How to choose the right modern BI and Analytics tool for your business?

We highlight Top 5 Business Intelligence Tools as suggested by Gartner and ask critical questions that can help organizations make better and informed decisions.

As per a recent study by Gartner entitled “The Future of Decisions”, 53% of respondents agree that there is a higher expectation for them to justify or explain their decision. Further, 65% of respondents agree that making decisions has become more complex now, compared to 2 years ago. It can thus, be concluded that organizations are becoming increasingly data-centric, which in turn is driving increasing demand for modern Business Intelligence and Data Analytics (BI) platforms.

Data generation and consumption patterns have transformed over the past few years. Analytics & Business Intelligence is evolving rapidly from simply “What happened” viewpoint to “Why it happened” and “What must I do in future” endpoints. It’s no longer enough to churn out reports and publish them to users in the hope that users will be able to find answers in those reports. Traditional BI architectures do not lend themselves seamlessly to modern data generation, consumption, and publishing requirements. Hence, the need for advanced Analytics and BI platforms and tools.

Analytics & BI Platform Definition

Analytics and Business Intelligence platforms allow people with minimal technical knowledge – including businesspeople, to analyze, model, share, explore, manage data, and collaborate findings.

Analytics & BI platforms can optionally include the capability of creating, modifying, and enriching a semantic model – featuring business rules. In the modern era, enterprise BI platforms put greater focus on visual-based self-service for end consumers – augmented by Artificial Intelligence to offer automated insights. If you are a business looking for seamless data analytics and actionable insights to make progressive and informed decisions, this is for you. Let’s check out the myriad benefits of BI that can propel your business to new heights.

Top Critical Analytics & BI Capabilities

  1. Security – To enable security, authentication, auditing of platforms, and administration of users.
  2. Governance – For tracking usage and managing the creation of information -right from prototype to production.
  3. Cloud-enabled Analytics – Building, deploying, and managing analytics in the cloud -depending on data on-premises and the cloud.
  4. Data Source Connectivity – Allowing users to connect while leveraging data in different storage platforms.
  5. Data Preparation – Delivering support for a user-centric, drag-and-drop combination of data from multiple sources along with the creation of analytical models.
  6. Data Catalog – Displaying content to make it simpler to observe and consume.
  7. Automated Insights -Ability to make use of ML or Machine Learning techniques towards automatically generating insights for end users.
  8. Data Visualization – Supporting highly interactive dashboards along with exploring data through understanding chart images.
  9. Natural Language Query – Allowing users to query data with terms either spoken or typed in the search box.
  10. Data Storytelling – Generating new styles of data stories depending on the ongoing monitoring of observations.
  11. Natural Language Generation – Automatic creation of descriptions that are linguistically rich and found in data.
  12. Reporting – Offering pixel-perfect, paginated, and parameterized reports that can be scheduled.

These capabilities have become prominent themes for better business decisions and consequent Roi. Hence, research results on enterprise BI and analytics software is a much-anticipated event. And what better way than to check out Gartner’s magic quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms, 2022!

2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics & BI Platforms

We know the 4 standard quadrants of Gartner are – Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries, and Niche Players. Let’s look at the leading vendors in each category for Analytics & BI platforms.

  1. Leaders
    • Microsoft Power BI
    • Salesforce
    • Qlik
  2. Challengers
    • Google Looker
    • Domo
  3. Visionaries
    • ThoughtSpot
    • SAP Analytics Cloud
    • Oracle Analytics Cloud
    • Sisense
  4. Niche Players
    • Amazon Web Services
    • MicroStrategy
    • Alibaba Cloud

To know more about these leading players in the Analytics for Business Intelligence tech space, check out this video

Selecting the right BI and Analytics Tool utilizing industry best practices

Effective decision-making in today’s business needs to be collaborative, connected, contextual and continuous to drive effective business outcomes. Thus, choosing the right BI analytics platform is the first step toward doing so.

Choosing the most relevant and customized Analytics & BI platform is a difficult task, however, the following points can help you make the right decision that fulfills all your requirements.

  1. Define your requirements for the right Analytics & BI tool

  2. Run a Business Intelligence applications review – If you are an existing BI platform user, it is very important to take a complete inventory of your BI & Analytics landscape along with complete use cases. You must map interdependencies, data volume, databases, costs, licenses, technology vendors, other critical IT systems’ compliance requirements, etc. in your current analytics framework to facilitate the identification of specific requirements from your new analytics & BI tool.

  3. Focus on data and analytics strategy – Whether you are an existing BI tool user or a beginner, a clear Data and Analytics strategy can help you in choosing the right BI tool. Your strategy must lead you to the right answer to questions such as-
    • Self-Service vs dedicated resources for analytics
    • Enterprise cloud stack
    • On-premises or SaaS solutions
    • In-memory or traditional databases
    • Focus on descriptive/predictive/prescriptive analytics
    • Specialized tools or all-in-one, etc.
    In addition to the above questions, you must also include your Data Fabric and Data Catalogue initiatives in the data and analytics strategy document

  4. User community – Your existing user community will be an important stakeholder when deciding on the next Analytics and BI tool. Following inputs can be crucial in your choice of the next Analytics & BI tool
    • The number of users
    • End-use cases
    • Required support
    • Existing technology competence
    • Training requirements
    • Willingness to adapt to different technology, etc.

  5. License negotiations – As tools have evolved, licenses have become more complex. If you are on S/4 HANA, then you may like to check if you got SAP Cloud Analytics licenses bundled with your S/4 HANA licenses. If you have more than 500 end users, then tools such as PowerBI provide licenses at fixed fees for unlimited users which can offer significant savings. Your license procurement team is an important ally to create the right strategy and define requirements to determine which licenses are best suited for your requirements

It is tricky to choose the right tool that fits your specific organizational requirements. Companies must remember that the CIO or IT team is not solely responsible for choosing the right Analytics & BI tool. A cross-functional team comprising technology teams, core end-user team, procurement, and top management are the perfect stakeholders to define the right strategy and lay down a complete tool evaluation methodology.

Future of Analytics & BI Platforms

The future of Analytics & BI or Business Intelligence automation platforms can be analyzed on the following grounds:

  • The efficiency of reporting, visualization, self-service, connectivity, data preparation, and automated insights capabilities
  • Data integration tools and connectivity amongst different systems
  • Requirement of extra licenses to migrate data out of ERP or DWH systems
  • Willingness to use different tools for reporting, planning, and augmented analytics software
  • Frequency of loads and data volume
  • Requirement of big data for analytical consumption
  • Governance, security, and administration of the selected platform


Business success has always depended on critical business decisions. The difference today is, that there are enormous amounts of data generated that may be structured, non-structured, and so on. To arrive at a plausible decision implies accounting for all the data generated, which is an incredibly difficult thing to do.

Hence, to say that the building blocks of success of a company are the efficient use of analytics and business intelligence tools, would not be wrong. What must be grasped is that every business may have unique analytics requirements, and, hence, there is no one-size-fits-all platform. Companies requiring Analytics & BI tooling or solutions must invest in the best and well-suited platform while also consulting with the internal Analytics & BI teams.

There are several competitors in the market. To select the right platform, alongside checking out the list of considerations mentioned above, you must compare the most popular players in the market. Check out this video,to find a comprehensive comparison of the top Analytics and BI players and platfo

Need Support?

Over the past 17 years, Techwave Analytics Services provides advisory services to help you define your unique data & analytics roadmap. As a competent system integrator, we also provide strong implementation and managed services experience with modern BI tools such as PowerBI, Qlik, Tableau, etc.