Solutions Review’s listing of the best business intelligence software for retail is an annual mashup of products that best represent current market conditions, according to the crowd. Vendors are assessed if they have a dedicated offering designed for professionals in this industry.
The editors at Solutions Review have developed this resource to assist buyers in search of the best business intelligence software for retail to fit the needs of their organization and use case. Choosing the right vendor and solution can be a complicated process — one that requires in-depth research and often comes down to more than just the solution and its technical capabilities. To make your search a little easier, we’ve profiled the best business intelligence software for retail providers all in one place. We’ve also included links to each company’s industry-specific product pages so you can learn more.
Note: The best business intelligence software for retail is listed in alphabetical order.
The Best Business Intelligence Software for Retail
Alteryx is a self-service data analytics software company that specializes in data preparation and data blending. Alteryx Analytics allows users to organize, clean, and analyze data in a repeatable workflow. Business analysts find this tool particularly useful for connecting to and cleansing data from data warehouses, cloud applications, spreadsheets and other sources. The platform features tools to run a variety of analytic jobs (predictive, statistical, spatial) inside a single interface.
Amazon QuickSight is a serverless and embeddable business intelligence service for the cloud featuring built-in machine learning. The product lets you create and publish interactive BI dashboards that can be queried using natural language. It can automatically scale to thousands of users without any infrastructure. QuickSight also touts pay-per-session pricing so customers only pay when users access dashboards or reports. Dashboards can be accessed from any device.
AnswerRocket offers a search-powered data analytics platform designed for business users. The product enables you to ask business questions in natural language, and no technical skills are needed to run reports or generate analysis. AnswerRocket features a combination of AI and machine learning, as well as advanced analytic functionality. The platform can also automate manual tasks and answer ad hoc questions quickly. AnswerRocket is mobile-friendly and includes native voice recognition.
BOARD combines business intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics into one platform. As a result, any change to data, data models, security profiles or business rules is immediately propagated to every application. The solution provides all the tools required to create and update databases, data presentations, analyses, and process models. The company also offers BOARD Cloud, a SaaS version of the platform, backed by Microsoft Azure.
Domo is a cloud-based, mobile-first BI platform that helps companies drive more value from their data by helping organizations better integrate, interpret and use data to drive timely decision-making and action across the business. The Domo platform enhances existing data warehouse and BI tools and allows users to build custom apps, automate data pipelines, and make data science accessible for anyone across the organization through automated insights that can be easily shared with internal or external stakeholders.
Hitachi’s Pentaho analytics platform allows organizations to access and blend all types and sizes of data. The product offers a range of capabilities for big data integration and data preparation. The Pentaho platform is purpose-built for embedding into and integrating with applications, portals, and processes. Organizations can embed a range of analytics, including visualizations, reports, ad hoc analysis, and tailored dashboards. It also extends to third-party charts, graphs and visualizations via an open API for a wider selection of embeddable analytics.
IBM offers an expansive range of BI and analytic capabilities under two distinct product lines. The Cognos Analytics platform is an integrated self-service solution that allows users to access data to create dashboards and reports. IBM Watson Analytics offers a machine learning-enabled user experience that includes automated pattern detection, support for natural language query and generation, and embedded advanced analytics capabilities. IBM’s BI software can be deployed both on-prem or as a hosted solution via the IBM Cloud.
Looker offers a BI and data analytics platform that is built on LookML, the company’s proprietary modeling language. The product’s application for web analytics touts filtering and drilling capabilities, enabling users to dig into row-level details at will. Embedded analytics in Powered by Looker utilizes modern databases and an agile modeling layer that allows users to define data and control access. Organizations can use Looker’s full RESTful API or the schedule feature to deliver reports by email or webhook.
Microsoft is a major player in enterprise BI and analytics. The company’s flagship platform, Power BI, is cloud-based and delivered on the Azure Cloud. On-prem capabilities also exist for individual users or when power users are authoring complex data mashups using in-house data sources. Power BI is unique because it enables users to do data preparation, data discovery, and dashboards with the same design tool. The platform integrates with Excel and Office 365, and has a very active user community that extends the tool’s capabilities.
MicroStrategy merges self-service data preparation and visual data discovery in an enterprise BI and analytics platform. MicroStrategy provides out-of-the-box gateways and native drivers that connect to any enterprise resource, including databases, mobile device management (MDM) systems, enterprise directories, cloud applications, and physical access control systems. Its embedded analytics tool allows MicroStrategy to be embedded in other web pages and applications such as portals, CRM tools, chatbots, and even voice assistants like Alexa.
Oracle offers a broad range of BI and analytics tools that can be deployed on-prem or in the Oracle Cloud. The company provides traditional BI capabilities inside its Business Intelligence 12c solution. Oracle Data Visualization provides more advanced features and allows users to automatically visualize data as drag-and-drop attributes, charts, and graphs. The tool also enables users to save snapshots of an analytical moment-in-time via story points.
Pyramid Analytics offers data and analytics tools through its flagship platform, Pyramid v2020. The solution touts a server-based, multi-user analytics OS environment that provides self-service capabilities. Pyramid v2020 features a platform-agnostic architecture that allows users to manage data across any environment, regardless of technology. The tool enables those users to prepare, model, visualize, analyze, publish, and present data from web browsers and mobile devices.
Qlik offers a broad spectrum of BI and analytics tools, which is headlined by the company’s flagship offering, Qlik Sense. The solution enables organizations to combine all their data sources into a single view. The Qlik Analytics Platform allows users to develop, extend and embed visual analytics in existing applications and portals. Embedded functionality is done within a common governance and security framework. Users can build and embed Qlik as simple mashups or integrate within applications, information services or IoT platforms.
The Salesforce Einstein Analytics platform is available in a number of flavors based on role, industry and included features. The product’s automated data discovery capabilities enable users to answer questions based on transparent and understandable AI models. Users can also tailor analytics to their use case and enhance insights with precise recommendations and specific guidance. Einstein lets you create advanced experiences using customizable templates, third-party apps, or custom-build dashboards as well.
SAP offers a broad range of BI and analytics tools in both enterprise and business-user driven editions. The company’s flagship BI portfolio is delivered via on-prem (BusinessObjects Enterprise), and cloud (BusinessObjects Cloud) deployments atop the SAP HANA Cloud. SAP also offers a suite of traditional BI capabilities for dashboards and reporting. The vendor’s data discovery tools are housed in the BusinessObjects solution, while additional functionality, including self-service visualization, are available through the SAP Lumira tool set.
SAS Visual Analytics is available on-prem or in the cloud. Visual Analytics allows users to visually explore data to automatically highlight key relationships, outliers, and clusters. Users can also take advantage of advanced visualizations and guided analysis through autocharting. SAS has made its name as a result of advanced analytics, as the tool can ingest data from diverse data sources and handle complex models. In addition to BI, SAS offers data management, IoT, personal data protection, and Hadoop tools.
Sigma Computing offers a no-code business intelligence and analytics solution designed for use with cloud data warehouses. The product features an intuitive, spreadsheet-like user interface that provides users with the familiarity of Excel. Guided data warehouse access ensures that data remains secure, compliant, and in context. When users take action in Sigma, it automatically translates them into SQL. All queries are run live against the cloud data warehouse, and the results are passed back to Sigma.
Sisense makes it easy for organizations to reveal business insight from complex data in any size or format. The product allows users to combine data and uncover insights in a single interface without scripting, coding or assistance from IT. Sisense is sold as a single-stack solution with a back end for preparing and modeling data. It also features expansive analytical capabilities and a front-end for dashboarding and visualization. Sisense is most appropriate for organizations that want to analyze large amounts of data from multiple sources.
Tableau offers an expansive visual BI and analytics platform and is widely regarded as the major player in the marketplace. The company’s analytic software portfolio is available through three main channels: Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, and Tableau Online. Tableau connects to hundreds of data sources and is available on-prem or in the cloud. The vendor also offers embedded analytics capabilities, and users can visualize and share data with Tableau Public.
Tellius offers a search and AI-powered data analytics platform. The product features a proprietary Genius AI Engine that is designed to allow business users to ask questions about their data. Tellius has natural language processing that interacts with users in plain language and creates narratives alongside data visualizations as well. The tool can also provide personalized recommendations by anticipating needs and automatically offering related insights and suggestions. Tellius is built on the Apache Spark distributed architecture.
ThoughtSpot is heavily influenced by artificial intelligence and automation. While it may seem complex, ease of use is a strength of the product. It features a full-stack architecture and intuitive insight generation capabilities via the in-memory calculation engine. A distributed cluster manager provides customizable scaling options, and support for existing ETL solutions ensures proper connectivity to desired data sources. ThoughtSpot Embrace allows you to run search and AI analytics directly in existing databases and supports Google Cloud Storage.
TIBCO’s product capabilities are expansive and range from data integration and API management to visual analytics, reporting, and data science. The company’s BI and analytics portfolio comes in two main iterations: TIBCO Spotfire and TIBCO Jaspersoft. TIBCO Spotfire is the company’s more modern platform. It features interactive visualization, data preparation, enterprise-class governance, and advanced analytic capabilities. TIBCO Jaspersoft supports traditional reporting and embedded BI functionality.
Yellowfin is an Australia-based BI and analytics company that specializes in dashboards and data visualization. Its platform features a machine learning algorithm called Assisted Insights that provides automatic answers in the form of easy-to-understand best practice visualizations and narratives. Yellowfin comes pre-built with a variety of dashboards, and users can embed interactive reports into third-party platforms, such as a web page, wiki, or company intranet. The company also offers native apps for mobile devices.