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The Most Popular BI Tools That SMEs Use To Monitor Business Performance (2024)

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Business intelligence (BI) has become an even more crucial tool for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) like yours, as business conditions become ever more turbulent and unpredictable than ever.

At a time when predictions of impending recession are repeated at the beginning of every year, SMEs need to be at the top of their BI game to ensure full visibility over their operations and processes. Only with a proven, responsive BI solution can a business notice the first signs of any trouble as they occur, and react to them in a timely manner.

This means that it’s more important than ever for businesses of all sizes, SMEs included, to invest in their BI tools and solutions. The question is, which BI solution should you choose to implement in your business?

To help you make the right choice, we’ve put together a list of the most popular BI solutions in use by businesses today, as rated on review sites such as Capterra and G2.

 

1. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, With Microsoft Power BI

What Is It?

What's Microsoft Power BI; Source: Microsoft Power BI

Because BI solutions work best by drawing data generated from your operational processes, they work best when integrated with an ERP software which unifies and consolidates such data from across your business, thus providing a centralised database for the BI solution to draw data from.

One of the best examples of this is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, when integrated with Microsoft Power BI to provide you with a powerful tool for deriving actionable insights from your raw data.

 

What Is It Known For?

Apart from Business Central, Power BI can also connect to various data sources such as spreadsheets, databases, and cloud services. It’s also known for its powerful data visualisation capabilities, which enables you to generate the charts and graphs you need to transform the unified raw data into actionable insights for your business.

 

Here Are 5 Charts In Power BI That Are Popular With Users To Visualise Their Data And Drive Decision-making.

 

How Does It Review?

Microsoft Power BI scores:

  • 4.5 stars out of 1,628 reviews on Capterra
  • 4.5 stars out of 1,076 reviews on G2
  • 4.4 stars out of 3,020 reviews on Gartner

 

What Type Of Business Is It Suited For?

Power BI offers several tiers of licenses, which cater to different types of users; from startups and sole proprietors, to SMEs, and all the way to large enterprises.

 

2. Sisense Fusion Analytics

What Is It?

Overview of what's Sisence Fusion; Source: Sisence

Sisense Fusion Analytics is one of the most popular business analyst software tools in the market today. It provides an end-to-end solution for tackling growing data sets from multiple sources out-of-the-box, and goes beyond traditional business intelligence by embedding analytics in customer and employee applications and workflows. 

 

What Is It Known For?

Sisense is known for its robust text analysis functionality, and it excels in transforming unstructured text into valuable business intelligence. It employs open-source language which relies on computational statistics within its proprietary analytics platform, allowing users to perform extensive analysis and visualisation of complex data, promoting data-driven decisions and improved forecasting of future trends.

 

How Does It Review?

  • 4.5 stars out of 378 reviews on Capterra
  • 4.3 stars out of 844 reviews on G2
  • 4.1 stars out of 791 reviews on Gartner

 

What Type Of Business Is It Suited For?

Sisense is suited for a wide range of businesses, especially those dealing with growing data sets from multiple sources.

 

3. Tableau by Saleforce

What Is It?

What's Tableau; Source: Tableau

Acquired by Salesforce in 2019, Tableau is a comprehensive business analytics platform that is versatile enough to find applications across diverse departments. such as marketing, finance, shipping, sales, and support. It facilitates a seamless process of transforming raw data into valuable insights.

 

What Is It Known For?

The platform incorporates robust and reliable statistical tools, enhancing its reputation for facilitating in-depth analyses of social media networks and predictive modeling based on both current and historical data.

 

How Does It Review?

  • 4.5 stars out of 2,237 reviews on Capterra
  • 4.4 stars out of 1,988 reviews on G2
  • 4.4 stars out of 3,694 reviews on Gartner

 

What Type Of Business Is It Suited For?

Tableau is suited for a wide range of businesses, from global enterprises to early-stage startups and small businesses.

 

4. Microstrategy ONE

What Is It?

microstrategy one (1) (1)Overview of MicroStrategy One; Source: MicroStrategy Incorporated. 

MicroStrategy ONE is a comprehensive cloud-native, open architecture platform that seamlessly integrates generative AI with precise business intelligence (BI) capabilities. Known for its "Auto" features, it offers an innovative suite of pre-built virtual AI assistants, optimising workflows and enhancing productivity for a wide variety of users.

 

What Is It Known For?

As one of the newest entrants in the realm of business analytics software, MicroStrategy ONE provides predictive trend analysis and real-time tools for analysing third-party data. It also boasts a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to create and share reports with engaging graphics, across multiple devices and users.

 

How Does It Review?

  • 4.3 stars out of 63 reviews on Capterra
  • 4.2 stars out of 537 reviews on G2
  • 4.6 stars out of 694 reviews on Gartner

 

What Type Of Business Is It Suited For?

MicroStrategy ONE is well-suited for businesses of all sizes and industries seeking advanced, AI-powered analytics and BI solutions.

 

5. SAS Visual Analytics

What Is It?

1699998200685 (1) (1)Easy to use predictive analytics at your fingertips; Source: SAS Institute Inc.

SAS Visual Analytics is a powerful tool that supports sharing and collaboration of insights to decision-makers through customisable dashboards. With interactivity, reports, BI and analytics, users can go directly from reporting and exploration, to analysis and sharing insights through various channels within a single interface.

 

What Is It Known For?

SAS Visual Analytics comes with augmented analytics and advanced capabilities that accelerate the generation of insights, helping users uncover the stories hidden in their business data. It also excels in predictive forecasts, empowering companies to make informed decisions quickly.

 

How Does It Review?

  • 4.3 stars out of 55 reviews on Capterra
  • 4.4 stars out of 183 reviews on G2
  • 4.3 stars out of 140 reviews on Gartner

 

What Type Of Business Is It Suited For?

SAS Visual Analytics is an ideal solution for businesses which need predictive forecasting and real-time analytical tools to drive quick and data-driven decision-making processes.

 

6. Qlik Sense

What Is It?

group1_pbw5fy (1) (1)What Qlik Sense Offers; Source: QlikTech International AB

The cloud-based successor version of its legacy on-premise predecessor Qlik View, Qlik Sense is a world-class dashboard software that puts modern analytics into the hands of businesses around the world. It boasts unique AI-powered associative technology that indexes associations in your data, and reveals hidden insights that would be missed by query-based tools.

 

What Is It Known For?

Qlik Sense comes with robust data integration, application automation and the convenience of software-as-a-service (SaaS) with hybrid multi-cloud capabilities. Because of this, the solution has been named a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for Analytics and BI platforms for 11 years in a row.

 

How Does It Review?

  • 4.5 stars out of 250 reviews on Capterra
  • 4.5 stars out of 664 reviews on G2
  • 4.4 stars out of 1,156 reviews on Gartner

 

What Type Of Business Is It Suited For?

Qlik Sense is a suitable solution for businesses that need to utilise their data to see more deeply into customer behaviour, reinvent business processes, discover new revenue streams, and balance risk and reward.

 

7. Looker by Google

What Is It?

Introducing Google Looker; Source: Google Cloud

A self-service business intelligence platform by Google, Looker is a data analytics solution that facilitates the breakdown of data silos within teams by enabling the swift and seamless integration of data from various sources into a unified view. With Looker, businesses allows every team member to access fresh, reliable data, fostering better-informed decision-making processes across the board.

 

What Is It Known For?

Looker is known for its a browser-based approach and employing a unique modelling language. This approach allows any employee, regardless of their technical proficiency, to leverage the expertise of top data analysts. This inclusivity ensures that insights derived from data are not confined to a specialised group. but are available for widespread understanding and application.

 

How Does It Review?

  • 4.5 stars out of 228 reviews on Capterra
  • 4.4 stars out of 1,213 reviews on G2
  • 4.4 stars out of 670 reviews on Gartner

 

What Type Of Business Is It Suited For?

Looker is well-suited for modern companies seeking to make data analytics accessible to a broad range of users within an organization. This inclusivity is particularly advantageous for businesses aiming to involve employees at various skill levels in the data exploration process.

 

8. Domo

What Is It?

product-device-tablet-feature-app-retail-suite-store-performance-2xFeaturing Domo Platform; Source: Domo, Inc.

Domo is a cloud-native data experience platform that goes beyond traditional business intelligence and analytics. It’s underpinned by a secure data foundation that connects with existing cloud and legacy systems, helping businesses optimise critical processes at scale and in record time.

 

What Is It Known For?

Domo stands out as a solution that not only visualises data, but also makes it actionable through intuitive dashboards and applications. This makes for a user-friendly user experience that empowers individual users at all levels within a business to interact with and derive insights form data. Domo is also known for the secure data foundation that facilitates seamless integration with existing cloud and legacy systems, ensuring a robust and cohesive data environment.

 

How Does It Review?

  • 4.3 stars out of 290 reviews on Capterra
  • 4.4 stars out of 707 reviews on G2
  • 4.5 stars out of 484 reviews on Gartner

 

What Type Of Business Is It Suited For?

Domo serves businesses in all industries which are looking for a BI solution that can integrate seamlessly with their existing cloud or legacy software systems, and enable their employees to leverage data from these systems to generate actionable insights.

 

9. Mode

What Is It?

MODE_ (1) (1)

Stacking all the layers together; Source:  Mode Analytics, Inc

Mode serves as a full-featured dashboard and analytics tool tailored for data analysts and business stakeholders. It embraces the way modern data teams work, and enables data leaders to drive more efficient, higher impact analysis and increased data maturity through true self-service.

 

What Is It Known For?

Mode stands out as the pioneering BI platform that has embraced the collaborative working methods of modern data teams. It combines a suite of functionalities such as a cloud-based SQL editor, collaborative Python & R notebooks, interactive visualisations, and the capability to create shareable live reports and dashboards.

 

How Does It Review?

  • 4.6 stars out of 88 reviews on Capterra
  • 4.5 stars out of 329 reviews on G2

 

What Type Of Business Is It Suited For?

Mode is particularly well-suited for businesses seeking a modern and collaborative BI platform that aligns with the workflow of contemporary data teams.

 

10. Zoho Analytics

What Is It?

za-header-top-screen-dashboard (1) (1)

Example of Zoho Dashboard; Source: Zoho Corporation Pvt. Ltd

Part of the Zoho suite of business solutions, Zoho Analytics is an online business intelligence and analytics platform designed to provide users with valuable insights from their diverse business data. It’s known for providing an intuitive and user-friendly self-service interface, empowering individual users to analyse their business data effectively.

 

What Is It Known For?

Zoho Analytics is known for its robust self-service capabilities, which allows users to effortlessly generate insightful reports and dashboards, in a matter of minutes without requiring assistance from IT professionals.

 

How Does It Review?

  • 4.4 stars out of 292 reviews on Capterra
  • 4.2 stars out of 299 reviews on G2
  • 4.3 stars out of 302 reviews on Gartner

 

What Type Of Business Is It Suited For?

Zoho Analytics is well-suited for businesses of various sizes and industries that value a self-service approach to business intelligence. Its user-friendly design and the ability to swiftly create reports without IT assistance make it an ideal choice for small to medium-sized enterprises.

 

Keep An Eye On Your Business Performance With The Right BI Tool

Today, the success of your SME depends on how much visibility you have in your processes. As such, your business needs to leverage BI to full effect, and it can only do so with a solution that best suits its unique needs.

Where BI used to be available only for larger enterprises, there are now various BI solutions available on the market for SMEs like yours. Each of these bring specific strengths to the table, so making the right choice for your business is critical to ensuring your business can utilise BI to best effect.

Alternatively, you could choose a BI tool which connect seamlessly to an ERP software, which is designed to unify data from across your business– such as with Power BI for Business Central. With such an integration, your BI tool can draw data from the centralised database generated by your ERP software, greatly enhancing its efficiency.

At AFON, we could position your SME to best leverage BI with an implementation of Business Central and Power BI. If you'd like to schedule a consultation with us, do drop us a note here and we'll get back to you, or give us a call at +65 6323 0901 today!

However, if you'd like to know more about Power BI before making your decision about which solution to go for, click on the image below to learn more about Microsoft's BI tool.

 

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