Your organization can have all the data in the world, but it’s useless if you don’t have a way to understand the potential insights. Business intelligence platforms are analytic software that gives you tools for improving your data visibility, measuring your performance, centralizing your data connections, creating data visualizations, and driving better business decisions through actionable insights. 

Table of Contents

  1. Types of Business Intelligence Software
  2. Top Business Intelligence Platforms
  3. Improve Your Data Quality for Better Insights

Types of Business Intelligence Software

Business intelligent software comes in several categories, and the right choice for your organization depends on your budget, technical resources, analytic needs, data sources, data organization, and types of end-users.

  • Business Intelligence platform: Platforms provide a robust business intelligence solution that covers many types of analytics tools, including advanced capabilities that may be missing in other software categories. These platforms may be cloud-based or offer on-premise and hybrid deployment options. Most of the functionality is intended for data teams, although some may offer user-friendly environments for business users.
  • Data visualization: Sometimes a full-blown Business Intelligence platform is overkill for your organization’s needs. You can use data visualization solutions for a narrower use case if you simply want to create basic analytic dashboards. These tools are easy to implement and use, but offer limited functionality.
  • Self-Service Business Intelligence: This Business Intelligence software category empowers business users with self-service, no-code interfaces for creating data queries, dashboards, and other visualizations and reports. You’ll frequently find prebuilt templates and connectors in these solutions, and they’re found in on-premise, cloud, and hybrid deployments.
  • Spatial Business Intelligence: This type of business intelligence tool focuses entirely on location-based data. You may use a dedicated solution for handling spatial data or leverage it as part of another Business Intelligence software category.
  • Embedded tools: If you want to add Business Intelligence functionality to your existing systems, you can use embedded software for integration. One of the biggest advantages of this category is that business users access these features in software and platforms they’re already familiar with. They can learn how to use the new features more quickly with this approach, and embedded solutions provide self-service options to work with your data. 

To get you started on your Business Intelligence software search, here are five of the top Business Intelligence Platforms. We referenced G2’s ratings and reviews to select the business intelligence platforms to include on this list. 


Top Business Intelligence Platforms

1) Chartio

Chartio is a no-code, cloud-based business intelligence and analytics platform that makes it easy for anyone to create dashboards with a drag-and-drop interface. This user-friendly tool makes it simple to put together custom dashboards with your organization's Big Data without needing to know any SQL, with features such as:

  • Direct connections to popular major data sources such as Amazon Redshift, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Google BigQuery, Snowflake, and over 100 more
  • Partnerships with top data integration solutions to access thousands of other sources
  • Combine and transform data sets
  • A Visual SQL tool to make data browsing easy for everyone
  • SQL mode for advanced users
  • Multiple options for sharing data visualizations, including webpage embeds, sharing to Slack, PDF reports, SVGs, and images
  • The Data School, a free community-driven school featuring content by and for those who work with data and want to learn more

2) Esri ArcGIS

Esri ArcGIS is a spatial intelligence platform that provides a robust set of analytics tools to work with location data and maps. It’s a cloud-based deployment, although ArcGIS also offers products for local and on-premise deployment. You can explore the insights hidden in your location data through many purpose-built tools, which include:

  • Geo-enrichment of your data through content offered on the platform
  • Development tools that empower your team to create location and mapping intelligence applications
  • Analyze data with maps, dashboards, a variety of reports, and applications
  • Easily share Spatial Intelligence throughout your organization
  • Use purpose-built spatial algorithms
  • Scale your Spatial Intelligence efforts seamlessly
  • Connect your field and office teams together through data
  • Develop smart 3D visualizations for real-world context
  • Geo-enable all the data in your organization’s systems

3) Qlik Sense

Qlik Sense is a self-service Business Intelligence platform that provides a comprehensive toolset for business and data team users. It’s a multi-cloud based or on-premise solution, which streamlines deployment and makes it easy to connect with remote workforces. Rather than using a query-based engine, it leverages a proprietary Associative Engine to avoid analytics limitations from queries.

This platform covers a lot of ground with its functionality, making it a good choice if you have many analytics use cases to cover in your organization.

  • Associative exploration
  • Self-service analytics
  • Geographic analysis
  • User-friendly guided analytics applications
  • Streamlined dashboard creation processes
  • Advanced capabilities that include embedded analytics and custom development
  • Dive into your mobile data with mobile analytics
  • Access many types of reports, charts, and dashboards
  • Data preparation
  • Works online and offline
  • AI-powered insight advisor
  • Open and standard APIs
  • Works with all data sources without requiring data cleansing
  • Real-time analytics
  • Supports Internet of Things data

4) Looker

Looker is a browser-based Business Intelligence tool that focuses on real-time analytics and working completely in-database. One of the biggest benefits of this solution is that it leverages a simple web-based stack that offers a familiar environment for business users. Since it’s in-database, it takes advantage of modern analytic database technology for faster performance.

The features offered in this platform include:

  • Business users have access to self-service Business Intelligence tools directly in their browser
  • Data teams gain a powerful development environment to create custom models and data transformations
  • Direct connection to the data, skipping data extraction requirements
  • Drill down into your data to better understand it and create granular visualizations
  • Seamless scaling on Google Cloud
  • Connect to all of your organization’s data and external sources
  • Develop dashboards and reports with a drag and drop interface
  • Use the Looker Marketplace to extend functionality through Blocks and Applications
  • Quickly connect to SaaS applications with built-in integration
  • API access
  • Supports embedded business intelligence
  • Create alerts for important metrics

5) MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy is a comprehensive Business Intelligence platform that’s suitable for many use cases in your organization.

Features included in MicroStrategy:

  • Real-time dashboards
  • Embedded Business Intelligence through HyperIntelligence technology, which offers insights with zero-clicks
  • Develop personalized reports and applications for analytics and data discovery
  • Leverage a robust library of maps, graphs, and other visualizations
  • Easily integrate data sources through native connectors
  • Prepare data to meet your analytic requirements
  • Empower your data team with support for R, SAS, and other products

Improve Your Data Quality for Better Insights from Business Intelligence Platforms

If you make decisions based on bad data, it doesn’t matter how advanced your Business Intelligence tools are. Take your data through cleansing and transformation before sending it to your data stores with a 14-day demo of Xplenty.