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What are Business Intelligence tools?

First, let’s start by defining what is business intelligence (BI)

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Business intelligence (BI) is all about putting your data to efficient use, so that you can make data-driven decisions. BI empowers organizations to make decisions based on data rather than assumptions.

Best business Intelligence tools are equipped with modern technologies such as AI and ML, which helps you transform data into actionable insights without spending much effort. Business intelligence tools help in converting raw data into meaningful insights in a way that you can understand, use, and share, to improve your business operations.

Why shouldyou chooseBI tool for your business?


Analyze business performance

Measure and monitor your business performance in depth, advanced data analytics technologies and generate actionable insights.


Better understand your data

Understand what your business data is telling you with data visualizations, and identify underlying trends and outliers in quick time.


Grow your business

Scale your business to the next level by forecasting business growth, make timely decisions, and plan or revisit your strategies with powerful BI tools.

How to choose the best BI tool: Key features to consider

Gather data from multiple sources

Gather data from multiple sources

Data can be anywhere—in the form of files, web feed URLs, databases (both on-premise and in the cloud), business apps, and more. With our best business intelligence software, you can connect with data from 250+ data sources.

Visualize data and discover hidden insights

Visualize data and discover hidden insights

A good BI software allows you to visualize data in myriad ways. There are so many options to choose from—chart types, color palettes, widgets, themes, and fonts, among others.

Analyze and measure on your own

Analyze and measure on your own

Data is seen as a democratized commodity across organizations now. While a department can own the data, everyone across an organization needs access to it, to analyze it for their own requirements. With a best business intelligence software like Zoho Analytics, it’s easy to self-serve insights for any BI reporting need.

Share reports and collaborate with the team

Share reports and collaborate with the team

Collaborate with your peers and clients easily by sharing reports and dashboards with them. With fine-grained access control, manage visibility and accessibility to insights, and also contextual collaborations with data visualzations

Augment analytics with AI

Augment analytics with AI

Till recently, AI wasn't an essential feature for BI software. But AI assisted by technologies like machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP), is becoming a must-have, as it assists users to generate reports and insights more readily.BI tools like Zoho Analytics comes equipped with these modern technologies associated with augmented analytics, to help you find relevant insights in shortest possible time.

Access BI on the go

Access BI on the go

Accessing your BI software from any device is a necessity. This allows you to be up-to-date, wherever you are. Best business intelligence tools enable access to reports and dashboards from your device of choice through immersive mobile BI apps.

Building blocks of BI software


Gather data from multiple sources


Prepare your data


Visualize through collaboration


Share the visualizations

Who uses business intelligence (BI) software?

BI software can be used by anyone who wants to analyze data. However, it’s the management side of an organization which uses it the most. From managers, all the way up to the CEO and founders of a company, BI software helps users take informed decisions based on data.

    Business types
  • Small and Medium Businesses

    There was a time when BI software was expensive, and was used only by large enterprises. But Cloud Business Intelligence (BI) software solutions today are very much affordable for small and medium businesses (SMBs). SMBs increasingly take advantage of this fact, and use BI solutions on the cloud

  • Large Businesses

    As the saying goes, "data is the new oil." Large enterprises use Business Intelligence (BI) analytics software to continuously mine and analyze data from across the applications and databases they use.

  • Departments
  • Sales

    How is the sales pipeline looking for the next few months? Who are my top and bottom performing sales reps? Which regions and products should I concentrate on to maximize profits? Sales managers can answer these questions with sales analytics using BI software solutions.​

  • Marketing

    Marketing professionals run many marketing campaigns across many channels. How effective each of these campaigns are, how marketing metrics like page views to visitors to sign ups are doing, the top five performing regions, products, and services—these are all questions that marketers want answers to. Find answers to these questions with marketing analytics.

  • Finance

    Looking beyond the balance sheet, cash flow, and profit and loss statements, smart finance professionals right to the CFO level, now ask deep questions of their financial data. Financial analytics provides insightful answers to those questions.

  • Human Resources & Recruitment

    HR managers need to be on top of the number of people being recruited, those leaving the organization, effective workforce utilization, productivity trends, and more. Recruitment agencies need to monitor metrics like the average time for filling job positions, selection ratio, cost incurred per hire, offer acceptance rate, and which sourcing funnels are effective.

  • Project management

    Project managers need to track and monitor tasks, timesheets, and billing information to measure whether the ROI is effective or not. With project management analytics, it is straightforward to track all these metrics and ensure that the project is on the right track.

  • Operations

    Operational—or admin—expenses form an important part of any organization's balance sheet. CFOs need to always keep a tab on admin expenses, as any leakage here will harm the company's performance.

Benefits of using BI tools

Why do businesses use BI software? Why should you use a BI tool? Let’s look at some of the benefits:

Crunch large quantities of data

Whether it is gigabytes or petabytes, crunch your raw data into interpretable graphic reports.

Optimize business operations

Optimize your business methods and processes, based on the visualizations you generate.

Visualize any data

Create visualizations for any type of data with the help of data visualization software in just a few clicks by just dragging and dropping.

Grow your business

Identify growth areas for your business which geographical regions to concentrate on, which products or categories can bring in more growth, and more.

Single version of truth

Get one complete view of your data, instead of multiple segmented spreadsheets floating around.

Actionable insight

Pinpoint the cause of problems, and find the subsequent actions you have to take to fix them.

Cut expenses

Identify where unnecessary expenses are making your business bleed, and stop them.