For any business, data and data interpretation plays a crucial role. There are many key learnings about a business hidden in the data, which needs to be interpreted in the right way. To do so, there are data visualization tools.
The search for the right data visualization software is a tiring one. Data, unless used in the right manner can become burdensome really quickly and to do so a good data visualization software is needed. With countless business intelligence and analytics software tools in the market, it becomes difficult to differentiate, compare and analyze all of them.
That is why we have compiled a list of some of the top data visualization tools in this article.
What is Business Intelligence and Data Visualization Software?
But first, let’s begin with understanding what exactly is data visualization software. Data visualization software or dashboard tools interpret numbers and information, translates it into a visual approach by converting it into charts, tables, graphs and more. It’s, therefore, no surprise that we prefer colors, objects and images more than numbers and that’s why data visualization tools do what they do.
They convert large data inputs and present it in a graphical medium to help businesses make data-driven decisions faster and more efficiently. The data visualization software is often integrated with an underlying system that feeds it the data to be analyzed, reported and measured against KPIs to translate it in a visual manner.
This makes understanding difficult concepts or hard to interpret data easier. It relies on input through the integrated system or software in order for it to translate and present the data in a visual manner.
Why Does My Business Need Data Visualization Software
There are many reasons as to why we should make use of data visualization software and data analytics software. The most important one is easy and quick comprehension of data, also known as data analytics. The cohesive and easily interpreted translation of data enables businesses to act on it quickly. Analyzing statistics and information in a graphical format shortens the decision-making time. It also helps identify and recognize patterns that are otherwise difficult to pinpoint.
There are certain parameters that are easy to identify and group together when presented in a visual form, as opposed to a numerical or textual manner. Data visualizations can aid in spotting problems or trends before they catch on. When represented graphically, pitfalls are easier to discover and act upon and in a similar fashion, trends are easier to spot. Acting fast on trends or possible discrepancies can affect the bottom line and make all the difference in running a business.
One underrated benefit of data visualization is the ease of communication that it provides, whether internal or external. The visual cues provided by data visualization tools make communication of data and insights easier between internal and external consumers. For businesses with various teams, this reduces the chances of misinterpretation and makes internal communication easier and more efficient.
Common Misperceptions Of Data Visualization Tools
A common misperception is that you need big data in order to benefit from data visualization. On the contrary, any sized business, from a one-person shop to a mega-enterprise can benefit from business intelligence software and analytics software to glean insights from your source data. The key is to have important data to visualize, it doesn’t have to be tons of it.
A data visualization tool provides the right balance between effective communication and visual representation and in doing so makes it easier for businesses to operate and manage key factors. It allows your business to be data driven.
What Is The Best Software For Data Visualization?
In order to help with the research and comparison process for the right data visualization software, we’ve pulled together a list of the best data visualization tools based on research and reviews by existing users. The unbiased reviews that you, our readers, contribute will help understand the data visualization tools better and help with studying the key differences between them.
We like to caution that any list of the top data visualization tools or best visualization software is missing one key ingredient and that is your user requirements. Without understanding more of your use case, such as the type of analysis your business needs to do, specific visualization methods you need, your pricing constraints, the advanced and key features you need from a solution, any list is just a research tool.
So our concept of best data visualization tools is not just the ones that are the best in making money, or best in size, or best in marketing and industry analyst press and coverage. But it’s the ones that we feel are best for the common use cases of data visualization in terms of functionality, features, cost, and total cost of ownership. This includes modern software, tools that are actively developed, visualizations much be interactive, they must be simple to create, ideally offer real-time data analysis. We have looked at demos of traditional and newer visualization tools and while not all made this list, at a later date we will list more in a secondary list of data visualization software options.
Choosing a visualization tool is tough, so without further ado, here is a list of our 8 best data visualization tools for businesses today. Without a doubt, Tableau and Power BI tops our data visualization list, but there are many other options to choose from.
Learn more about the types of visualization solutions available and find the one that may be the best visualization software for your business.
Note: There are micro-niches within the category of data visualization that you can also check out. Please see our reviews of best free data analytics software, best open source bi software, best enterprise BI tools, and best self service BI solutions.
1. Tableau Server
Tableau is an industry-leading data visualization tool that can help people and organizations become more data-driven.
With an integrated platform that's easy to launch and scale, Tableau can support the entire analysis process, from preparing data to in-depth analysis and sharing information that drives your business.
The Tableau platform provides the breadth and depth of functionality your business needs and adapts to your environment with unmatched flexibility and choice while meeting the most demanding governance and security requirements.
People like to use Tableau because it's powerful and intuitive. The industry has the most enthusiastic user community with over 80,000 customers and is committed to customer-centric innovation.
Deploy the most meaningful way for your organization, whether on-premises or in the cloud, Windows or Linux, while integrating with existing security and authentication protocols. Provide regulated data access and facilitate sharing and collaboration with data, dashboards, and information—all with scalability and security requirements. Automate processes and workflows, manage content, define access rights for individual users and groups, and ensure accurate information.
Strengths of Tableau
Data Visualizations. The key strength of Tableau by far is it's ability to work with data and create data visualizations. They excel in this area in both features and functionality. They have a large collection of visualization types and an interface that allows a person familiar with the software to easily drag and drop and create visualizations from a data set.
Partner Eco-system. Being a leader in the industry, it is easy to find someone that is involved with Tableau in some form of fashion. Just do a search on any job site for the term Tableau and you will find a lot of users that have worked with it. More importantly, there is a large number of consultants and solution providers that have expertise in Tableau to help with your deployment and projects. And there are also a lot of technical partnerships so you will find many integrations or 3rd party tools.
Integrations. If you have data somewhere, odds are that Tableau can connect and community with it. Tableau can work with databases, APIs, spreadsheets, native integrations with many cloud services and more.
Reputation/Stability. You don't have to worry about Tableau going out of business, partly because they have already been acquired by Salesforce and you don't have to worry about Salesforce going out of business. Tableau is the "safe" choice for any business to make.
Weaknesses of Tableau
Salesforce. We mentioned the acquisition of Tableau by Salesforce in the strengths section above, and primarily it is a strength. But on the flip side, when you now have a parent company with a different agenda, who knows what may come in the future. One expectation is that Tableau will have much tighter integration into the Salesforce and Force.com environment, does that mean more focus on the subscription and cloud aspects of Tableau and less on the Server and Desktop components? There is no indication that is the case but only time will tell.
Intimidating for non-technical users. A common complaint from many businesses that purchase Tableau is the lack of adoption by their business users. Technical and data analysts love the power of Tableau, but the interface with a lot of features, bells, and whistles can be intimidating for users that are not comfortable using modern software. At the end of the day, the reason you buy data visualization and business intelligence software is so that business users such as executives, marketing, sales, and non-technical employees, partners, and customers can leverage data to make decisions. If they are not adopting and using technology, is it worth the cost?
Cost on Scale. While many are initially attracted to the cost of Tableau for a small team or group, as you scale beyond 10+ employees, Tableau starts to get expensive compared to others in the industry. For many partners that are looking to embed tableau as a part of their existing solution, Tableau can be cost-prohibitive.
Small Fish/Big Pond. This refers to your ability to influence the company to adopt any feature requests or changes. While we mentioned the reputation and stability of Tableau as a strength above, from a customer perspective, no matter how big you are, you will be a small fish in the huge tableau pond. Don't expect to have any say so in the development and drive the roadmap of Tableau as you can from smaller up and coming BI tools.
Negotiations. This is a side effect of the small fish/big pond mentioned above. We have heard from many that Tableau just doesn't budge when it comes to negotiations on cost or changing terms and conditions. Why would they? In the world of supply and demand when they have a great product and the market drives people to them as the de facto industry leader, they are in the power position. Don't expect concessions from Tableau.
Total Cost of Ownership. While the initial software purchase may be affordable and reasonable, the acquisition of BI software is just the tip of the iceberg. Tableau, like many tools from the timeframe they launch (20+ year company), has a lot of baggage. Acquisition of multiple tools over time, multiple deployment models (desktop, server, cloud), and lots of integration points. All this adds up to complexity in implementation, upgrades, and keeping things running. This translates to technical resources needed. If you are using just their cloud product things are much easier to manage, but if you are looking into Tableau Server, or worse trying to save money by using the free Tableau desktop viewer, you are creating a change management cost for your organization.
Web Address https://www.tableau.com/
Founded Date 2003
HQ Location Seattle, WA
Tableau shifted to a subscription-based model in 2017 and is one of the few BI products to publically share pricing on their website. So far there has been no adjustment to pricing after the acquisition by Salesforce.com.
Tableau Server (as opposed to Tableau Public) has 3 main plans.
Tableau Viewer: $12 per user per month for an on-premise license and $15 per user per month for a cloud license.
Tableau Explorer: $35 per user per month for an on-premise license and $42 per user per month for a cloud license.
Tableau Creator: $70 per user per month, billed annually.
There also appears to be feature add-ons that cost extra, such as Data add-ons and Server add-ons that range from $3 to $5.50 per month per user.
Tableau doesn't share any public information on their OEM and embedded analytics pricing, but we have heard costs ranging from $5000 per year as a minimum for on-premise deployment costs which do not include license costs as described above.
If you have additional or updated pricing information, please leave a review to add to this information for future viewers.
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2. Microsoft Power BI
Power BI from Microsoft is a set of business analytics tools that analyze data and share information. Power BI dashboards give business users 360-degree views, delivering their most important metrics in one place, updated in real-time, and available on all their devices.
Dashboards make it easy to find answers through intuitive experiences, such as automated information and natural language queries. Creating panels is easy with hundreds of connections to popular business applications and comes with pre-designed panels to help you get up and running quickly.
The Power BI product pack lets you create, publish, share, and embed reports and visual interactive dashboards. Create and distribute content using the Power BI desktop for free. You can also access via a robust mobile app as well as embedding reporting and interactive visuals into your application.
Strengths of Power BI
Microsoft. One of the biggest strengths of Power BI is that it's a Microsoft product. Microsoft is the giant in the room when Microsoft shines its spotlight on something, it delivers and that is what it did to the business intelligence industry. Power BI is a relatively new product in the industry, but the number of resources and development that Microsoft poured into it, Power BI quickly jumped to the top of any BI software list. We don't see that level of intensity by Microsoft in this space to change, Power BI will be a force for many years to come.
Data Visualizations. Power BI builds on the visualization expertise of Microsoft Excel and brings all that into Power BI. They have a ton of visualizations that a user can choose from (although most will probably never be used). But if you like choice, it will be hard not to find the data visualization type you want in Power BI. For a technical user, it is also fairly easy to create data visualizations in Power BI. For simple use cases, it's a drag and drop application.
Integrations. A real strength of Power BI is its ability to integrate with data anywhere. Databases, cloud, APIs, flat files, and many native integrations with cloud services and other 3rd party tools. Power BI will fit into most environments without having to jump through hoops.
Resources. As much marketing and developing attention that Microsoft has poured into Power BI, you will find the same in terms of helpful resources. Not only does Microsoft provide a lot of knowledge bases, tutorials, and help on the product, you can do a simple google search to find a large number of videos on YouTube and web pages dedicated to the product. Due to the Microsoft partner eco-system, there are a lot of people willing to help you with your Power BI implementation and operations (for a fee of course).
Bundled Contracts. For many organizations, Microsoft is tossing Power BI in for free or a very low cost. If you are already a Microsoft shop, it doesn't cost a lot, if any for the software. In many cases, Power BI is used as a loss leader to get companies moved into the azure cloud where Microsoft can start to making recurring subscription fees with Power BI as the lever.
Weaknesses of Power BI
Architecture. There are a lot of moving parts with Power BI. Just taking a look at their website you may struggle to figure out which components you need. One of the big things required by many deployments of Power BI is to move your data into the Azure cloud in order to share or embed reports via the web. This requires a Power BI gateway. If you are staying local and leveraging the Power BI desktop there is the challenge of keeping software deployments up to date as Microsoft is updating the software frequently, so this could be a good use of that Microsoft software deployment software you have in place. With moving parts, there becomes complexity in doing upgrades, in security, in keeping things up and running and that all require a solid IT department with Microsoft trained resources, which leads us to the next weakness.
Cost of Ownership. This is the biggest weakness of Microsoft that is hidden in the initial cost of the software. Lots of users are attracted to the message of free or very low cost to adopt Power BI. But as with many Microsoft tools, the software comes with a team of IT resources or consultants to implement and keep it running. Power BI is no different, you will most likely need to dedicate some resources to be trained in the usage of the product (it's not as easy as Excel) and you will no doubt need that team of IT engineers to keep things patched and running. From a total cost of ownership perspective, unless you already have the teams and place and have resigned yourself to pay the cost to use Microsoft software, beware.
Skills Required. One of the biggest misconceptions with Power BI is that it's a user-friendly tool. For those with a technical bent, it is, but for most business users, just like they can barely get past the basics of Microsoft Excel, they won't get very far in Power BI. This means you will need a set of trained and highly skilled people to design and create the visualizations and dashboards in Power BI and then deploy them appropriately. There's something new to learn in Power BI to really get the most from it, DAX (Data Analytics Expressions) and it's like Excel syntax on steroids.
Software Embedding. Power BI talks a lot about it's embedded use case but they haven't quite figured out how to do it right. They have gone through about 4 different pricing models and most involve some sort of cost per view. It's very difficult for a software vendor to manage cost by how many people view a dashboard or reports, that is highly variable and that is something you don't want in a partner, a highly variable cost. Then they have the dedicated server model, but for even a reasonable load, that gets quickly into $20,000 per month and higher. Lastly, tie in the cost of ownership and architecture reasons above, if you don't already have your product in Azure, Power BI embedding is most likely not a good fit.
Web Address http://powerbi.microsoft.com
Founded Date 1975
HQ Location Redmond, WA
PowerBI is one of the few data visualization BI tools that publish pricing on their website. However, as with any Microsoft product, for existing large customers or high-value targets, Microsoft offers custom pricing, include providing Power BI for free due to existing contracts or renewals.
Power BI also comes free with certain version of their Office 365 platform, or at a reduced cost for education or government organizations.
Per their website, Power BI comes in 3 forms, desktop, pro, and premium. The desktop version is free, Pro starts at $9.99 per month per user, and Premium starts at $4,995 per month for a dedicated cloud server.
The OEM and embedded pricing model has changed over the years since the release of Power BI. Shifting from a per view or report render cost to more of a premium dedicated server cost that starts at $5000 per month for a smaller performance server.
If you have additional or updated pricing information, please leave a review to add to this information for future viewers.
Please leave your rating and feedback of the pros and cons below so that we can improve this listing.
Domo is a cloud-based platform designed to provide business-wide decision-makers with direct, simplified, real-time access to business data.
Domo has a bigger vision than just dashboards and business intelligence. Per their site, their mission is to become the company's operating system, digitally connecting all its employees, their data and systems, allowing them to collaborate better, make better decisions and increase efficiency directly from their phones.
Domo works with many of the world's leading and most progressive brands. A wide range of industries, including retail, media and entertainment, manufacturing, finance and more.
Strengths of Domo
Features. In our experience, we've never heard anyone say they didn't like Domo from a features and functionality perspective. Hey, this is a review site, if you differ with that, leave a review below. But Domo has a very nice dashboard user interface, it's intuitive, and people like it. There are some things that are not as easy such as data blending and generating ad-hoc data sets, but from a data visualization and interactive dashboard perspective, Domo is one of the best.
Integrations. Domo also has a great list of integrations with many of the major marketing, sales, and operational SaaS solutions. They also provide spreadsheet integration and while it adds considerably to the cost and the complexity, you are able to integrate with on-premise data sources (at a cost).
Company Presence. Domo has raised perhaps more money in the BI space other than Palantir with $689 million raised Pre-IPO. In June 2018 they became a publically traded company and have gone up and down and as of the end of 2019, they are considerably lower than their opening day price. The short of it, they are well funded and not going anywhere from a business perspective, but there are yellow flags. If we had to guess, I see a private equity buyout in the future of Domo or they get acquired by another huge giant in the SaaS industry (hint: Amazon, maybe Google to combine with Looker?) trying to tackle Microsoft or Salesforce (who acquired Tableau).
Weaknesses of Domo
Cost. The biggest weakness of Domo is the cost. They have changed their pricing models quite a bit of over the past few years and gone from pricing on their website to contact for quote a few times. Pricing seems to start reasonably for small teams, even with a free tier, but many important features such as data security come at a steep price of their enterprise level. They also have expensive professional services costs if you have data on-premise and need to set up their data bridge to their cloud. When pricing was public, plans were tiered on data refresh and number/size of data which is always scary when you have large amounts of data. Lastly, Domo doesn't have a huge partner network, so resources will come from Domo professional services mainly which again, is costly.
Cloud Only. Domo is going to copy your data into their cloud, whether it is on-premise or not. For many organizations that is a non-starter, but more importantly, it adds cost and complexity from an architectural perspective. If you're looking for a Cloud BI solution, this is a strength, not a weakness, but if you are anti 3rd party Cloud, Domo's not a fit.
Sales. As with any large and fast-growing organization, there will be aggressive sales in some cases, Domo is no exception. We've heard from many users in the past that it is near impossible to get a quote before going through a full sales presentation. We've heard from some users that they were given one price to start a 60-day trial and near the end of the trial received sticker shock of a higher price that made them feel that they wasted 60 days as the price was unmanageable. We've heard from others at yearly renewal they faced a steep price increase and was looking to move to a new solution with just 1-week to go. Our advice, be smart in research and negotiations.
Web Address: http://www.domo.com
Founded Date: 2010
HQ Location: American Fork, UT
Domo currently does not list pricing on their website, opting to request a contact for a personalized quote. Since their launch, Domo has explored various pricing models and have provided public pricing and removed it multiple times.
In the past, pricing has been around a Standard, Professional and Enterprise tier which is segmented by number of users, amount of data and refresh, and features ranging from security to administration options.
Past pricing included a Standard tier at $83 per month per user billed annually, Professional starting at $160 per month per user, and Enterprise at $190 per month per users. All plans have minimum user requirements and maximum (except enterprise which was unlimited users).
In addition to software costs, we have heard from users in the past of professional services costs that average around $25,000 per implementation.
Please leave a review and provide any additional price guidance you can share to help other readers researching Domo.
Please leave your rating and feedback of the pros and cons below so that we can improve this listing.
Yurbi provides growing companies the ability to connect their two biggest assets; the critical business data stored in databases and applications with the business users who need access.
Yurbi enables business users to create ad-hoc reports, dashboards, and to self-subscribe to scheduled reports of the data that is important to them without coding.
Yurbi empowers the IT team with data security tools to limit users to only the information they need to know and to provide auditing of data interactions.
Yurbi has all the benefits of a 100% web-based solution but is installed on-premise, behind an organization's firewall. There's no need to copy any data to the Cloud with Yurbi.
With a simple, configurable, and transparent pricing model, Yurbi is the dashboard and reporting solution for growing companies.
Strengths of Yurbi
Self-Service BI. Yurbi was designed with the business user in mind, not initially created for a highly technical resource and then retrofitted to be user-friendly. The biggest strength of Yurbi is the intuitiveness and attractiveness of its interface and the ease of use it provides its users. Yurbi provides a lot of power to users to interact and slice and dice data from a dashboard, report, or ad-hoc report building perspective. The ease of use also extends into the administration features which we get to next.
Security. While Yurbi has a focus on ease of use and self-service, it doesn't sacrifice security. Yurbi provides multiple layers of security from access control, role-based security, multi-tenant/data-level security. It also provides a complete audit and data governance feature that tracks every action and query within the platform. Similar to the ease of use for end-users, administrators are able to quickly establish security policies to ensure all users have access only to the reports and data they should.
Cost. Yurbi is a rare unicorn in the BI industry as it has accepted no VC funding and is completely bootstrapped. While this provides a weakness covered below, it also provides a key strength in that without all the extra overhead and cost of large sales and marketing teams, Yurbi passes that savings on to their customers. Yurbi tends to be a fraction of the cost of similarly featured products and is a must look for cost-conscious customers.
Weaknesses of Yurbi
Small Team. We mentioned cost being a strength due to the bootstrapped and scrappy mentality of the team behind Yurbi. That also introduces risk and is listed as the primary weakness of Yurbi. The software can support enterprise workloads, but as a small company, there is a very limit set of product expertise in terms of a partner ecosystem and support resources. On a positive note, you can have much more influence over product direction from Yurbi's small and agile development team but on the negative side, the addition of product features may be delayed due to that same small team and lack of resources. The key is to conduct a full trial and proof of concept to confirm the product can do what is needed for your organization and weight the cost savings versus the risk of working with a small business.
Lack of API querying. Yurbi is focused querying data from one or more databases or importing data via Microsoft Excel or CSV files, it does not have any pre-built integrations with popular SaaS APIs such as Google Analytics, Salesforce, Netsuite, and others. Yurbi is going to be the best fit for organizations that have data stored in databases they own and have access to.
Visualization Options. As a data visualization tool designed for business users, the Yurbi team has consciously limited the number of out of the box visualization types to a very core list. They include the standard options like bar, line, area, column, heat, and various KPI types, but they do not include any geographic mapping visualization types or exotic chart types such as spider or polar. If you have a very specific chart type in mind, you may want to confirm you can do it with Yurbi before spending a lot of research time.
Requires a Windows Server. Not a weakness for many, but if you are in the anti-windows camp, Yurbi will not be a good fit for you. Yurbi is delivered as on-premise software, meaning you download and install it on your server, in your private network. That can include cloud providers like Azure or AWS, but in all cases, it will require a Windows Server architecture as Yurbi is a .net/IIS based application. While they do mention they will host Yurbi for certain use cases, if you are not familiar with Windows Server management, Yurbi may not be a good fit.
HQ location: Henderson, NV
Yurbi currently has a contact us form up on their website pricing page. They indicate it's not an effort to hide pricing or force users into a high-pressure sales pitch, but to ensure users get the right price per their use case.
Over the years, Yurbi has been very transparent with pricing so there is data available on past numbers.
Yurbi has a variety of license types, including named user licenses ( $50 per month per user), concurrent user licenses ( $250 per month per user ) and public view report licenses ( $12 per month per user). An additional discount to pricing is provided on the number of licenses needed. In the past Yurbi has indicated that over 250 users were considered an Enterprise price.
One of the primary use cases for Yurbi is for white label and embedded analytics. Yurbi indicates there is a special pricing plan for software vendors looking for white label BI. This pricing starts at $5000 per month and is based on user tiers, where the tiers start with 25 users and quickly grow to handle large software vendor requirements.
Yurbi also has a specific model for software vendors that require the on-premise deployment of a white label version of Yurbi. Pricing is broken into a fixed price per month for a small, medium, or large instance of Yurbi where the exact number of users in each is defined per the software vendor discussions.
Yurbi has recently implemented a level of Premium Support that includes 5 hours of concierge-level support per month for an additional cost.
If you have additional or updated pricing information, please leave a review to add to this information for future viewers.
5. Qlik Sense
Qlik (formerly Qlikview) has been a leader in the BI tools space for many years. They launched their initial Qlikview product back in 1993. In 2014, Qlik launched a new self-service analytics tool, Qlik Sense.
Qlik Sense is a modern self-service analytics, driven discovery, and data literacy platform for all types of users in your organization. Qlik Sense support multiple use cases, from self-service discovery and visualization to guided analysis dashboards and applications, custom and integrated analytics, mobile analytics, and reporting.
Qlik Sense is provided in the cloud, via the Qlik Cloud as well as on-premise installation and support software vendors looking for embedded analytics.
Strengths of Qlik Sense
Associative Dashboards. This has been the staple of Qlik since the days of Qlikview. Qlik was the original innovator behind the concept of associative dashboards and Qlik Sense continue to leverage that technology to make data analysis at the dashboard layer very powerful.
Integrations. Qlik Sense has an extensive list of integrations and can connect to almost any data source imaginable. This includes out of the box connectors to databases, 3rd party applications, and the ability to integrate with cloud-based APIs (API integration only available in Enterprise tier).
Deployment Options. Qlik Sense supports both cloud-based deployments as well as on-premise based deployment. For organizations looking to leverage cloud-native microservices, Qlik Sense can support those use cases for a multi-cloud based implementation if needed.
Weaknesses of Qlik Sense
Too Many Options. Similar to Qlikview, Qlik Sense comes in many forms and architectures. There is the Qlik Sense Enterprise, Qlik Sense Business, Qlik Sense Desktop, Qlik Analytics Platform, Qlik Sense Mobile and while being available in so many deployment models is a strength, the weakness is the complexity of a business trying to figure out exactly what features and options are needed. With so many options it is easy to over-purchase or to purchase only to find an expensive upgrade is needed to get the feature that you expected.
Customization. For organizations that are looking to customize Qlik Sense for embedded analytics, it should be stated that a high skill level and a considerable amount of development resources will be required depending on the level of customization needed. End users will be able to easily know that you are leveraging Qlik as your reporting solution.
Scheduled Reports. Qlik Sense has no built-in scheduled report and notification feature to automatically generate reports for email or printing. They do offer an add-on at an additional cost to support this requirement and more importantly is only available as an add-on to their Enterprise tier which is more expensive.
Performance for Large Data Sets. Users of Qlik Sense have reported performance issues and sluggishness when dealing with large data sets. Qlik Sense does not have any specific caching features so working with large data sets largely requires sufficient resources on the desktop and relies on either the Qlik Sense Desktop or Web App interface to handle memory requirements.
Web Address https://www.qlik.com/us/products/qlik-sense
Founded Date 1993
HQ Location Radnor, PA
Qlik Sense is one of the rare data analytic vendors that provide transparent pricing on their website. Qlik Sense provides a tiered per-user model, with a Qlik Sense Business and Qlik Sense Enterprise offering ranging from $30 per month per user to $70 per month per user (both on an annual contract).
One of the most important differences between Business and Enterprise is that to leverage an API as a data source, Enterprise is required.
Another key limitation of the tiers is cloud storage, if you are using their cloud offering. The business tier has a lower amount of total storage, but also data refreshes and data source concurrency.
For software developers and vendors looking for embedded analytics, the Qlik Analytics Platform pricing is not transparent and requires you to contact sales.
Sisense is a business intelligence and data analytics software that provides agile solutions for organizations that process large, decentralized data.
A differentiator with Sisense is their unique chip technology which allows you to compact a large number of different data in seconds and add different data sources instantly when querying.
Sisense provides the ability to do data preparation. Data prep is automated and simplified, and users can easily explore complex data by asking ad hoc questions and receiving timely and accurate answers.
Sisense is very useful in big data situations and allows companies to get real information and value from complex data, without bottlenecks, different tools or expensive data consultants.
- Data preparation and ETL functionality
- Visual data management environment for managing complex data models
- Choose from dozens of stunning data display ways
- Web panel that can be accessed from any device or email/pdf reports
- Modern UI designed to guide users to best practices in data analysis
- Advanced stats and features for advanced users
Strengths of Sisense
Technology. Sisense brings something to the BI industry that not many other providers do, which is technical innovation. Specifically, they have a concept called Elasti-cube which is a high-performance analytic database designed to optimize querying and reporting for big data applications. One of the benefits of elasti-cube is that you can run it on standard hardware and still get the benefits of performance when analyzing big data compared to other vendors. This sets them in a unique place compared to other much larger Enterprise BI platforms.
Dashboards. In addition to technology, Sisense also brings a feature-rich and robust interface to leverage data into insights and data visualizations. Sisense has robust data visualization types, geo-mapping features, and many things to allow the slicing and dicing of data that is useful from a self-service BI perspective.
Money. Sisense is not a small player in the industry. They have zoomed to the top of many analyst documents and received a lot of positive press in the media. This has also come with a large investment from the venture capital community. Sisense has raised a total of $174 million since 2010 with the last round being a whopping $80 million in Sept 2018. At the pace they are marketing and growing, we expect another whopping round in 2018 per historical patterns.
Weaknesses of Sisense
Cost. Proprietary tech and large money raised by VC's also comes with a cost, and Sisense is not cheap. They don't advertise pricing on their website, but others have reporting pricing starting well in the $50k to $100k plus when factoring in software, implementation, and support costs. Beyond the cost of software, there is also the cost of ownership to support the software as would be expected when you are dealing with big data. Sisense markets itself as a potential solution for small to medium-sized businesses, but from a cost perspective, we feel it is a great value for Enterprise organizations or Medium-sized organizations with big data and ones that can use Sisense to help monetize that data. The cost of Sisense is prohibitive unless you have a real return on investment equation that shows you will make more money from the use of your data than the cost of the Sisense cost.
Architecture. While the concept of the Elasti-cube is great for big data environments, the implementation is not without complexity. Sisense is not as complex of an architect as many similar Enterprise BI vendors, in fact, compared to deployments of Business Objects, Oracle, and others, Sisense shines, but Sisense is not a plug-and-play technology when compared to many in the Self-Service BI tools space which Sisense also plays in. Per the discussion on software cost above, the cost of maintaining the architecture, support costs, upgrade and operations costs, also play a large role in a decision to select Sisense.
Support. When any company grows quickly, specifically via financial investment, there is a negative effect to support. The growth of knowledge and tenured support technicians doesn't match the curve of the growth in customer acquisition and implementation. The net result, unhappy customers. This is something that we have heard regarding Sisense support and logically it makes sense. Support is also more difficult when you have technology in complex environments and with Sisense when you are moving big data from the source into a proprietary performance-based database like the Sisense elasti-cube you can imagine there are very specific issues related to the customer environment that are hard to identify by the Sisense support staff (understandably so), but from a customer perspective, it's never their fault, it's the software's issue.
Sales. One of the more concerning trends we hear when it comes to Sisense is customers indicating that they were told specific things in the sales process that turned out not to be true. Product features that didn't work as described or implementation levels that were quoted too low and required the purchase of more hours to finish the deployment. In many cases, the customer was locked into a 2-year agreement (no doubt to reduce that cost described above), but they were looking into a way to get out of their contract and switch. There is no way this is a universal thing as there would be more complaints online, but no doubt some over-aggressive sales reps have been hired which causes these isolated issues. Again logically when a company has such a high growth acceleration rate and infusion of investment capital this is not unexpected. The pressure on the sales team to deliver leads to high-pressure sales and aggressive contracting. Our advice, be smart in negotiations.
Future. Sisense has been like a rocketship since launch, driven by unique technology, investment, and great marketing and sales. Where does it go next? With the investment received, they are on a path to be publically traded and to have an IPO in the future. But before that will one of the other enterprise BI vendors buy them? If we had to guess, at some point, Sisense will be acquired for a multi-billion dollar amount by one of the giants (think Oracle, IBM, or maybe even a non-traditional player like Amazon). It is not something to impact users initially, even after the acquisition, but things like this do impact money spent on development and support as the goal is to make the bottom line look as positive as possible for IPO or acquisition.
Web Address http://www.sisense.com
Founded Date 2004
HQ Location New York, NY
Sisense doesn't list pricing openly on its website but requests users to contact them for a quote. Based on research and user contributions, pricing for Sisense seems to vary over time but largely be based on the number of users, type of license, and features needed.
Past unvalidated pricing includes $5000 per year per named user to $300,000 per CPU core for on-premise server-based pricing. There also seems to have been pricing models based on if a user is web-based ( $600 per named per year) or mobile-based ( $600 per named per year).
We have heard the cost per license is also broken out by tiers, with a Basic Tier of up to 10 users, Business tier up to 50 users, and Business+ tier for unlimited users.
We have heard the number of hours and type of support and implementation help depends on the tier.
For vendors looking to white label and embed Sisense, we have heard of costs starting in the $30,000 per year and above range for sub-100 user licenses.
Yellowfin is a powerful dashboard and reporting solution that has a suite of offerings from, enterprise analytics, automated analysis, storytelling, and data collaboration.
Yellowfin focuses on providing tools to analysts and business users as a self-service BI tool that allows users to prepare data, discover actional insights, collaborate, and share what they have learned.
Yellowfin also supports multi-tenant architecture and white-label features.
Strengths of Yellowfin
Dashboards. Yellowfin has a robust and feature-rich interactive dashboard. The visualizations look sharp and clean and users are able to easily manipulate data and drill down into additional insights. One particular strength of Yellowfin is the visualization of geocoded data, or overlaying data on geographical maps.
Embedding/White Label. Yellowfin provides the ability to white label and embed their software as a part of other software vendor solutions. One such partnership is with BMC and Yellowfin is the product behind its Smart Reporting solution. A relationship of that size speaks to white label and embedding as a strength of the product.
Collaboration features. Yellowfin puts a focus on collaborative BI as well as innovative approaches to interacting with data such as their Signals and Data Storytelling features. They are doing things that we don't see many other BI vendors doing to help users leverage data.
Weaknesses of Yellowfin
Print Format. There is not a lot of information on Yellowfin from a weakness perspective. Leave your review below to add to the strengths or weaknesses listed here so we can update this post. One item that does show up is the lack of print format for dashboards and reports. Yellowfin is an interactive dashboard focused product and not for offline viewing in pixel-perfect format. Since some users need that as a requirement, it is something to factor in if considering Yellowfin.
Support. We have also heard that some users have been unhappy with the support provided by Yellowfin, specifically the onboarding and initial setup of the solution.
Advanced Features. Not everyone needs these items, so they wouldn't be a weakness if you don't, but Yellowfin has a core feature set around interactive dashboards and slicing and dicing data, however, if you are looking for predictive analytics or AI/machine learning type features, Yellowfin would not be a good selection.
Web Address: https://www.yellowfinbi.com
Founded Date: 2003
HQ Location: Melbourne, Australia
Yellowfin provides a limited view of pricing on their website. As a suite of products, they have pricing for each module individually. For analytics, they have an Analytics and an Analytics+ pricing module that indicates it starts at $50 per month per user for the lower tier. To incorporate many of the features such as Signals and Data Prep, additional cost appears to be required.
Users have indicated us in the past a minimum of 20 users is required to get started.
For vendors looking to embed, all of the pricing is behind a contact form.
Please share any pricing information as part of a review to this listing so that we can improve it for the readers in the future.
Looker, recently acquired by Google, is a data analytics solution that helps businesses rethink business intelligence and data visualization.
With Looker, teams can quickly and easily integrate data from data sources into a single view, breaking data silos when they get new, reliable data.
Looker is a web-based business intelligence and data analytics tool. Looker has a unique browser-based modeling language that allows any employee to take advantage of the work of their best data analyst to provide real-time results.
Strengths of Looker
User Interface. One thing we consistently hear about Looker is how nice it is, specifically from an interface perspective. Looker is designed as a modern web application and they have put the effort into designing a set of data visualizations, dashboards, and user admin features that have a clean, crisp, and modern look and feel. In addition to the UI (user interface), they have also excelled at taking feedback and providing a great UX (user experience).
Data Analyst Tools. We would put Looker on the power user side of the self-service business intelligence tools space. Typically the process of leveraging Looker starts by providing it to your internal data analyst team. This is a team of highly skilled resources that understand data, how to apply the right transformations to glean insights from it, and how to leverage technical syntax and SQL language to extract it from the repositories it exists in (and Looker provides many integrations to data sources). Looker smooths out that process and put into the right hands, Looker allows that data analyst to then communicate all their work easily to a set of end-users to take advantage of their hard work.
Google. Google recently acquired Looker and for the most part, that is a good thing (see below for the alternate view). No doubt, Google will take the existing integration between Looker and Google Data Studio to the next level, in fact, I think, for the most part, Looker will become Google Data Studio. But more importantly, Google brings the money, the eco-system, and any other type of valuable resource you can imagine to the Looker team.
Weaknesses of Looker
Google. We mentioned Google as a strength above, it's also a weakness. For many, this is just another way for Google to get access to what they thrive on, data. No one is accusing Google of accessing your business data, but Google thrives on learning about patterns, activity, and how people operate. Looker just adds more data points to their massive brain and while it may require a tinfoil conspiracy hat, who knows what amazing artificial intelligence use case having Looker as part of the massive Google brain provides. More relevantly, Google is not known for amazing UI and UX, so who knows the impact Google may have to Looker in the future by either pulling their amazing resources into other Google projects or deploying existing Google developers into the Looker team. It's something to watch in the future as Looker comes out with new versions.
Cloud Architecture. Looker is primarily a cloud-based business analytics tool. Unlike others in the space, Looker does also allow for on-premise installations and for customers to host their own Looker server in the cloud environment of their choosing such as Amazon Web Services and Azure. I doubt if Google takes that away, but I do believe there will be benefits of using Google Cloud over others. If nothing else, from a price perspective, Google could use this as a lever to get more users into Google Data Studio and your data loaded into Google Cloud. If you are already using those and have the data analyst team to leverage it, Looker is a great fit.
Skills Required. We talked about the strength of Looker as a data analyst tool above. Data analysts are highly skilled resources, expensive, and typically come in a team. So if you are a small business or just getting started in BI and don't have the resources, process, or infrastructure in place, Looker is not going to be a self-service BI tool that you just plug and play and start to convert raw data into amazing insights for your end-users.
Cost. Looker doesn't share what their pricing is on their website anymore. Based on feedback we've heard a variety of pricing models that range from per user in the low thousands but most report there is a variable nature to the Looker cost pertaining to the number of queries run and data storage. We've always been wary of any pricing that is based on the number of queries because that is a completely unknown value ahead of time, which translates into a variable cost. Plus you don't want to penalize users to running lots of reports. But in a cloud-focused BI solution, the raw costs are related to execution time and data storage, so their price seems to mirror that. We expect Google to change pricing considerably, the question will be will they take Looker into their low-cost, self-service space of tools or move them more into their enterprise pricing areas.
Web Address http://www.looker.com/
Founded Date 2012
HQ Location Santa Cruz, CA
Looker doesn't provide open pricing on their website but suggests that users request a quote. With the acquisition by Google, it is unknown how the Looker pricing could change. Google has the power to include it with a free tier and a paid tier should they tightly integrate or merge Looker with Google Data Studio.
Past pricing discussions of Looker indicate a starting price of 10 users for $3000 per month with $50 per month for additional users.
There is also mention of pricing for Looker on Azure that provides 10 users for $8.30 per hour and 25 users for $9.70 per hour. We'll do the math, that works out to roughly $6000 - $7000 per month for 24/7 coverage.