Ok, let’s get to it guys (and ma’ms). Business intelligence (BI) is no longer something just big businesses can afford (although it’s not THAT accesible for newborn startups).

WTF is business intelligence, you say?

Dawn M. Turner describes (in “Venture Management“) business intelligence as “a set of techniques and tools for the acquisition and transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes“.

In that fashion, business intelligence arrives to our lives as a effective method to develop a continuously smarter brand. There are quite a few tools out there that will help us to achieve that BIG goal.

From the depths of Internet, sometimes known as meme-land, we bring to you a petite selection of business intelligence tools. Remember, they’re not THAT affordable (well, 2 of the 3 we show here), but they’re completely worth it.

Zoho (specifically, Zoho Reports)

Zoho is a well known BI-player for the european market. For ‘small’ businesses, Zoho is a solid self-service tool that gives you lots of data, all in a SaaS fashion. Tables of data can be collected in a single workspace and linked together, after that you can run reports and produce lots of visualizations.

It’s quite easy to use, and offers a powerful click-and-drop interface, so in matters of user experience you can assure satisfaction. A big downplay is that Zoho Reports is just one of Zoho’s products or modules, and sometimes the connection between them can be quite confusing.

Microsoft Power BI

We can say that Microsoft Power BI is an outrageously powerful tool. Microsoft has found a real effective way to build a large ecosystem of BI for businesses and organizations.

Things do not end here: the best part about this business intelligence tool is that it’s available for free (no joke), and it has a large collection of data sources supported.

There’s just a small downplay for it. The cloud version has a subset of features that are completely powered in the Windows version, so Mac users won’t be that happy with Microsoft BI (you know, you’ll have to use some tricks).

Tableau Software

We come to the last but not the least. Tableau can be understood as a large collection of data visualizations. It’s quite intuitive, really.

However, although Tableau is quite intuitive it’s also complex, and understanding all of its features and true power may take you through a large learning curve (and that, folks, can make it quite expensive).

Still, Tableau defends itself as one of the market leaders on BI because of its visual power and extensive supported data types.

Tell us, which one’s the one that best suites your necessities? Which other BI tool shall we include in this petite list? Share your opinion. 


Image: ShutterStock

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