Top BI Solutions for Small Business
Large enterprises are not the only organizations that stand to benefit from using BI software. For a while, business intelligence software was too expensive and too complex to meet the needs of small businesses, many of which rely on simple spreadsheets to analyze critical business data. Today, thanks in part to cost savings afforded by the cloud, there are a host of BI solutions available to help small businesses visualize, analyze, and report on their complex data.
Zoho offers an affordable software-as-a-service business reporting tool suitable for small businesses. You can upload data to Zoho Reports from spreadsheets, databases, websites, or other data sources; visualize data and create customized reports by dragging and dropping select data elements; and share your reports easily over the web. Pricing plans starts at $50 per month for 5 users. A free version is also available, though comes with limited functionality. See our Zoho Reports product profile for more information.
Spotfire is a cloud visualization application with extensively customizable dashboards and collaboration features. It’s ideal for users who have outgrown Excel for their BI reporting. If you’re a SOHO operation, TIBCO offers an inexpensive Personal version of Spotfire that allows users to upload excel data to create and share interactive dashboards. Spotfire is available in Publisher and Analyst versions that bring expanded analytics and reporting capabilities, data storage, and sharing. See our TIBCO Spotfire product profile for more information.
Tableau Desktop is the personal edition of the company’s enterprise BI solution. Based around a drag and drop analytics interface, the product is designed to make creating interactive visual reports a simple, streamlined process. It imports data stored in Excel, MS Access, or text files, and has a stylish, minimalist UI. Tableau Desktop gives users the ability to easily publish dashboards to the web where they can be accessed and manipulated on tablets and other mobile devices. Tableau Desktop is available for download at $999 per named user. The price includes one year of maintenance.
LogiXML gives businesses the ability to create customized, web-based BI applications. It doesn’t offer a turnkey BI product, but rather technology that allows a company’s IT staff to develop applications that fit their individual needs. If you don’t have any IT staff, LogiXML may not be the solution for you. But if you have IT resources at your disposal, LogiXML is a fast, cost-effective way to deliver comprehensive BI applications. Pricing is based on an upfront license, not per user. See our LogiXML product profile for more information.
Yurbi Community Edition is a completely free, self-service BI platform geared toward small businesses. It provides connection to one data source free of charge, and gives one user in your company the freedom to create unlimited reports/dashboards from that data. Being built on the Yurbi BI platform, it’s easy to add features and functionality as your business needs change. Community Edition is supported by a library of how-to videos and guides at Yurbi.tv.
Roambi delivers sleek, engaging mobile BI applications for the iPad and iPhone. Roambi Pro transforms data stored in Excel, Google Spreadsheets, and Salesforce CRM into secure, organized, interactive visual reports. Roambi Analytics comes in a variety of editions and pricing plans, from a free personal version to an enterprise version. Roambi Pro is ideal for users who spend a lot of time on the road.
Birst is an intuitive, elegant self-service BI solution with an array of visualization, analytics and reporting capabilities, offered in hosted and on-premise versions. Birst’s flagship offering is an enterprise-caliber BI solution, though the company recently released its “Visualization Edition,” which is a “quick deploy” version of the solution. Birst is a step up in price from the solutions above. See our Birst product profile for more information.
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