7 Top-Rated Affordable Business Intelligence Software

By: Preksha Buttan on January 18, 2024

Data analysts often have to source, clean, and prepare data before interpretation to gain actionable insights. They are also required to ensure that the final outcomes are readable by all the involved stakeholders. While spreadsheets help sort and filter data, the reports might still be complex.

However, a business intelligence (BI) tool sources and cleanses the data, generates reports, and converts them into visually appealing and easy-to-understand graphics. If you're new to BI software, we suggest you start with an affordable option. 

To help you find the right tool, we have highlighted the seven top-rated affordable business intelligence software based on their pricing, as found on vendor websites and verified software reviews. Based on our research, we've considered products priced less than $46.84 per month as affordable software and have arranged them in ascending order. Read more.

The tools listed in this article are dedicated data analysis software offering a dashboard, self-service data preparation, and visual analytics as core features.

1. Two Minute Reports

Two Minute Reports is a Google Sheets and Looker Studio add-on that collects data from several sources, including Facebook Ads, Shopify, Instagram insights, ChatGPT, and WooCommerce. The tool then presents the collected data in Google Sheets or Looker Studio and allows you to generate various reports, including ad performance, SEO metrics, and sales. The tool’s report templates can help you save time spent on designing reports, increasing your productivity and efficiency.

Product features of interest:*

  • Integrations: Integrate the tool with various data sources, such as Facebook Ads, Google Analytics, Shopify, Instagram insights, and WooCommerce, and directly pull the data into Google Sheets or Looker Studio. Integration with other tools can simplify ad performance, SEO metrics, and sales data analysis.

  • Automatic data transfer: Keep the data in Google Sheets and Looker Studio automatically updated so that you always have access to the latest metrics. This functionality enables efficient decision-making.

  • Custom metrics: Create unique metrics using custom formulas to focus on the data that matters the most to you. This feature enhances your ability to draw more personalized and relevant insights, making your data analysis more effective and aligned with your specific business goals.

Starting price: $5 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Knowledge base and chat support

Who should consider Two Minute Reports?

Two Minute Reports can be a viable option for social media managers who need to track the impact of promotional campaigns launched on various social channels. This tool can be integrated with 30+ platforms, helping you analyze the metrics of different sites without using coding. As Two Minute Reports is an add-on for Google Sheets and Looker Studio, it offers the convenience of analyzing data within familiar interfaces, enhancing comfort and efficiency in data handling.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Two Minute Reports

Two Minute Reports

4.67 out of 5 stars

39 reviews

2. ActivTrak

ActivTrak is a workforce analytics software that gives insights into employee productivity and engagement. It helps compare remote and in-office productivity, spot disengagement, and assess workload. The tool displays a summary of these metrics on a consolidated dashboard in the form of charts, tables, and graphs. You have the option to drill down on specific metrics, sort and filter data, and generate detailed reports for further analysis.

Product features of interest:*

  • Impact analysis: Evaluate the impact of new technologies or programs and any significant events on employee productivity. This evaluation helps you mitigate the negative effects of recent workflow changes, optimize programs and technologies, and adjust your tech and office space investments to improve productivity and employee well-being.

  • Location insights: Track employee work locations, whether remote, in-office, or hybrid. It helps understand where employees are most productive and correlates working hours with location, such as later starts due to commutes or longer days in remote work. This assessment helps make decisions regarding office space usage and real-estate investments.

  • Benchmarks and goals: Set and manage team performance goals and compare them against their actual performance. You can establish goals for productive, focused, and collaborative hours per day, track progress, and give employees feedback through weekly email updates on their personal goals.

Starting price: $10 per user per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Knowledge base, emails, and chat support

Who should consider ActivTrak?

HR heads and team managers can leverage ActivTrak to monitor and analyze employee productivity effectively. This tool helps generate detailed reports on performance, location, tasks, inefficiencies, and workload over various periods, such as weekly, monthly, or yearly. These reports help managers draw actionable insights into employees' work habits and potential burnout, aiding decision-making to enhance workforce efficiency and well-being.

Analysis performed January 2024**

ActivTrak

ActivTrak

4.58 out of 5 stars

547 reviews

Pro tip

Check the availability of the role-based permissions feature in the BI platform you’re considering to ensure the safety of sensitive business data. This feature allows you to control who can view, edit, or share specific data and reports based on their role in your business, helping you prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.

3. Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a comprehensive business intelligence platform that leverages artificial intelligence capabilities to convert data into visuals. You can connect this tool with several data sources, including Azure SQL Database, Azure Analysis Services, Google Analytics, Facebook, Sharepoint, Excel workbooks, and text files. You can also integrate this cloud BI tool with Outlook, Teams, and PowerPoint to access and share updated reports via a single interface.

Product features of interest:*

  • Storage: Store and manage your data for quick access during analysis and reporting. Microsoft Power BI allows you to store 10GB of data per user in its lowest-priced plan, which is suitable for individual use or small teams.

  • Data summaries: Generate concise overviews of your data to aggregate and summarize large datasets into meaningful insights. It's particularly useful for identifying trends, patterns, and outliers within your data.

  • Data encryption: Encrypt the data stored in Power BI servers (at rest) or being transferred over networks (in transit). This encryption is crucial for maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive business data, offering an added layer of security in your data analytics processes.

Starting price: $10 per user per month

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Knowledge base, discussion forum, and support by opening a ticket

Who should consider Microsoft Power BI?

Data analysts looking for an affordable tool that supports advanced data analytics may benefit from Microsoft Power BI. This tool integrates with AI and ML platforms, enabling predictions based on historical data. Additionally, Power BI supports R and Python script [1] execution within its environment, allowing data scientists to perform complex, custom analytics. This functionality is especially valuable for leveraging the statistical and predictive power of R and Python, extending the tool's capabilities beyond standard analytics.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI

4.57 out of 5 stars

1638 reviews

4. Power My Analytics

Power My Analytics is a data analytics tool that automates and visualizes marketing data from over 40 platforms, including Facebook, HubSpot, and Pinterest. It supports integration with platforms such as Google Analytics, Google Sheets, and SQL for efficient data import and export, ensuring your reports always have the latest details. The platform offers a variety of marketing report templates for quick report creation, covering areas like traffic acquisition, advertising, social media optimization, and pay-per-click campaigns.

Product features of interest:*

  • Data filtering: Refine and narrow down your data to view information that meets specific criteria, such as date ranges, geographic regions, or other relevant parameters. By filtering out irrelevant information, you gain clear insights and make more informed decisions based on the most pertinent data relevant to your needs. 

  • Data warehouse: Create a centralized repository where you can store and manage large volumes of data from various sources. It's designed to consolidate, organize, and maintain historical data, making it easier for you to perform complex queries and analysis. This feature enables efficient data management and supports advanced analytics.

  • Dashboard templates: Use pre-designed layouts to quickly create and customize dashboards. These templates help visualize your data, saving you time in designing and setting up. You can select from various styles and formats that best match your data presentation needs.

Starting price: $12.46 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Knowledge base, FAQs, and support by opening a ticket

Who should consider Power My Analytics?

Marketing managers who track and analyze various metrics will find Power My Analytics' reporting templates highly beneficial. These templates simplify report creation, saving significant time that would otherwise be spent on designing from scratch. Additionally, the data filtering feature enhances the analysis process, allowing marketers to focus on relevant metrics, identify trends, and make informed decisions. This combination of ready-to-use templates and efficient data filtering makes the tool a time-saver in managing marketing data effectively.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Power My Analytics

Power My Analytics

4.68 out of 5 stars

168 reviews

Pro tip

Assess the data connectors supported by the BI solution to ensure its compatibility with your existing data sources. This compatibility allows seamless integration of data from various systems, databases, and applications you already use.

5. Better Reports

Data analysis tool Better Reports connects with platforms such as Stripe, QuickBooks Online, and Shopify. It allows you to generate reports and dashboards using the collected sales, customer, and product data. Besides, you can create separate working spaces within the tool for your team members. These separate spaces ensure individuals have access only to the data relevant to them, preventing unauthorized access.

Product features of interest:*

  • Automatic reports: Set up scheduled reports that are automatically generated and sent to you or your team members’ mailboxes. You can configure these reports to be delivered at regular intervals, such as daily, weekly, or monthly. This feature ensures you consistently receive up-to-date insights on your sales, customers, and products without manually generating reports each time.

  • Built-in reports: Choose from a variety of pre-designed report templates for quick and easy analysis. This allows you to effortlessly access standard reports for sales, customers, inventory, and more without the need for custom report creation. 

  • Visual report builder: Transform your data into visually appealing and easy-to-understand reports using charts, graphs, and other visual elements. These visuals make analyzing complex data more intuitive and allow the reader to quickly grasp trends, patterns, and key metrics.

Starting price: $19.9 per month

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Knowledge base, emails, and inquiry via a web form

Who should consider Better Reports?

Ecommerce managers tracking customer, sales, and product-related data can rely on Better Reports. It integrates with various ecommerce, payment processing, and accounting platforms, providing detailed reports on refunds, subscriptions, taxes, profit, and more. This enables ecommerce managers to gain insights into customer behavior and product performance, enhancing marketing strategy optimization. Additionally, its automatic reports feature regularly delivers updated data to the mailboxes, simplifying monitoring key metrics and ensuring managers are always informed of the latest information.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Better Reports

Better Reports

4.88 out of 5 stars

86 reviews

6. Matomo

Matomo is an open source data analytics software licensed under GNU General Public License v3. [2] The licensing terms make the tool free to use, modify, and distribute. Matomo also provides free on-premise and paid cloud versions of the software. You can use this tool to track your website visitors and their behavior, marketing expenses, sales, conversion, and more.

Product features of interest:*

  • Activity log: Record every action taken within the software, such as queries, report modifications, and data changes. This log helps you track user activities, ensuring compliance and security. It's particularly useful for auditing and understanding how the software is utilized.

  • Heatmap and session recording: Get visual analytics of user interactions on your websites. Heatmaps show areas of high user activity, indicating where visitors click, scroll, and hover, helping you understand user behavior patterns. Session recordings replay actual user sessions, providing a detailed view of how visitors navigate your site. 

  • AB testing: Compare two versions of a webpage or product feature to determine which performs better. You present two variations—A and B—to different segments of your audience and then analyze which achieves better results based on specific metrics such as click-through rates, conversions, or user engagement. 

Starting price: $23 per month

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Knowledge base, video tutorials, community forum, and inquiry via web form

Who should consider Matomo?

Matomo, an open source business intelligence solution, is ideal for business leaders seeking customizable analytics. It allows the creation of custom reports, dashboards, and segments, tailoring analytics to specific business requirements. Leaders can track unique data points, such as specific interactions on their website or the performance of custom marketing campaigns. Such customization facilitates deeper insights into unique business aspects, making Matomo a versatile tool for businesses with specific, nuanced analytics needs.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Matomo

Matomo

4.76 out of 5 stars

58 reviews

Pro tip

Choose a BI tool that supports predictive analytics so that you can forecast future trends and behaviors based on your historical data. This foresight can be instrumental in strategic planning, helping you make data-driven decisions that anticipate market changes and customer needs.

7. Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics is a self-service business intelligence tool that connects with several databases, helps prepare and clean the data for analysis, and provides various data visualization options, including charts, widgets, and summaries. It comes with an AI-powered assistance called Zia that understands natural language queries. You can leverage Zia by asking questions about your data and receiving insights through reports and KPIs. It also proactively suggests reports and dashboards based on your data analysis patterns.

Product features of interest:*

  • Visual analysis: Create engaging and informative visualizations from your data by dragging and dropping fields to craft charts, widgets, pivot tables, and dashboards. This intuitive interface helps you uncover patterns and insights effectively. 

  • Data storytelling: Weave together data visualizations, reports, and textual narratives into a cohesive story, enhancing the communication of insights. This feature enables presenting complex data in an engaging, easy-to-understand manner.

  • Commenting: Collaborate with your team by adding comments on reports and dashboards. This feature enhances team communication, as you can discuss insights, share feedback, and make decisions directly within the platform. It supports threaded conversations, keeping your discussions organized and contextually relevant to the data.

Starting price: $24 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Knowledge base, FAQs, video tutorials, community forum, emails, and phone support

Who should consider Zoho Analytics?

Zoho Analytics is highly suitable for small business data analysts seeking process optimization. Its AI assistant, Zia, readily answers data-related questions and auto-generates reports, uncovering hidden insights and forecasting trends. The visual analysis feature further enhances the processes by transforming raw data into clear, visually appealing formats. This simplifies the discovery of data-driven insights, enhancing decision-making efficiency.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics

4.39 out of 5 stars

295 reviews

How much does business intelligence software cost?

A BI tool can cost as low as $5 per user, per month or all the way up to $100+ per user, per month, depending on various factors—features, number of users, infrastructure requirements, business size/type, training availability, deployment options, integrations, and storage. Most BI solutions typically include the following pricing plans:

  • Free trial: No-cost trial plans ranging from 14 to 30 days, giving users access to either all or limited features of the software. These are ideal for businesses that wish to try out a tool before purchasing it.

  • Free version: Free software plans offer basic features and limited premium feature access. These are ideal for small business owners with a limited budget.

  • Entry-level: Starts at $5 per user, per month and offers limited features, such as data integration and basic reporting. These are ideal for small businesses with basic analytic needs.

  • Mid-tier: Ranges from $12 to $24.99 per user, per month and offers advanced features such as interactive reporting and data export. These are ideal for businesses that have outgrown basic BI solutions but don’t require the full range of functionality offered by enterprise-level tools.

  • High-end: Advanced plans going up to $100 per user, per month offer customizable dashboards, collaboration tools, and priority support. These are ideal for large enterprises.

Hidden costs associated with the best business intelligence software

Besides the software license itself, there may be additional costs associated with affordable BI tools, including:

  • Data preparation and integration: Preparing data for BI tools involves cleansing, integrating, and transforming data from various sources. This process can be time-consuming and may require additional software or services.

  • Training and adoption: Training employees to use new BI tools effectively is crucial but can be expensive, especially for more complex systems. Ensuring user adoption also involves time and resources.

  • Consulting or implementation services: Many businesses need external consultants or specialists to help with the implementation of BI tools. These services can be a significant additional expense.

Frequently asked questions when selecting affordable BI software

  • Does the tool support interface customization to add branding elements?

Customizing the interface of your business intelligence software reinforces your brand identity within your organization, enhancing the professional appearance of reports and dashboards. This customization also ensures a consistent user experience that aligns with your other business tools, fostering a sense of familiarity and engagement among your team members while interacting with the BI tool.

  • Does the tool allow automation?

Automation streamlines repetitive tasks, such as data collection, report generation, and updates. It also saves you valuable time and reduces the risk of human error. It helps you focus on more strategic activities by ensuring that you have regular, up-to-date insights. This enhanced capability improves efficiency and enables faster, data-driven decision-making for your business.

  • Does the tool help create interactive reports?

Interactive reports allow for a deeper exploration and understanding of data. They offer dynamic insights, letting you drill down into specifics, filter results, and view data from different perspectives. This enhanced interactivity aids in uncovering hidden trends and patterns, enabling more informed, agile decision-making and providing a more engaging and insightful experience for your team and stakeholders.


Methodology

For this article, we selected the top seven products that met the following criteria:

  • Each product should be a part of Software Advice’s Frontrunners report 2023 for ITSM software.

  • We assessed all 25 products in the Frontrunners report for their monthly pricing (as of Jan. 02, 2024) and considered the products with publicly available pricing information. Based on the assessment, the average price was calculated to be $46.84. Products with a monthly subscription price lower than $46.84 were then shortlisted to be included in this list and arranged in ascending order.

  • Each product must include dashboard, self-service data preparation, and visual analytics as core features.

  • Each product must meet our market definition for business intelligence software: “Business intelligence software enables companies to access, analyze, and share information in order to improve decision-making through gathering performance metrics. By providing an infrastructure for compiling, analyzing, and distributing key data, Business intelligence applications facilitate more accurate reporting and monitoring as well as strategy implementation and assessment.”

*Our research team identified these features from vendor websites (as of Jan 02, 2024) based on their analysis of what users find valuable in or expect from business intelligence software. This list is not exhaustive. For additional features, refer to the vendor's website.

**We selected products for this article based on their average ratings as of January 2024; however, the article displays each product’s current average rating, which may differ if more reviews have been left since our analysis.

We select and rank products based on an objective methodology developed by our research team. While some vendors may pay us when they receive web traffic or leads, this has no influence on our methodology.

Products evaluated for the pricing calculation were taken from Software Advice’s business intelligence software directory. The pricing ranges exclude freemium versions of the products. The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in the Software Advice directory that offer them.

Definitions:

  1. R and Python scripts are instructions written in the R or Python programming languages. They are used to automate tasks, analyze data, and perform complex computations in fields such as data science, statistics, and machine learning.

  2. The GNU General Public License version 3 (GPLv3) is a free software license that allows users to use, modify, and distribute software freely, provided any derived works are also distributed under the same license terms.