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Nine of the best BI and analytics software tools for enterprises

Scott Carey | June 27, 2016
As companies look to release their big data, companies like Qlik and Tableau are offering powerful self-serve analytics platforms

As enterprises have more and more data at their fingertips business users increasingly want access to their business information in real-time. This has led to a boom in companies dedicated to building data visualisation and analysis tools that can be used by almost anyone within the business. Gone are the days of waiting for IT to generate a report or spending weeks mired in Excel.

According to Gartner: "The rise of data discovery, access to multistructured data, data preparation tools and smart capabilities will further democratise access to analytics and stress the need for governance. Gartner predicts that by 2017, most business users and analysts in organisations will have access to self-service tools to prepare data for analysis."

Here is a roundup of some of the best analytics and business information platforms out there for enterprise customers not already using the big four vendors (Microsoft BI, SAP, Oracle and IBM). These range from self-service tools for C-level executives, to social media managers and data scientists.

1. Tableau

© Tableau

Tableau is a self-service analytics platform that takes data visualisation seriously as it looks to get businesses away from Powerpoint presentations. The company employs colour, animation and cartography experts to make their data visualisations as easy to digest as possible.

Customers can use an online service or stay on-premises with Tableau Server. Tableau connects a wide range of data sources, from established sources like Excel to recent additions like Amazon Aurora, Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse, MapR Hadoop Hive Connectivity for Mac. Tableau is quick to implement and its commitment to visualisation stretches into the administrator tools. such as visual permissioning and governance.

James Eiloart, head of Tableau EMEA, toldComputerworld UK: "We believe that anyone, whether they are technical or not, should be able to work with their data seamlessly without having to write code or be a programmer. No technical training required."

Tableau Online is priced at a flat rate of $500 (£350) per user per year. Tableau server starts at $10,000 (£7,000) for ten users, with future annual upgrades and support set at 25 percent per year. Tableau topped Gartner's Magic Quadrant for business intelligence and analytics in 2016.

2. Qlik

© Qlik Sense

Qlik is an established name in the data visualisation, BI and analytics space and offers a well rounded portfolio of products. Qlik breaks up its products according to how much support you require, so there is the self-serve solution called Qlik Sense, as well as the original guided analytics QlikView (similar to Splunk), guided and embedded analytics called Qlik Analytics Platform and external data feeds through Qlik DataMarket.


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