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Board is the Intelligent Planning Platform that offers smarter planning, actionable insights and better outcomes for more than 2,000 companies worldwide. Board allows leading enterprises to discover crucial insights which drive bu...Read more about BOARD

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Tableau is an integrated business intelligence (BI) and analytics solution that helps to analyze key business data and generate meaningful insights. The solution helps businesses to collect data from multiple source points such as...Read more about Tableau

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SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence

SAP BusinessObjects is a business intelligence solution designed for companies of all sizes. It offers ETL (extract, transform, load), predictive dashboard, Crystal reports, OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) and ad-hoc reporting...Read more about SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence

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InsightSquared is the sales intelligence solution. InsightSquared provides sales leaders with the operating system to run their team, produce reliable forecasts, measure rep performance, and maximize revenue growth. Sales leaders ...Read more about InsightSquared

4.62 (51 reviews)

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TARGIT Decision Suite is a business intelligence and analytics solution that offers visual data discovery tools, self-service business analytics, reporting and dashboards in a single, integrated solution. TARGIT combines the ...Read more about TARGIT

4.47 (34 reviews)

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Solver is a hybrid corporate performance management (CPM) solution based on the Microsoft platform. It caters to businesses of all sizes across various industry verticals. Key features include reporting, budgeting, dashboards and ...Read more about Solver

4.43 (74 reviews)

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SetSight offers a cloud-based business intelligence solution to collect, analyze and report key data associated with sales trends, replenishments, category management and more. It features order management and forecasting, reporti...Read more about SetSight

3.50 (1 reviews)


Panorama Necto is a business intelligence (BI) suite that is designed to work in tandem with any data source—OLAP, spreadsheets, relational and in-memory. Necto suits midsize and enterprise-level companies across all major in...Read more about Necto

4.26 (40 reviews)

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CCH Tagetik

CCH Tagetik is a unified BI and accounting software that helps to optimize financial and operational planning. The solution also shortens the consolidation and closing process and allows users to analyze results, model, as well as...Read more about CCH Tagetik

4.33 (84 reviews)

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Profitbase EPM

Profitbase offers user-friendly and flexible business performance management tools that can help optimize financial and operational planning, execute work processes, and analyze business data. It enables users to efficiently colle...Read more about Profitbase EPM

4.00 (1 reviews)

ADS - Medical

Agile Data suite (ADS) is a cloud-based business intelligence solution that provides tools to manage and integrate data. The solution is suitable for industries such as automotive, aviation, medical, consumer products and pharmace...Read more about ADS - Medical

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Infor OS

Infor OS is a web-based networked BI and analytics solution that connects insights from various teams and helps in making informed decisions. The tool enables decentralized users to augment the enterprise data model virtually with...Read more about Infor OS

4.08 (51 reviews)

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With the TruOI Platform, you’re not only able to only see how your company is performing in real-time, but the platform also initiates automated system activity based on pre-programmed performance to keep your organization on trac...Read more about TruOI

4.55 (40 reviews)

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Progress is a business intelligence solution that is designed for different industries such as manufacturing, oil and gas, automotive and aviation. It can be deployed as both on-premise and cloud-based solution. Progress prov...Read more about DataRPM

4.00 (1 reviews)


Sisense goes beyond traditional business intelligence by providing organizations with the ability to infuse analytics everywhere, embedded in both customer and employee applications and workflows. Sisense customers are breaking th...Read more about Sisense

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Stratum by Silvon is a robust business intelligence solution that was designed to meet the unique needs of business professionals working for manufacturing and distribution companies. Stratum offers a full suite of integrated...Read more about Stratum

4.19 (48 reviews)

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TIBCO Spotfire

TIBCO Spotfire provides executive dashboards, data analytics, data visualization and KPI push to mobile devices. It complements existing business intelligence and reporting tools, while midsize organizations can use dashboards and...Read more about TIBCO Spotfire

4.36 (57 reviews)

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Skookum Digital Works

Skookum Digital Works (SDW) provides custom-build business technology assets that help companies to solve business problems and drive their business outcomes. They also provide UI/UX designers, product strategists, and software de...Read more about Skookum Digital Works

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GoodData is a cloud-based business intelligence platform that delivers progress analytics in real-time. With their integrated suite of tools and applications, users across departments will have access to critical metrics, giving v...Read more about GoodData

4.31 (13 reviews)

Service Lifecycle Management

Designed to help companies handle after sales supply chains, DEX Systems’ Service Lifecycle Management solution helps businesses manage their end-to-end operations, from returns and repairs to remarketing and warehouse planning. ...Read more about Service Lifecycle Management

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Buyers Guide

Last Updated: November 24, 2022

As more companies seek information and insight into their operations, the demand for business intelligence (BI) software is growing. A multitude of software products are now available to meet this demand. Many of these solutions are also cloud-based, offering the advantages of affordability, mobility and flexibility.

But is a cloud-based business intelligence system right for your business? This guide will help you answer that question. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Cloud BI?
Key Capabilities of Cloud BI Software
Benefits and Potential Issues

What Is Cloud BI?

Organizations today generate a staggering amount of data. BI software helps businesses gather data from disparate sources and collate that information into a single source. This single source acts as a historical data archive that allows businesses to make more informed predictions and decisions regarding future business operations.

What distinguishes cloud BI software from other business intelligence and analytics solutions is that it is hosted offsite, typically on the software vendor’s servers. Users access the system remotely through a network (i.e., the Internet).

Cloud-based software is commonly sold via subscription licensing, which means that businesses pay a recurring monthly or annual fee to use the software. This fee includes the cost for hosting, support, maintenance and automatic updates to the system.

Cloud-based hosting means that organizations don’t incur the costs of maintaining the software on their own internal servers. As a result, upfront costs for cloud-based software are generally lower than for on-premise—though over time the costs for subscription and perpetual licensing eventually converge.

Cloud BI systems can integrate with other software your organization is already using, including customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.

Integrating BI software with these systems provides businesses with unique understanding on the scope of business operations, including:

  • Customer buying trends
  • The effectiveness of sales and marketing campaigns
  • Performance of staff
  • Market changes and demands

Analyzing data from a variety of sources using cloud BI tools can provide a wealth of insight on your customers, clients, sales, operations and more.

While capabilities vary, cloud BI software typically helps businesses gather, catalogue, store, analyze and interpret data from a variety of sources in order to make better business decisions.

Gather: Data can include internal data, i.e., within company departments or data from external sources, such as marketing, social or industry information.

Catalogue: Many data management tools help organizations “clean up” bad data and organize information according to type, format and source. Cloud BI tools help standardize and integrate data from diverse sources.

Store: Data is then loaded and stored in a target system, i,e., a database or warehouse, where analysts can later sift through the data.

Analyze: Data discovery applications, such as data mining or online analytical processing (OLAP), help analysts sort the data and generate reports on findings.

Interpret: Data visualization tools, such as dashboards and reports, help present BI data in meaningful ways that allow executives to make better business decisions.

Key Capabilities of Cloud BI Software

The functionality that cloud BI software offers can be very complex and technical (visit our BI page for more detailed information). Broadly speaking, however, the capabilities of cloud BI software include some or all of these categories:

Data management Tools for data quality management help users standardize information collected from various sources and ensure data is accurate.

Extract, transform and load (ETL) functionality collects data from other sources, transforms it into the right format and uploads it to a database or data warehouse so it can be analyzed.
Data discovery Allows users to analyze data sets to spot trends and make predictions. Data mining tools sort through large data sets to identify patterns and guide further analysis.

Predictive analytics functionality allows users to make predictions based on past and current trends, while semantic and text analytics tools identify patterns and sentiment in text data (e.g., data collected from social networks).
Reporting These tools present the results of data analysis in an easy-to-understand way. Visualizations display information in charts, graphs and other visual formats.

Dashboards present a snapshot of key performance indicators (KPIs) at a glance. Scorecards rate performance and show progress toward goals, while report writers allow users to easily create custom reports. Dedicated KPI applications can pull performance data from disparate systems to report on it in one view.

Benefits and Potential Issues

Some businesses may have concerns about the safety of storing sensitive corporate data in the cloud. For example, the high-profile data security breaches of the past two years rattled consumers and business leaders alike. But the truth is that, with the right safeguards in place, data stored in the cloud is just as secure as data stored on-premise—if not more so.

The benefits of cloud BI are vast, including:

Mobility and remote access. One of the biggest advantages of cloud-based systems is that they can be accessed from any compatible device with an Internet connection. That means users aren’t tied to their desks: They can log in from their laptop, home computer, tablet or smartphone to access the information they need at any time. If your users will need frequent mobile access, look for a system with a native mobile app, as these are designed to perform better on small screens.

Lower costs of entry. Cloud BI systems are typically easier and cheaper to implement than their on-premise counterparts. There’s no additional hardware to purchase, since the system is housed on the vendor’s servers. Implementation also tends to be quicker, because there’s both nothing physical to install and the vendor typically handles the initial setup after the company sends over its data.

Faster analytical insights. In today’s business environment, things are constantly changing, and users need to have critical reports and analytics information in real time. Cloud BI systems can be accessed from anywhere and update automatically, so you’ll always have the most current data at your fingertips.

Business users can access information without the IT department. Cloud BI systems are more intuitive and user-friendly than traditional BI and analytics software. Increasingly, these solutions are being aimed at—and adopted by—the business user. No more going through the IT department to gather insights or produce a key report, only to have the information be outdated by the time it gets to you. Get information when and how you want it, and all without a technical background.