6 Top Business Intelligence Tools (2019/2020)

Top Business Intelligence Tools

I would tell you about the 6 top Business Intelligence Applications you should know. Business Intelligence is simply an industry term and it refers the the processes involved in transforming data (normally from different sources, both structured and unstructured) into useful information.This information can then be visualized and used for making business decisions.

I have decided to explain some details in separate articles.

  1. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Suite
  2. Power BI
  3. Tableau
  4. Microsoft BI
  5. Informatica
  6. IBM Cognos


1. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Suite

This is a suite of a number of tools that SAP says will “support your growth with a centralized platform for visualization and reporting”.

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Suite

This is a tool-suite developed and maintained by SAP as an Enterprise BI suite. Features of SAP BO BI Suite includes

  • Reporting and Analysis
  • Analytics Application
  • Data Visualization
  • Integration with Office Applications
  • Integration with SAP Ecosystem

Other features of SAP BO BI Suite according to SAP includes on-premise deployment, real-time business intelligence, improved user autonomy and simplified/personalized information consumption.

Pros: Very robust and feature-rich

Cons: As with other SAP products, it is highly proprietary. Beside, in terms of cost is mainly for enterprises of considerable size



2. Power BI

Just like the Microsoft BI, Power BIĀ  is also provided by Microsoft as a business analytics tool. It provides easy to use and interactive visualization. This makes it one of the most easy-to-learn BI tool. Can be used to create custom reports and dashboards.


Power BI


I would recommed Power BI for beginner data analysts.

Some components of PowerBI includes:

  • Power BI Desktop – a -desktop application for Windows PCs
  • Power BI Service – a cloud Software as a Service tool
  • Power BI Mobile Apps – for mobile devices: Aandroi, Windows and iOS
  • Power BI Gateway – used to integrate external data channels and fetch data. Allows for exporting of data as well



3. Tableau

The Tableau BI tool is developed and Tableau Software Inc. which is a subsidiary of Salesforce.


Tableau Business Intelligence



Tableau allows you to query a variaty of data stores including cloud databases, relational database, online analytical processing cubes and spreadsheets. It allows generation of graph-type data visualization. It can also be used for extraction, storage and retrieval from in-memory data storage engines.

  • Tableau products included the following:
  • Tableau Server
  • Tables Desktop
  • Tableau Prep Builder
  • Tableau Vizable



4. Microsoft Business Intelligence

SQL Server Reporting Services

SQL Server Reporting Services


This is also a tool-suite provided by Microsoft. It consists of three components:

  • Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services(SSRS)
  • Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services(SSIS)
  • Microsoft SQL Server Analytics Services(SSAS)

This tools supports ETL (Extract, Transform and Load). This means that data is taken from a variety of sources, then analysis is performed on the data, and then finally stored in the target database.

From the database, reports can then be generated from the data.

Pros: Very feature rich. Integration with Microsoft products. Easy to learn for developers.

Cons: Steep learning curve. May be a bit complicated for new analysts.



5. Informatica

This is the name of the software company that provides a set of Business Intelligence Tools.



Some of its products and services includes:

  • Enterprise Data Management
  • Data Integration
  • Information Life Cycle Management

Other products includes cloud computing integration, b2b data exchanges, data replication, data visualization and master data management.

From a white paper I just read, Informatica works integrates with Tableau to provide a more tailored data analytics and insight.



6. IBM Cognos BI

IBM Cognos BI is a web-based integrated business intelligence tool-suite developed by IBM. Toolset includes analytics, reporting, scorecarding and event-monitoring.


IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos

Components of IBM Cognos BI includes the following:

  • Query Studio – used for creating simple and customizable queries and reports.
  • Report Studio – specifically for creating management reports.
  • Cognos Connection – serves as a web portal for IBM Cognos BI
  • Analysis Studio – allows users to analyze large and multidimensional data sources
  • Event Studio – used for creating notification about events within an enterprise



I would be writing separate articles on each of this applications. For now, I would like to thank you for reading.