Your Definitive Guide to Business Intelligence Tools

A quick and easy overview to help you choose the best BI tools for your needs
[and understand best BI practices]

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Business Intelligence: A Definition

Business intelligence (BI) is a term that describes the technology and practices that organizations use to collect,integrate, analyze, report and present business data. BI is used to enhance business decision-making. It enables you to identify what’s working well, what can be improved, and trends within any organization or function, or between organizations, customers and other stakeholders. The latest BI systems provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations, using data collected and mashed up on premise or in the Cloud, so that you can both learn and predict what will be the most beneficial decisions for your organization. Increasingly, all business functions and levels can take advantage of the insights they get when using BI tools, from manufacturing to logistics/transportation, IT to customer service, HR to marketing, and more.

Here’s an overview of the benefits of business intelligence that’ll help you make that all-important decision about which BI tool is right for you.

Business Intelligence Definition

The Benefits

Business intelligence reporting and analytics enhance your organization. Here’s how

The right choice of business intelligence can be a vital tool for helping you understand your organization more thoroughly, and pinpoint and effect change that will position your organization at the forefront of its sector. The benefits are as follows:

  • More detailed and accurate reporting and business analytics
  • More comprehensive data gathering and improved data quality
  • Capability to mashup data from more sources and a wider variety of sources
  • Rapid results in real-time or close to real-time
  • Most complete, 360° view of your organization
  • Visually striking, easy-to-understand data visualization
  • Easier to transform complex data into comprehensible, actionable results
  • Better insights and faster time-to-insights
  • Better planning
  • Improved and streamlined decision-making
  • Enhanced operational efficiency
  • Clearer, faster identification of issues, opportunities and threats
  • Better prioritization for areas of improvement
  • Increased customer and employee satisfaction
  • Improved cost-effectiveness
  • Increased revenues
  • Boosted competitive advantage

The Key BI Tools You Need

BI Reporting Tools

BI reporting software should enable you to take a 360° view of your organization, so you have the most complete understanding of the obstacles and opportunities that you should address. The best BI reporting tools are designed with end users in mind, as well as technically-savvy power users. They enable users of all kinds to create interactive dashboards and reports and easily interpret them in minutes. These tools feed reports and dashboards with real-time data so that you can get the most updated insights. And they’re easily shareable so that you can be sure everyone is working with the same data and reports.
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Exploring Dashboards
Business Analytics Screenshot

Business Analytics Software

Your ideal BI tool should have the capability to rapidly handle huge amounts of complex data from the widest variety of sources and datasets, and unify this data, however disparate the sources are. Plus, the more easily the data can be combined, the more accessible it can be to different types of users, and the more value you can derive from your BI tools. You need to be confident that the insights you get from your analytics come from comprehensively consolidated data, so you can be assured that you’re getting the most accurate information. This can be achieved with clear and comprehensible dashboards that enable even the most non-technical users to see and understand the data, so that they can quickly and easily get great insights and share them with your organization, wherever they are and whatever device they’re using.
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What to Look for When Choosing a BI Tool

Is Your BI Future-Proofed?

The amount of data you need to manage, and the number of connected devices generating data, is rapidly growing all the time, so it’s vital that your BI platform has the capacity not only to handle your current data, but a massive increase in data that you can expect in the future.

Is Your BI Scalable?

As your organization grows and changes, you should be sure that your BI platform can scale up and grow with you. It’s important that your chosen solution has the power and technology for scaling up users, data, or complex analysis as required, without extra infrastructure or consultants.

Is Your BI Flexible and Agile?

Your BI should also be adept at handling other changes that your organization might experience in order to quickly meet changing demands. From granular customization of functionality to adapting to new requirements and driving shorter times-to-insights, your platform’s infrastructure should ensure performance regardless of the challenges ahead.

Is Your BI Customizable?

Ideally, your BI platform should precisely meet your specific requirements, so consider how well your choice of platform architecture is designed with custom tailoring in mind. With the right platform in place, customization will be simplified and will no longer be a daunting prospect, and even the most in-depth changes can be handled with ease. So, make sure that the platform you choose is built with customization in mind; is purpose-built for developers so they can reduce development time; is able to embed analytics everywhere so that you can integrate analytics into your products and services

Is Your BI User-Friendly from End-to-End?

To maximize the value you get from your BI platform, it should enable as many people as possible across your organization to analyze, visualize, and act on business data. So, make sure that the UI is intuitive, and that the BI doesn’t require power-users to utilize a custom language. Plus, your platform should enable AI throughout so that it learns from your users and data to solve problems intuitively. For a more detailed overview on choosing the right platform for your BI, check out our whitepaper.

What the Analysts Say About BI Tools?

See how the leading vendors of BI tools and analytics stack up in the most respected industry analyst reports:


Value delivered, early innovation, and customer success are what make us the leading Visionary in the Magic Quadrant.
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Sisense earned top rankings from customers for ease of use, ease of doing business with and quality of support.
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Forrester Wave Report Names Sisense a Leader

Leader for Enterprise BI for both on-prem and in the cloud. Recognized for complex data, innovation in augmented analytics, and breadth of use cases.
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Dresner Names Sisense an Overall Leader

“Overall Leader” for customer experience and credibility with high scores for value & integrity put us consistently above the rest.
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Compare the Top BI Tools

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a BI tool, but a lot to be gained by making the right decision. So, in addition to the overview you’ve seen so far, look at these comparisons between Sisense and the other leading BI tools, to see why you should choose Sisense:

Sisense vs Tableau
Sisense vs Looker
Sisense vs Qlik
Sisense vs Domo
Sisense vs Power BI
Sisense vs Microstrategy
Sisense vs Thoughtspot
Sisense vs Logi
Sisense vs Tibco

Why Choose Sisense?

Developers, cloud data teams, and analysts from some of the world’s leading companies and global enterprises use the power of Sisense to effortlessly combine complex data from a variety of sources and build analytics apps that deliver insights to everyone in the organization.

These power users, plus business users from a wide range of functions, are what we identify as the builders of your strategy. Sisense gives them the power to identify, analyze, and visualize the data that influence the course of your organization, with powerful decision-making capabilities that are potentially game-changing.

Power to the Builders

The Sisense BI and analytics platform dramatically accelerates the time it takes to build, embed, and deploy intelligent analytics apps that unleash user creativity and engagement. Whether it’s interactive dashboards, self-service analytics, or white-labeled BI apps, Sisense delivers the industry’s lowest TCO at scale, all on a hybrid-cloud platform designed to leverage all your data together, no matter where it is.

Insights for Everyone

Sisense empowers your users to make decisions and challenge assumptions by equipping them with the insights they need, when and where they need them. We help everyone in your organization drive change and build the business using innovations in AI and ML that deliver BI with more impact than you ever thought possible.

Rated #1 in Customer Success by our Customers

It’s not just what we do, it’s how we do it. It takes more than patented technology to make your business successful. You need the product to work in your network, with your requirements, under your constraints. And that’s when our customer-centric culture kicks in. We work with you on every installation, every upgrade, and every project to make sure you feel the value of your BI platform in your business. Sisense scores consistently above the overall sample and is the leader in terms of customer experience and vendor credibility.

Find Out More. Try Us

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