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With a free tool like Google Analytics offering one of the best analytics platforms on the market, it’s easy to understand why so many companies never explore alternatives or more powerful options.
Business Intelligence Tools And Platforms
According to data from W3Techs, Google Analytics has a huge 84.1% market share of traffic analysis tools, but this does not mean that it is necessarily
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So in this article we’ll look at the best analytics and business intelligence tools available right now, but first:
A business intelligence platform is a system that helps companies analyze and understand large amounts of data at a time. This enables them to better visualize their data and make more informed, data-driven decisions.
You can use this in your business to gain a competitive edge and ensure you make the right decisions – but first you need to decide which platform works for your use case.
We will not be looking at Google Analytics or any free options in this article. We only focus on the very best analytics and business intelligence platforms in this article. And while Google earns a spot on our list, we’re talking about an advanced suite of tools designed for enterprise businesses.
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That said, if you’re looking for a free or affordable option, KlipFolio, WhataGraph and, of course, Google Analytics are the unanimous recommendations – it’s just not within the scope of this article.
So that gives you an idea of what we’re looking at in this article, but let’s just take a moment to clarify the difference between an analytics and business intelligence platform – just so we’re 100% clear on what we’re talking about .
Strictly speaking, an analytics platform is software that collects analytical data and presents it in visual formats so that human users can understand the data, compare reports, and spot trends.
The type of analytics platforms we’re looking at in this article are web analytics tools that collect varying amounts of traffic and website performance—everything from user location and device type to page views and conversion rates.
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If you’re reading this article, you’re probably already familiar with Google Analytics, so I won’t go into too much detail about it.
What may be less obvious is how a business intelligence platform differs from an analytics tool like Google Analytics. And the simple answer is that where an analytics tool collects and presents data for analysis, a business intelligence tool uses a broader range of business data to predict trends and outcomes.
This is an important distinction to understand, but it’s also worth knowing that the line between analytics and business intelligence platforms has blurred a lot over the years and most enterprise options offer some amount of both – which is why we’re looking at analytics.
The Google Marketing Platform is the complete set of analytics and optimization tools developed by Google to help you improve the performance of your website and Google Ads strategy.
Data And Analytics Platform
This includes Google Analytics, Data Studio and a range of other tools – and many of these have very capable free versions, much like Google Analytics.
However, the business version of Google Marketing Platform provides the full-featured set of marketing tools designed to give you a 360-degree view of your online presence.
If you’re looking for something more capable than the free version of Google Analytics but are already familiar with the software, the enterprise version of Google Marketing Platform is the obvious choice.
With Google Analytics 360, you get a serious upgrade in terms of features compared to the free version, including:
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You can find a more detailed comparison on the Marketing Platform website and Google Analytics 360 is just one part of the package. The enterprise version of Google’s marketing suite also gives you access to the tech giant’s most advanced CRO platform, Optimize 360, and unlocks all of your paid advertising information through Google Ads 360.
At the same time, Data Studio gives you complete control over your data visualizations, allowing you to build fully customized reports to meet your business needs.
Microsoft Power BI takes us to our first business intelligence platform in this article and you get no points for guessing what “BI” stands for.
Where Google Marketing Platform focuses on website and marketing performance, Microsoft Power BI takes a more holistic look at business results – whatever that means for your organization.
How Azure Business Intelligence Tools Can Help
Power BI pulls data from all your data tracking software (analytics, sales reports, accounting software, etc.) and brings it all together so you can compile reports with all your data.
The Microsoft platform also pulls in data from third-party sources, meaning you’re not just relying on your proprietary data to make business decisions. For example, you can compare financial results to market trends to see if changes in revenue—whether positive or negative—reflect market changes.
Microsoft’s industry-leading AI technology detects patterns and trends that your internal teams might miss—or at least spot them sooner. This allows you to react to insights faster, and Power BI’s predictive analytics predicts performance issues before they even occur.
For organizations overwhelmed by big data and unimpressed by the business decisions they currently make from all their data sources, Power BI can provide the intelligence you need.
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Oracle Analytics Cloud brings us back to true analytics and offers one of the most powerful AI-powered platforms on the market.
The company’s augmented analytics applies smart data preparation and provides a natural language discovery system that lets you ask conversational questions and get insightful answers.
Thanks to Oracle’s AI capabilities, you can also predict future trends with greater accuracy using its predictive analytics models. You can use this to spot trends before they peak and diagnose performance issues before they start to have a negative impact.
Another standout feature of Oracle Analytics Cloud is data publishing, which makes it easy to share and embed reports wherever you want. So you can create reports and presentations for board members or investors to highlight the rewards of your team’s hard work, or create data journalism content by easily embedding insights into documents.
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Qlik is a data intelligence software vendor that offers a range of tools for data analysis. The company offers two core products: QlikView, which is its standalone analytics tool, and Qlik Sense, which is an integrated analytics and business intelligence platform.
QlikView is the company’s advanced stand-alone analytics tool, built around its innovative Associative Engine technology that gives you complete control over your data.
Qlik Sense is the newer platform of the two, building on Qlik’s years of experience in the analytics industry to incorporate the latest AI technology to deliver an augmented intelligence system. The platform can provide context-aware suggestions, send you alerts about new trends, and make data-driven predictions using machine learning.
Tableau was one of the first companies to come up with a self-service platform for business intelligence and analytics. It’s still one of the biggest names in the industry and one of the most comprehensive too, which means there’s a pretty solid learning curve to deal with if you want to get the most out of this platform.
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Tableau pulls data from your analytics and marketing tools (eg Google Analytics, Salesforce, etc.) and combines it all into a single database. You can then use the platform’s built-in data preparation tools to clean and refine your data to improve the quality of your analysis.
One of Tableau’s signature features is called VizQL, a drag-and-drop builder for creating visualizations on the fly—a great feature for team members who have trouble conceptualizing data in visual formats.
Tableau also has great collaboration features for teams and a content discovery system that makes it easy for everyone to find the data they need.
IBM Cognos Analytics is the upgrade to Cognos Business Intelligence, providing a new cloud option, web-based interface, cognitive guidance and new data visualization capabilities.
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This AI-powered platform comes from a true leader in data intelligence and it shows throughout Cognos Analytics. You can input data from third-party analytics tools like Google Analytics and CRM platforms like ActiveCampaign, as well as external data from third-party sources like market reports and government data.
You can create your own dashboards and visualizations, use AI to discover hidden patterns, conversation search, collaborate with team members and share data/reports.
IMB offers a Cloud Edition and Enterprise Edition of Cognos Analytics. Cloud Edition is designed for smaller businesses and there are standard, plus and premium plans with prices starting at $15 per user per month.
The Enterprise Edition provides a dedicated service, tailored to meet your needs, and you can either host it in the cloud or on your own servers, on-premises.
The Gartner Magic Quadrant Analysis Of Bi Tools (from /u/tony14828’s Comment)
Formerly Periscope Data, Sisense is an API-first cloud technology that lets you build your own analytics apps. So this is not an out-of-the-box analytics platform, but rather a toolset for building analytics software, whether for your own business, clients, or to sell as a product.
Whether you’re looking to build an analytics system to meet your own needs or create custom apps for your customers, Sisense provides the tools you
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