What Are The Top Cloud BI Tools?

The concept of cloud computing started with the development of microchips and the mainframe computer. Cloud computing and business intelligence are interrelated.

Business Intelligence (BI) is all about delivering the right information to the right people at the right time, and cloud computing provides easy access to BI. The best thing about cloud BI applications is that they are accessible on multiple devices and web browsers.





These tools are easy to operate and set up and simple to deploy as it doesn’t require any additional hardware/software installations


What are the best cloud BI tools? (In no particular order)


Microsoft PowerBI


Microsoft PowerBI is a business analytics service that enables the user to see all of the data through a single sheet of glass. It offers data warehouse capabilities including data preparation, data discovery, and interactive dashboards.

What stands out from the crowd is its ability to load custom visualizations. Pros

  • It cost $9.99 per month per user which is comparatively low with easy maintenance.

  • It is easy to use as it is a regular pivot table with Excel's data visualization tools taken to next level.

  • Supports Python and can be easily integrated with Microsoft Azure Cloud.

  • It's innovative, can be intuitive, and has frequent updates.


Cons

  • It has a very bulky user interface.

  • There is a concatenate statement but it combines only two elements. If we combine multiple elements, we need to nest the concatenate statements.

  • Integration between MSBI and different data sources is difficult


Looker


Looker BI is a business intelligence software and big data analytics platform that helps to explore, analyze and share real-time business analytics easily.


Looker gives its user the tools to power a multitude of data experiences, from modern BI (business intelligence) and embedded analytics to workflow integrations and custom data apps. Pros

  • Easy to learn and functional enough to be used by all users regardless of their experience with BI tools.

  • Live data Updates, as it connects to data sources without heavy back-end requirements.

  • Responsive customer service.

  • Easy onboarding and Data migration.


Cons

  • Visualizations are not extraordinary and difficult to customize.

  • Security groups and content restrictions can be confusing to set up and maintain.

  • The tool slows down for large and complex queries.

  • Uploading Multimedia is a task and a “Look” can not be downloaded in PDF format.

Tableau


Tableau is an interactive data visualization software tool. It is free software that allows anyone to connect to a spreadsheet or file and create interactive data visualizations for the web.


One can also group geographies to create custom territories or use custom geocoding to extend existing geographic roles in the product.


Pros

  • Predictive analytics may help you answer questions like “What if?”

  • The software supports establishing connections with many data sources, such as HADOOP, SAP, and DB Technologies, which improves data analytics quality.

  • It has popular visualizations and quick prototyping.

  • It can connect with different data sources at the time and import data directly from those.

Cons

  • It’s difficult to access for users without a license.

  • The Tableau sales team is not flexible enough to provide a case-by-case approach for their customers.

  • Users of this tool complain that it lacks good customer service.

  • Tableau fails to provide centralized data-level security. A great number of accounts increases the chance of the system being hacked.

  • Users have found sharing data sets between different versions to be difficult.


Google Data Studio


Google Data Studio is a free tool that turns the data informative, easy to read, easy to share, and fully customizes dashboards and reports.

Data Studio provides an intuitive interface to explore and build insights using data. It is basically used to track key KPIs for clients, visualize trends, and compare performance over time.

Here's a quick guide on GDS automated reporting




Pros

  • Google Data Studio is free of cost.

  • Unlike most popular BI tools like Power BI, Tableau, etc, Data Studio is designed from the ground up as a cloud-based service. It is a completely managed service and the user doesn't have to manage any kind of infrastructure or installation.

  • It can integrate seamlessly with Google applications like Google Analytics, Big Query, Google Sheets, etc.

Cons

  • There is no support for Excel.

  • There is no built-in method to keep a dashboard real-time updated or report view auto refreshed.

  • Though it is easy to set basic visualizations, it isn't as flexible and customizable as other BI tools like Tableau.

Qlik Sense


Qlik Sense is a BI and visual analytics software that supports a range of analytics use-cases. It sets the benchmark for third-generation analytics platforms, empowering everyone in organizations to make data-driven decisions.

The Qlik Sense system offers data visualization and discovery for individuals and teams. Its data discovery tool helps businesses of all sizes explore simple and complex data and find all possible associations in their datasheets.


Pros

  • Qlik Insight bot and AI researchers are brilliant and it gives information as per their thoughts.

  • Product reports have millions of lines in the dataset. It searches very fast and gets any report in detail.

  • Unlike other BI tools, it helps send notifications of market fluctuations and even interactions between users.


Cons

  • There is no option for report delivery. The extensions need to be certified by Qlik so that the user can use them with no worries.

  • It is good for simple analytics. However, it is not that easy with predictive data, that is to set up "what if" scenarios. Same with advanced statistical analysis and custom stuff.

  • Users feel it's complicated to code the equation on this tool.


Domo


Domo is a completely cloud-based business intelligence platform that integrates multiple data sources, including spreadsheets, databases, and social media.

Domo is used by both small companies and large multinationals.


Pros

  • Has a strong, user-friendly, useful mobile application as well.

  • User-friendly with features like mentioning or assigning people (using @), creating private chats, or annotating.

  • Domo takes on-premise data, moves into their cloud, fetches information regularly, and moves that data up to the cloud. Feeding amazing dashboards.

  • Domo has a variety of connectors, including Google sheets, so all data can be inputted and correlated across a company.

Cons

  • It's difficult to extract data from Domo.

  • Domo is very costly compared to other BI tools. It costs around $42/user/month.

  • Linking applications is a major task.

  • Lacks some basic features like being able to edit the copy of a report without altering the original. Doesn’t have a visualization wizard as well.


Sisense


Sisense provides even the most non-technical user with the ability to access data and build interactive dashboards and BI (business intelligence) reports.

It pinpoints the best visualization for the data such as geographical maps, gauges to measure KPIs, line charts to determine trends, etc.

It also enables the user to customize the dashboard layout with drag-and-drop features to place each widget exactly where the user wants for optimal representation.


Pros

  • Updated frequently.

  • Runs smoothly even with large data sets.

  • Sisense's Elasticube allows users to take data snapshots. When users copy their data into the online Elasticube, users can take snapshots of their data to comply with their life-cycle analysis requirements.

  • Customization possible and easy with JavaScript.

  • Its dashboards are designed with good widgets, varied chart types, informative KPI, and metrics views.

Cons

  • The Elasticube isn't that user-friendly and requires a lot of technical expertise.

  • In terms of the amount of space and resources taken up by the tool, Sisense is a heavy application.

  • Sisense doesn't publish its pricing on its website, so the user could not know how much it costs without contacting them.

  • Some users have found Advanced SQL to be slowing down the platform.

  • Tech support has been reported to be not satisfactory.


Zoho Analytics


Zoho Analytics is a self-service BI and data analytics software that lets users visually analyze our data, create stunning data visualizations and discover hidden insights in minutes.


This tool is used in multiple departments, including sales, marketing, HR, finance, etc. The system includes various reports to provide real-time visibility into various aspects of the business.


Pros

  • It has a fluent user interface.

  • It is easy to set up links to 3rd party software.

  • It has various types of graphical representation, including the tunnel graph.


Cons

  • Inability to share data and reports with other storage platforms.

  • The AI aspect of the tool isn’t at par with its contemporaries.

  • The data Ingestion process needs to be smooth. Sometimes the process crashes and stalls.

  • Query joining has a limitation of 5.

  • Dashboard alignments feel a little off.


IBM Cognos


IBM Cognos Business Intelligence is a web-based integrated BI suite by IBM.

It provides a toolset for reporting, analytics, score carding, and monitoring of events and metrics. The software consists of various components designed to meet the different information requirements in a company.





Pros

  • This tool is excellent for table reporting.

  • Easily customizable. Easy to use.

  • Secure and Governed Data.

  • Cognos 11 comes with all the latest features expected in a BI tool, the graph generation, story building as well as predictions.

Cons

  • Occupies a lot of space.

  • AI component is not very promising.

  • Slow server response time with inefficient Debugging.

  • Creating reports seems complicated and unreliable


SAS BI


SAS BI (Business Intelligence) is a cloud-based enterprise analysis tool that helps users monitor metrics and manages interactive reports.

Its data visualization module enables users to perform automated analysis and create interactive visuals facilitating business performance. It lets the team spot corrections and makes improvements based on risk assessments.


It comes with additional features such as statistical simulation, association discovery, web services, multiple data sources, metadata management, etc.


Pros

  • SAS syntax is very easy to learn.

  • SAS is a very comprehensible language and therefore it's easy to debug.

  • Developers thoroughly test and analyze the algorithm implemented in the SAS program.

Cons

  • It lacks graphic representation. It does not have vivid descriptive plots, graphs, and diagrams.

  • Text Minting is difficult.

  • SAS is not open-source. It works in a close environment.




The potential of cloud BI is staggering. Enterprises are migrating to the cloud and are already enjoying the benefits, such as lowered cost, increased deployment speed, and ease of use. Cloud applications boast computing power equivalent to on-premise applications.

Cloud BI has the potential to become a lynchpin in the analytic and BI strategies of enterprises including self-service BI, by providing end-users with real-time access to business-critical data.

It would be only fair to say that cloud BI tools have emerged as the future of technologies.