Business Intelligence (BI) Tools Features

Read what people say are the most valuable features of the solutions they use.
Gareth Crawshaw says in a Tableau review
Consultant at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Extraordinary ease of use, easier to use than any competitor product I’ve used in 15 years or so I’ve worked on MI/BI. Since I originally wrote this, I have found the mapping on Tableau has been extremely useful and easy to use, particularly that it includes very good geocoding for the UK. In terms of the UK, the support and community here is also exceptional and I know that I don't have to trawl through sites endlessly to find solutions, the community is one of the strongest I've seen thus far in BI View full review »
Jonathan Friesen says in a Tableau review
User at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Easily visualize data. View full review »
Saravanan Ramaraj says in a Knowage review
Solution Architect at MIMOS Berhad
QbE(QueryByExample) using Hibernate Support for both Liferay and ExoPortal Data Mining using Weka View full review »
Abdulshukoor Mohammed says in a Knowage review
General Manager Information Technology & Enterprise Applications Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
The Mobile Edition, which now they have stopped in the Community Edition. View full review »
it_user206340 says in a Microsoft BI review
Principal Business Intelligence Analyst at a logistics company with 1,001-5,000 employees
SSRS and the Tabular server/Vertipaq engine/DAX are probably the two most valuable components, leaving out SQL Server (and Azure versions of it, including the Azure warehouse and big data technologies). SSRS's display functionality is resoundingly flexible, and by comparison to other vendors, relatively easy to learn. SSAS Tabular performs very well with modest effort in design, and the ability to perform complex business modeling through DAX calculations stands out in a crowd. View full review »
AyodeleMakun says in a QlikView review
Qlik Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
E-T-L, The Extract, Transform, and Loading capabilities of QlikView make it a highly sophisticated self-service business intelligence tool for developers and analysts who desire much more advanced handling of dirty or unconsolidated data. QlikView scripting language has numerous transformation functions. View full review »
Larry Keller says in a Tableau review
CEO with 1,001-5,000 employees
I have been using Tableau since 2006; 3.5 years as an employee of Tableau Software and 7 years as a trainer/consultant. The more robust features include improved geo-encoding. Shape content is a big winner, as is cluster analysis. Cross-DB joins are helpful, as well. A huge improvement is the ability to render DV to any device from phone to PC. View full review »
PBhatt says in a Birst review
Sr. Business Intelligence Consultant at Avantas, LLC
1) Connection to external sources : Birst uses several connection methods to take data in from your data sources and stages it into its own “Data Mart” if you will. 2) Staging and Warehousing: This stages data from several sources makes Birst a fairly robust data warehouse solution. A lot of vendors can do that well and so does Birst. 3) Modeling: Birst utilizes a start schema for dimensional modeling of the data that is staged. 4) Visualization: In most vendors Data warehousing and then data modeling were two separate functionalities. The idea was to be able to sell visualization tools as a separate suite to users who already had an in-house warehouse. However, recently, several vendors have started combining the warehousing and visualization abilities into one stop shop. For example, for a long time, Tableau was and probably is the leading provider of visualizer tools but warehousing data through tableau is much more cumbersome and resource intensive. Birst, Qlikview etc. have not been able to provide the exact beautification and features in the visualizer for self-service dashboards as Tableau but they have managed to seamlessly allow data visualization and dashboard development from the warehouse on the go. This goes into the technical inter-operability of the warehouse with visualization, data understandability, query performance and render time. View full review »
Andrea Paparello says in a Knowage review
Senior Project Manager at Indra Company
* SpagoBI Server offers the core and analytical functionalities. It provides the Analytical Model (reports, ETL, OLAP analysis, real-time dashboards, KPI, cockpits, GIS information, etc.), administration tools and cross-platform services. * SpagoBI Studio has high productivity in the development phase; it easily permits the developer to design analytical documents such as reports, charts, geo, cockpits. * SpagoBI SDK for integration and to use SpagoBI with external applications. View full review »
Sai Krishna J says in a Tableau review
Data Scientist at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
I believe the most valuable feature of Tableau is the flexibility it offers with regard to the types of visualizations the user can create. A lot of other products in this space offer limited chart types and work in a way that provide little room for customization, if any. But Tableau allows the user to work with its predefined templates such that the end result can be a visualization that is highly customized - in terms of the design, colors, sizes, shapes and the overall visual appeal. This is an invaluable feature as it enables one to communicate more powerfully from the data. I would also consider the ‘Create Calculated Field’ feature as very valuable. It’s one that I’ve used quite extensively. Most of the time, the data we work with will not have all the necessary features that enable us to tell a good, convincing story out of it. Therefore, it becomes imperative that we create them and extract the maximum amount of information possible from the data. View full review »
Joop Moerkens says in an IBM Cognos review
BI Engineer at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
The jobstreams and the ways SQL-scripts can be effectively organized behind icons. View full review »
DataInt732 says in an Oracle OBIEE review
Data Integration and Business Intelligence Solution Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
The performance can issue queries to work in the Oracle database in Oracle's native language. There are a lot of visualizations which suit our business. It shares quite a lot of features which suit us. For example, we have scheduled reports delivered automatically to our business users using enterprise features. It is easy to create a report quickly. It does not take much time to create an ad hoc report. View full review »
Alberto Guisande says in an Alteryx review
Director at Decision Science
* The codeless concept and speed of processing are unique. Super intuitive to use and easy to master. No coder needed. * I did not find a data source that I could not connect to yet. * In/out, preparation, blending, parsing, and transformation tools are the fundamental ones to start analysis. * Spatial operations and analytics are super powerful for analysis which requires these types of models/operations. View full review »
Francisco Lizama says in a Tableau review
Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
* Easy of use * Easy to learn * Gradual scalability from simple to complex situations * Wide integration with BI industry View full review »
Analyst22c07 says in a MicroStrategy review
Analyst 2 with 5,001-10,000 employees
I think ease of use is definitely a benefit to our users, from an administrative perspective, as well as a business end-user perspective. I found that it's very easy to get users into the system, get them familiar. The biggest part is the caveat of our data. We have more trouble getting people to learn our data than we do the structures, the navigation, manipulation, and all of these things that you do as a report developer and end-user. Most of them are familiar with Excel and it's just so similar that they can pick it up very intuitively. When you start talking about the really specialized data sets that we have, that's when it starts to become a little bit more hairy, so that's not really a MicroStrategy component. In terms of self-service, we make use of Enterprise Manager. We've been trying to involve it a little bit more with some of our actual rep data, so we can start to look at that enterprise report utilization on a geographical scale, departmental scale. We've made a few enhancements to our Enterprise Manager system to allow that self-reporting to grow. We see that as a very useful system. It's been incredibly beneficial in diagnosing production performance issues, diagnosing what reports are running slowly, where the SQL could be optimized, opportunities or metrics where we see long-time running performance. Enterprise Manager has been absolutely vital in giving us some of the insights about our system. We're starting to open it up to more and more people to give them the ability and start looking at these things themselves, but it's not the most intuitive system, Enterprise Manager that is, so it's tough. We're trying to bridge the gap between usability and who we let in the system, because you're not going to come in and just pick it up. Personally, looking ahead at 2018, we're getting into the administrative side of our cloud implementations. We're really trying to move to the cloud in 2018, so I see myself getting more familiar with MicroStrategy on AWS Console. And even if we intend to go to the on-prem on AWS, I see us getting more familiar, and it's not necessarily a MicroStrategy component, but structuring the infrastructure of the server in such a way that we're cost-effective, we're maximizing our utilization when we can. I think that is going to be a large component for us in 2018, though it's not necessarily specifically MicroStrategy. Then I think we have a huge enterprise-wide push to Visual Insight. Our environment has transformed over the last year. We were a strong "grid to PDF," "document to PDF," that's all we did. And then they came in with these Visual Insights and everyone was like, "Wow, that's kind of cool." We created a static reporting portal behind it and now, it's just taken our reports to another level. The level of insight that you get in a 30-second glimpse, it just revolutionized it for us. It gives the user a larger subset of the data so that they can actually maneuver around, rather than being specifically pointed at whatever your document is designed for. So VI, Dossier. If we can get on 10.9 this year, I would like to but we're not big on feature releases and we had difficulty with 10.9 on sandbox, so were hesitant right now. Then our cloud implementation, coming in 2018, is going to be a big play on the 10.9, I think. There's no point in us upgrading and then going up the cloud two weeks later. It's a lot of stuff, but that's our focus. View full review »
Senior Business Intelligence Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Depends on the use case. The reporting from SAP Business Objects Web Intelligence is amazing, and gives users the ability to quickly access data from existing universes and/or relevant data sources, without the need to involve a functional business analyst or financial analyst. When it comes to visualizations and discovery, SAP Explorer lets the user deep-dive into the data from a visual standpoint. View full review »
Praveen Yalagandula says in a Tableau review
Sr Programmer Analyst at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Tableau's strength is visualization. If a report/dashboard is presented in visualization, the end user can easily connect with the data compared to a tabular format. View full review »
Peter Birksmith says in a Tableau review
(2IC) Senior System Analyst at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Operations Perspective: The most valuable aspect of this product is the ease of deployment from the Tableau Desktop to the server, providing the ability to either connect live to a data source or create a cached dataset that can be published and updated separately. The deployment of a Tableau Workbook can even be packaged up and sent to someone with a Tableau Reader installed. This makes the solution very agile and scalable. The ability to deploy is the added ability to centralise the Tableau repository for all Tableau Developers. We have initiated a central shared directory for each Tableau platform, Dev, UAT, and PROD with each containing subdirectories for each Tableau Site and Project. Being a financial institution we must provide data segregation to comply with legislation and Data Governance policies enforced by brand segregation. Development Perspective: Ease of use is the most common call out from the developers. There is a thriving user group online that provides any number of ways to build reports quickly and easily, but the most important ability is to allow the Developer to storyboard the information in a dashboard. Tableau provides the developer a means to provide captions and business information on the dashboard to tell the story of each Workbook. This ability to break down a complex Workbook into an easy to digest narrative provides the business stakeholder a way to really understand and discover the story behind the data giving them the necessary insights and metrics. View full review »
Altan Atabarut, M Sc. says in an Alteryx review
Founding Partner at Altdata Analytics
* One-stop shop for data preparation, blending, prediction, and optimization in a single workflow. * In-database analytics native to SQL Server, Oracle, Teradata, and SAP HANA * Spatial tools for geographic analysis and data enrichment View full review »
it_user185844 says in a MicroStrategy review
Senior BI Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
It is very easy for non-IT personnel to create (grid) reports. And once the report is created, the user can switch rows, columns, and add filters. This avoids the creation of a lot of reports that have just a different look. The drill-down functionality is also very good. View full review »
PaulMendelson says in an IBM Cognos review
Cognos Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Cognos Analytics, or CA for short, is an enterprise level reporting platform. At the most basic level you can use it to build reports. But taking a broader look allows you to see that it covers a vast amount of ground through many different modules. The basic platform comes with several meta-modelling tools. Framework Manager allows you to build relationships between physical database tables, and even a ROLAP solution. Great for detailed or minor aggregation. Transformer is a basic cube modeling software. Best for building dimensional models over smaller datasets (a few dozen GB), it works extremely well. Dynamic Cubes is a more advanced ROLAP solution that has intelligent aggregate, query, data, and result set caching. In my experience this works best with larger data, in the TB or PB ranges. Data Modules. This is an advanced user level modelling. It allows end users to build and cache datasets which they can then use in ad-hoc dashboards and reports. On the reporting side it, again, has a few tools. Report Studio is the professional reporting environment. This allows BI Developers to create advanced reports, dashboards, analytical applications. While it does take some training, the effort is well worth it. Dashboards work against the data modules. T allows advanced users to work with the data modules they've built previously to build dashboards. Users can quickly drag in fields directly onto the canvas to make graphs, prompts, data grids. Interactivity is automatically defined (but can be defined manually) to allow users to filter one group of objects by clicking on another. Story is a tool used to create presentations. You can use elements from other reports to make a slide show or "guided journey". There are a few other tools, like Event Studio which can be set to automatically perform actions based on query outputs. There is a graph building tool that allows you to build graphs that developers can use in their reports. View full review »
EricJohnson says in a Qlik Sense review
Director, Supply Chain Services Operations at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
QlikSense has drastically and dramatically made our analytical function more efficient. The QIX engine delivers performance speeds that are simply unmatched by any other BI tool. View full review »
John Laws says in a Birst review
Manager Data Services at a logistics company with 201-500 employees
ETL process is excellent as well as the admin tools to set it up. Creation of the meta-data layer has been well thought out by the Birst design team. Working with the front-end Dashboard, KPI and Dashlet tools is a snap. Easy to learn and use. The Mobile version is coming on strong in 2017. Just reviewed the product with the Product Manager and it's the way forward for being used on the go. View full review »
Business Intelligence Applications Team Leader at a energy/utilities company with 5,001-10,000 employees
It allows the analysis of business data and enables decisions based on the analysis. I found the SAP suite of products powerful. They scale well for enterprise use, i.e., thousands of recipients of the output of the products as dashboards and/or reports. View full review »
programm5345 says in a Tableau review
Manager, Finance Operations at a tech company with 51-200 employees
The best feature of Tableau is the usability. It allows a business user to prototype something without going through IT and spending a lot of time and money trying to translate requirements. Going back and forth, it allows you to rapidly develop things that you need to analyze the data. I also think, as I used SAP Business Objects before that and built out the reports, that you can build almost anything you need to, but it's a little more complicated. I would say Tableau is more like Apple, it just looks nice. It formats things. It just gives it to you in one way, as it assumes that is the way that everybody wants it. So it might be frustrating if Tableau doesn't give it to you the way you want. But usually, it does give it in a good enough way. So, it saves you a lot of time. View full review »

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