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Business Analytics Assignment: Comparision Between Various Business Intelligence Tools


Task: Prepare a business analytics assignment comparing various business intelligence tools.


The concept of Business Intelligence (BI) explored in the business analytics assignment is defined as the sum of relevant aspects and strategies that facilitate the creation and administration of knowledge about the medium by analyzing the data that exists in a company or company. The Business Intelligence (BI) sector grows at enormous speed. The world of analytics and data reporting, based on simulation, optimization, and prediction models, has spent several years in a gigantic transformation process [1]. With this comparison we compile the main business intelligence tools through which we will observe the special characteristics and benefits offered by each of these systems.

Comparison of Business Intelligence Tools
The business intelligence tools have grown substantially over the recent years. So, the tools compared in the review only include the leading and most widely used BI tools in the organizations at present. They are as follows;

Power BI
Power BI is a Microsoft tool with cloud service that can be easily implemented. It allows uploading, sharing and accessing reports from any device, be it a computer, a tablet or a smartphone. The integration of Power BI with Microsoft Office 365 also allows access to sources of local data origins databases and services in the cloud [5]. At the co|re of Pow|er B|I is an onl|ine serv|ice wi|th vari|ous opti|ons for intera|ction, which al|so includes various out|lets for connecting to da|ta provi|ded by thi|rd-par|ty softw|are and servi|ces.

The key features include Pow|er BI has a fr|ee bas|ic ver|sion that gives use|rs the opportunity to expl|ore first. It supp|orts many wa|ys to incorp|orate or imp|ort the da|ta i.e. da|ta transmission, clo|ud serv|ices, Exc|el sprea|dsheets and th|ird-par|ty conne|ctions. It has intera|ctive pan|els wi|th re|al-ti|me da|ta transmission [5]. It has simple API to integrate Pow|er BI wi|th other applic|ations. There are diffe|rent wa|ys to sha|re repo|rts and dash|boards with multipl|atform supp|ort (we|b, desk|top, mo|bile).

Advantages of Power BI include it has increased efficiency in companies to extract reports autonomously when required without having specific knowledge of it. Power BI introduces a Quick Insights tool that determines the correlations and patterns within the data, producing custom charts and graphs [5]. Power BI also supported integration of advan|ced analy|tics thro|ugh R scri|pts and visu|als, Micro|soft Azu|re Mach|ine Learn|ing, and Azu|re Strea|m Anal|ytics.

Tableau is a BI tool used for the interactive visualization of data, with which users can interact in various ways: comparing data, filtering it or creating a connection between some variables and others. Tableau focuses on data analysis through the means of visualization. It provides the ability to conn|ect to a vari|ety of da|ta sour|ces, su|ch as da|ta syst|ems in fi|le form|ats (CSV, JSON, XML, MS Excel, etc.), relati|onal and non-relational da|ta syst|ems (PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQL Server, MongoDB, etc.) or clo|ud syst|ems (AWS, Oracle Cloud, Google BigQuery, and Microsoft Azure) [6].

The main distin|ction fr|om compet|itors is th|at Tabl|eau has a spec|ial Data Blending feat|ure. Anot|her uni|que feat|ure that it offers us is the abi|lity to collaborate in re|al ti|me th|at ma|kes it a valu|able inves|tment for comm|ercial and non-comm|ercial organiz|ations ali|ke. The key features include its ability to share for free. It provides support for connection to mo|re th|an 30 typvz|es of da|ta sour|ces, and mix data sour|ces. This also provides support for OLAP cubes alongside integration with driver mapping ready for many databases. The advantages of the Tableau software are that users can drill down and explore data without programming experience. It has the capability to connect to a multitude of data sources. Also, it is possible to use the API of this tool for systematic data extraction [6]. If user has programming experience, Tableau can function as a front-end of tools that allow deep statistical dives and advanced analysis.

Qlik is a platform focused on visual data analysis and interactive applications that aims to improve the process of accessing data for the user. It allows accessing certain clean and easy-to-understand visualizations, striking graphic designs, among others. The BI tool focu|ses on the us|er as a data rece|iver and all|ows exploring, and discovering the da|ta in a workf|low sim|ilar to the way devel|opers wo|rk wh|en proces|sing da|ta [3]. To maintain flexi|bility in its appr|oach to da|ta explor|ation and visua|lization, th|is soft|ware stri|ves to main|tain assoc|iation bet|ween da|ta. The benefits of using Qlik are that the knowledge data can be generated quickly from a competent user, since the data analysis capabilities are limited only by their capabilities scripting. The underlying associative engine performs natural joins in real time based on the user's selections, highlighting the relationships between entities for the user [3]. The key features of the software that that it stands out among other BI providers for its combination of uniqueness and flexibility, and its wide vari|ety of use|ful applic|ations for any busin|ess that address drasti|cally diffe|rent sca|les in vari|ous indus|tries. It is extre|mely use|ful for crea|ting adva|nced dashb|oards bas|ed on da|ta fr|om mult|iple sour|ces. It has the abi|lity to manip|ulate da|ta associ|ations automa|tically. This, it is possible to recog|nize the relatio|nships betw|een vario|us da|ta elements in a set with|out any previous configur|ation wo|rk by the us|er. Automating th|is ta|sk grea|tly spe|eds up the dashboard development proc|ess. The way it handles data entry allows you to keep it in the server's RAM for multiple users [3]. This translates to faster da|ta explor|ation and improved us|er experie|nce wi|th aggreg|ations th|at are calculated on the fly, rat|her th|an stor|age-bas|ed calcul|ations. Because Qlik keeps the da|ta in mem|ory, it is mu|ch fas|ter to com|pute an aggre|gation as nee|ded, rather than quer|ying pre-calculated aggregate val|ues.

Klipfolio is a 100% cloud-based BI solution and provides a truly intuitive to|ol for da|ta visuali|zation and dashb|oard compo|sition. Th|is enab|les you to proc|ess da|ta more effici|ently and increase solutions and optimization in real time, rat|her th|an rely|ing on a periodic regre|ssion mod|el. Klipfolio supp|orts connec|tivity to a vari|ety of da|ta sour|ces, bo|th on|line and offl|ine. Onli|ne sour|ces integr|ate a variety of clo|ud-hos|ted stora|ges, such as Google Sheets, relati|onal databases, and oth|er serv|ices th|at prov|ide da|ta across all typ|es of for|ms [4]. All of the|se da|ta sour|ces, eit|her individually or in combin|ation can be effec|tively us|ed to integrate multiple met|rics to extr|act insight from the da|ta, cre|ate, trans|form, and sha|re cus|tom visualiz|ations. These visualizations formed have the potential to understand the prac|tical mea|ning behi|nd any simple set of num|bers [4]. Klipfolio app|lies the prin|ciple of respons|iveness to facil|itate the disco|very of dashb|oards using various technology platf|orms, fr|om smartp|hones and tab|lets to desk|top comp|uters and sma|rt televisions in conference rooms.

SAS Visual Analytics
SAS Visual Analytics offers adva|nced analy|tics capabi|lities with|in SAS Visual Analytics targeting users who do not possess extensive development skills or specialized statistical skills. It is available in a local deploy|ment or thro|ugh the clo|ud in SAS da|ta cen|ters or thro|ugh thi|rd part|ies su|ch as AWS. It is based on an in-mem|ory micro-service archite|cture that all|ows for grea|ter flexi|bility in navigating cloud and on-prem|ises data warehouses and deploy|ment mod|els. In addit|ion to runn|ing on a new platf|orm, SAS Visual Analytics incl|udes an updated HTML-based user interface, whereas in previous versions it relied on Adobe Flash [7]. SAS Visual Analytics is suitable for SMEs or large organizations in all sectors. It targets small teams, departments, multiple business units, or large companies. It offers the right knowledge to those who need it. It is possible to integrate and discover data personally. It facilitates creating and sharing interactive reports [7]. It is also possible to monitor key metrics so that when something goes wrong, you know why and how to fix it.

SAP Analytics Cloud
SAP Analytics Cloud is a Soft|ware-as-a-Serv|ice (SaaS) bus|iness intell|igence solu|tion th|at prov|ides acc|ess to all the corpo|rate anal|ytics fr|om one place. It is an inter|face for all BI-rela|ted SAP prod|ucts. Analytics Cloud provi|des acc|ess to all the data|base solut|ions and comb|ines diffe|rent anal|ytical instru|ments in one pla|ce. SAP busi|ness intel|ligence is a co|re prod|uct th|at inclu|des seve|ral da|ta acc|ess instru|ments. The instru|ments wit|hin SAP BI can be divi|ded by end-us|er gro|ups. The software reveals relevant, accurate and actionable strategic information faster with artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies [2]. It helps to explore data across the organization and deliver strategic insight at the decision point with intuitive self-service analytics.

Overall, the literature review provided a brief on the comparison of BI tools. The key advantages of these tools along with their features were elaborated. It was interpreted that each of the BI tools has their own features and advantages offered. No one BI tool is better than the other. Each of them has their specific advantages catered to the needs of the different user segments. A user with coding knowledge can prefer SAS and a user with no such skills can resort to use Tableau for the same data analytics scenario. The reason for selecting the respective BI tool is interpreted based on the needs of the user, the requirements of the respective business analysis, and data. In the end, these factors determine which BI tool is useful as per the client needs.

[1] Abzaltynova, Z. and Williams, J., 2013. Developments In Business Intelligence Software. Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business, 3(2).

[2] Ahmed, R., 2020. Learning SAP Analytics Cloud | Guide Books. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2020].

[3] Ilacqua, C., Cronstrom, H. and Richardson, J., 2020. Learning Qlik Sense | Guide Books. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2020]. [4] 2020. Klipfolio | Business Dashboards And Reporting Software For Everyone. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2020].

[5] Lachev, T. and Price, E., 2020. Bring Your Data To Life! Applied Microsoft Power BI. [online] Business analytics assignment Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2020].

[6] Murray, D., 2020. Tableau Your Data!: Fast And Easy Visual Analysis With Tableau Software. [online] O’Reilly Online Learning. Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2020].

[7] 2020. SAS® Visual Analytics On SAS® Viya®. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2020].


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