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To be successful in business this day in age, data and technology need to be at the forefront of how businesses think and operate.  When looking at data infrastructure and how to maximize the benefits of data, Business Intelligence (BI) plays an important role.  BI can help organizations get the most out of their data by providing analytics and visualizations that can then be used to drive insights that influence strategy and decision making.

There is no question that the road to utilizing BI can be overwhelming and complicated. As outlined in a previous article (The Path to Adopting Business Intelligence) powerful BI starts with a strategic, well built data pipeline that connects multiple data sources and transforms that data into actionable insights. With a solid data pipeline created and ready to use, the time now comes to choose a BI tool to turn data into dashboards that will make it easy to consume your data and act on it accordingly.

With a large number of BI tools on the market, all ranging in functionality, price and capability, here is a breakdown of four solid options to help you decide which BI tool is right for your business.

Sisense

Sisense is a leading AI-driven analytics platform that goes beyond BI to infuse analytics throughout your organization. The biggest advantage to Sisense, is that it allows you to embed analytics into every part of your business including workflows, processes and product specific applications that can help enhance the customer experience and transform your business.  Its data visualization is second to none as it provides attractive, easy to use dashboards and a variety of other features to help you understand your data. A drawback to using Sisense could be pricing, as medium to small sized businesses may not find it cost effective if only a small number of licenses are needed.  Still, Sisense allows a world of potential as a strong BI solution with great capabilities.

Power BI

When first created, Microsoft’s Power BI was an add-on for Excel.  As it has evolved and expanded, it has become one of the most powerful and popular tools on the market. Naturally, it works extremely well with other Microsoft products and the Microsoft suite. When looking at reviews, many users compliment its limitless potential and ability to get insights to a wide variety of users across companies of any size.  Still, with that robustness comes two concerns. First, there appears to be a steep learning curve that causes some customers issues when trying to understand how to use such a complex tool. Next, a majority of reviews noted that the tool’s speed leaves much to be desired.  In the end, PowerBI is a popular tool with limitless potential and may be a great option for businesses who work with Microsoft products and systems, just be forewarned that a good deal of training and time may be required to maximize its full potential.

Looker

Acquired by Google a few years ago, Looker is a premier player when it comes to BI tools.  There are many positives when using Looker, the biggest of which is how seamlessly it allows reports to be created and shared. The ease in which data can be accessed and shared across teams within an organization is also a strong point for Looker.  However, if there’s one downside that stands out, it is the complexity of the initial setup.  Many users claim that a good deal of knowledge is needed to get up and running and Looker isn’t as easy to use out of the box as some of its competitors.  Luckily, Looker appears to have a strong customer support department that may be able to help in any issues encountered during setup.  

looker dashboard
Tableau

Tableau is a popular tool that combines information from a variety of data sources and provides quick, accurate insights that drive action.  Perhaps the biggest advantage of Tableau is their attractive and interactive dashboards and visualizations. In addition, Tableau is one of the most easy to use tools on the market, requiring very little, if any, previous experience or knowledge to use. There are a few drawbacks though, including the speed it takes to create their top notch dashboards.  Further, their pricing structure may not be ideal for smaller businesses or personal use.  Still, Tableau delivers high quality dashboards that are second to none and it features user friendly functionality that makes it easy to dig deeper on specific pieces of data.

BI Solutions with the Untitled Platform

At Untitled, we created our platform to enable businesses to ramp up their data operations without the cost, time and risk that is normally associated with creating a Modern Data Stack. Our platform gives businesses access to some of the best tools on the market and allows us to build and manage their data operation, while they focus on managing their business with the help of clear data that drives action.

When it comes to BI within our platform, there are two options.  First, we offer BI by Untitled.  This is ideal for those businesses just starting to adopt a data mindset into their company.  It provides all the basic reporting and dashboard needs but is built and supported by our team of experienced analysts, all while keeping the overall cost low for our clients.

The second BI option within our platform is what we call, BYOBI or “Bring Your Own BI.” For those who happen to be a little more data-savvy and want to use their own BI tool, this is the option for you.  We extract, centralize and transform your data so it is staged and ready to use.  Then, connect your BI tool directly and start building your own dashboards.

Business Intelligence is an important component for any company’s data journey. With that said, figuring out the proper way to handle BI can be confusing and even a bit intimidating.  At Untitled, our platform offers solutions for businesses of any size to quickly and easily visualize their data.

Brian U'Sellis

Author Brian U'Sellis

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