Top 5 BI Software for SMBs


Business Intelligence (BI) solutions provide companies with the ability to analyze complex business data. This can be in the form of selling trends, buying patterns, service complaints, operational problems and many more such issues. These can all be explored and modeled in a way to obtain useful market and customer intelligence that can be applied to improve business profitability. At we look to recommend the best BI solutions that can be used by small and medium businesses. The factors we have considered include cost effectiveness, depth of functionality available, software accessibility, as well as how well the software can adapt to changing business requirements to ensure the best return on investment. We have reviewed numerous BI solutions and some of our best recommendations include the following.

1. Sisense

This product allows customers to unify data from multiple data sources and develop complex reports, visual information displays as well as dashboards for analysis. Additionally the software allows for easy collaboration among multiple users for group analysis and decision making. The software is also mobile device ready, offers a free trial for customers and has a proprietary in-chip technology that allows processing of large volumes of data efficiently for quick query realization. Sisense is scalable for any business size and can easily adapt to the requirements of small business, while offering a clear path for growth as the business expands its operations. The product is also available as both on premise and cloud based solutions, with both being offered on a subscription basis so SMBs can choose the option best suited for their budget.

2. Pentaho Business Analytics

This product includes tools for visual analysis, reports and dashboards along with predictive analytics. In this way Pentaho can be used by SMBs as a business enabler by allowing them to identify emerging trends and patterns which can be used to make proactive business decisions to address evolving market needs. Additionally, Pentaho allows easy integration to multiple data sources which require no coding or technical knowledge, which is well suited for SMBs looking for a powerful non-technical solution. The software also comes with a free trial, is mobile device ready for universal access, and can be scaled for just about any size of business. Its solutions are primarily for the Finance, Healthcare, Retail and Government sectors and can be provided either as an on premise or web based solution.

3. Looker

Looker is a BI software that is available both as an on premise or cloud based solution. Its features include Analytics, Dashboards and Scorecards, but do not include options such as Predictive Analysis or Performance Management. Looker is primarily focused on the Small and Medium Business sector which includes Mobile & Gaming, E-commerce marketplaces, as well as Non Profits & Educational institutions. The product however does not offer a free trial which is important for SMBs, but it does provide a BI Analyst team to support companies in application and development of BI in their business. This is an important feature for SMBs especially those just starting with BI and requiring expert help in its application.

4. Panorama Necto

This BI Software is styled as the 3.0 version of Business Intelligence. The reason for this is that it takes advantage of social collaboration tools to advance social decision making based on BI analysis. In addition the product provides a high level of suggestive intelligence which means the tool itself does its own analysis and suggests solutions or recommendations based on the collaborative insights of many. This is considered a step higher than predictive intelligence. Additionally, Panorama Necto is scalable for any size of business and is applicable in a variety of industry settings. However it does not provide a free trial but it does offer customers a free download of its desktop edition to use with its online server. In this way SMBs can utilize the software before deciding on a purchase.

5. Board Management Intelligence

This solution integrates Business Intelligence with Performance Management with a software toolkit that allows businesses to customize the product to their needs, but without the need for any programming requirements. Board Management Intelligence features include BI Reporting & Analysis, Dashboards and Scorecards, along with budgeting, planning, forecasting and strategic analysis. This is an important advantage for SMBs who are getting the functionality of two key business management areas in one software tool. Once again the software is scalable for any size of business, but is only offered as a primarily on premise solution.