Zoho Reports Review – Powerful, Low Cost BI

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Zoho Reports Review Summary

Zoho Reports is a cloud based BI service that compares well with many prominent BI platforms. It comes with a rich visual environment, interfaces to a large number of data sources and applications, comes with native support for mobile devices, strong embedding functionality, and functional extensibility. And of course the pricing is very modest, with the most popular Premium offering supporting up to 15 users and five million rows of data for around £100 a month. An Enterprise subscription supporting 50 users and 50 million rows of data comes in at just under £400 per month. Compared with some well known platforms offering similar functionality, Zoho Reports is often an order of magnitude less in cost.

The needs of many businesses will be well met by Zoho Reports. However those requiring advanced mapping capability or integration with languages such as R and python will have to wait for future releases. Even so, the day-to-day need to analyze data, display it in graphs and charts, create dashboards, share visuals and monitor KPIs are well catered for.

Visualization of Data

Reports, charts, graphs, dashboards and other visual artifacts can be created with considerable ease, using the graphical, drag-and-drop tools. Advanced constructs such as pivot tables are supported and can be incorporated into dashboards along with all other visual components. Other components such as images, text, widgets and web items can also be added. KPI widgets are a feature of the product, allowing users to create powerful KPI dashboards.

A large number of analytical functions are available, and a formula engine supports an easy to use Excel-like interface. Resulting dashboards and charts can be accessed on iOS and Android devices via native apps.

zoho reports review

Data

Virtually every conceivable data source and application is supported by Zoho, including flat files, Excel, HTML, JSON, XML, all the popular relational databases, big data sources, and cloud databases such as Amazon Redshift and RDS. All major online data storage services such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. Many popular online applications are also supported including the Zoho suite of products (Zoho CRM etc), Salesforce, Google Analytics, Quickbooks, Zendesk, and any more. An unconventional data sources can be accommodated through powerful data import & integration APIs.

Zoho Reports supports the blending and merging of data sources, so that several can be used in a single report. For larger organizations Zoho Reports can be supplemented with a powerful columnar database, capable of handling hundreds of millions of rows.

Embedding

Zoho Reports offers white label solutions to completely re-brand Zoho Reports and serve from a custom domain/portal, in a user’s own brand. Users can quickly setup their own reporting portal/website under a brand, with fully re-branded reports & dashboards. Fully customizable design elements, single-sign on, user administration, comprehensive APIs and other white-labeling capabilities allow users to fine tune the user experience.

Developers and system integrators (SIs) can use the powerful and scalable Zoho Reports development platform to build/integrate reporting and analytical capabilities into business applications. Zoho Reports offers a set of powerful HTTP based Web APIs, provides methods for data integration (add, modify, delete and fetch data), meta data handling (fetch details about your data and reports), sharing and dynamic reports embedding. Zoho CloudSQL technology, allows developers to interact with business data stored in Zoho Reports using the familiar SQL language.

Sharing and Collaboration

Users have full control over what colleagues or clients can see & do with shared reports. Zoho Reports provides fine-grained access control with specific options like read-only, read-write, report authoring, drill-down, export and others. Users can also publish reports and make them accessible to users with/without logins. Finally reports and dashboards can be scheduled to be emailed automatically.