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Software tools known as “business intelligence tools” (BI tools) are used to gather, arrange, visualize, and analyze data that has been gathered through company operations in order to identify trends and patterns and enable data-driven decision-making that can be put into practice.

In the same way that a handyman requires a toolbox full of hammers, nails, and screwdrivers, people who want to work in business intelligence (BI) need to know how to use specific software tools. Business intelligence encompasses the methods, plans, and resources that organizations employ to gather, handle, and evaluate data.

Based on insights discovered, business intelligence technologies can help firms find new ways to increase ROI and gain a competitive edge. Examine one of these instruments to advance your profession; they are utilised by company users, departments, and industries alike.

Here’s a look at what business intelligence tools are, the benefits of BI tools, and 15 of the most commonly used tools.

Table of Content

  • What is a Business Intelligence (BI) Tool?
  • Benefits of BI Tools
  • Top 15 Business Intelligence Tools

What is a Business Intelligence (BI) Tool?

Large volumes of structured and unstructured data are gathered, processed, and analyzed by business intelligence tools from both internal and external sources. Documents, photos, emails, movies, books, journals, posts on social media, files, and more can all be considered data sources. BI solutions employ queries to retrieve this data and then display it in ways that are easy for users to understand, like reports, dashboards, charts, and graphs.

Data mining, data visualization, analytics, reporting, predictive analytics, analytics, text mining, and many more tasks can be carried out by the technologies. Employees can use this data to their advantage by using key performance indicators (KPIs), market trends, and predictions to help them make better decisions.

Benefits of BI Tools

BI tools can help your business take smart, agile steps toward accomplishing bigger goals. 

Centralized data: All of your data, in one place. Companies collect data from numerous databases, portals, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and more. To make sense of it all, you’ll need business intelligence tools to pool the data together and deliver certain types of views (issues, trends, analytics) based on your queries or what you want to know. 

Self-sufficiency: Data no longer just belongs to your company’s IT team. Now, any employee without technical expertise, even interns, can access and analyze data necessary for their respective teams. They can generate reports on all electronics sales in 2020 or visualize patient records to identify the number of COVID-19 cases in 2022.

Make predictions: With access to so much data from the past and present, employees can make evidence-based decisions. Predictive analytics and forecasting enable users to generate insights based on a product or service’s performance history. If a business condition changes, the intelligent tools can automatically figure out the anomalies and you’ll be able to react to disruptions as they arise. 

Automatic reports: Instead of inputting data manually into Excel spreadsheets or toggling between different tools, many BI tools are automated. If you need a report on a product over a specific period of time, the tool will generate that for you. If that information is significant and you want to add it to a presentation, you can create interactive visualizations and download any charts or graphs you may need. 

Reduces business costs: BI tools can do so much, from analyzing consumer behavior and sales forecasting to real-time process monitoring, that analyzing, planning, and reporting processes are way more efficient and accurate than ever before. In fact, more than 50 percent of BI tools users reported that these benefits helped them reduce costs and increase revenue

Top 15 Business Intelligence Tools

To begin with, these technologies have made data discovery accessible to everyone, once the domain of advanced analytics specialists. Furthermore, these technologies provide you with the insights you need to accomplish a lot of goals, including growth, quickly address pressing problems, gather all of your data in one location, predict future results, and much more.

Read Also: What is The Easiest Business Intelligence Software to Use?

There are numerous BI tools accessible today. These were the websites that were most frequently cited while ranking the top BI tools, so those were used to establish the top 15. There is no specific order for these 15 BI tools.

1. SAP Business Objects
SAP Business Objects is a business intelligence software that offers comprehensive reporting, analysis, and interactive data visualization. The platform focuses heavily on categories such as Customer Experience (CX) and CRM, digital supply chain, ERP, and more. What’s really nice about this platform is the self-service, role-based dashboards it offers enabling users to build their own dashboards and applications. SAP is a robust software intended for all roles (IT, end uses, and management) and offers tons of functionalities in one platform. The complexity of the product, however, does drive up the price so be prepared for that.

2. Datapine
Datapine is an all-in-one business intelligence platform that facilitates the complex process of data analytics even for non-technical users. Thanks to a comprehensive self-service analytics approach, datapine’s solution enables data analysts and business users alike to easily integrate different data sources, perform advanced data analysis, build interactive business dashboards and generate actionable business insights.

3. MicroStrategy
MicroStrategy is an enterprise business intelligence tool that offers powerful (and high speed) dashboarding and data analytics, cloud solutions and hyperintelligence. With this solution, users can identify trends, recognize new opportunities, improve productivity and more. Users can also connect to one or various sources, whether the incoming data is from a spreadsheet, cloud-based or enterprise data software. It can be accessed from your desktop or via mobile. Setup, however, can involve multiple parties and some rather extensive knowledge of the application in order to get started.

4. SAS Business Intelligence
While SAS’ most popular offering is its advanced predictive analytics, it also provides a great business intelligence platform. This well-seasoned self-service tool, which was founded back in the 1970s, allows users to leverage data and metrics to make informed decisions about their business. Using their set of APIs, users are provided with lots of customization options, and SAS ensures high-level data integration and advanced analytics & reporting. They also have a great text analytics feature to give you more contextual insights into your data.

5. Yellowfin BI
Yellowfin BI is a business intelligence tool and ‘end-to-end’ analytics platform that combines visualization, machine learning, and collaboration. You can also easily filter through tons of data with intuitive filtering (e.g. checkboxes and radio buttons) as well open up dashboards just about anywhere (thanks to this tool’s flexibility in accessibility (mobile, webpage, etc.). The nice thing about this BI tool is that you can easily take dashboards and visualizations to the next level using a no code/low code development environment.

6. QlikSense

A product of Qlik, QlikSense is a complete data analytics platform and business intelligence tool. You can use QlikSense from any device at any time. The user interface of QlikSense is optimized for touchscreen, which makes it a very popular BI tool. It offers a one-of-a-kind associative analytics engine, sophisticated AI, and a high-performance cloud platform, making it all the more attractive. An interesting feature within this platform is its Search and conversational Analytics which enables a faster and easier way to ask questions and discover new insights by way of natural language.

7. Zoho Analytics
Zoho Analytics is a great BI tool for in-depth reporting and data analysis. This business intelligence tool has automatic data syncing and can be scheduled periodically. You can easily build a connector by using the integration APIs. Blend and merge data from different sources and create meaningful reports. With an easy editor, you create personalized reports and dashboards enabling you to zoom into the important details. It also offers a unique commenting section in the sharing options which is great for collaboration purposes.

8. Sisense
Sisense is a user-friendly data analytics and business intelligence tool that allows anyone within your organization to manage large and complex datasets as well as analyze and visualize this data without your IT department getting involved. It lets you bring together data from a wide variety of sources as well including Adwords, Google Analytics and Salesforce. Not to mention, because it uses in-chip technology, data is processed quite quickly compared to other tools. This platform is even recognized as a leading cloud analytics platform by various industry experts such as Gartner, G2 and Dresner.

9. Microsoft Power BI
Microsoft Power BI is a web-based business analytics tool suite that excels in data visualization. It allows users to identify trends in real-time and has brand-new connectors that allow you to up your game in campaigns. Because it’s web-based, Microsoft Power BI can be accessed from pretty much anywhere. This software also allows users to integrate their apps and deliver reports and real-time dashboards.

10. Looker
Data discovery app, Looker is another business intelligence tool to look out for! Now part of Google Cloud, this unique platform integrates with any SQL database or warehouse and is great for startups, midsize businesses or enterprise-grade businesses. Some benefits of this particular tool include ease of use, handy visualizations, powerful collaboration features (data and reports can be shared via email or USL as well as integrated with other applications), and reliable support (tech team).

11. Clear Analytics
This is for all of the Excel-lovers out there…This BI tool is an intuitive Excel-based software that can be used by employees with even the most basic knowledge of Excel. What you get is a self-service Business Intelligence system that offers several BI features such as creating, automating, analyzing and visualizing your company’s data. This solution also works with the aforementioned Microsoft Power BI, using Power Query and Power Pivot to clean and model different datasets.

12. Tableau
Tableau is a Business Intelligence tool specialized in data discovery and data visualization. With the software, you can easily analyze, visualize and share data, without IT having to intervene. Tableau supports multiple data sources such as MS Excel, Oracle, MS SQL, Google Analytics and SalesForce. Users will gain access to well-designed dashboards that are very easy to use. Additionally, Tableau also offers several standalone products including Tableau Desktop (for anyone) and Tableau Server (analytics for organizations), which can be run locally, Tableau Online (hosted analytics for organizations) and many more.

13. Oracle BI
Oracle BI is an enterprise portfolio of technology and applications for business intelligence. This technology gives users pretty much all business intelligence capabilities, such as dashboards, proactive intelligence, ad hoc, and more. Oracle is also great for companies who need to analyze large data volumes (from Oracle and non-Oracle sources) as it is a very robust solution. Additional key features include data archiving, versioning, a self-service portal and alerts/notifications.

14. Domo
Domo is a completely cloud-based business intelligence platform that integrates multiple data sources, including spreadsheets, databases and social media. Domo is used by both small companies and large multinationals. The platform offers micro and macro-level visibility and analyses (including predictive analysis powered by Mr. Roboto, their AI engine). From cash balances and listings of your best-selling products by region to calculations of the marketing return on investment (ROI) for each channel. The only setbacks with Domo are the difficulty in downloading analyses from the cloud for personal use and the steep learning curve.

15. IBM Cognos Analytics
Cognos Analytics is an AI-fueled business intelligence platform that supports the entire analytics cycle. From discovery to operationalization, you can visualize, analyze and share actionable insights about your data with your colleagues. A great benefit of AI is that you are able to discover hidden patterns because the data is being interpreted and presented to you in a visualized report. Keep in mind, however, that it can take a while to get familiar with all of the features within this solution.


You can learn on your own or at work to become acquainted with one or more BI tools. If it makes sense for the position and industry you’re applying to, you can profit from putting the most popular ones in the skills area of your resume because many prestigious organizations employ them. Particularly if it is mentioned in the job description, hiring managers might expressly look for candidates with experience with particular BI tools.

Business intelligence tools are incredibly flexible and give you a wealth of insightful data about the state and future of your company.

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