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Dundas BI

Dundas BI is a flexible, browser-based business intelligence and data visualization software that includes integrated dashboards, reporting tools and data analytics, all in one fully embeddable BI platform. With Dundas BI, all common BI needs are under one roof - data connectivity, data preparation, presentation of different views (dashboards, paged reports, scorecards) and self-service data analytics. You can create interactive, customizable dashboards, build your own reports, run ad-hoc queries and analyze and drill-down into your data and performance metrics. Dundas BI lets you connect and integrate with any data source in real-time, on any device. With the touch-based interface and responsive design, you can create and view dashboards and reports on any device from desktop to mobile. Dundas BI easily integrates into your existing systems, administration and applications for real-time access to all your data.

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Board

BOARD International is a global provider of Business Intelligence and Performance Management software. BOARD has enabled companies to improve the effectiveness of their management decision making processes, unifying self-serve BI and CPM in a single environment. BOARD provides a seamless solution for business processes such as: Budgeting, Planning Forecasting, Profitability Analysis, Simulation and what-if analysis, Scorecarding and Strategy Management, Financial Consolidation, and Statutory and Financial Reporting, with business intelligence and analytics tools that drive good decision-making. Thanks to its programming-free toolkit approach, global enterprises rapidly deployed BI and CPM applications in a fraction of the time and cost associated with traditional solutions. BI tools such as business analytics and business intelligence dashboards present existing data assets in a digestible way, as intelligence analysts harness the power of data for enterprise use.

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Domo, Inc.

An Operating System For Your BusinessDomo’s Business Cloud is the world’s first open, self-service business intelligence platform to run your entire organization. The Business Cloud brings together the data, the people, and the insights executives need to find answers to critical business questions, for faster, better-informed decision making and best use of business intelligence software to improve business performance. Whether you're wanting to use existing business intelligence (BI) data to see marketing's contribution to sales, or manufacturing's labor cost per unit, or look into the nuts and bolts of data warehousing, the business analytics information you need is always at your fingertips. With Domo’s winning business intelligence and analytics solutions, busy intelligence analysts can sort out operations with business intelligence dashboards, break opens silos with data mapping, and generally improve the e-discovery ability of an enterprise.

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FinancialForce Financial Management

FinancialForce Financial Management can accommodate the most diverse and complex financial needs. The perfect complement to Salesforce CRM, it brings back office data to the front, allowing companies to align sales, services and finance on a single cloud. It includes advances like a single ledger design and a multidimensional chart of accounts, which give you real-time business intelligence and help shorten period close cycles.

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GoodData Enterprise Analytics

GoodData unites more data sources than any provider, so your enterprise analytics team can collaborate and move forward with confidence. In the fight for competitive advantage, you don’t need a BI vendor, you need an analytics ally. With the skills and expertise to design a solution custom fit to your unique needs, we’ve got what it takes to help you reach BI nirvana.

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iSpring Learn

Leverage the instant deployment of a cloud-based LMS fully integrated with iSpring authoring tools. Cover every step of the e-Learning process with iSpring Learn (1) create mobile-ready courses in PowerPoint; (2) publish your courses to an LMS with one click; (3) get statistics that goes far beyond SCORM. Launch comprehensive e-Learning fast and easy without straining your budget.

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Jaspersoft Analytics Software

Jaspersoft's data analytics software is used to model, manipulate and visualize any flavor of data using OLAP or in-memory analysis in order to identify issues, spot trends and make better decisions quickly.

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QlikView

The QlikView Business Discovery platform delivers true self-service BI that empowers business users by driving innovative decision-making. QlikView's associative experience provides answers as fast as you can think up questions. These agile business intelligence tools let you interact with data without limitations, to generate insight in ways you never imagined. Use visualized business intelligence and analytics dashboards to present data in digestible ways, for actionable results. Qlikview Pricing GuideIf you've been asking around for recommendations of good business intelligence (BI) tools, Qlik will almost certainly have come up in conversation. One of the largest and most effective BI vendors, Qlik provides powerful data analysis and data visualization capabilities for your business.But Qlik has a few different product offerings along with different plans for each offering, so it's understandable if you're feeling overwhelmed Qlikview's pricing information and product features. That's why we've put together a simple, straightforward Qlikview pricing and product guide for you to use as you assess your BI needs with Qlik.What Products are Offered?Let's start off by explaining the products that Qlik offers. There are three main products that Qlik provides: Qlikview, Qlik Sense and Qlik Sense Cloud. Each of these come with additional add-ons and upgrades, but these three make up the core of Qlik's tools.The first significant difference between Qlik's three product offerings is UI, according to Qlik's own Henric Cronström. Qlikview is a downloadable piece of software that allows the use of custom-built scripts (which are built by your developers), whereas Qlik Sense and Qlik Sense Cloud are better for the less tech-savvy. Qlik Sense and Qlik Sense Cloud are very intuitive and work well with touch screens, whereas Qlikview is best on desktop.The intuitivity of Qlik Sense and Qlik Sense Cloud represent the other main difference: custom-built additions. Qlikview supports custom-built scripts (presumably built by your developers) to be integrated into the software. Qlik Sense and Qlik Sense Cloud were made so that end-users don't need outside help to use the software, allowing for “self-service data discovery.” Qlik Consultant Steve Dark offers a great analogy to help differentiate between the two. Dark likens Qlik Sense to a licensed Lego set, e.g. a Star Wars spaceship. You have all of the pieces that you need, no more no less, along with easy-to-follow instructions to build/use it. On the other hand, Qlikview is like a large pile of Lego blocks. You can build whatever you want, and have more flexibility in terms of the extra pieces (or features) you want to add both now and in the future.Lastly, Qlik Sense and Qlik Sense Cloud don't differ much outside of pricing (which we'll get to later), other than Qlik Sense Cloud being the web edition of Qlik Sense. It offers the same features and capabilities as Qlik Sense, however, it's available to use anywhere on any device (in other words, it's available “on the cloud;” shocking, we know) and is constantly kept up-to-date.Now that we've covered these important differences, let's get to what you came here for: the prices.QlikviewQlikview was the original BI tool that Qlik released, and tends to be the preferred option of companies with specific needs and extra developers at their disposal. There are two versions of Qlikview available:Personal: Qlikview Personal is free, however, it only allows the use of scripts developed on the PC it's downloaded on.Enterprise: Qlikview Enterprise follows a Client Access Licensing (CAL) pricing model, the specifics of which Qlik doesn't disclose publicly. Enterprise allows all users to access every script developed on your company's server, providing multi-user access that Personal doesn't.Qlik SenseQlik Sense is best for those who don't need lots of company-specific features and prefer an easy-to-learn UI. Similarly to Qlikview, Qlik Sense has two versions of its own:Desktop: Similarly to Qlikview Personal, Qlik Sense Desktop is free, and requires a direct connection to a database to access data, according to Qlik Senior Technical Trainer Agis Kalogiannis.Enterprise: Qlik Sense Enterprise is based on a token model. Each token is $1500, and allows unlimited access for one user or timed logins for 10 users. Enterprise offers shareability of both applications and data between users, and is stored on your company's servers.Qlik Sense CloudAs the web edition of Qlik Sense, Qlik Sense Cloud operates as a Software-as-a-Service product. The pricing model reflects this by following a subscription-based pricing model, rather than one-time costs. Unlike the previous two offerings, Qlik Sense Cloud provides three options:Cloud Basic: Cloud Basic is free, and unlike its other free counterparts, Qlik Sense Cloud Basic allows the sharing of data with up to 5 users.Cloud Plus: Made for individual use, Cloud Plus costs $20 per month and offers unlimited sharing as well as greater size and storage for applications.Cloud Business: At $25 per user per month, Cloud Business provides a nominal increase in price for a higher level of collaboration, coauthoring and automated data refreshes.The prices above are general guidelines, however pricing can vary by number of users and company size. The best way to get an accurate number is to request a free price quote here.If You're Looking into AlternativesWe hope this Qlikview pricing guide helps you to properly assess your BI and budget needs. But if you're wondering about what alternatives there are to Qlik, you can read our article comparing Qlikview, Tableau and Microsoft Power BI. Otherwise, we have a few other BI solutions that we highly recommend as well:TableauTableau, similarly to Qlik, is a powerful data visualization tool. It provides fast data analysis and data refreshing functions and, like Qlik Sense, is intuitive to use but doesn't support scripts. Tableau is offered in Desktop, Big Data Analysis and Server.Microsoft Power BI:The Microsoft Power BI tool helps companies “compute into the future” with visualized data and sophisticated dashboards. Great for users who want an intuitive solution, Power BI features drag-and-drop functionality for generating insights. One of its best features is the ability to add custom applications.SisenseAlong with data visualization, Sisense allows users to combine data from multiple sources. This function helps gather the most accurate insights possible, since all of your data can be analyzed together. Sisense is tailored for mid- to large-sized businesses.

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Pentaho Data Integration

Pentaho’s complete data integration platform delivers “analytics ready” data to end users 15X faster with visual tools that reduce time and complexity. Instead of coding in SQL or writing MapReduce Java functions, organizations can immediately gain real value from their data, including from multiple sources like Hadoop, NoSQL and relational data stores, by using an easy to use graphical designer.

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SAS Business Analytics

We provide easy-to-use, self-service BI capabilities and the deployment of real-time analytics directly to mobile devices and Microsoft applications. So every decision maker – wherever they are – can monitor key metrics and make informed decisions. And features like governance, centralized metadata and scalability make it suitable for enterprise IT, too.

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Inetsoft Style Scope

InetSoft's Style Scope™ is an easy to use interactive dashboard software application that includes real time reporting capabilities. It is an edition of Style Intelligence that focuses on business data monitoring and exploration by combining a data intelligence platform with visualization technology, serving both enterprises and solution providers.

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Inetsoft Style Intelligence

InetSoft's Style Intelligence™ is a data intelligence platform. At its foundation is a powerful data mashup engine that enables fast and flexible transformation of data from disparate sources, which can either supplement or obviate a data warehouse solution.

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SAP Predictive Analytics

Predict and influence business outcomes – and respond to change before it happens – with predictive business intelligence analytics from SAP. Combine capabilities such as predictive modeling, big data mining, real-time business intelligence (BI), data visualization, and more, to see what trends are emerging and where performance is headed. This is business intelligence software at its finest - our easy-to-use BI tools and solutions can help you predict future customer needs, detect and prevent threats, and guide frontline decisions with forward-looking insights.

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MicroStrategy Analytics

MicroStrategy helps business people make faster, better business decisions, empowering them with self-service tools to explore data and share insights in minutes. Simple drag-and-drop tools are paired with intuitive visualizations. Quick connections to any data source are combined with one-click sharing of any insight. And underlying it all is the security and governance of an enterprise-caliber BI solution.

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Tableau Big Data Analysis

Tableau makes it easy for people to rapidly transform data into smart business analytics. What data? Any data of any size, format, and subject. Tableau simplifies the way data is explored communicated. It’s a new kind of business intelligence software—rapid-fire business intelligence.

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Panorama Necto 16 Advanced Analytics

Panorama Necto 16 is leading a revolution in the BI world by providing users with automated insights. It is the first and only business intelligence solution that provides business users with automated insights on 100% of their data—including Dark Data. Necto 16 provides users with a smart, personalized and collaborative data discovery experience, presented via highly visual and dynamic infographics. It will give you the ability to connect data, insights, and people across your entire organization.Today organizations analyze and benefit from only 10% of their data, while 90% remains unexplored as Dark Data. Most solutions in the market give users answers to their questions, which are based on the 10% of data that they know how to analyze. Necto takes it a step further and gives the users insights on questions they don’t have yet. By using patented algorithms, it pushes automated insights on one hundred percent of users’ data—including their Dark Data.

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Pentaho Business Analytics

Pentaho's modern, simplified and interactive approach empowers business users to access, discover and blend all types and sizes of data. With a spectrum of increasingly advanced analytics, from basic reports to predictive modeling, users can analyze and visualize data across multiple dimensions, all while minimizing dependence on IT. At the same time, a true designed-for-mobile experience ensures users are productive no matter where they are.

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IBM Business Analytics

IBM's next-generation business analytic solutions help organizations of all sizes make sense of information in the context of their business. You can uncover insights more quickly and more easily from all types of data—even big data—and on multiple platforms and devices. And, with self-service and built-in expertise and intelligence, you have the freedom and confidence to make smarter decisions that better address your business imperatives. If cost and deployment are a concern, IBM offers software as a service options for business analytics.

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TARGIT Decision Suite

TARGIT Decision Suite is the only solution that offers real-time dashboards, self-service analytics, user-friendly reporting, stunning mobile capabilities, and the market’s simplest data-discovery technology in a single and cohesive platform. TARGIT is developed for easy deployment in any scale and environment. Setup the servers and enable access through Windows, web, or mobile clients. If that isn’t enough, embed TARGIT into your other applications to bring centralized business intelligence to everyone in the organization. The solution’s self-service capabilities enable business users to create their own reports and analyses, eliminating IT bottlenecks.

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TIBCO Spotfire

TIBCO Spotfire? is a data discovery and business intelligence tool with depth. Its capabilities cover the spectrum from colorful graphic visualizations to in-depth statistical analysis. You can create various data visualizations with custom interactive dashboards that aid in discovery, but with the Spotfire built in analytical engines, you can do so much more: utilize the results of data mining, help in-house intelligence analysts crunch proprietary numbers, and aim for new business growth.Spotfire helps you anticipate opportunities and risks by seamlessly integrating predictive models and real-time event streams into user-friendly business intelligence solutions that work. It offers the best of both worlds: powerful predictive analytics for business users and a broad array of cutting-edge statistical analysis tools and self-service BI systems for statisticians and quantitative analysts. These tools can be used to rapidly prototype, develop, and deploy new analytic applications.

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Oracle Business Analytics

Oracle Business Analytics solutions help organizations of all sizes thrive by enabling them to discover new ways to strategize, plan, optimize business operations, and capture new market opportunities. As the market leader in Business Analytics software, we deliver the most complete and integrated solutions that let customers find value in big data, gain insight into every aspect of their business, plan ahead, and act with confidence-anytime, anywhere, on any device.

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SAP Business Intelligence

Empower your people with 24/7, user-friendly access to the business intelligence (BI) and Big Data mining tools they need to make faster, more informed decisions. Use capable, comprehensive business intelligence solutions to drive decision making, aggregate big data assets, and grow a business soundly based on BI applications and systems that will assist with the sophisticated data mining and business analytics that make companies great in the new “age of data.”Our self-serve business intelligence software and solutions – including ad hoc reporting, self-service data visualization and business intelligence dashboards, predictive analytics, mobile apps, and more – can help business users improve performance and become more effective in everything they do. From data warehousing to physical business processes, having good business intelligence and analytics tools can make all the difference in how a leadership team delivers value for a growing company. Get teams of intelligence analysts to work on self-serve BI tools and see how the results foster agile responses in competitive industries.

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Taleo Learn

Oracle Taleo Learn Cloud Service is a comprehensive solution for delivering, tracking, managing, and reporting on all types of formal and informal learning. Users have easy access to learning through a single platform for online, classroom, virtual, and on-the-job training, as well as assessments, blended learning, social learning and self-reported training. Organizations can design a truly tailored user experience with complete control over all aspects of the user interface.

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Birst BI

Birst is the first enterprise business intelligence software platform uniquely made to automate the process of unifying and refining data across both centralized and decentralized realms. Birst creates an open, trusted, business-ready data tier for data mining and data warehousing security — and provides highly customizable business analytics experiences to meet the needs of every business user. *What BI/IT leaders get only with Birst: A fast, trusted view of all data with proprietary business intelligence dashboards, accessible at business speed through 2-Tier Analytics technology, Automated Data Refinement, and a Uniform Business Model. Consistency, speed, and adaptability across all business user experiences, meeting individual BI software needs with an open platform that accommodates third-party business analytic and BI tools. Fastest time to value with fewer resources, enabling a parallel BI development process, through virtualized business intelligence solutions and true cloud architecture. Agile processes help companies to harness big data and use it for growth and operational efficiency.

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IBM Cognos Analytics

IBM® Cognos Analytics offers smarter, self-service BI capabilities, so you can quickly and confidently identify and act on insight. The engaging experience empowers business users to create and/or personalize business intelligence dashboards and reports on their own - while providing IT with a proven and scalable set of BI solutions that is available on premises or on the cloud. In addition to customer relationship management tools and other specialized setups, having a comprehensive set of business intelligence solutions is important. Cognos Analytics drives informed decision making with self-service BI that works for a set of internal users. Let intelligence analysts get access to digestible reports in versatile formats. BI applications drive data through pipelines to get it in front of the right sets of eyes: break down silos and get actionable business intelligence and analytics insights from a top maker of enterprise software. Look at the range of BI tools available with Cognos to promote online analytical processing and much more.

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Information Builders Business Analytics

Business analytics from Information Builders enable business users to instantly identify the factors that impact their businesses, create more accurate forward-looking strategies, enhance efficiency, increase profitability, and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Boost decision making processes with business intelligence software that’s built for speed and versatility – BI applications support agile reporting with visualized data from well-designed business intelligence dashboards. Online analytics processing help to refine the results of data warehousing and data mining activities, bringing together diverse business intelligence and analytics data from various sources.

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IFS Enterprise Operational Intelligence

IFS EOI lets executives and managers review and orchestrate processes that align with their business strategy. This allows them to ensure process execution delivers that strategy—EOI software drives these processes into end-users’ desktop functions. The EOI solution also provides end-users with a complete understanding of which functions deliver real customer value, those that are less effective, and those which waste both time and resources in terms of delivering the organizational goals. Ultimately, IFS EOI enables businesses to accelerate the realization of their business strategy—by making better decisions, faster. This can happen by assessing real-time business performance in the context of how it affects key business processes and goals, giving managers real-time operational intelligence and actionable controls to solve issues before they become problems. The solution is about strategy acceleration and execution.

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Alteryx Analytics Gallery

The Alteryx Analytics Gallery is the first analytics cloud platform to recognize that business decision makers expect their business applications to be as engaging as the apps they use at home. The Analytics Gallery is a disrupting force by delivering a powerful consumer-based analytics experience that enables organizations to get to the value of Big Data exponentially faster.

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Microsoft Business Analytics

Successful companies make bold decisions using business analytics. Rely on the proven power, simplicity, and breadth of Microsoft’s analytics toolset. Inspired by business, proven through our customers’ success.

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SAP Business Analytics Suite

Enable business users to discover and communicate meaningful patterns in data. Our analytics products can help you apply analytics to business data to describe, predict, and improve business performance, recommend action, and guide decision making.

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SAP Applied Analytics

Drive better decision making with applied analytics solutions that offer 360-degree insight into your industry, enterprise, and functional role. Stay on top of the latest intelligence, intuitively explore and present data, and confidently anticipate what comes next. Better manage every aspect of your enterprise – from planning, regulatory compliance, and profitability, to daily KPI and metrics monitoring.

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Clear Analytics

If you’re familiar with MS Excel, you’ll love Clear Analytics. This Excel-based BI tool serves up business intelligence with spreadsheet manageability – and centralizes all your data in the process. Clear Analytics allows your organization to continue with its business-as-usual Excel reporting, but adds BI must-haves like version control, administrative and sharing capabilities, reports scheduling, governance, and auditability.

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Last updated on December 14th, 2016

How to Compare Business Analytics Software

The global business analytics software and services worldwide revenues will grow from nearly $122B in 2015 to more than $187B in 2019, an increase of more than 50% over the five-year forecast period according to International Data Corporation. Just the cloud-based business analytics market will be worth $4B in 2017, growing at a faster compound annual growth rate than the market through 2019.

  • Measure operational, financial and selling performance versus goals
  • Gain greater insight into why customers buy which products and when
  • Determine the best possible marketing campaigns and promotions to increase sales
  • Know which customers are most and least likely to buy a new product
  • Successful up-sell and cross-sell customers on products comparable to their own
  • Get a steady stream of descriptive statistics on operations performance of a company
  • Predict when machines will need to be repaired and spare parts ordered
  • Determine the best possible price for a product given its competitors and market demand
  • Track supply chain performance to see what’s working and what isn’t
  • Track supplier quality levels by dashboard and know which are the best
  • Better manage selling and distribution networks by having greater visibility into sales
  • Predict the optimal price for services
  • Improve e-commerce and online selling strategies by providing the best mix of products
  • Manage sales teams to meeting their quotas by understanding where they need to focus
  • Improve customer satisfaction by measuring which services programs are working the best
Advantages of Business Analytics software
Business Analytics Requirements Checklist
Questions To Ask

Analytics are quickly progressing beyond providing a rear-view mirror of what happened in the past to companies and provides a more predictive glimpse into the future. There are a wide variety of business analytics applications, and all of them share a common set of features that enable them to provide descriptive, predictive, prescriptive and cognitive analytics. The most advanced business analytics applications include support for Big Data analytics that relies on large-scale data sets and a few are already supporting machine learning algorithms that seek to find the best possible answer to complex business questions, often hidden in large-scale data sets. The entire area of business analytics is proliferating today and there is an abundance of innovation in this field, so be sure to evaluate more than just a handful of vendors when choosing a solution.

Bottom line: With the insights gained from business analytics, companies are discovering entirely new ways to increase sales, improve operations and become more profitable.

Key features to consider when evaluating Business Analytics software options

Self-Service Data Preparation

One of the most powerful benefits coming out of the shift in business analytics applications being away from IT to business analyst needs is the jump in self-service data preparation workflows and usability. This area is flourishing right now in business analytics, and will continue to grow as open sourcing programming languages including AngularJS become more pervasively adopted. All of this is very good news for companies looking at new business analytics apps, as the usability continues to improve and interactive visualization tools and views now become standard.

Natural Language Query And Search

The largest vendors have this capability today and the mid-tier and smaller business analytics vendors are investing in creating their natural language query and search or partnering with companies who offer this functionality. This is critically important for companies who have a wide variety of data sets based on complex, distributed business models compromise of hundreds or thousands of products. For services businesses, this is also essential as it can drastically reduce the time it takes to complete queries.

Ease of Use And Responsive Design Including Dashboards

As business analytics vendors have shifted their emphasis on application design to the needs of business analytics first, ease of use and support for responsive application designs that scale for any device is now a reality. AngularJS, HTML5 and advanced programming languages that business analytics vendors are using today ensure that mobile, tablet and laptop application performance will be fast, accurate and customizable to your needs. Be sure to ask to see product demos about creating a dashboard, metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs) and workflows for tracking common business processes. Also ask to see the demo run on a smartphone, and that will show just how responsive the design of the business analytics app is you are evaluating. The bottom line is that the workflows all should be orchestrated to a common series of dashboards that can quickly be updated through inbound data integration stream,s, ensuring you have an accurate, up-to-date view of your business.

Ease of Cloud and Legacy Data Integration

The key to getting the most value out of a business analytics application is the support it provides for integrating with cloud and legacy-based databases, data sets and systems. Cloud-based business analytics vendors often rely on a set of Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs) to enable more efficient integration of their platforms and applications with the cloud, legacy and 3rd party applications. If your company has a wealth of data and is also using cloud-based, legacy on-premise and 3rd party data be sure to ask your business analytics vendor if they have an API strategy in place. This area is pervasively covered in high-end business analytics applications and often is also referred to as Extract-Transfer-Load (ETL) where the business analytics application extracts data from databases, cloud, legacy on-premise and 3rd party systems.

Cadence of Application Updates

The level of innovation intensity in business analytics today is unlike any other area of cloud- and enterprise software today. True cloud-based business analytics applications will have quarterly releases, achieving a cadence of four releases a year. It’s becoming so competitive that on-premise business analytics vendors have to issue more updates to their applications to stay in step with their cloud competitors. This competitive dynamics between Cloud-based and on-premise vendors benefits companies buying business analytics applications because there is a continual stream of new features. A true cloud-based business analytics vendor will have four major releases a year and also provide you with periodic updates that deliver even greater value in their application.

Customer Service And Support

There needs to be an escalation path provided by support accessible online, in addition to a knowledgebase that provides responses to common questions. Ideally there also needs to be remote automated agents on the website of the business analytics vendors you’re considering for your company. Business analytics applications are becoming increasingly self-service with vendors hoping their applications will be as intuitive as possible., In complex scenarios including integration and ETL, it’s imperative to get support and guidance.

Security and User Administration

Cloud-based business analytics vendors often have more robust security models that their on-premise counterparts, as the latter are easier to hack while on a company’s internal systems. Cloud-based security and user administration at a minimum needs to include role-based authentication, support for selective workflow and resource assignments, and administration control over auditing and traceability. Security needs to also include advanced authentication and verification techniques and full backups of all data on a periodically defined basis.

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The five key advantages of implementing a Business Analytics system in your company are listed below.

Advantages of Business Analytics Software

Improve Business Performance With Greater Insights

Business analytics can provide a wide range of view of your company’s operations, ranging from descriptive statistics to how best to optimize the performance of your supply chain. Analytics can also provide useful insights into how your overall business is functioning from a financial standpoint, showing how production is impacting revenue, costs and profits. There is a wide variety of business analytics in use today, limited only by the types of measures of performance (sometimes called metrics) that are available in business analytics applications. The need companies have to gain a 360-degree view of their operations using business analytics is driving adoption across many businesses and industries today.

Better Understand And Serve Customers

Imagine being able to understand who you customers are, what they are buying, why and when they will buy again, and then predict which approaches will work best to service them? Business analytics applications are capable of providing all these insights about customers in addition to helping businesses understand what their ideal customer is. The area of predictive analytics, part of business analytics, builds propensity models that provide insights into customers’ intentions and behaviors, and helps companies define the best possible appro9ahc to selling more and delivering more value. Customer service, marketing sales and senior management in many companies have dashboards just dedicated to tracking customer purchasing, behavior, pricing and service strategies.

Know Which Areas Of Your Business To Improve First

Every business has areas of strength and weakness, and analytics are very powerful in understanding which of the areas of any company need to improve. Often senior management has rough data or evidence a given area is in trouble. But business analytics can take the intuition and evidence of a problem and pinpoint exactly what is wrong and provide insights into how best to fix it. This is how business analytics can revolutionize a company and help to keep it profitable, generating revenue over time. Senior management teams often use business analytics to track areas they suspect may be struggling, for example customer service or logistics, or quality. It is common for senior management teams to regularly review metrics and KPIs of these areas and make sure overall company performance is on track. In this way business analytics becomes an early warning system to senior management regarding a given areas needing attention and work to run around a potentially costly situation.

See How One Area Of Your Business Impacts The Other

For many companies it’s easy to get into a siloed view of each area of the business and not see how each area is impacting the other. Current accounting and reporting systems in many companies reinforce this siloed view of business, making it that much more difficult to see how tradeoffs impact one side of the business about another. Business analytics that can span across departments, divisions and processes are enabling a more accurate view of overall company performance that was not possible before. Advanced business analytics applications also are capable of providing customized metrics and KPIs for tracking individual process performance as well. Management teams use these to track specific processes that rely on the orchestration of several departments. An example of this is tracking order management and fulfillment and then determining how this process can be improved by automating and streamlining reporting from each department involved.

Predict How Successful Programs and Products Will Be

Often companies launch products or new programs and are not completely sure if they will succeed or not. By combining business analytics and market research techniques, companies can find out which programs and products have the greatest probability of success. This is critically important from a business operations standpoint, as having this information generated from business analytics can help define forecasts for suppliers, determine how best to scale the company to manage the impact of the programs and products’ activity, and help to plan further strategic steps. In short, business analytics can help not only predict if a given program or product will be successful, but what the impact will be in the company when it is. This area is considered predictive analytics and is one of the fastest growing in business analytics today.

How to Evaluate Business Analytics Software

Selecting the best possible business analytics system for your company needs to begin with a clear series of objectives that encompass the core strengths of your business from an analytics and reporting perspective. Analytics have the potential to revolutionize the performance of any company, so it’s important to get started with a solid set of questions and a framework to determine which business analytics platform, solution or application is best for your needs. There are hundreds of business analytics providers selling systems today. Fortunately, SelectHub is here to help.

How could your current approach to managing data reporting and business analytics be improved?
  • How well does your current series of systems and processes scale to support new reporting and creating new analytics dashboards?
  • Is it possible to track sales, operating and service performance in a single system and create alerts when activity shifts over time?
  • Is your existing data reporting and analytics system capable of tracking multiple metrics and KPIs are the same time and determining how they are related?
  • How many systems and sources of data does your business analytics system rely on today? Are these manual or automated integration points?
  • What are the biggest challenges you face with your existing approach to data reporting and business analytics?
  • How long does it take today to produce a report showing the company-wide health of your business?
  • What’s the average time it takes to produce an analysis showing the current customer base sales history and when the forecast is?
  • Does your company have the ability to use data reporting to impact supply chain planning and service planning?
  • What are the most important measures of performance to your company today?
  • Which metrics and KPIs have you been looking into that you would like to include in your new data reporting and business analytics system?
  • What problems in your company defy easy definition because there is a lack of business analytics to analyze and take action in them?
What kind of business analytics system will you need?
  • What features does your business analytics system need to break out of doing so many suppliers and scheduling tasks manually?
  • What is the most important series of statistics, metrics and KPIs you need to have in your business analytics system?
  • Which departments will benefit the most and least from business analytics today? How about in the future?
  • What’;s the current budget for your business analytics system and what’s the operating budget?
  • Are you planning on spending for maintenance yearly or going to handle maintenance within your company?
  • Do you rely more on Ad Hoc query or production reporting tools?
  • How important are data discovery and query support to your overall business analytics system requirements?
  • Will you have IT developers working with production reporting tools?
  • Will front-line workers require interactive fixed reports?
How will the business analytics system be used once it is deployed?
  • Is your company considering an on-premise or cloud-based business analytics system?
  • Is there an IT team that will be responsible for maintaining the integration points across the business analytics system and legacy, 3rd party systems and databases?
  • Who will be responsible for keeping the business analytics system up-to-date and be its administrator?
  • What devices will the business analytics system need to run on throughout your company?
  • Are you considering having dashboards shareable by role across the executive and management teams of your company?
  • How much customization do you expect your business analytics system will require before installation?
  • Will the business analytics system be able to manage the wide variety of data reports needed to run your business today? How about in a year from now?
  • What support or training will the vendor provide during and after installation?

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Business Analytics Software Provider Needs Assessment / Requirements Gathering

Every business has a unique set of needs, so the first step in a software selection project is to create a checklist of what your company needs most from a business analytics system. There are hundreds of criteria to choose from, but the framework can be broken up into five main categories:

Analytics Dashboards

All business analytics applications today include support for basic dashboards, yet the most valuable have the flexibility to define specific metrics or measures of performance that are specific to your business. Ask to see how dashboards can be shared in a secured area of the application as well, and also check to make sure the dashboards presented support responsive design, meaning it appears the same on any device. Analytics dashboards often bundled with advanced data visualization tools as well.

Data Source Connectivity Including API Support

This is critically important for scaling a business application and enabling it to meet as many unique needs throughout a company as possible. The greater the number of integration points supporting a business analytics system the higher the potential for return on investment to be positive. Data source connectivity and API integration also need to focus on how the data will get from the legacy, 3rd party systems to the business analytics application. Often there are shell scripts created that regularly query a specific location or subdirectory and move files into the business analytics application working directories. Advanced technologies include ETL where data is extracted from individual files.

Interactive Visual Exploration

Best-of-class business analytics applications include interactive visual exploration functionality that makes it possible to query data sets and navigate through their representations in real-time. For companies who have thousands of products in their catalog, this is a must-have feature as it will allow for aggregation and easier analysis of the product sales data. Also, interactive visual exploration is used for completing contextual analysis of data sets and presenting them in meetings to simplify complex concepts. As companies mature in their use of business analytics, this feature becomes increasingly important.

Self-Service Data Preparation

Preparing data for use in any business analytics application needs to be self-service driven as that will drastically reduce the time required to populate dashboards and get value from data. The shift away from building business analytics applications for IT to manage them so business analysts can get work done quickly is also fueling more support for self-service data preparation. From the relatively simple routines of importing data files to more advanced ETL workflows, business analytics applications are often differentiated by how pervasively they support this feature. It is a must-have however in any large-scale business that has legacy systems and databases that need to be included in the business analytics application.

Data Security and User Administration

Being able to define security rights by role is fundamental within any business analytics application today. At a minimum there needs to be support for creating role-based access and defining profiles for each type of system user. The administration function also needs to support the customization of each user’s online experience, in addition to defining which features will be enabled for each user. There also needs to be auditing and traceability of system events on the control panel, including support for configuring third-party add-on modules or applications that are needed. All of these functions ideally will be cloud-based to enable administrators to manage across a broad base of users quickly and without constraints based on the underlying platform.

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Questions to Ask During Business Analytics Demos

Please show the workflow for creating a new dashboard and populating it with metrics and KPIs.

This workflow will show how effective the business analytics system is at producing the most commonly used area of any business analytics system, and that is the dashboard. Be sure to ask for specific of how metrics, KPIs and information sources are integrated into the dashboard workspace, what the latency or speed of updates are, and how dashboards can be modified in the future to support new metrics.

How can I publish analytics content without paying more?

Instead of having to pay for an extra module or feature to print from your business analytics application, ask to see the baseline app produce all the reports you need. There is a wide variety of publishing options for analytics reporting tools today and it’s best to make sure every report option and potential workflow are covered in a product demo before you purchase the application. It’s also a good idea to check and make sure the business analytics system supports responsive design so it scale across every device, delivering excellent performance on each as well.

How does interactive visualization work and does it require additional software?

This is an area where the majority of business analytics applications are attempting to differentiate themselves by building in basic interactive visualization capability. Ask to see a demo of what the baseline application can provide and what additional modules or add-ons are required to get the advanced interactive visualizations of complex data. Also ask if the demo can include your company’s data to see how and if this feature will deliver value to your company.

Does the software integrate data from multiple departments?

When you can combine information from different areas of the business, you can analyze factors like how the latest new product development costs and sales and how they are impacting revenues and profits. Using business analytics it will be possible to view the impact of business strategies across all operations. Ask to see a demo of how the new product development and launch process can be tracked in the business applications you are interested in.

Will it grow with my business?

If you’re investing in a business analytics system, you don’t want it to be obsolete in a year. Plan to implement software that will last at least ten years. The business analytics system you select for your business needs to be scalable. Find out what the limitations are on the scale and reporting capability of your system so you can make the best decision about whether the software is right for you.

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Choosing a Business Analytics provider is a task that should be given serious consideration. This Business Analytics system comparison is meant to be used as a starting point to guide IT professionals who are tasked with making this decision.