "data analysis" is self-explanatory, it’s usually encountered in the context of BI, which is much more complicated. Thus, it’s helpful to begin by explaining how software for data analysis fits into the larger BI context.

The diagram below shows the major components of a BI system. All the data originates from the various data sources on the left, is colocated in the data warehouse (in the center) and then is analyzed by end users—using data analysis software—on the right.

Data analysis software is often the final, or second-to-last, link in the long chain of BI: This chain begins with loosely related and unstructured data, and ends with actionable intelligence.

Data Analysis Software Explained

Data analysis software is also known as “data analytics” tools. No matter what you call them, these should be able to handle the five key capabilities identified in our report, “5 Core Data Analytics Software Capabilities For SMBs.” Here they are:

  • Dashboards. These provide a real-time overview of key performance indicators (KPIs) in a visual format that is easily sharable. Some data analysis tools allow users to create their own dashboards so they can get a clearer picture of specific business operations.

  • Data set creation. Your business forecasts are only as reliable as the quality and quantity of data behind them. Software for data analysis should allow users to scrub, aggregate and split data as needed.

  • Interactive exploration. Static pie charts and line graphs are practically passé by today’s standards. Tools that enable interactive exploration provide eye-catching ways to visualize trends, such as heat maps and time motion views. Heat maps are 2D representations of data where values are represented by colors and time motion views are moving images depicting how data changes over time.

  • Sharing. Collaboration and social sharing functionalities are important because they allow business leaders to work together more efficiently. When everyone is seeing the same data sets, it’s easier to interpret the information in the same way.

  • Ease of use. A good data analytics tool should not require an advanced computer science degree to operate. While usability will vary depending on how robust and technical your platform is, the interface should be intuitive enough for trained staff to use with minimal support.

Common Functionality

As you research the various options available in the data analysis software market, you’ll notice that vendors describe and name their solutions differently. This can make product selection, and apples-to-apples comparisons, difficult. So, here’s an overview of the general categories of software for data analysis:

Functionality

Description

Querying

Querying is the process of “asking” the database a question. The answer is returned via the analysis tool in the form of data or data patterns, and is often presented as a “report.”

Reporting

Reports are the results returned from a database query. They can take many different shapes and sizes depending on the software used, the available data and the specific nature of the query.

Managed Query Environment (MQE)

MQE functionality lets administrators set role-based restrictions on the types of queries employees can submit, which databases those queries will access and the types of reports they’ll produce.

Online analytical processing (OLAP)

Analyzes multidimensional data from multiple perspectives. It’s usually comprised of three analytical operations: data consolidation, data sorting and classification ("drill-down") and analysis of data from a particular perspective ("slice-and-dice").

Predictive analytics

Makes predictions about future risks and opportunities. For example, predictive analytics could be used to test the effectiveness of marketing campaigns based on the performance of past campaigns.

Semantic and text analytics

Analyzes large volumes of text to identify patterns, relationships and sentiment. These tools are often applied to comments on social media, live chat conversations and emailed communications.

Benefits of Data Analysis Software

The benefits of data analysis software are, essentially, the benefits of business intelligence. They vary tremendously depending on the individual case. Generally, however, they help identify, interpret and predict trends and patterns that affect the business.

Data analysis software can help, for example:

  • Clarify the correlation between new marketing initiatives and improved sales

  • Better predict customers’ needs by analyzing past purchases and browsing habits

  • Improve internal workflows and suggest solutions to common bottlenecks

By extracting these kinds of meaningful insights from your data, you’re in a better position to understand what it will take for your business to increase profitability. When you analyze a data set, you’re reflecting on what is (or isn’t) running smoothly at your business. The great advantage of using software for this purpose is it’s often more reliable—and less time-consuming—than manual data coding methods.

Key Considerations for Buyers

Businesses hoping to purchase data analysis tools in the near future should consider the following when evaluating solutions:

Customer support. Even in the most user-friendly of data analysis programs, it’s common to encounter some technical difficulties. Be sure to evaluate all the training and support services a vendor offers before committing to their system. This may include 24/7 live chat, online case submissions, webinars and more.

Mobile access. Business leaders who travel frequently will be especially interested in ensuring their data analysis tools are compatible with various mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. Click here for a more comprehensive guide on mobile BI software.

Integrations. Make a list of all the different software your business currently uses to check what the integration process is like with BI platforms on your shortlist. For example, a vendor’s BI platform may not integrate with your existing CRM system.