How to Evaluate and Select the Right BI Tool: Buyer’s Guide



Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: May 6, 2021

Data, Data everywhere! but not a piece to use. This is the situation which most of the companies are going through. They are facing a lot of problems extracting the useful information from the oceans of data.

Big data, data mining, data warehouses, OLAP are the most discussed topics nowadays amongst the business leaders. They are finding ways so that they can use data to their full potential for finding trends, patterns and get useful insights which can help boost their business. This is where Business Intelligence tools come into the picture.

Looking for Best Business Intelligence Tools? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the Best Business Intelligence Tools solutions.

Why your business needs a BI Tool?

We live in an era where information is power! But what we have is meaningless data. It is difficult to make any sense out of this data without using any special tools. Let us see what problems generally a business goes through in absence of a BI tool.

  • More data and less information

Most people often confuse data and information. However, when it comes to Business intelligence information is data that has been converted into a meaningful context. Trends and patterns can be identified which can be an important asset for your company.

  • You always need an IT person

If it is your IT department who is handling all the data then getting reports becomes a tough task. In absence of a BI software, you have to rely on the IT people for generating complex reports or dashboards. Even for smaller edits, you will have to resort to the IT team which may result in longer delays.

  • The data is huge and your spreadsheet is not able to handle it

Excel becomes sluggish when you are feeding excess data than it was designed to handle. If the business is growing fast, it doesn’t take much time for an excel sheet to reach beyond its capacity. This way you will be stuck with excel sheets that will no longer provide real-time data sharing and updating.

  • Pie charts don’t always work

If your data is not able to identify which business areas are doing well and which are facing troubles than Business intelligence software is what you need.

20 top Uses of BI software:

  • Analysis, planning, and reporting at a much greater pace and accuracy
  • Business decisions can improve with increased data quality
  • Improved customer as well as employee satisfaction
  • Reduced costs and increased revenues
  • Helps you understand what drives your business revenue
  • Personalize your sales strategy and anticipation objections
  • You can have a more creative and effective business model
  • A Single and a consolidated view of your customers
  • Retailers and brands can know where their inventory is located and how well it is selling
  • You can discover the big-picture ‘why’ and what motivates consumer behavior
  • Create a 360 degree -view of financial data trends
  • Analyze customer demographic data
  • Visualization of data in real time
  • Identify holes in supply chains
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Helps Identify the best location a new store or office based on market data
  • Organizes all your data in one location rather than multiple spreadsheets
  • Reports on cybersecurity can be created
  • Web traffic monitoring of different marketing campaigns
  • Helps you identify which of your department might need a cost-cutting and which are proceeding as expected

best BI tool

Things to keep in mind while looking for a BI tool

There are certain things that you should be concerned about when you decide to invest in BI tool. Make sure your organization is clear about why it needs a BI tool? What problems will it solve? What are the budget and certain other relevant questions? Make sure you choose a tool that will fit your organization need today and in future. Some of the features that your BI tool should definitely have are:

  • Capability to integrate with your existing system

It would be a great advantage if your Business analytics tool is able to integrate seamlessly with the current reporting processes. This can help you retrieve and organize the data that has been buried away in multiple data sources and locations. To accomplish this your BI tool should support data from multiple sources like CRM, ERP, Excel spreadsheets etc.

  • Data Filtering and Data Drilling

Business Intelligence tools should be equipped with a drop-down menu, filters, slicers and search function that makes it easy for users to find the information they are trying to dig easily and quickly. This will help the user get a highest-level overview of performance to a detailed granular view.

  • Secured enough

This is the most important thing to consider when it comes to buying a BI tool especially when they are based on the cloud. For any business, its most critical data is its employee confidential information, pricing etc. which will be stored here. The BI tool you are planning to buy should be well equipped with proper encryption mechanism. You should also have mechanisms to control the internal security by assigning user permissions and access controls. Groups, roles, as well as row and column-based security, can be used so that user only can see the information they need and nothing more or nothing less.

  • Local Intelligence

The business intelligence software should be able to visualize data in geographical format. This will enable the organization to understand data from the sales perspective.

  • Visualization of data

Dashboards graphs gauges and other visuals are the best way to bring your data to life. They can help analyze the key messages in the data and can be an invaluable tool for representing data in a quick and easy to digest manner. If visualization is not in the correct shape than the data becomes redundant and useless.

  • Ranking reports

This feature will allow creating reports using a specific category of information, specific criteria and multiple dimensions. This ranking report will help your business know the best and worst aspect of your business.

  • Mobile-friendly

The use of tablets and mobile phones is increasing every coming day so it is necessary that your business intelligence software supports such platforms. For the Business executive who is always on the move the ability to access graphs charts patterns would be no less than a boon.

The top 5 recommended Business Intelligence Tools

1. Sisense


It is one of the top rated all in one Business analytics tool. It is equipped with powerful data visualization tools with a user-friendly interface and interactive dashboards. It comes with SQL server integration and an in-memory database which means irrespective of where your data is you can always analyze it.


2. Tableau


It is one of the simplest Business Intelligence tools. Even Non-technical users can use it to create customized dashboards and useful reports to have an insight into their business position.


3. Microsoft Power BI

microsoft power BI

It is considered to be the best for predictive analysis, interactive visualization, mobile access, big data integration and storyboarding, export to analytics report etc.


4. Dundas BI


With these tools, you can port the data to any device. It includes data transformation tools, data generators, scaling modes and quick filters etc.


5. Domo


Domo is a cloud-based operating system that will consolidate every part of your business. It helps the employee to engage in real time data which increases productivity. Its cloud architecture automatically scales up to store millions of rows of data.


Bottom Line

Business Intelligence tools these days are like the cherry on the cake for most of the flourishing business. So be proactive and know in advance where your business is moving what are the trends and patterns what should be the next step and keep moving.

SoftwareSuggest empowers businesses to discover top business software and service partners. Our software experts list, review, compare and offer a free consultation to help businesses find the right software and service solutions as per their requirement. We have helped 500,000+ businesses get the right software and services globally. Get a free consultation today!

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