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Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform

The Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform is a self-service analytics solution that empowers everyone with access to data, regardless of their role or experience. The platform combines data preparation, business analytics, and ma...Read more about Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform

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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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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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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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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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Rapid Insight Construct

Rapid Insight is an on-premise Business Intelligence solutions for higher education institutions and fundraising, healthcare and data science corporations. The suite of applications includes dashboards and scorecards, data mining ...Read more about Rapid Insight Construct

5.00 (5 reviews)

Phocas Software

Phocas is a team of passionate professionals who are committed to helping people feel good about their data. Our software brings together organizations’ most useful data from an ERP and other business systems and presents it in a ...Read more about Phocas Software

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Exago BI

Exago BI is a web-based solution that’s designed to be embedded in web-based applications. Embedding Exago BI allows SaaS companies of all sizes to provide their customers with self-service ad hoc, operational reporting, and inter...Read more about Exago BI

4.61 (59 reviews)

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Alteryx Designer

Alteryx is the launchpad for automation breakthroughs. Be it your personal growth, achieving transformative digital outcomes, or rapid innovation, the results are unparalleled. The unique innovation that converges analytics, ...Read more about Alteryx Designer

4.78 (87 reviews)

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Domo transforms business by putting data to work for everyone. Domo’s low-code data app platform goes beyond traditional business intelligence and analytics to enable anyone to create data apps to power any action in their busines...Read more about Domo

4.22 (203 reviews)

4 recommendations

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ClicData is a business intelligence (BI) dashboard solution designed for use primarily by small and midsized businesses. The tool enables end users to create reports and dashboards. A drag-and-drop interface designed for ease...Read more about ClicData

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Dundas BI

Dundas BI, an insightsoftware company, is a browser-based business intelligence and data visualization platform that includes integrated dashboards, reporting tools, and data analytics. It provides end users the ability to create ...Read more about Dundas BI

4.52 (123 reviews)

3 recommendations

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TapClicks is a smart marketing cloud-based set of automated marketing solutions designed to work in unison, powered by your data. We make the complex world of marketing easy with everything a business needs to differentiate itself...Read more about TapClicks

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Yellowfin, a business intelligence platform, is a single integrated solution developed for companies across varying industries and scaling sizes. This system is customizable to suit businesses in accounting, advertising, agri...Read more about Yellowfin

4.59 (17 reviews)


Periscope Data is Business Intelligence software that allows users to keep data in one interactive dashboard. Functionalities include dashboards and scorecards, data warehousing, data mining and predictive analytics, ETL, OLAP, a ...Read more about Periscope

5.00 (2 reviews)


Argos is an on-premise business intelligence (BI) solution for higher education institutions. Key features include ad hoc report creation, report filtering, report exporting, connections with multiple data sources and object and d...Read more about Argos

4.47 (72 reviews)

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9 Spokes

9Spokes works for you.? 9Spokes is a business management app that aggregates meaningful data across your business. Think of 9Spokes as a virtual advisor, here to motivate and guide businesses so they not only survive, but grow an...Read more about 9 Spokes

4.80 (10 reviews)

Oracle Business Intelligence

Oracle Business Intelligence Suite is a cloud-based solution that helps small to large enterprises gain insights into organizational performance using predictive analytics, facilitating decision-making processes. The centralized p...Read more about Oracle Business Intelligence

4.14 (86 reviews)

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Buyers Guide

Last Updated: November 18, 2022

As a business, you need to trust that your data is complete, formatted, and up-to-date so you can make accurate business decisions. It can be disastrous if the data you're using for analysis or decision-making is inaccurate, and that's why data preparation is key to business success.

Data preparation allows businesses to simplify and automate various manual processes that are associated with collecting and cleaning data. Data preparation tools enhance operational efficiency and accuracy.

However, selecting one data preparation tool from among the hundreds on the market can be overwhelming. That's why we've created this buyers guide to detail everything you need to know before making the final purchase decision.

Here's what we'll cover:

What is data preparation software?

Data preparation software is a tool that allows businesses to explore, gather, and manipulate data into a form that is ready for analysis. The software cleans and consolidates data into a single table, file, or curated dataset for data visualization or other operational processes.

Data preparation software is useful when you need to:

  • Combine data from multiple sources
  • Manually enter data into spreadsheets
  • Deal with unstructured data (e.g., PDF files or web pages)

Patient info and billing alerts

Clean data for analysis in Tableau's Prep Builder (Source)

Common features of data preparation software

Different vendors offer different features in their data preparation software. Selecting the best data preparation software for your business is easier when you know what the common features are and what they do.

Data access

Access and import structured or semi-structured data from multiple sources.

Data mashup/data blending

Blend multiple types of data sources, or normalize multiple data sources into common formats for integrated data analyses.

Data transformation

Transform raw data into usable data by correcting typos, standardizing data, and converting and normalizing numeric values into standard forms.

Data modeling

Specify data types and their relationships with each other.

Interactive user interface (UI)

Combine multiple data sources through an intuitive, visually oriented UI.


Share, comment on, and promote datasets.

Data governance

Leverage security features such as data encryption, user permission, authentication, and security filtering at user/group/role levels.

To further understand these features and learn about data preparation software vendors, call our advisors at 855-998-8505 for free, no-obligation help. They'll help you narrow down your options by listening to your requirements and recommending the best-suited solutions for your business.

What type of buyer are you?

Before you start evaluating data preparation software options, you'll need to know what buyer category you belong to. We believe most buyers will fall into one of the below categories:

  • Business owners and analyst teams: Business owners often use the tool themselves or hire business analyst teams to do the job. These teams are found in every business that is involved in any form of data analysis. Business analyst workgroups use data preparation tools to collate data from different sources, avoid manual data entry, and transform unstructured data. They usually don't need complex dashboard capabilities or governance features, but would require functionalities such as data access, data blending, and data transformation.

  • IT departments: Even though data preparation tools are designed for business users (owners and analysts), IT departments also use these tools in many organizations. In addition to data cleaning features, IT departments prefer tools with data modeling capabilities, since they'll have to support data modeling for the whole organization rather than just a small analyst workgroup. They'll need a tool that offers data governance to protect sensitive data from users who don't need to access it as part of their roles.

Benefits of data preparation software

While some of the benefits of data preparation software may be clear from our discussion above, we've called out the most notable ones below:

  • Accurate business decisions: Cleaner data results in better data analyses and reporting, which eventually leads businesses to make more accurate business decisions.

  • Reduced data errors: Data preparation tools minimize manual intervention in processes such as collation and consolidation, thus reducing errors.

Key considerations

Here are some important aspects to consider before you purchase data preparation software:

  • Scalability: Ask your shortlisted vendors about the scalability of their tools. You'll need a solution that supports your business as it grows and is able to handle your expanding needs. For instance, if you plan to go from being a single-location business to a multi-location one, the software must be able to gather data from all the new locations and handle the higher volume.

  • Customer support: Find out if the vendor offers support 24/7, only during business hours, or not at all. Also, ask about available support options, such as email, phone, or live chat.

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.