Solutions Review’s listing of the best self-service BI tools is an annual sneak peak of the top tools included in our Buyer’s Guide for Business Intelligence Platforms and companion Buyer’s Matrix Report. Information was gathered via online materials and reports, conversations with vendor representatives, and examinations of product demonstrations and free trials.
The editors at Solutions Review have developed this resource to assist buyers in search of the best self-service BI tools to fit the needs of their organization. Choosing the right vendor and solution can be a complicated process — one that requires in-depth research and often comes down to more than just the solution and its technical capabilities. To make your search a little easier, we’ve profiled the best self-service BI tools providers all in one place. We’ve also included platform and product line names and introductory software tutorials straight from the source so you can see each solution in action.
Note: Companies are listed in alphabetical order.
Platform: Alteryx Platform
Related products: Alteryx Designer, Alteryx Server, Alteryx Connect, Alteryx Promote
Description: Alteryx is a self-service data analytics software company that specializes in data preparation and data blending. Alteryx Analytics allows users to organize, clean, and analyze data in a repeatable workflow. Business analysts find this tool particularly useful for connecting to and cleansing data from data warehouses, cloud applications, spreadsheets and other sources. The platform features tools to run a variety of analytic jobs (predictive, statistical, spatial) inside a single interface.
Description: AnswerRocket offers a search-powered data analytics platform designed for business users. The product enables you to ask business questions in natural language, and no technical skills are needed to run reports or generate analysis. AnswerRocket features a combination of AI and machine learning, as well as advanced analytic functionality. The platform can also automate manual tasks and answer ad hoc questions quickly. AnswerRocket is mobile-friendly and includes native voice recognition.
Description: Chartio is a cloud-based data discovery platform that lets you create charts and interactive dashboards. The product features a proprietary, visual version of SQL that enables any user to explore, transform and visualize data via a flexible drag-and-drop interface. There is no need to build data models in advance. Chartio includes a set of pre-built connections to data sources like Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery and Snowflake, while also enabling direct access to CSVs and Google Sheets.
Related products: Domo Everywhere, Domo integration Cloud
Description: Domo is a cloud-based, mobile-first BI platform that helps companies drive more value from their data by helping organizations better integrate, interpret and use data to drive timely decision-making and action across the business. The Domo platform enhances existing data warehouse and BI tools, and allows users to build custom apps, automate data pipelines, and make data science accessible for anyone across the organization through automated insights that can be easily shared with internal or external stakeholders.
Related products: WebFOCUS Designer, Omni-Gen data management
Description: The WebFOCUS platform features self-service analytics and data discovery, a visual discovery insight mode, predictive capabilities, and more. WebFOCUS can deploy secure applications to millions of users, and governance enables metadata-driven delivery across an organization. The platform also extends beyond dashboards for executives and analysts by operationalizing data and analytics for line-of-business users. Information Builders offers a complete portfolio of big data tools, from integration all the way to advanced analytics and data management.
Platform: Cognos Analytics
Related products: IBM Watson Analytics, IBM Watson Studio, IBM Hybrid Data Management
Description: IBM offers an expansive range of BI and analytic capabilities under two distinct product lines. The Cognos Analytics platform is an integrated self-service solution that allows users to access data to create dashboards and reports. IBM Watson Analytics offers a machine learning-enabled user experience that includes automated pattern detection, support for natural language query and generation, and embedded advanced analytics capabilities. IBM’s BI software can be deployed both on-prem or as a hosted solution via the IBM Cloud.
Platform: Networked BI
Description: Infor Birst is a cloud-based analytics solution that connects an organization using a network of interwoven virtualized BI instances. The provider’s flagship product is its Networked BI platform. The tool features an adaptive user experience, multi-tenant cloud architecture, user data tier, and a completely virtualized data ecosystem. These capabilities enable use of BI across multiple regions, product lines, departments, and customers. Customers most commonly use the product for BI provisioning, and because it is cloud-based, decentralized analytics as well.
Related products: Powered by Looker
Description: Looker offers a BI and data analytics platform that is built on LookML, the company’s proprietary modeling language. The product’s application for web analytics touts filtering and drilling capabilities, enabling users to dig into row-level details at will. Embedded analytics in Powered by Looker utilizes modern databases and an agile modeling layer that allows users to define data and control access. Organizations can use Looker’s full RESTful API or the schedule feature to deliver reports by email or webhook.
Platform: Power BI
Related products: Power BI Desktop, Power BI Report Server
Description: Microsoft is a major players in enterprise BI and analytics. The company’s flagship platform, Power BI, is cloud-based and delivered on the Azure Cloud. On-prem capabilities also exist for individual users or when power users are authoring complex data mashups using in-house data sources. Power BI is unique because it enables users to do data preparation, data discovery, and dashboards with the same design tool. The platform integrates with Excel and Office 365, and has a very active user community that extends the tool’s capabilities.
Platform: MicroStrategy 2020
Description: MicroStrategy merges self-service data preparation and visual data discovery in an enterprise BI and analytics platform. MicroStrategy provides out-of-the-box gateways and native drivers that connect to any enterprise resource, including databases, mobile device management (MDM) systems, enterprise directories, cloud applications and physical access control systems. Its embedded analytics tool allows MicroStrategy to be embedded in other web pages and applications such as portals, CRM tools, chatbots and even voice assistants like Alexa.
Platform: Oracle Analytics Cloud
Related products: Oracle Data Visualization Desktop
Description: Oracle offers a broad range of BI and analytics tools that can be deployed on-prem or in the Oracle Cloud. The company provides traditional BI capabilities inside its Business Intelligence 12c solution. Oracle Data Visualization provides more advanced features, and allows users to automatically visualize data as drag-and-drop attributes, charts, and graphs. The tool also enables users to save snapshots of an analytical moment-in-time via story points.
Platform: The Analytics OS (Pyramid v2020)
Description: Pyramid Analytics offers data and analytics tool through its flagship platform, Pyramid v2020. The solution touts a server-based, multi-user analytics OS environment that provides self-service capabilities. Pyramid v2020 features a platform-agnostic architecture that allows users to manage data across any environment, regardless of technology. The tool enables those users to prepare, model, visualize, analyze, publish, and present data from web browsers and mobile devices.
Platform: Qlik Analytics Platform
Related products: QlikView, Qlik Sense
Description: Qlik offers a broad spectrum of BI and analytics tools, which is headlined by the company’s flagship offering, Qlik Sense. The solution enables organizations to combine all their data sources into a single view. The Qlik Analytics Platform allows users to develop, extend and embed visual analytics in existing applications and portals. Embedded functionality is done within a common governance and security framework. Users can build and embed Qlik as simple mashups or integrate within applications, information services or IoT platforms.
Platform: Einstein Analytics Platform
Related products: Salesforce Einstein Discovery, Salesforce Einstein Data Insights
Description: The Salesforce Einstein Analytics platform is available in a number of flavors based on role, industry and included features. The product’s automated data discovery capabilities enable users to answer questions based on transparent and understandable AI models. Users can also tailor analytics to their use case and enhance insights with precise recommendations and specific guidance. Einstein lets you create advanced experiences using customizable templates, third-party apps, or custom-build dashboards as well.
Platform: SAP Analytics Cloud
Related products: SAP BusinessObjects BI, SAP Crystal Solutions
Description: SAP offers a broad range of BI and analytics tools in both enterprise and business-user driven editions. The company’s flagship BI portfolio is delivered via on-prem (BusinessObjects Enterprise), and cloud (BusinessObjects Cloud) deployments atop the SAP HANA Cloud. SAP also offers a suite of traditional BI capabilities for dashboards and reporting. The vendor’s data discovery tools are housed in the BusinessObjects solution, while additional functionality, including self-service visualization, are available through the SAP Lumira tool set.
Platform: Sigma Platform
Description: Sigma Computing offers a no-code business intelligence and analytics solution designed for use with cloud data warehouses. The product features an intuitive, spreadsheet-like user interface that provides users with the familiarity of Excel. Guided data warehouse access ensures that data remains secure, compliant, and in context. When users take action in Sigma, it automatically translates them into SQL. All queries are run live against the cloud data warehouse, and the results are passed back to Sigma.
Description: Sisense makes it easy for organizations to reveal business insight from complex data in any size or format. The product allows users to combine data and uncover insights in a single interface without scripting, coding or assistance from IT. Sisense is sold as a single-stack solution with a back end for preparing and modeling data. It also features expansive analytical capabilities, and a front-end for dashboarding and visualization. Sisense is most appropriate for organizations that want to analyze large amounts of data from multiple sources.
Platform: Tableau Desktop
Related products: Tableau Prep, Tableau Server, Tableau Online, Tableau Data Management
Description: Tableau offers an expansive visual BI and analytics platform, and is widely regarded as the major player in the marketplace. The company’s analytic software portfolio is available through three main channels: Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, and Tableau Online. Tableau connects to hundreds of data sources and is available on-prem or in the cloud. The vendor also offers embedded analytics capabilities, and users can visualize and share data with Tableau Public.
Platform: TARGIT Decision Suite (Decision Suite 2019)
Description: TARGIT offers a modern BI and analytics platform that includes built-in data integration capabilities. The solution runs securely on-prem, in the cloud or in a hosted environment. TARGIT Decision Suite supports all major relational and multidimensional database technologies. The provider’s 2019 platform refresh includes an entirely new design experience, fully integrated reporting, super intelligent documents, and new mobile apps. TARGIT has also upgraded to the tool’s installer to improve the entire upgrade and installation process.
Platform: TIBCO Spotfire
Related products: TIBCO Jaspersoft, TIBCO Data Science
Description: TIBCO’s product capabilities are expansive, and range from data integration and API management to visual analytics, reporting, and data science. The company’s BI and analytics portfolio comes in two main iterations: TIBCO Spotfire and TIBCO Jaspersoft. TIBCO Spotfire is the company’s more modern platform. It features interactive visualization, data preparation, enterprise-class governance, and advanced analytic capabilities. TIBCO Jaspersoft supports traditional reporting and embedded BI functionality.
Description: ThoughtSpot is heavily influenced by artificial intelligence and automation. While it may seem complex, ease of use is a strength of the product. It features a full-stack architecture and intuitive insight generation capabilities via the in-memory calculation engine. A distributed cluster manager provides customizable scaling options, and support for existing ETL solutions ensures proper connectivity to desired data sources. ThoughtSpot Embrace allows you to run search and AI analytics directly in existing databases, and supports Google Cloud Storage.
Platform: Yellowfin Suite
Description: Yellowfin is an Australia-based BI and analytics company that specializes in dashboards and data visualization. Its platform features a machine learning algorithm called Assisted Insights that provides automatic answers in the form of easy-to-understand best practice visualizations and narratives. Yellowfin comes pre-built with a variety of dashboards, and users can embed interactive reports into third-party platforms, such as a web page, wiki, or company intranet. The company also offers native apps for mobile devices.
Platform: Zoho Analytics
Description: Zoho Analytics is a self-service BI and data analytics tool that lets you incorporate data from a wide range of sources, blend it together, and create cross-functional reports and dashboards. The product features a drag-and-drop designer, as well as different visualization tools to drill down to specifics. A “smart” assistant called Zia can answer questions in the form of reports and KPI widgets via AI, machine learning and natural language processing. Users can share and publish reports and smart data alerts ping you when outliers or anomalies happen.
To compare the best business intelligence software, consult our Buyer’s Matrix Report.
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