What are the best platforms for cloud analytics

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SOFTWARE A current comparison of BI tools, solutions and platforms

2. SAS Business Intelligence

SAS Business Intelligence is a software solution that offers numerous products and technologies for data scientists, business analysts, statisticians and forecasters, among others. SAS was founded in the 1970s and has a long tradition in the BI market in terms of researching, analyzing and visualizing data. With a Capterra rating of 4.3 stars, the solution enjoys a good level of user trust and satisfaction.

Central product functions:

5 main topics: SAS offers a variety of different BI products and technologies, which can be divided into the 5 main areas of visual data analysis, analytics tools, interactive dashboards and reports, collaboration and mobile apps.

Data exploration & machine learning: Data exploration with SAS offers automated analysis supported by machine learning. Business questions such as B. "Where do my customers come from" answered with the help of interactive visualizations.

Text analysis functions: An interesting feature are text analyzes, which make it possible to analyze social media data or other relevant texts as well as to determine the sentiment of the statements and to gain valuable new knowledge from them.

Reports for all devices: Dynamic data visualizations in interactive reports and dashboards can be accessed from the desktop PC as well as via tablet and smartphone (Android and iOS).

Integration with other applications: You can integrate Microsoft Office applications such as PowerPoint, Word, SharePoint or Excel with the help of the SAS Office Analytics solution, which enables a (limited) presentation of the analysis results in a familiar software environment.

Potential weak points:

In view of the complexity and variety of products, it is not that easy to find the right solution. In addition, the (entry-level) prices are comparatively high and individual user adjustments are limited.

3. Clear Analytics

Clear Analytics is an Excel-based BI tool that consolidates data from internal systems, cloud, accounting and CRM etc. and enables you to transfer this data to Excel using drag & drop. Then, with the help of Microsoft Power BI functions (e.g. Power Query and Power Pivot), new knowledge can be obtained, filtered, processed, modeled and visualized. With an average user rating of 4.5 stars, this is one of the top-rated tools on our list.

Central product functions:

Power BI reports: With Clear Analytics it is possible to publish ad-hoc reports directly in the Power BI Portal and enable further processing in a drag & drop interface and a dynamic query designer.

Simple Excel integration: This tool can be used directly in the familiar Excel environment and the rights of users can be defined at user or role level. This enables effective user management and changes are logged, versioned and fully auditable.

Share on mobile devices: You can use Power BI features such as Power Maps, Power Pivot, and Power Desktop, which you can use to publish your insights on mobile devices, including iWatch.

Detailed audit overview: Clear Analytics offers you a comprehensive audit overview, which enables detailed monitoring of all user activities. For example, where the data came from, what filters were applied, who ran the report, and when the data was extracted.

Semantic layer: Thanks to a semantic layer, users receive a high degree of transparency and consistency in their entire reporting infrastructure, which can have a positive effect on confidence in the analysis results obtained.

Potential weak points:

This software is based on Excel, i. H. Spreadsheets and co. are the backbone of this solution, which is probably not the best or a really sustainable option for the future.

4. SAP Business Objects

SAP Business Objects is a complex BI suite for comprehensive reporting, analysis and data visualization. They offer Office integrations with Excel and PowerPoint, where they can create live presentations and hybrid analyzes that connect to your local and cloud SAP systems. With its various product solutions, SAP covers a wide range of business areas, such as B. ERP and digital core, CRM and customer experience, digital supply chain or personnel management and employee motivation. On Capterra, SAP currently has an average rating of 4.0 stars, which confirms its established place in the market since 1972.

Central product functions:

Comprehensive company reporting system: The reporting and the analyzes can be done ad hoc as well as with the help of a complex BI company reporting system, which is designed in such a way that it controls your entire company strategy.

Role-based dashboards: The data analytics and data visualization capabilities focus on self-service functions, similar to other tools where you can create your own role-based dashboards.

Cross-company reports: You can activate a cross-company release function which enables you to share analysis results with other interest groups and partners.

Connection with SAP Warehouse and HANA: Multidimensional data analyzes enable you to manipulate and filter data in real time when you connect to the SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) or SAP Hana.

Integration with Office applications: By using Microsoft Excel in combination with SAP, you can analyze larger amounts of data and present the generated results in PowerPoint.

Potential weak points:

In some reviews it is reported that the extensive analysis functions can only rarely be used without additional training for the user. In addition, the costs for the individual modules are relatively high and there are comparatively few feature updates.

5. METRIC INSIGHTS

Metric Insights is an enterprise business analytics tool that enables the management of critical insights, the detection of anomalies and the company-wide distribution of content via a single access point. Essentially, the company has built a portal where users can search and find BI content that is relevant to them. With uncomplicated access, users can save valuable time searching for the relevant information. The company was founded in 2010 in the USA (San Francisco), but currently has no ratings on Capterra that can be used for comparison with the other BI tools in the list.

Central product functions:

Business Intelligence Portal: A central requirement of the software is to provide an analytics portal, which is built on the premise that key figures, reports and dashboards are consolidated centrally. This content can then be shared within the company.

Detection of anomalies: As with many BI tools in our list, anomaly detection is an important product function. Either individual rules and thresholds can be added or automatic alerts can be used. As soon as an anomaly is detected, the tool sends a notification via email, SMS or app.

Alert management: An interesting function of the software is the ability to manage warning messages in detail and ensure effective processing. For this purpose, individual workflows can be assigned to the individual alerts, which are then monitored and documented.

Portal Pages: With the so-called "Portal Pages", Metric Insights offers an opportunity to improve the individual user experience. Custom pages with relevant information for different target groups can be created, which are hosted by Metric Insights.

Integration of chatbots: If you want to go a step further in the automation process, Metric Insights is another BI software that offers integration with chatbots. The providers Slack and Microsoft Teams are supported with various bot functions.

Potential weak points:

Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, there are almost no reviews of the software, so not much information is available about real-world user experiences. In addition, there is no option on the website to register for a free trial period.

6. Zoho Analytics

We continue our business intelligence software comparison with Zoho Analytics. The company Zoho specializes in solving common problems in everyday business life with the help of appropriate software. In addition to CRM, HR or financial software, the company also offers a BI and analysis solution (Zoho Analytics). With more than 500 data integration options, over 10,000 customers worldwide and a solid 4.3 star rating from Capterra, Zoho Analytics made it into our list of the best BI tools for 2021.

Central product functions:

Visual data analysis: Zoho Analytics provides users with various visualization tools in order to be able to examine individual data in detail. With the help of a drag-and-drop designer, reports and dashboards can be created, whereby different data sources can be accessed.

Assistant Zia: The artificial intelligence-based assistant Zia enables users to ask questions in natural language and receive automatically generated answers based on them in the form of reports.

Comment function: When sharing reports with other users, real-time commenting can be enabled from charts, pivot views, tables and dashboards. All users with whom the report was shared will then receive an automatic notification.

Geo-visualization: In addition to various visualization options such as diagrams, widgets or pivot tables, geo-visualization with the help of interactive map diagrams is a function that Zoho emphasizes on their website. This makes it possible to measure important key figures according to regions, countries, federal states, districts, postcode areas or latitude and longitude.

Integrated analyzes: Zoho Analytics can also be embedded in your own product, portal, website or software (Embedded BI).

Potential weak points:

As a rule, it can be assumed that not all reporting functions can be used without problems by (non-technical) business users, as these sometimes require detailed BI know-how on the part of the user.

7. Domo

Domo is a BI solution that consists of several systems that are brought together in a central platform, starting with the connection of the data to preconfigured and user-defined applications from the Domo Appstore. You can also use Domo in combination with your data lakes, data warehouses and ETL tools and create scripts with the help of R or Python, for example to prepare data for predictive analysis. Similar to the other tools in our list, you can make data accessible company-wide and use modern software functions based on machine learning and artificial intelligence. With a solid 4.2 star rating on Capterra, this BI platform is recommended by many users all over the world, although Domo is one of the younger companies in our BI tools comparison with its foundation in 2011.

Central product functions:

Numerous cloud connectors: Data integration into the platform is quick and easy thanks to over 1000 ready-made cloud connectors. In addition, there are file upload connectors (Excel, CSV), on-premises connectors and connectors for data lakes or data warehouses.

Magic ETL function: “Magic” data transformation tools allow you to drag and drop your data to clean, combine and transform it without the need for advanced SQL knowledge.

Automatically generated data visualizations: After you have successfully integrated a data source, the software independently creates relevant data visualizations. You can then edit them.

Mr. Roboto as an AI engine: “Mr. Roboto ”is the company's own name for numerous functions within the platform, which among other things use predictive analyzes and artificial intelligence with the aim of informing decision-makers throughout the company about potential opportunities and risks.

Domo Appstore: Your open cloud platform is an ecosystem of ready-made apps, interfaces (APIs) and dashboards, which also enables users to share their individually created widgets in the Domo Appstore.

Potential weak points:

With its complexity and advanced analysis options, Domo is less suitable for beginners, but they also offer professional, additional training. The pricing model is not really transparent and publicly available, but it can be assumed that it is the most expensive business ingelligence software in our list if you trust the information available on the Internet.

8. MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy is an enterprise analytics and mobility platform that focuses on "HyperIntelligence", "Transformational Mobility" and "Federated Analytics". Mobile dossiers allow the quick creation of interactive "books" for data analysis, which are supported by both iOS and Android devices. In addition, Microstrategy content can be extended with SKDs for these apps, using Xcode or JavaScript. With the "Hyperintelligence" analysis concept, Microstrategy promises its customers that they no longer have to search for insights, instead they will come straight to them. Capterra reviewers gave this business intelligence platform an appealing 4.2 stars.

Central product functions:

Hyperintelligence analysis concept: The Hypterintelligence module brings together data from various sources and uses it to automatically and independently generate new insights into customers, products, employees and more. It can be easily accessed in the applications, devices and websites you use.

Federated Analytics: The "Enterprise Semantic Graph" is the basis for an intelligent company, in which analysis tools that are already in use do not have to be dispensed with, but rather their use can be optimized, development accelerated and reliability increased.

Transformational Mobility: Data analyzes are also made available on mobile devices and users are enabled to access existing reports, dashboards and visualizations in real time from any location and device.

Language assistant: To support natural language processing, you can also use modern language technologies and chatbots such as B. use Alexa or Google Home.

Cloud technology: Microstrategy offers various solutions to provide scalable, secure, flexible and expandable cloud solutions that meet the requirements of both the specialist departments and IT.

Potential weak points:

Some users report a difficult initial configuration because many different parties are involved and specific know-how is required. In general, the user-friendliness is an aspect that appears to be in need of improvement in this solution.

9. GoodData

GoodData is a business analytics software that offers users all the tools they need for data integration as well as storage, query generation and data visualization of company data. Dashboards and reports on daily activities can be created without the need for a PhD, as GoodData describes on their website. This solution offers extensive embedded functions, which enable embedding in external environments or applications, for example to give customers access to professional analytics tools. GoodData was founded in 2007 and has a solid 4.3 star rating on Capterra.

Central product functions:

Embedded BI: GoodData offers embedded analytics solutions that are scalable for corporate customers and can be delivered with a variety of individual adjustments (user-defined data models and analyzes, etc.). This gives customers access to professional reports and dashboards.

Modular data pipeline: This software enables fast data integration, whether for an on-premise or cloud data warehouse, structured, unstructured or semi-structured data.You can also use tools such as SQL, Python, R or Ruby for flexible data processing.

Developer platform: An open platform for developers, for example, offers frameworks to support integration with existing company data. There is also an extensive Javascript library that provides numerous React components.

Additional support: Additional, fee-based services are offered to support the entire data and analysis process, for example during development, testing, initial commissioning or maintenance.

4 data centers: GoodData has 4 different data centers: two in the USA (Chicago and Dallas) and one in the EU and Canada, although the exact locations in these two regions are not specified. Existing projects can be transferred from one data center to another at any time.

Potential weak points:

Some users report that the software is difficult to use despite having received training. In addition, the implementation of GoodData is comparatively complex and expensive, especially for small and medium-sized companies.

10. IBM Cognos Analytics

IBM Cognos Analytics is part of the Microsoft family and is a cloud-based business intelligence software that provides, among other things, machine learning and AI functions for creating dashboards and reports, as well as giving users the opportunity to ask important company questions via voice control. This enables a high degree of automation and time savings in data preparation. IBM Cognos Analytics is an established solution from a traditional software company, which has a rating of 4.1 stars on Capterra.

Central product functions:

Search functions: An advanced Cognos Analytics search mechanism allows users to directly access recently used content within the software, refine or filter it and then save it.

Central data module: All existing data sources can be combined in a single, central data module, which requires users to analyze data independently and generate new knowledge.

Interactive data visualization: Different diagrams can be combined in a story with templates, voice control and interactive elements in order to then share them with others.

AI assistant: The AI ​​assistant, based on natural language, provides you with intelligent answers to simple questions about your company data and enables you to generate new insights without having to carry out your own data analyzes.

Knowledge center: A comprehensive knowledge base and a product-specific community offer support in learning and understanding the products as well as in answering specific questions.

Potential weak points:

It may take a while until you are familiar with all of the analysis functions and possible uses of this solution. If your focus is on comprehensive, modern dashboard functions, this tool would be less suitable, as many users report.

11. QlikView

QlikView is one of the BI applications from Qlik, which provides modern data analysis and intuitive, visual data discovery. The analysis solution is based on a so-called "associative engine" which, according to its own statement, enables the generation of new findings without any restrictions thanks to extensive, unlimited data analysis options. With an average Capterra rating of 4.3 stars, this business analytics software is in the solid middle of our list.

Central product functions:

Associative exploration: Qlikview‘s exploration function "Associative Exploration" is based on simple selection and search functions, which can be entered by end users of all experience levels. This makes it possible to view the relevant company data from various perspectives and to gain new knowledge on an ad hoc basis.

Visually highlighted dashboards: Dashboards, reports and guided analytics are visually highlighted for the user during the data exploration process.

Associative engine: Qlik enables comprehensive, "associative analyzes" thanks to the merging of all existing data sources without any restrictions in terms of combination and analysis options.

Dual usage strategies: Qlik offers its customers the opportunity to expand QlikView with other products from their portfolio, which enables the development of individual dual use strategies.

Developer tools: Various tools and resources are made available for developers, such as the Qlik Branch Community, the Qlik Knowledge Hub, the Qlik Branch Playground and the Qlik Core documentation.

Potential weak points:

In many areas, especially when setting up for the first time, this BI software requires technical knowledge. If this know-how is not yet available, additional, fee-based training should be planned. A Qlikview solution is comparatively expensive, especially for small and medium-sized companies.

12. Yellowfin BI

Finally, let's take a closer look at Yellowfin BI in our list of the best business intelligence tools for 2021. This is a powerful suite of BI and analysis tools, which, in addition to the uncomplicated acquisition of new knowledge, also promises better and faster company decisions. There is also an app for mobile use that is available for both Android and iOS devices. Capterra users rated Yellowfin BI with an average of 4.6 stars.

Central product functions:

5 main products: The Yellowfin BI platform combines 5 main products for the effortless connection, transformation and analysis of your company data: Yellowfin signals, stories, dashboards, data discovery and data preparation (data prep).

3 main areas of BI: They offer BI and business analytics solutions with the 3 main application areas of enterprise analytics, embedded analytics and external analytical apps.

Yellowfin signals via smartphone: Benefit from the automated detection of trends and anomalies in your data thanks to the Yellowfin signals, which are based on powerful, AI-controlled algorithms and enable instant, personalized notifications directly on your smartphone.

Convincing reports: The "Yellowfin Stories" enable users to create trustworthy data reports that focus on the human being by additionally taking texts, videos and images into account.

Intelligent distribution of tasks: They offer trigger-based “Smart Tasks” which are automatically triggered when a defined standard is not reached and sent to the appropriate person. So everyone in the company can take the right action at the right time.

Potential weak points:

Some users wrote in their reviews that some essential analysis functions that can be found in other BI tools are not available. Performance problems when handling larger data sets were also reported.

Summary and Outlook

Today, data is without a doubt one of the most valuable resources for sustainably successful companies. Companies need professional BI software in order to be able to cope with the steadily increasing and increasingly complex amounts of data. Our goal was to bring you the advantages of modern BI tools, to identify the best solutions on the market and to give you an overview of each product. We hope we were able to inspire you to take a closer look at business intelligence tools and to find or rethink the perfect solution for your company or department.

If you want to start with a modern BI solution that covers almost all of the product functions discussed, test datapine for 14 days free of charge and with the full range of functions.