As per Forbes, Business Intelligence Analysts rank at 9 in the list of the highest paying jobs for professionals. This is one of the reasons it is a sought-after job profile.
There are over 40,000 BI Analyst job opportunities available on LinkedIn in the United States alone.
This blog on Best BI Tools & Softwares of 2021 provides information regarding a variety of BI tools for you to understand and compare. You can opt for and learn the tool that best suits you and give your career a boost. To excel in BI and make a successful career in it, you need to learn and gain experience in at least one BI tool. If you are aiming to pursue a career as a Business Analyst, then sign up for one of the most popular Business Intelligence courses and acquire all the necessary skills to become one.
Check out this video to understand more about BI:
Here, you will learn the following:
What are Business Intelligence Tools?
Before reading about various Microsoft Business Intelligence tools and techniques, let’s try to answer a significant question, ‘What is a BI tool?’ or ‘What is BI Tools meaning?’
A Business Intelligence tool or BI tool is the application software that gathers and processes a large volume of data from both internal and external business sources such as journals, books, documents, files, emails, images, videos, etc. Although these tools may not be as flexible as the Business Analytics tools, they offer several ways of processing the data to gain information using queries. Besides, these tools allow BI professionals to prepare the given data before analyzing it to develop dashboards, reports, and data visualizations.
This leads to an outcome that offers all the employees of an organization the power to make improved decisions, pinpoint upcoming potentials for revenue, identify the latest opportunities for growth, increase business efficiency, interpret market trends, and more.
Let’s now understand why these tools are necessary, after which we will learn about the various types of Business Intelligence tools.
Why are BI Tools Used?
Generally, BI tools are used for query and generating reports on data, but they can also combine a large set of applications for the analysis of data. These applications may include enterprise reporting, real-time BI, mobile BI, online analytical processing (OLAP), operational BI, open-source BI, ad hoc, etc. Besides, they involve software for data visualization using various tools and charts to create performance scorecards and dashboards, displaying KPIs and business metrics. Further, these easy-to-understand visualizations allow professionals to bring out the relevant data to life and make sense out of it.
Here is a list of some of the top BI tools examples that are used frequently and in a wide range in most leading organizations today.
Tableau is one of the most popular and simple Microsoft BI tools used in organizations today. A much sought-after platform of BI, Tableau is among the top in the best BI tools list. This integrated tool allows even non-technical users to easily build personalized reports and dashboards to gain valuable information. Further, it offers a varied range of graphical representations that are extremely interactive and pleasing. This tool mainly serves two functions, the collection of data and data analysis. It gathers data from various sources such as spreadsheets and cloud applications. This Business Intelligence software is used in numerous industries and business sectors, including banking, manufacturing, education, sales, telecommunication, and more.
Features of Tableau:
- You can share dashboards and tools to perform group analysis on any given dataset.
- You have the option to choose between two versions, the 32-bit version and the 64-bit version.
- It has a feature to automatically update data, which allows the organization to receive the latest data and extract useful information from it in real-time.
- You can deploy the tool either on a local server or on the cloud server.
Datapine is another commonly used BI software that is easy-to-use yet powerful. This tool allows both professionals like Data Analysts and non-technical professionals to analyze, explore, and visualize data from several data sources. Additionally, it helps you collect the data from these sources and analyze it using advanced analytical and predictive features.
Features of Datapine:
- It consists of easy and fast data connectors that integrate the necessary data sources in a matter of a few seconds.
- You can use its unique drag-and-drop feature to create appealing data visualizations in a few clicks, providing a user-friendly interface.
- It also involves advanced dashboards with interactive modern features.
- There are at least 80 predefined dashboard templates catering to various industries.
The main purpose of the BI tool, Sisense, is to gather, analyze, and visualize datasets, irrespective of their size. It is one of the most frequently used dashboard BI tools with an intuitive feature that offers a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, allowing anyone to use and understand it, including those who are not from an IT background.
In Sisense, you need to gather and store data in a singular database that can be accessed for visualization and reporting purposes. Further, you can use the data to build dashboards through various visualization and analytical tools offered by the software. Moreover, you can share reports and dashboards with your team members or other departments within the organization, as well as outside. This allows enterprises to analyze various patterns and build informed business strategies for improvement.
Features of Sisense:
- Its interactive and user-friendly dashboard provides drag-and-drop features, along with accessible tools.
- Since data is centralized here, the time taken for data processing is lesser.
- It offers attractive visualizations.
- You can use this tool to work on all sizes of datasets with no complications.
- This tool also consists of the ETL facility, report and query writer, data warehouses, and customized dashboards.
Yellowfin BI, one of the best BI tools, is used as an end-to-end analytics platform, combining Machine Learning and data visualization. You can filter tons of data via intuitive filtering features such as radio buttons and checkboxes. Besides, its mobile accessibility feature and flexibility allows you to use, monitor, and understand the dashboard from anywhere.
Features of Yellowfin BI:
- You can easily access the dashboard from anywhere including the Wiki, the company intranet, mobile devices, or the website.
- Features like mapping mobile BI assist you to access and monitor the organizational data.
- It allows you to make smarter and faster collective decisions.
- It offers interactive reports and data-rich presentations that can make your insights more effective and presentable.
Microsoft Power BI is one of the widely-used open-source BI tools that provide an environment for the analysis, integration, and visualization of data. This tool is efficient and effective in assisting organizations to make informed business decisions.
Features of Power BI:
- Even non-technical users can easily use it.
- It uses Power Pivot to perform analytical operations, and it is easy to learn unlike the command language of Excel.
- Its Power Query feature allows you to load data automatically even from extremely old databases for report making.
- You can also use this software to share reports for free.
QlikView is a trending BI tool that allows you to develop apps, dashboards, and visualizations. Besides, QlikView allows you to get a complete overview of the information available in your data.
Features of QlikView:
- Its simple feature of drag-and-drop allows you to build interactive and extremely flexible data visualizations.
- You can use natural search to navigate and access complex information.
- It responds immediately to changes, updates, and interactions.
- It supports several file types and data sources.
- It provides easy security for content and data across endless devices.
- It uses a centralized hub to share relevant data and data analysis, along with apps.
In this blog, you have learned about what BI tools are and the opportunities available in the field of BI. You have also learned about some of the most popular and frequently used BI tools, along with their unique features. To get a head start in your career in BI, you need to become proficient in any of these tools and further gain experience.