Business Intelligence Cheat Sheet 2017


This Business Intelligence Cheat Sheet is a very terse summary of much of the BI product analysis on this web site. All listed products are reviewed in full and can be located using the search bar at the top of the page. The scores on individual reviews are a measure of the quality of the functionality offered and are not comparative. The scores below do give some measure of comparison.

The legend for the table below is as follows:

SS – Self service capability
EU – Ease of Use
AA – Advanced Analytics
DP – Data Preparation
DS – Data Support (number and variety of data sources)
CN – Collaboration
MB – Mobile Support
EM – Embedding Support
CL – Cloud Deployment
SC – Scalability
PR – Production Reporting

Information Builders433343322443.2
Logi Analytics542343453443.7
Power BI552333434423.4
Qlik Sense541443432423.3
SAP Lumira442243313422.9
SAS Visual Analytics545343222323.2

Tableau, Qlik Sense and Spotfire compete for self service analytics, although many other products are equally capable in this respect – and some superior (sisense and GoodData being two obvious alternatives). However Spotfire distinguishes itself by the breadth of analytical methods it supports, challenged only by SAS Visual Analytics. Microstrategy and Birst also offer advanced analytics.

Data preparation and support for diverse data sources is typically overlooked, and data preparation particularly can represent up to 80% of the analytical effort. Birst scores particularly well here, as does Qlik Sense.

Collaboration is featured in almost all products, but it is the products with a broader architecture that tend to do better – Microstrategy, Cognos and Birst. Closely related to this is support for mobile devices, and again the larger products do particularly well.

As the BI space matures so businesses will want to embed BI functionality into existing apps. To this end Izenda, Logi Analytics, Sisense, GoodData and Yellowfin are particularly well suited.

Without doubt the king of cloud BI is Birst, with a sophisticated data architecture and lots of end user functionality. GoodData also scores well here because of the robustness and scalability of its cloud architecture.

Scalability also tends to be a property of the larger BI products, since they often need to cater for very large implementations. Cognos and Microstrategy are very mature in this respect, but cloud offerings such as GoodData and Birst also compete in this space.

Finally the easiest to use product listed here is ThoughtSpot. It uses a Google type search bar and converts the natural language into a query.

The score averages are not really all that meaningful, but for an organisation with diverse needs they do at least indicate breadth of capability.