An ardent business person is the one who is far sighted, observes and understands the business structure, predicts future trends and takes decision based on that. This was the common scenario a few years back, this was achieved simply by keeping one’s eyes and ears open.
However, the scenario has drastically changed lately. With the information
explosion, big-data took a different shape and it became almost impossible to understand the real-life business scenario by only keeping one’s eyes and ears open. Thus, the inception of BI and big-data tools took place.
Today, BI tools have taken the center stage and are that crucial to businesses what brain is to body, that is why, selecting the right tool is way too important than we usually think of.
On a practical prospect, integrating advanced analytics for big data with BI systems is crucial for gaining full return on investment. Also, advanced analytics amalgamated with BI have already proven its mettle at different organizational level by providing deeper, exploratory perspective on the data, and at the same time BI systems providing a more structured user experience.
Today, BI systems’ richness in dashboard visualization, reporting, performance management metrics have proven itself to be a vital factor for building actionable advanced analytics.
As we know, Business Intelligence is to help business users to gather insights from the available data. So, a good BI tool doesn’t dump data, it guides the user through subsequent steps.
So, lets have a look at some of the BI attributes, based on which a business user can decide if any given BI tool is worth relying or not.
This is the most crucial attribute any BI tool must have. Visual data representation is one such way which can create wonders by increasing efficiency and reducing IT dependency.
Today’s BI tools are mostly infographics-based. This helps the business users to avoid data chaos in a visually appealing way. This also provides relief from confusing excel sheets and charts, making it easier to take swift decisions.
Relevant Tool: Qlik
Drill – down Data
Drilling down data refers to diving deep into the pool of data to recover relevant information which would be segregated according to desired location, origin source and other factors.
With the increasing pressure of real-time decision making, it has emerged out to be an important feature. It not only saves precious time which is often poured over spreadsheets, but also allows to get down to the nitty-gritty by drilling down and narrowing the search in just a click.
Relevant Tools: Datameer, Pentaho
A good BI tool is that which applies its data knowledge to suggest the way forward. Also, a smarter suggestive intelligence is used to explore patterns and suggest solutions based on existing data.
For instance, if ‘x’ company is wondering why their sales figure looked dismal in the any of the month, then suggestive aptitude of an effective BI tool can help. It is because it can find relevant people amongst thousands of employees who can solve this dilemma.
Relevant Tool: IBM Cognos Intelligence
In almost every organization there’s a goose chase for the right person when some vital problem arises and that needs to be solved at the earliest. In this scenario, BI tools with righteous collaboration can help in finding the right people who can come up with the desired solution in no time, without holding endless meetings.
BI tools enable you to find the right people who can give you answers quickly without sending you on a goose chase or holding endless conferences and meetings with your teams. For instance, you share the infographic which shows the dismal sales in Tokyo to suggested marketing and sales people. These are the people who hold the answers to your question and solve your query instantly.
Furthermore, if a team member wants to analyze data, view progress dashboard, or share and discuss data, a good BI tool should provide seamless collaboration features to facilitate decision-making.
At the end, this would ensure that all the team members are on the same page and are able to fruitfully reap maximum qualitative or quantitative insights.
Relevant Tools: IBM Cognos Intelligence, Tableau
Business processes are always dynamic – ever-changing and unpredictable. So, always resorting to inner voice is not enough. It needs precession, even a small mistake can create blunders, therefore predictive intelligence is an important feature for any BI tool.
So, one must ponder which tool is right?
Almost all BI tools possess one or more attributes that have been discussed above. But there are some tools which have proven their mettle since long. So, let’s have a look at the best five!
Relevant Tool: Tableau
Tableau is voraciously used all over the world due to its user-friendly features and integrations. It is also one of the leading BI tools which is used for Big Data and Hadoop. Adding another point to its feature list, it provides connectivity to various Hadoop tools for various data sources like Hive, Cloudera and HortonWorks.
Not only with Hadoop, but also Tableau has an option to connect its data source from over 50 different sources including SAP and AWS.
As a visualization tool, Tableau provides top notch user experience with its highly advanced features like bar graphs, pie charts, heat maps many other features.
Another BI tool which is popular for its Big Data and Hadoop integration is ‘Datameer.’Also, it not only supports Hadoop, but also many other data sources like Excel, SQL, MySQL and other tools and frameworks.
Datameer’s self-service analytics helps users perform all the required steps by themselves. Carrying out vital process like: Integration, preparation, analysis, visualization and operationalization can be done with ease.
Pentaho is another out-of-the-box tool which is highly dependable, as it is the brain child of Hitachi group companies. It is an analysis platform for Big Data and Hadoop which provides big data tools to extract, formulate and blend user’s data.
Pentaho’s specialty is its top-class visualizations and analytics. From Hadoop and Spark to NoSQL, Pentaho allows its users to turn their big data into big insights, and in turn change the way they run their businesses.
So, if any user uses data source like Hadoop, then Pentaho provides an option to perform data integration, visualization, and reporting all at the same time.
Qlik is not just another BI tool that works on Hadoop and Big Data domain. It is different from the rest because of its ability to integrate with social media platforms like Facebook, which we won’t find with most of the BI tools.
Also, Qlik allows its users to connect with various data sources like SAS, SAP, SOL, Hadoop, SQL etc. for analysis and reporting.
IBM Cognos Intelligence
In any form of business; information silos, excessive dependence on spreadsheets, managing multiple platforms, handling data overflow are some of the common hinderances that business owners face.
But, with business analysis software from IBM, the process of analyzing business data to understand the performance and recommending improvements have been taken to a new level.
IBM Cognos Intelligence allows its users to explore their business data from different angles and perspectives and compare it with emerging trends for a more extensive view of their businesses. So, the facts needed for better results are always right at the fingertips of its users.
However, there might be one tool which is good for drilling down data, but it may not be that good at visual representation. Another tool might solve most of the business pain points, but its predictive intelligence may need improvement.
So, one needs to select the right BI tool based on the aspects that are most important to satisfy their business needs. If it solves one’s business needs and provides the right features, it is the right BI tool for that organization.