It’s easy to get overwhelmed when choosing a BI software solution, but rest assured that the wide range of options on the market mean there’s a solution for virtually any company’s needs. In this article, we’ll be comparing three leaders in the business intelligence field: SAS Visual Analytics, SAP BusinessObjects, and Microsoft Power BI.
Among the features that set each of these apart might be each program’s digital suite, the types of analytics that the systems offer, interactive dashboards, and supply chain management features. The scope and scale of your business’ needs will determine the necessity of various offerings, and the information to follow will help you assist in your analysis for BI software selection.
SAS Visual Analytics
SAS programs can extract information from multiple sources, offer detailed models that illustrate trends, create forecasts and automatically generate updates for reports. The system generates detailed analytics that can identify keywords that posts commonly contain and calculate the percentage of comments that have a positive tone.
In addition, the program is able to provide a feed of comments from all social media networks whose records will indicate the time at which each comment was added as well as the number of followers that the poster’s account has. This allows a business to gauge reach and impact of customer satisfaction.
Evaluating the Tone of Reviews
When searching for complaints and information about a product’s quality, the program can examine data from independent forums, testimonials, social media networks, websites that offer news and comments that are located under articles. Various reports have shown that the features may substantially increase a company’s long-term profits and reduce the percentage of products that a business returns to manufacturers.
The Prices of Goods and the Wants of Potential Buyers
SAS Institute’s software provides comprehensive dashboards that analyze the demand for certain products and the overall supply of the items. The system can then predict increases in the market values of goods and services to help aid in forecasting for sales and inventory purposes. An analyst may also conduct hypothetical simulations in order to determine how various events could affect a product’s value.
Analyzing a Website’s Performance
By using SAS Institute’s programs, a company is able to perform split tests, which allow analysts to simultaneously determine the revenue that multiple strategies can produce. The program can also generate charts that indicate the historical return on investmentthat each marketing strategy provides.
Purchasing the Software
You can get free trials of SAS Visual Analytics, yet when an entrepreneur wants to purchase the software, the proprietor will generally have to request a custom price estimate. Furthermore, visitors are sometimes able to chat live with an expert on SAS Institute’s website.
SAP provides software programs that help businesses to manage relationships with customers, examine the performance of marketing strategies, monitor finances and organize supply chains. The system offers analytics that evaluate the profitability of a company’s website, and SAP’s software is also able to calculate the number of social media users who post comments about a business and the reach of those comments to the users’ contacts.
SAP has the ability to track the number of visitors that a referring domain provides every day and the conversion rates particular sources of traffic generate. The systems can also identify the type of device and the browser that a customer is using. Furthermore, the programs can leverage interaction data to create heat maps that indicate sections of a webpage that customers have commonly clicked. The software can calculate the pageviews that each visitor offers and the percentage of guests who return to the website.
Improving Customer Satisfaction
SAP offers a customer relationship management (CRM) system that allows a company to build a profile for each client, list a patron’s interests, create a record of previous purchases, determine the profits that a client has provided historically, and calculate the percentage of products that were returned. The program can also store a record of each email that a customer has sent to the business and align it to that customer’s corresponding purchase data.
Trying the Software
If a business chooses SAP BusinessObjects, the cost will typically fall between $23 and $349 for every user, and each program usually has a price of $150 to $2,720. The company also provides a 30 day free trial for new users.
Microsoft Power BI
Power BI was created by Microsoft and dovetails into Office 365 and Excel. The system lets users evaluate data, create widgets, modify dashboards, develop tables, and rapidly receive data from numerous sources, all in one central platform. Moreover, the system calculates the inventory that a business will require during certain time periods based on historical traffic and seasonal patterns, and is able to send alerts when a company should order additional products.
With its multiple linking capabilities within the Microsoft space, Power BI is capable of extracting information from multiple data sources that utilize various formats, combining it into a central database where an analyst can leverage data by common keywords and trends.
Additionally, users can eliminate the negative impact of analytical anomalies, or narrow data down by demographic attributes or geographic region, in order to drill down to the most relevant data for actionable reporting.
Reducing the Effects of Defective Products
When managing inventory, Power BI can calculate the number of defective items that each supplier sends and any financial losses precipitated by malfunctioning products. The program is also able to determine the downtime incurred by defective items to curb complications in the future.
The software is able to simultaneously send automated emails to customers who have completed certain actions, such as making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, requesting a refund or following a company’s social media profile. While a business is sending the emails, the software may automatically add advertisements for products that are associated with each client’s interests and previous purchases, as needed to nurture customer relationships.
Buying the Software
In general, a customer can use a basic version of Power BI for free; however, the more advanced type of Power BI typically has a monthly cost of $10. The standard program allows each user to store one gigabyte of data within the platform and to create dashboards that are compatible with Windows, Apple’s operating system and Android. The basic software is capable of providing 10,000 rows of information during each hour. In contrast, the paid program gives a user the ability to view one million rows of streaming data per hour.
Selecting a Program
SAS offers software that provides more advanced analytics than Power BI, and the program generates especially detailed graphs and other data visualization capabilities. According to many reviews, the system also produces predictive statistics that are slightly more comprehensive than the forecasts of SAP’s software. Additionally, the program can easily be connected to many platforms that manage information.
SAP’s system features a large number of custom APIs and modules that can combine and leverage many types of information. The software can rapidly modify the format of data to ensure that the information is integrated into detailed charts, maps and tables. The system also has numerous tools that let users schedule tasks and create well-organized lists of completed projects.
In general, Power BI is not as advanced as the software programs of SAS Institute and SAP; however, Microsoft’s software is substantially more cost-effective than its counterparts. Power BI also offers easy-to-use dashboards that can be customized, and Power BI can regularly generate basic reports more swiftly than most other software programs.
As evidenced by these comparisons, no BI solution is one-size-fits-all. However, the space offers many options with available customizations to accommodate the needs of virtually any type of business. Comparing these features is vital to finding the perfect fit for your organization.