Sisense provides a fully functional BI reporting tool that delivers everything you need to create and understand reports quickly and easily, with minimal IT involvement. With easy to use drag-and-drop capabilities, even non-technical users can use Sisense Business Intelligence Software to join all their data sources into a single repository, and build insightful reports with beautiful visualizations.
MS Power BI is a business intelligence service provided by Microsoft. The BI tool can be broken down into several tools such as Power Query which is used to extract and transform data; Power Pivot is mainly used to model and analyze data and Power View and Map tool is used to visualize data. It provides interactive visualizations and self-service business intelligence capabilities which enables users to create reports and dashboards by themselves, without the support of IT or database and system administrators. It provides a cloud-based BI service which is known as "Power BI Services", also providing a desktop based interface which is known as "Power BI Desktop". It offers data warehouse capabilities such as data preparation, data discovery and interactive dashboards. It is also popular for its ability to load custom visualizations.
IBM Cognos Analytics is an advanced version of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence, a web-based integrated business intelligence suite by IBM provides a set of tools reporting, analytics, score carding, monitoring of events and metrics. IBM Cognos Analytics is often described as the one analytics solution for user’s entire organization; It can confidently monitor, explore and share insights from user’s data. It’s smarter, self-service capabilities are unmatched. By using it, user can find precise and timely answers from their data or from content built by others; they can create compelling reports and dashboards which they can easily distribute throughout their company, they can use automated alerts to monitor changes to key findings and they can use the product which can confidently and quickly takes actions to improve their business.
Tableau Desktop is business intelligence software for data analysis that keeps you in the flow. It’s easy to learn, easy to use, and 10-100x faster than existing business intelligence solutions. It’s built on breakthrough technology that translates pictures of data into optimized database queries. Use your natural ability to see patterns, identify trends and discover visual insights in seconds. No wizards, no scripts. Get powerful business intelligence dashboards that present the right data in direct, visual ways. Tableau Pricing GuideTableau business intelligence software is one of the most well-known BI tools on the market. Described by PCMag as “A superlative self-service business intelligence tool that continues to be the market leader because of its wide variety of visualizations, extensive supported data types, and slick finish,” Tableau software is one of the vendors that set the bar for BI capabilities. In other words, nobody will be judging you if you’re looking into adopting one of Tableau’s BI solutions. If you’re tossing around the idea of adopting this BI tool, you’re probably wondering what the models for Tableau pricing look like. Well look no further -- we have a quick guide including everything you need to know about Tableau’s products and their prices.What Products Does Tableau Offer?The first thing to know before diving into pricing is what products are available. There are four versions of Tableau software available: Tableau Public, Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server and Tableau Online. Each has its own set of capabilities and advantages, so let’s dive into these:Tableau Public allows users to work with their data analytics within limitations, according to Surendra Sharma, a Tableau Associate. These limitations include limited data, no database connectivity (although Excel and text files work) and limited data privacy. We’ll dive into the “why” for these limitations in a minute.Tableau Desktop is the development product. It allows users to create their dashboards, which can include formatted reports and charts. Depending on your needs, you can choose between the Personal option and the Professional option. Personal is an isolated product that allows you to connect to six data sources, whereas Professional allows you to connect to 44 data sources and integrates with Tableau Server and Online.Tableau Server is the analytic software. With Tableau Server, you can view your data and data analytics in your dashboards. You can use Tableau Server to share your dashboards with other users who have access to Server.Tableau Online is self-described as a “hosted version of Tableau Server,” aka the cloud deployment of Tableau’s analytic software. This ensures that you don’t have to set up any of your own servers.Now let’s get to the prices:Tableau Pricing Tableau Public: Public is free to use for any user, which is why it provides limited functionality. Public is good for quickly analyzing data that you don’t mind being viewable to the public. It also serves as a way to try out the software before buying.Tableau Desktop Personal: You can download Personal for a one-time fee of $999 per user, and includes a year of support and upgrades. After that year, you need to pay extra for continued upgrades.Tableau Desktop Professional:Professional can be downloaded for a one-time fee of $1,999 per user, and also includes a year of support and upgrades, with the option to pay for more.Tableau Server: Pricing for Server starts at a one-time fee of $10,000 for 10 users. If you require more than 10 users, you’ll need to contact Tableau directly to get an exact price. Unlike Desktop, it doesn’t come with a year of upgrades and support, but can be purchased for 25% annually.Tableau Online: Following a typical cloud-based pricing model, Online goes for $500 per user, per year. This includes continued automatic upgrades as well as support, and doesn’t require any hosting hardware.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.Tableau AlternativesIf Tableau interests you but you’re not sold and would like to keep searching, you can look for some Tableau alternatives on our Business Intelligence Leaderboard, and check out our article comparing Tableau to Qlikview and Microsoft Power BI.Qlik: Like Tableau, Qlik offers three different products: Qlikview, Qlik Sense and Qlik Sense Cloud. Each product has different versions with different capabilities, including free versions for each product. A data visualization tool, Qlik is one of the largest BI vendors that makes data analysis easy for most businesses.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.Sisense: Along 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.
Transform all your data into meaningful information tailored to your audience with Reporting, a suite of Open Source tools that allows you to create pixel-perfect reports of your data in PDF, Excel, HTML, Text, Rich-Text-File, XML and CSV. These computer generated reports easily refine data from various sources into a human readable form.
Oracle Reports, a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware is Oracle's award-winning, high-fidelity enterprise reporting tool. It enables businesses to provide instant access to information to all levels within and outside of the organization in a scalable and secure environment.
SAP BusinessObjects is available in numerous packages with different tools for companies of various sizes. The analytics platform of the product can increase responsiveness, reduce IT costs and workload and can easily discover and share insights to make better decisions. SAP BusinessObjects has In-built drag and drop interface for developers and end-users. It offers self-data analysis without requiring much technical knowledge. The product’s business intelligence and analytics feature include APIs, alerts, application integration, auditing, customizable and interactive reporting, data manipulation, lifecycle management, real time analytics, real-time monitoring, real-time reporting, single sign-on, visual analytics, web analytics and more.
InetSoft Style Report Enterprise is an edition of Style Intelligence that focuses on enterprise reporting, generating production reports and delivering interactive reports in a zero-client, web environment. It also includes the same data intelligence platform as Style Intelligence which solves data management challenges such as connecting to and transforming data from disparate sources.
JReport is built on a proven foundation of high-performance, scalability, and an enterprise-ready reporting engine using technologies including in-memory cubes and fully distributed server clusters. JReport's intuitive. With its Java-based architecture, JReport seamlessly embeds into any application through an extensive API set. JReport also provides interactive data visualization with customizable ad hoc reporting and dashboards that empower end users through the Web and mobile devices.
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.
Use C9 OppScores to determine the deals that will close and those that won’t. Anticipate risks that pose the biggest threat to your quarter and get recommendations on how to avoid them. Zero in on the drivers of week over week pipeline changes. Double forecast accuracy by using predictive sales applications to call your number. Eliminate spreadsheets by generating a single forecast that can be pivoted to meet the needs of everyone in the company. Roll up the forecast in minutes, even in global and matrixed organizations.
Turn information from almost any data source into a sophisticated, interactive report – with our market-leading report design software, SAP Crystal Reports. This powerful, user friendly application can help you deliver key insights for smarter operational and strategic decision making.
One of the greatest challenges confronting businesses today is the need to increase operational efficiencies when creating and distributing GAAP- compliant financial reports and other highly formatted management reports. Oracle Hyperion Financial Reporting Enterprise Edition meets this challenge head-on by generating highly formatted, book-quality financial and management reports
ActuateOne®, the latest release of Actuate’s BIRT platform and tools, provides this environment with its Progressive Design Architecture, which allows users to not only populate their own reports but to create, modify and deploy those reports on the fly, as needed. It also allows for the quick creation of single reports, reports that are needed instantly but never reused as the need is met.
Jaspersoft reporting software takes information from one or more data sources and presents it in an easy-to-read, highly interactive format for business users. Design interactive pixel perfect and/or ad hoc based reports for the web, the printer or mobile device.
Right90 Change Analytics™ and Comparative Analytics leverage the data from the Right90 Sales Forecast Capture™ application to highlight the most important changes so that sales can focus on those actions that have a material impact on the quarter. Change Analytics features interactive charts with drill-down/drill-up capability and out of the box root-cause analyses to enable sales to quickly understand what’s changing and what should be done about it.
SlamData is an open source project that lets you run SQL queries on MongoDB, and build interactive reports that can be embedded anywhere. Used by thousands of companies around the world, SlamData is the only MongoDB solution that can push all queries into the database. Discover the power of NoSQL analytics in the industry's first analytics and reporting solution designed exclusively for modern databases.
BIRT is an open source software project that provides the BIRT technology platform to create data visualizations and reports that can be embedded into rich client and web applications, especially those based on Java and Java EE. BIRT is a top-level software project within the Eclipse Foundation, an independent not-for-profit consortium of software industry vendors and an open source community.
Connect to one source or many, separately or in combination. We provide effortless access to business data from one single location. Our data connectors are optimized for each source, and allow queries to reach their greatest performance potential.
SQL Server Reporting Services provides a full range of ready-to-use tools and services to help you create, deploy, and manage reports for your organization. Reporting Services includes programming features that enable you to extend and customize your reporting functionality.
Create virtually any report type with Visual Studio-integrated designers, components, and an extensive API. Includes royalty-free viewers for HTML5, WPF, WinForms, and ASP.NET as well as an optional server add-on. Completely design and develop reports as part of your Visual Studio 2010+ projects. The Report and Query designers ensure that you have all the tools you need in the best .NET environment possible. The ActiveReports report designer is fully integrated into Visual Studio from Property Grid to Intellisense to context-sensitive help.
ReportPlus is a true self-service BI tool for your business that allows you to securely access and transform your data to gain new insights and make smarter decisions faster. Create, view and share rich visualizations and dashboards anytime, anywhere, on any device quickly or embed them right into your own applications. Built by user experience experts, ReportPlus is made for the business users. With an easy to use drag and drop interface it makes it simple to create dashboards and tell your story within minutes. You have the ability to choose from over 30 visualization types to create robust dashboards and quickly style them with preset themes to customize colors and fonts. ?Whether your data is on-prem or in the cloud you can access and connect to data anywhere in real-time. Combine data sources without writing code.?
With Birst, BI teams can create, schedule, alert, and deliver highly formatted reports with the same ease of use as the consumer Internet. Birst combines comprehensive report authoring, delivery, and scheduling capability with enterprise security, data suppression, translation, and asynchronous scheduling to ensure secure and reliable delivery of thousands of reports around the globe.
WebFOCUS can satisfy virtually any information need, from financial statements and form reports, to analytics, charts, forecasts, scorecards, and GIS mashups. This content can be saved and refreshed at any time, automatically updated, and delivered at scheduled intervals.
Simply the best solution for fast and efficient reporting on your platform. A lot of software companies offer reporting tools ranging from simple quick and easy up to high performance solutions. So what makes us so special? Established professional software, valuable and competitive pricing models, outstanding support within 24h on working days, and able to read Crystal Reports templates.
InstantAtlas is widely used for presenting health and social care data, election results and area profiles in highly interactive, web presentations. InstantAtlas Dashboard Builder for ArcGIS Online delivers these capabilities to you for the ArcGIS Online platform.
The DBxtra Report Designer is the core part of the reporting suite. It allows you to create projects, connect to your databases and define user-groups and user security. Design queries, reports, charts, data grids and pivot tables. Deploy reports to a physical file, which end-users can open with the Free Desktop Report Viewer or use the Report Web Service where end-users can view secured reports with any web browser.
How to Compare Enterprise Reporting Tools Software
- Improving customer relationships (55%) and making the business more data-focused (53%) are the top two business goals or objectives driving investments in data-driven initiatives today.
- By 2020, 50% of chief analytics officers will have successfully created a narrative that links financial goals to business intelligence and analytics initiatives and investments.
- Dashboard-based reporting (76%), ad-hoc analysis and exploration (57%) and dashboard authoring (55%) are the top three Cloud BI use cases according to a recent Business Application Research Center Study cited by in the Forbes post, Business Intelligence And Analytics In The Cloud, 2017.
- Gartner predicts the worldwide Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics market will reach $18.3B in 2017 with interest in cloud deployments accelerating in the forecast period.
- Business Intelligence (BI) experts, Business Analysts and Statistician/Data Scientists are the most frequent users of advanced and predictive analytics.
By 2020 Artificial Intelligence (AI) based personal digital assistants will be able to manage simplistic data queries in a millisecond, with advanced data query tasks handled through machine learning algorithm. Aaron Levie predicts that his company Box will have AI-powered digital assistants capable of parsing 30B+ files the company stores for over 74,00 customers today.
In the Forbes article, Five Questions With Aaron Levie On How AI Is Revolutionizing The Cloud, Aaron Levie provides insights into how AI And machine learning is fundamentally changing the direction of enterprise reporting and advanced BI analysis. Based on the massive data sets the Box customers are accumulating in the company’s Cloud Content Management System today. Aaron Levie and the Box senior management team see the potential for AI-based personal assistants to bring an entirely new level of insight into the data customers are managing on the Box platform. Aaron Levie’s predictions will most likely happen before 2020, accelerated by the massive shift occurring in enterprise reporting and BI tools, applications and analytics platforms.
Reporting tools excel when real-time data is needed to complete a decision, where analytics and BI applications are best used for aggregating and analyzing data in depth. Reporting tools generate dashboards that tend to have a limited life cycle; they are meant as a snapshot of what’s going on at present. In financial terms, reporting tools are comparable to the latest income statement generated by a financial reporting system. The balance sheet of business tends to aggregate data together and provide an overarching or strategic view of activity.
That’s the role of analytics, and BI applications and platforms. Reporting tools are an area flourishing in enterprise software today as integration technologies are making it more efficient to aggregate diverse data across a company instead of having an analyst do the entire report manually. It’s an industry-known fact that the majority of reporting tools today are manually based and rely almost entirely on Microsoft Excel, macros, and manually-based queries of databases. Reporting tools as diverse as Actuate’s BIRT Studio, InetSoft Style Report, Microsoft Power BI, JasperReports and Tableau Desktop continue to proliferate new features into the market. As these reporting tools accelerate their new product development, the lines blur between them and traditional BI applications and platforms.
The objective of this guide is to provide you with insights into when a reporting tool or application is best for your needs versus a BI application or entire platform.
Why do organizations need and use Enterprise Reporting Tools?
- Reporting tools’ popularity continues to increase as senior management teams rely on them for real-time data, which is more challenging for more traditional analytics and BI applications to deliver.
- Reporting tools are excellent at capturing ad hoc or quickly defined data across a wide span of systems.
- Analytics and Bi applications and platforms are used for more intensive data analysis where real-time requirements are not as valuable as the insights gained from the data sets.
- Gain greater insights and visibility into overall business operations and how decisions made in one area impact entire company performance.
- Reporting tools now include configurable dashboards that include the most popular metrics, and key performance indicators (KPIs) companies rely on to run their businesses.
- Reporting tools are capable of scaling across any Web-enabled device, anytime, providing data, insights, and intelligence to team members, management, and leadership teams on a 24/7 basis.
- Better manage costs associated with particular projects and programs by having real-time data available immediately.
- The latest and future generations of reporting tools are including more and more BI and analytics functionality, making them just as adept at providing a low-cost SQL solution to companies needing greater insights into their business.
- Enterprise reporting tools and software excel at quick updates on metrics specific to aftermarket support, service and ongoing Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
- Making reporting tools and software more understandable and usable by providing dashboards that can scale to support the simplest to complex business process.
- The flexibility of providing balanced scorecards that immediately inform management teams as to the progress or delays in attaining shared department and divisional objectives.
Key Features Consider When Evaluating Enterprise Reporting Tools Options
Advantages of Enterprise Reporting Tools
Enterprise Reporting Tools Requirements Checklist
Questions To Ask
Enterprise Reporting Tools Vendors
Enterprise Reporting tools bridge the gap between what each level of businesses need to keep operating efficiently and the depth of analytical insight possible using state-of-the-art BI and advanced analytics applications and platforms. For enterprise reporting tools to be useful, there needs to a broad base of integration options available via Application Programmer Interfaces (API), Web Services and XML integration technologies. The more diverse the support of databases an enterprise reporting tool can integrate with, the greater its value over time. Second, reporting tools are being more designed for governance and data management strategies as departments and companies look to create a single system of record for their entire business. Look for advanced reporting tools that have integration, data governance and compliance features from a data management standpoint. Third, data reporting tools are differentiated from their BI and advanced analytics counterparts by the potential to complete a broad range of ad-hoc queries as well. Look for future reporting tools support creating a single, unified data set that can scale across a wide range of analytics, KPIs and custom metrics. The best enterprise reporting tools also support embedding and publishing analytic content, making it possible for audiences to gain greater insights on how to run their businesses.Traditional ad hoc query is where enterprise reporting tools have continued to excel. OLAP analysis is an area where enterprise reporting tools and BI analytics applications are converging. As this convergence continues to accelerate, enterprise reporting tools will add in more usability, customization, and mobile exploration and authoring tools.
Bottom line: Scaling to meet the diverse needs of each functional area of an organization, Enterprise Reporting Tools are designed to flex across the spectrum of business analysts, executives and managers and data scientists. Reporting tools provide interactive fixed reports, support for Ad Hoc queries, dashboards that are customizable dashboards and support for data discovery queries from business analytics and information workers. The foundational elements of Enterprise Reporting include data analysis, ad hoc reporting, dashboards and support for basic performance metrics. Advanced Reporting Tools scale to support ad hoc analysis tools, Key Performance Indicator (KPI) definition, and integration with financial tools for budgeting and forecasting. Reporting tools are also increasingly including the features most found in traditional BI applications including benchmarking analysis, advanced profitability analysis, support for OLAP, strategic planning, and predictive analytics.
Production And Operational Reporting Support
All Enterprise Reporting Tools need to support a baseline level of production and operational reporting to meet the minimum requirements organizations have for information. Designed primarily for business analysts and line-of-business managers and their teams, production, and operational reporting is often provided with self-service guidance for creating, editing and publishing reports. One of the greatest benefits of these features is their support for real-time data integration that can be configured to provide alerts when there are variances in activity by metric or KPI. Often production and operational reporting APIs are embedded into applications, further reducing the data latency to obtain valuable data on the company, division, and department performance.
Ad Hoc Query
The most commonly found feature across all Enterprise Reporting Tools, Ad Hoc query is the feature most commonly used by business analysts and IT teams given the task of creating new reports and updating existing ones. Originally designed with a command line interface in the first Enterprise Reporting Tools, Ad Hoc query is now entirely self-service in the latest generation of tools in this category. There is also support for data modeling by specific data set, integration options for using 3rd party data and support for advanced reporting including graphics and integration to advanced visualization applications including Tableau.
Extensive, Customizable Dashboards
Designed for senior management and the teams that support them, dashboards are commonplace across all Enterprise Reporting Tools today. They vary regarding their support for integrating 3rd party data into workflows, support for alerts and real-time reporting using customer-defined metrics and KPIs. The best approach in choosing an Enterprise Reporting Tool is to provide data for the vendor to use in creating a dashboard that shows your specific business requirements. The flexibility of dashboards has progressed significantly in the last three years, so this request is one that any vendor should be able to help with quickly.
Data Discovery is an area where Reporting Tools and BI applications are converging, with the latter increasingly focused on integrating data from a series of external data sources quickly, enabling the discovery of different patterns and insights from the data. The most advanced Enterprise Reporting Tools support self-service workflows to support navigation that makes it possible for business analysts to granularly define and analyze data, create metrics and KPIs, and then include them in dashboards. Data Discovery driven by self-service is an area where Reporting Tools vendors will vary widely regarding the depth of their support and strength of analytical support for features. Be sure to have them work with your data sets to show how Data Discovery can help solve your specific business challenges.
More Enterprise Reporting Tools are supporting OLAP Viewers and Platforms than before, further making the differentiation between BI applications and reporting tools less distinct. Look for the most state-of-the-art Enterprise Reporting Tools to support viewers capable of working with aggregated, multidimensional data. The best-in-class applications also support drill-down and in-depth drill by attribute analysis. OLAP Platform support is also becoming more common in Reporting Tools as well. Look for the best-in-class Enterprise Reporting Tools to support in-memory calculation and data analysis that scales for large datasets. OLAP Platforms are transitioning from cubes to in-memory and be sure to check if the vendors on your short list have either already made the transition or have it on a product roadmap for the near future.
Enabling greater self-service options in Enterprise Reporting Tools is where the majority of vendors are making the biggest investments in their product development today. The reason is the more they excel on this dimension of their product strategy, the greater the adoption rate across business analysts and IT professionals. In our conversations with Enterprise Reporting Tools vendors, usability is consistently listed as one of the top three development priorities today. Look for vendors who support access to multiple database architectures and sources without intensive API and Web Services programming effort. Vendors excelling on this dimension can transform, analyze and present data all within a session guided by advanced user interface options that take just minutes or hours to learn. The ability to get as many business analysts and IT professionals up and running on an Enterprise Reporting Tool is the goal of the massive investments being made in improving usability today.
The four key advantages of implementing Enterprise Reporting Tools in your company are listed below.
Aggregate, Analyze and Interpret Data Fast
The primary design goal of every Enterprise Reporting Tool is to streamline the process of aggregating, analyzing and interpreting data to drive better decisions. Where BI applications are designed for en masse aggregation of data and the analysis of trends and in-depth insights, reporting tools are designed for speed and quick insights to drive better decision-making. As the differences between reporting tools and traditional BI applications continue to blur, the speed, scale, and simplicity of the former set of technologies will excel. The architecture today for the most effective Reporting Tools is predicated on taking in a diverse range of databases, data sets, and data sources to enable business analysts to aggregate, analyze and interpret them into a cohesive series of insights and strategy recommendations. Look for Enterprise Reporting Tools capable fo providing the speed of insight and analysis, scale across diverse data sets, and greater simplicity on the user interface dimension of the applications.
Get Real-Time Data On Metrics & KPIs That Matter Most
Business Intelligence (BI) applications are coming out of a phase where they were overburdened with many metrics and KPIs that those companies buying them did not need. The fact that Enterprise Reporting tools are configurable quickly with metrics and KPIs that are the most relevant to your business, and are often based on real-time data as well underscore why this category of enterprise software continues to grow. With Enterprise Reporting tools, business analysts can quickly configure interactive fixed reports, dashboard and have IT analysts complete Ad Hoc Queries and Data Discovery. The flexibility of Enterprise Reporting Tools continues to be shown in how quickly Production Reporting is now configurable by Data Scientists who have expertise in Hadoop This area is nascent yet one of the fastest growing in Enterprise Reporting Tool development today.
Extensive Analytics and Content Creation Support
Another advantage of Enterprise Reporting Tools is the broad base of analytics and content creation support now being integrated into these applications. Extensive Analytics and Content Creation support is another area where the depth of application support continues to expand in reporting tools that meet and exceeds those found in more traditional BI applications and platforms. Just how extensive the support is across the Enterprise Reporting Tool landscape is predicated on the R&D budgets of vendors currently competing in this area of the market. More support for IT-defined reports and dashboards, availability of embedded advanced analytics, support for mobile-based data exploration and authoring workflows, and more advanced ad-hoc query support are now becoming more commonplace in Reporting Tools. The most advanced Reporting Tools are now also supporting shared analytics content and embedding analytic content across internal sites and shared resource locations. The focus is shifting towards being able to publish reports regardless of origination point and reporting tool used.
Data Management and Infrastructure Support
Enterprise Reporting Tools’ functionality began to accelerate when the greater depth of data integration and support became more commonplace in these applications. The areas of data source connectivity, governance and metadata management have combined to make this area one of the most rapidly maturing of all in reporting applications. Advanced reporting tools are now starting to support data governance across multinational locations, enabling reporting tools to scale and serve multiple departments and divisions globally. Data source connectivity is also going to accelerate continually, creating a broader base of data sources to integrate with over time.
How to Evaluate Enterprise Reporting Tools
Selecting an Enterprise Reporting Tool or application for your company needs to be flexible enough to scale and support the many information requirements it has, while also being agile enough to integrate across many platforms. As Enterprise Reporting Tools continually evolve and become more BI-like in their feature set and footprint, there are many questions to keep in mind when evaluating them for your business. There are over 100 Enterprise Reporting Tools available systems today Finding the best one for your company can be a challenge. Fortunately, SelectHub is here to help.
What’s wrong with how you are generating reports today?
- How many reports are behind schedule due to a lack of project visibility?
- What percentage of your reports are completed on time?
- What manual workarounds are you relying on today to get reports done that your enterprise reporting tools could potentially automate?
- Are you relying on Microsoft Excel to handle reporting, analysis, and presentation?
- Are your existing stand-alone reporting tools and apps integrated with your financial accounting system?
- Is it possible to see in reports how decisions made impact overall company profitability?
- Can your accounting and operations teams track overall project costs and see how they are trending over time?
- Who uses the current Enterprise Reporting Tools?
- Which departments are everyday users, and which are only using your Enterprise Reporting Tools and apps occasionally?
- What are your Enterprise Reporting Tool users trying to achieve by using the solution, and how well can they carry out their goals?
- Is the system not cost-effective for your current users? Are you paying too much in monthly or annual fees for unused features?
- Is your approach to using Enterprise Reporting Tools and apps too difficult to use today? Is it challenging to learn?
- Was your Enterprise Reporting Tool designed when your company had a different business model than it does today?
- What’s the information and insight you need to manage inventory better than your existing reporting tools approach or system doesn’t provide today?
What kinds of Enterprise Reporting Tools will you need?
- What reporting, analyzing and reporting workflows aren’t being addressed by your current reporting tools and apps today?
- How much time does your company spend on generating reports?
- What workflows and production processes most differentiate your company and make it unique and place an added load on Enterprise Reporting Tools and apps today?
- Define the five enterprise-wide reporting processes that most need improvement in your business today.
- What’s the typical lead time for your company to produce its most common and most complex product? How can this be improved with better ongoing enterprise reporting?
- Are reporting and ongoing analysis automated or manually-based right now?
How will the Enterprise Reporting Tools and Apps perform once deployed?
- Is your company considering an on-premise or cloud-based Enterprise Reporting Tools?
- Who will be responsible for keeping the Enterprise Reporting Tools up-to-date and be its administrator?
- How customizable do you need the Enterprise Reporting Tools system’s screens, applications, and platforms to be to support your business?
- Will the Enterprise Reporting Tools be able to manage the wide variety of data reports needed to run your business today? How about in a year from now?
- Can the Enterprise Reporting Tools system generate reports that are easily comprehensible for executives of your organization?
- How will the Enterprise Reporting Tools systems integrate with your current technology? Specifically, how will the Enterprise Reporting Tools integrate with accounting, financial and planning systems?
- What support or training will the vendor provide during and after installation?
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 Enterprise Reporting Tools. There are hundreds of criteria to choose from, but the framework can be broken up into four main categories:
Ad-hoc Query Support
At their most foundational level, Enterprise Reporting Tools need to support ad hoc queries defined by business and IT analysts. The advances made in user interface design and self-service navigation have continually improved ad-hoc query flexibility and increased adoption.Look for vendors to continually improve the self-service functions of ad hoc queries to support data visualization And charting options. Ad-hoc query support is a baseline level of functionality every Enterprise Reporting tool needs to include and needs to be evaluated in product demos to ensure the specific functions needed by your organizations are supported.
Data Governance, Integration and Platform Support
Enterprise Reporting tools were originally designed by IT departments internally, and tailored to a specific series of databases and systems of record. Soon the scope, scale, and variety of data exponentially increased, creating opportunities for enterprise software companies to provide reporting tools. Creating open platform architectures capable of scaling across a multitude of different data sets successfully while providing consistent reporting continues to be a design goal of reporting tools and applications today. In conjunction with these developments is the concentrating on data governance and broader platform support. Governance is becoming essential as large multinational companies rely on reporting tools and applications to gain a concise, unified view of their global operations. Platform support across public and private cloud architectures is an urgent new requirement for many vendors as well, as they look to scale out their sup[port for diverse data sets that enrich the main reporting tools and apps.
In conjunction with integration and platform support, Data Discovery is another area that is critical to have in any Enterprise Reporting Tool. The essence of this aspect of a reporting tool is the enabling of data exploration across a multitude of data sources or sets. Best-in-class Data Discovery tools also support aggregated data analysis and attribute-based analysis of data sets. Data Discovery is also useful for defining the metrics and KPIs used in dashboards and real-time reporting frameworks.
Dashboard and Advanced Visualization Support
At a minimum, all Enterprise Reporting Tools include support for dashboards today. From relatively simple dashboard configurations that include only the most essential metrics and KPIs to more advanced ones that are highly customizable, dashboards are a must-have in any Enterprise Reporting Tool or application. Forward-thinking vendors also include customizable and configurable metrics and KPIs that align closely with the specific needs of a given business. Content creation also is integrated into the dashboard and advanced visualization as well, providing business analysts with the ability to publish their reports to intended audiences using live data quickly. The focus on real-time data integration into dashboards and the quick delivery of visualization are changing the Enterprise Reporting Tools and application landscape rapidly today.
Please provide an overview of how business analysts will be able to create ad-hoc reports fast.
Performing ad-hoc queries is one of the most basic tasks that any reporting tool will need to handle immediately after being installed. The focus needs to be on how practical and pragmatic it is to create reports quickly, in response to evolving requirements from key stakeholders. The focus on how to quickly get up and running with a reporting tool capable of providing ad-hoc reporting capability needs to be dealt with immediately during any product demo. If there is confusion or many steps to completing ad-hoc queries, the focus needs to shift to how a streamlined interface can be provided to guide business analysts better.
How can data be quickly integrated into your reporting tool? Does it take API mapping to get it done?
The most valuable aspect of any enterprise reporting tool is the ability to aggregate together many different data sets quickly and complete a wide variety of reports. Data integration needs to include support for interactive fixed reports, ad hoc queries, the creation and fine tuning of dashboards, and intensive data discovery reporting completed by analysts and information works. Integration needs to support all of these aspects of enterprise reporting without requiring API-level mapping or Web Services. Vendors should be able to show how easily this process is from a graphical user interface standpoint, providing insights into how best to gain access to data quickly and accurately.
Show the steps involved in creating a dashboard using our data, then provide a sample visualization.
Asking to see a demo of how company data can be used to create a specific dashboard with standard metrics and KPIs is reasonable and should be accomplishable relatively fast. The data integration workflows and options now available make this easier to accomplish compared to previous-generation enterprise reporting tools. Also, the most commonly used metrics and KPIs are often included as standard in the reporting tools and applications. Ask to see how visualizations can be completed during the demo and ask for a step-by-step definition of how the dashboard and visualization were completed.
Provide a demo using production and operational reporting data from our company.
As with other tasks that involve customer data, this should be relatively straightforward and easy to complete. Using production and operational data to get a report done during a product demo should be manageable by any reporting tools and apps vendor. Asking the vendors, you are evaluating to prepare sample reports using production and operational reporting data will provide you with immediate insights into which of their reporting tools are the best possible fit for your company’s needs. Given the emphasis reporting tools, vendors are placing on integration; they will most likely be able to integrate a wide variety of data sets and sources. It’s a good test to see which vendors have integration strategies that can scale to meet your company’s current and future requirements.
There are hundreds of Enterprise Reporting Tools and application software companies serving a very broad base of manufacturing and services industries today. Leading vendors include the following:
Microsoft SQL Server Reporting – One of the most popular reporting tools due to millions of companies standardizing on the Microsoft platform, SQL Server Reporting Services provides a full suite of reporting options including support for interactive, tabular, graphical, or free-form reports based on relational, multidimensional, or XML-based data sources. This reporting tool also includes many of the best data visualization tools and applications and supports publishing as well. Many companies publish their SQL Server reports directly into their SharePoint sites for easier viewing and reference.
MicroStrategy Reporting Services – Very popular with companies who have standardized on Salesforce for their CRM systems, MicroStrategy Reporting Services provides a series of data connectors for enabling real-time integration to a wide variety of databases, data sources, and internal systems. The company has made major improvements in its user interface, streamlining queries and the development of dashboards.
SAP Crystal Reports – An industry standard, SAP Crystal Reports are commonplace in companies running SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Given its market dominance, SAP Crystal Reports is also one of the most-integrated with reporting tool there is, with many born-in-the-cloud companies choosing to support data integration with this application. SAP has invested in ensuring the user interfaces are easy to follow and use, and also support interactive charts, dashboard creation, and support for data export and report publishing.
TIBCO JasperReports – Known for its advanced user interface, JasperReport is one of the leading reporting tools used in enterprises today. Jaspersoft is a leader in creating pixel perfect and ad-hoc-based reports that can be published on the Web through a variety of export options. The application also includes an interactive report viewer which provides table and chart changes with advanced data management and aggregation options.
Choosing an Enterprise Reporting Tool provider is a task that should be given serious consideration. This Enterprise Reporting Tool comparison is meant to be used as a starting point to guide IT professionals who are tasked with making this decision.