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Data Analysis Tools


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Dundas BI logo
 
Dundas BI, from Dundas Data Visualization, is a browser-based business intelligence and data visualization platform that includes integrated dashboards, reporting tools, and data analytics. It provides end users the ability to create... Read More
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Dundas BI, from Dundas Data Visualization, is a browser-based business intelligence and data visualization platform that includes integrated dashboards, reporting tools, and data analytics. It provides end users the ability to create... Read More
 
Domo logo
 
Domo is a cloud-based business management suite that integrates with multiple data sources, including spreadsheets, databases, social media and any existing cloud-based or on-premise software solution. It is suitable for company sizes... Read More
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Domo is a cloud-based business management suite that integrates with multiple data sources, including spreadsheets, databases, social media and any existing cloud-based or on-premise software solution. It is suitable for company sizes... Read More
 
Sisense logo
 
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 and... Read More
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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 and... Read More
 
BOARD logo
 
Created to combine business intelligence, corporate performance management, and business analytics, BOARD is a full-featured business intelligence system that serves midsize and enterprise-level companies in a variety of different... Read More
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Created to combine business intelligence, corporate performance management, and business analytics, BOARD is a full-featured business intelligence system that serves midsize and enterprise-level companies in a variety of different... Read More
 
Style Intelligence logo
 
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
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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

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SAP - Business Intelligence logo
 
With its cohesive, consolidated approach, industry powerhouse SAP BusinessObjects gives organizations a full set of tools to manage and optimize Business Intelligence. From a centralized portal, companies can handle everything from... Read More
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With its cohesive, consolidated approach, industry powerhouse SAP BusinessObjects gives organizations a full set of tools to manage and optimize Business Intelligence. From a centralized portal, companies can handle everything from... Read More
 
Yellowfin logo
 
Yellowfin, a business intelligence platform, is a single integrated solution developed for companies across varying industries and scaling sizes. This system is customizable to suit businesses in accounting, advertising, agriculture,... Read More
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Yellowfin, a business intelligence platform, is a single integrated solution developed for companies across varying industries and scaling sizes. This system is customizable to suit businesses in accounting, advertising, agriculture,... Read More
 
ClicData logo
 
ClicData is a business intelligence (BI) dashboard solution designed for use primarily by small and midsized businesses. The tool enables end users to create reports and dashboards. A drag-and-drop interface designed for ease of use... Read More
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ClicData is a business intelligence (BI) dashboard solution designed for use primarily by small and midsized businesses. The tool enables end users to create reports and dashboards. A drag-and-drop interface designed for ease of use... Read More
 
TARGIT Decision Suite logo
 
TARGIT Decision Suite is a business intelligence and analytics solution that offers visual data discovery tools, self-service business analytics, reporting and dashboards in a single, integrated solution. TARGIT combines the control... Read More
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TARGIT Decision Suite is a business intelligence and analytics solution that offers visual data discovery tools, self-service business analytics, reporting and dashboards in a single, integrated solution. TARGIT combines the control... Read More
 
Exago logo
 
Exago is a cloud-based self-service business intelligence solution for software companies that offer ad hoc reporting, dashboards, and interactive data visualization tool with advanced analytics. Exago's reporting functionalities... Read More
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Exago is a cloud-based self-service business intelligence solution for software companies that offer ad hoc reporting, dashboards, and interactive data visualization tool with advanced analytics. Exago's reporting functionalities... Read More

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Birst logo
 
Birst, an Infor Company, is a web-based networked BI and analytics solution that connects insights from various teams and helps in making informed decisions. The tool enables decentralized users to augment the enterprise data model... Read More
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Birst, an Infor Company, is a web-based networked BI and analytics solution that connects insights from various teams and helps in making informed decisions. The tool enables decentralized users to augment the enterprise data model... Read More
 
Chartio logo
 
For business owners seeking a full-featured Business Intelligence system, we recommend Chartio as a great option to add to your shortlist. The system smartly focuses on being simple to use, featuring Drag and Drop Chart Creation. This... Read More
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For business owners seeking a full-featured Business Intelligence system, we recommend Chartio as a great option to add to your shortlist. The system smartly focuses on being simple to use, featuring Drag and Drop Chart Creation. This... Read More
 
Microsoft SharePoint logo
 
Microsoft SharePoint 2013 helps organization collect and analyze key business data in order to gain an accurate and actionable view of business operations. The software supports both on-premises as well as web-based deployment architecture.... Read More
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Microsoft SharePoint 2013 helps organization collect and analyze key business data in order to gain an accurate and actionable view of business operations. The software supports both on-premises as well as web-based deployment architecture.... Read More
 
Pentaho logo
 
Pentaho is a business intelligence system designed to help companies make data-driven decisions, with a platform for data integration and analytics. The platform includes extract, transform, and load (ETL), big data analytics, visualizations,... Read More
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Pentaho is a business intelligence system designed to help companies make data-driven decisions, with a platform for data integration and analytics. The platform includes extract, transform, and load (ETL), big data analytics, visualizations,... Read More
 
Halo logo
 
Halo is an end-to-end supply chain management and business intelligence platform that helps in business planning and forecasting inventory for supply chain management. The system uses data from all sources - big, small, and in-between... Read More
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Halo is an end-to-end supply chain management and business intelligence platform that helps in business planning and forecasting inventory for supply chain management. The system uses data from all sources - big, small, and in-between... Read More

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IFS EOI logo
 
IFS Enterprise Operational Intelligence (EOI) is business intelligence software for large companies and organizations. The system works for many industries and offers dashboards and scorecards, data warehousing, data mining and predictive... Read More
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IFS Enterprise Operational Intelligence (EOI) is business intelligence software for large companies and organizations. The system works for many industries and offers dashboards and scorecards, data warehousing, data mining and predictive... Read More
 
Stratum logo
 
Stratum by Silvon is a robust business intelligence solution that was designed to meet the unique needs of business professionals working for manufacturing and distribution companies. Stratum offers a full suite of integrated analytic... Read More
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Stratum by Silvon is a robust business intelligence solution that was designed to meet the unique needs of business professionals working for manufacturing and distribution companies. Stratum offers a full suite of integrated analytic... Read More
 
Diver | BI logo
 
Diver | BI from Dimensional Insight is a business intelligence and information delivery platform offering flexible deployment options and compatibility with most devices. The suite of applications includes dashboards and scorecards,... Read More
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Diver | BI from Dimensional Insight is a business intelligence and information delivery platform offering flexible deployment options and compatibility with most devices. The suite of applications includes dashboards and scorecards,... Read More
 
Rapid Insight logo
 
Rapid Insight Inc. provides an on-premise Business Intelligence solutions for Higher Education, Fundraising, Healthcare, and Data Science corporations. Their suite of applications includes Dashboards and Scorecards, Data Mining and... Read More
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Rapid Insight Inc. provides an on-premise Business Intelligence solutions for Higher Education, Fundraising, Healthcare, and Data Science corporations. Their suite of applications includes Dashboards and Scorecards, Data Mining and... Read More
 
iCharts for NetSuite logo
 
iCharts for NetSuite is a Business Intelligence (BI) reporting and analytics tool that suits enterprise-level companies in a variety of industry segments. The cloud-based platform allows users to visualize and analyze NetSuite data... Read More
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iCharts for NetSuite is a Business Intelligence (BI) reporting and analytics tool that suits enterprise-level companies in a variety of industry segments. The cloud-based platform allows users to visualize and analyze NetSuite data... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Justin Guinn,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: November 17, 2017


You’ve probably heard the term “business intelligence (BI)”—but what does it actually mean? 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 tools and describe their 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 Tools 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 tools—on the right.

Data analysis tools are 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 Tools Explained

Data analysis tools are 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 Tools

The benefits of data analysis tools 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.

 

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