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A buyer's guide to choosing the right BI analytics tool

Last updated:December 2015

Editor's note

Enterprises are dealing with vast amounts of data about their customers, prospects, internal business processes, suppliers, partners and competitors. To transform this data into actionable information that can help increase revenue, profitability and business efficiency, many organizations are turning to BI analytics tools. Although the BI tools market might be considered mature, it's constantly evolving to address the changing analytics needs of today's organizations.

Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all BI analytics tool, and deciding which software to buy shouldn't be based on the product with the most features. Rather, organizations should determine which tool enables the types of analysis your users need and will use.

This buyer's guide examines the three categories of BI analytics tools -- guided analysis and reporting, self-service BI and analysis, and advanced analytics -- and the BI tool styles and capabilities they support. We will help you identify and classify your analytical needs, as well as examine some business use cases for which these BI analytics tools are optimized. In addition, we will help you determine your must-have and nice-to-have features, so you can create a shortlist of BI analytics tools that are the best fit for your organization.

To help you further narrow down your list of potential BI analytics products, this guide compares 12 of the leading BI analytics products on the market today and provides overviews that examine the items central to the decision-making process.

1A business case for BI analytics tools

There are several key data or analytical characteristics that need to be considered when creating your BI business use cases.

2What to look for when buying a BI analytics tool

Selecting the BI analytics tool that's right for your organization involves gathering and prioritizing your BI requirements and identifying your must-have features.

3Comparing the top BI analytics products

Which BI analytics tool should you buy for your organization? Take a look at our comparison of the top 12 vendors in the market and review the pros and cons of their products.

4BI analytics tools product overviews

These overviews examine the features, available editions, licensing costs and support for the 12 top BI analytics tools in today's market.

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