The 54 Best Business Intelligence Tools: Top BI Software to Help You Analyze Data to Make Smarter Business Decisions (PART 1)

Business intelligence tools (BI tools) are a way for companies to monitor data and generate business insights – necessary components in making smarter, better decisions that drive results. But once you start research and compare BI software, you realize there are many types, from business analytics and big data statistics to reporting tools and dashboards that offer at-a-glance information across indicators.

When selecting the right business intelligence tools for your organization, consider your company, your employees, your departments and teams – and the success factors that drive your decision-making. What isn’t working currently, and what factors would benefit from improvement?

Choose tools that allow you to visualize and analyze relevant data, combining and eliminating and customizing to generate information that helps you better understand your data. The goal: to make fact-based and insightful decisions that will improve company performance.

1. Yellowfin BI

Yellowfin BI offers business intelligence tools that are so easy to use, they become universal throughout a company. Yellowfin’s analytics are available in many different flavors – dashboards, data discovery, mobile BI, storyboards, mapping, and collaborative business intelligence – that make it simple to assess, monitor and understand any bit of data related to your business.


  • Interactive and intuitive filtering use check boxes, radio buttons and sliders to make it easy to dial-down your data
  • Access your dashboards from anywhere: web page, company intranet, wiki, or mobile device
  • Share insights via simple scripts that can be uploaded, embedded, or sent to collaborators

Cost: Free Trial; full version starting at $3,000 a year for 5 users

2. Clear Analytics

If you’re familiar with MS Excel, you’ll love Clear Analytics. This Excel-based business analytics software serves up business intelligence with spreadsheet manageability – and centralizes all your data in the process. Clear Analytics allows your organization to continue with its business-as-usual Excel reporting, but adds BI must-haves like version control, administrative and sharing capabilities, reports scheduling, governance, and auditability.


  • With the Logical Data Warehouse (LDW) approach, Clear Analytics eliminates the need for a data warehouse to pre-aggregate data
  • Little learning curve: anyone who uses MS Excel can use Clear Analytics
  • Easy to trace and audit data, on ensure company-wide compliance

Cost: Free Personal Edition

3. SAP Business Intelligence

For businesses that require a full, detailed picture of every company process, SAP NetWeaver BI steps in. This full-function tool is designed to cater to a diverse set of needs, satisfying the requirements of everyone in your organization – IT professionals, senior management, and end users included. The tool’s robust infrastructure hosts wide-ranging functionality in one integrated platform.


  • A single, integrated platform pulls together applications and reporting to provide a detailed snapshot of your organization
  • Visualization makes it easy to understand your data
  • Improve your company’s collective IQ by giving all collaborators insights into data and performance indictors

Cost: Free Trial; contact for pricing

4. Oracle Hyperion System

When it comes to BI tool comparisons, Oracle is one of the most well known names in business, and its Hyperion Planning system is an agile business intelligence tool. Using mobile, desktop and MS Office Interfaces, Hyperion supports and enables enterprise-wide planning, budgeting and forecasting – mission-critical processes a company needs to develop accurate financial forecasts and generate cost-effective enterprise alignment.


  • Deploy Hyperion independently, either in the cloud or on-site
  • Integrate Hyperion with other Oracle tools to create a robust and over-arching business solution
  • Reduce budgeting and planning by days, weeks or months, depending on the process

Cost: Contact for pricing

5. Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE)

For businesses with serious BI needs, OBIEE is an incredibly powerful business analytics software tool. The Enterprise Edition integrates many of Oracle’s most useful components, including BI Server, BI Answers, BI Interactive Dashboards, BI Delivers, BI Publisher, the MS Office Plug-in, Hyperion Interactive Reporting, Hyperion SQR Production Reporting, Hyperion Financial Reporting, and Hyperion Web Analysis. In other words, for almost any conceivable data measurement, visualization, reporting, or information manipulation, OBIEE has a solution.


  • Comprehensive BI tools inform and inspire better decisions across your organization
  • OBIEE allows for full collaboration within an organization
  • Interactive dashboards make reporting and data visualization simple

Cost: Contact for pricing

6. Pentaho BI

The leader in open-source business intelligence, Pentaho provides your company with the tools to make better, more accurate and faster decisions to boost profits. The tool integrates information from almost any source to create comprehensive analytics, turning big data into visualized insights. Pentaho Business Intelligence can be used on-site or in the cloud.


  • Embed and integrate analytics into your company’s applications
  • Intuitive and interactive analytics employ lasso filtering, zooming, attribute highlighting and drill-down features to provide better insights
  • Web-based dashboards access rich navigation features to improve data visualization

Cost: Free Trial; Contact for pricing

7. MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy Business Intelligence has one primary goal: leverage data to help organizations find timely, informed answers to any question. Powerful dashboards and data analytics transform your company’s information into easy-to-understand reports designed to improve productivity, boost cost-efficiency, optimize revenue, monitor trends, forecast new opportunities, and fortify client relationships.


  • MicroStrategy runs against data stored in ERP systems (e.g. SAP and Oracle), operational databases, and data warehouses
  • Use MicroStrategy on your desktop or via mobile app
  • Save data on-site or in the cloud via Amazon Web Services

Cost: Free 30-Day Enterprise Evaluation Edition

8. SiSense

Sisense is business analytics software that aims to enable business users to easily prepare, analyze and visualize complex data. The software is mainly focused on user-friendliness and high performance for organizations that work with large or diverse datasets, and provides a single-stack solution for integrating many disparate data sources, performing queries and displaying results in interactive dashboards.


  • End-to-end business intelligence for non-techies with little to no IT involvement required
  • ETL and data preparation to integrate many disparate cloud and on-premise sources
  • Interactive BI dashboards with a wide range of data visualization options

Cost: Free Trial; Contact for version pricing

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9. BOARD All-in-One Business Intelligence

BOARD’s AIO Business Intelligence toolkit offers all the capabilities and functions necessary to build a custom solution to corporate performance management. Bonus: no programming skills required. The toolkit approach makes it easy for end-users to interact with BOARD’s powerful interface, creating a self-service solution to analytics, reporting and understanding data. BOARD labels this integrated BI-performance management solution as “management Intelligence.”


  • BI functions include reporting, multi-dimensional analysis, ad hoc querying and “dashBOARDing”
  • Corporate performance management allows for budgeting, planning, financial forecasting, profitability analysis, scorecarding and financial consolidation
  • BOARD is a single interface, thus eliminating the usual complications from forcibly patching together multiple BI tools

Cost: Free Demo; Contact for pricing

10. Microsoft Business Intelligence Tools

Like BOARD, Microsoft’s BI solutions are billed as tools that require little IT involvement. The premise: if your employees know how to use Microsoft Office or Microsoft SharePoint Server, then they’ll intuitively understand MS Business Intelligence. This full-service solution is quite powerful, integrating data from multiple sources to combine with current enterprise data that lives on-site or in the cloud – all while maintaining proper governance.


  • MS BI allows any user to drill-down, analyze and visualize data through Excel
  • Enable report-sharing and other collaborative features
  • Self-service capabilities that reduce the burden on IT

Cost: Free Trial; Contact for pricing

11. Jaspersoft

Billed as one of the business world’s most used, most flexible and most affordable BI solutions, Jaspersoft empowers your organization with tools for better analytics and decision-making. This is a self-service product, which means that it requires little IT intervention to generate powerful data insights that help your organization create actionable answers to any question.


  • Can be integrated into any app or mobile device – scaled architecture that makes Jaspersoft available to anyone
  • Available on-premise or in the cloud
  • Download for your device, or use as a web-scalable platform to embed anywhere

Cost: Free Trial; Contact for pricing

12. QlikView

When running BI tool comparisons, users find that QlikView is a real user-friendly platform that straddles the gap between tech-savvy BI software and traditional productivity apps, creating a solution that’s available to all. QlikView’s primary goal is to enable business users to leverage their data to discover new solutions and opportunities, and it does so with a clean and straightforward interface.


  • This self-service tool allows for data analytics, insights and existing data manipulation
  • Visually appealing dashboards present data in an easy-to-understand format
  • Customized solutions by industry (banking, consumer products, high tech, insurance, etc.)

Cost: Free Personal Version; Enterprise Edition Server starting at $35,000 per server

13. SAS Business Intelligence

SAS Business Intelligence is all about getting the right information to the right people, always at the right time and under the right circumstances. This self-service tool is easy to use and provides real-time analytics throughout your organization, allowing any collaborator or decision-maker to monitor and analyze the metrics necessary to make an informed and effective decision.


  • Business and enterprise IT solutions include centralized metadata, governance and scalability
  • Data visualization makes it easy to see and understand big data and related insights
  • Auto-charting eliminates the need for coding and IT support

Cost: Free trial; contact for pricing

14. BIME

The power of BIME is the ability to turn complicated data into visual insights and actionable information – results designed to power your decision-making and boost your bottom line. BIME is cloud-based, turning your company Internet connection into a lightening-fast data warehouse capable of churning out easy-to-understand visual dashboards. A self-service tool, anyone can use this BI solution.


  • Easily import data from relational databases, spreadsheets, flat files, OLAP engines, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Google BigQuery, Salesforce CRM, Google Spreadsheets and other sources
  • Ultra secure BI extranet and intranet is included in every package
  • A powerful calculation engine allows users to create analytics across – and combining – data sources

Cost: Free Trial; Enterprise solutions starting at $180 per month

15. Intelex Business Management Software

The Intelex Business Performance Management Software System is a user-friendly, effective and very powerful business analytics software that integrates several solutions into one robust package. Among the solution’s various functions, this software suite combines tools for document control, records management, training management, qualifications management, audits management, NCRs and CAPA, management review, permits management, license management, monitoring and measurement, communications management, and operational control.


  • Trusted since 1992
  • Easily track, manage and generate real-time reports of key metrics
  • Comply with common regulations and standards, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001

Cost: Free Trial; Contact for pricing

16. Adaptive Suite

Adaptive Suite is the only Corporate Performance Management (CPM) and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions suite to build from the “cloud up.” Adaptive Insights is intuitive enough that anyone can use it, but also extremely powerful, integrating collaboration, web and MS Office reporting, as well as other features accessible via the web or mobile app.


  • Flexible drill-down capabilities across and within multi-source, multi-dimensional data
  • Self-service means no programming or tech know-how required
  • The Adaptive Suite integrates four BI and CPM solutions: Adaptive Planning, Adaptive Discovery, Adaptive Consolidation and Adaptive Reporting

Cost: Free Trial; contact for pricing

17. Microsoft SharePoint

Microsoft SharePoint is so popular, it hardly needs introduction: this management and analytics solution is one of the most common choices for businesses around the world, and is an especially good fit for companies that already store their information on a SQL Server. SharePoint makes it easy to share, sync and analyze all company data; enables collaboration; and provides tight security for sensitive data.


  • Add-on apps, many free, enhance SharePoint to create a truly custom solution
  • Easily integrates with Microsoft Dynamic solutions, Yammer, and other tools
  • Store data in the cloud for access from anywhere

Cost: Contact for pricing

18. BizzScore

The BizzScore Suite pulls together four potent tools: Bizzscore, for analyzing data and creating management dashboards; Bizzdefiner, performance management software; Bizzdata, to integrate data sources and scheduling; and Bizzquality, to input “soft” data derived from web-based questionnaires. The result: an end-to-end solution to analyze and manipulate company data to create scalable, actionable insights and solutions.


  • An intuitive interface is easy to use and understand
  • Robust analytics allow for data drill-down to very specific insights
  • No software, tools, systems or databases required

Cost: Free live demo; Contact for pricing