As data becomes a more integral part of the way businesses operate, both internally and externally, finding ways to manage and interpret data becomes increasingly important. For businesses, data can be used to tell the story of why customers in a certain market are leaving or what may have caused sales for a certain product like to pick up. For obvious reasons, these insights are valuable to businesses as they fine tune their operations. But successfully making these inferences can be very difficult if you are using nothing more than an excel spreadsheet. Nothing against spreadsheets. They are incredibly useful in many applications. However, when you’re dealing with huge amounts of dynamic data, it can be helpful to have a few other tools in your arsenal. For years, business personnel have relied on their tech people to crunch the numbers. The drawback to this is that it can be time consuming and the presentation of the data can leave much to be desired.

Now, many companies now rely on business intelligence software platforms to process data and piece the correlating story together in a simple, visually appealing way without undergoing a complete IT Transformation. The demand for such platforms has caused dozens of BI companies to sprout up over the last several years. Let’s take a look at a few of the top platforms, what kind of value they bring to their clients and what users are saying about them.

Tableau

One survey found Tableau to be the most popular business intelligence platform. This can be attributed at least in part to the impressive and versatile processing capabilities of the program. Users report that Tableau can connect to multiple data sources and synthesize multiple data sets at the same time. Another benefit of Tableau is the variety of native features that are useful for complex statistical analysis.

So far, Tableau probably sounds a little complex – like it would be the preferred tool of an expert analyst. While it is the go-to for many experienced data crunchers, Tableau also has a softer side, making the program accessible to newcomers. One client reported that Tableau “makes data analysis approachable for anyone.” Another described how Tableau allowed him to “with ease and speed, discover hidden stories, present [his] findings, and make [his] data discoverable to others.” It seems Tableau has a little something for everyone, the veteran and the rookie alike.

SAP BusinessObjects Lumira

For a program that is meant to take a large mass of complicated data and turn it into meaningful visual reports that will guide business decisions, simplicity is an attractive quality. Not everyone has a wealth of experience in data analysis. Not everyone knows how to code. SAP BusinessObjects Lumira understands that, and has responded with a simple, user-friendly platform that gets the job done. Described as “intuitive”, “cost effective” and “straightforward software”, Lumia is a great option for companies who are testing the waters of business intelligence.

Users stress that SAP BusinessObjects Lumia is easy to setup, easy to manipulate and easy to generate useful reports from. Newcomers to data analytics appreciate the flexible interface, which allows users to create customized dashboards without the need to code. Businesses love the sheer simplicity of the program, which allows for minimal training, intuitive implementation and ultimately quick value.

Domo

Domo boasts many of the same strengths as the platforms aforementioned. Like Tableau, Domo allows users to connect to multiple data sources and synthesize multiple data sets inhouse. Like SAPS BusinessObjects Lumia, Domo is known for simple setup and fast implementation. In addition to these selling points, users appreciate Domo’s flexibility. With simple templates that can be applied in a variety of scenarios and the convenient capability of adding layers to data sourced from a variety of formats, Domo is refreshingly malleable and yet easy to use in a variety in predicted cases with minimal setup.
By:  Rick Delgado