business intelligence

9 best business intelligence tools to consider in 2024

In today’s fast-paced world, data is more than just numbers; it's the key to understanding, adapting, and thriving. To uncover the valuable insights concealed within data, businesses turn to business intelligence (BI) tools. 

BI tools are software applications that collect, analyze, and visualize data from multiple sources, empowering data-driven decision-making. However, they have evolved to include advanced features and functionalities, such as data mining, interactive data visualization, performance management, natural language search, and predictive analytics. BI tools provide advantages like real-time visibility into performance across the company, instant anomaly detection for rapid response to changes, and predictive analysis for sales and performance forecasting.

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Factors to consider when choosing business intelligence tools

Choosing the right business intelligence tool for your organization is crucial. To ensure you make an informed decision, consider the following criteria:

  • Scalability: The tool should be able to handle your organization's current data volume and have the capacity to scale as your business grows.

  • Ease of use: Look for a BI solution that has a user-friendly interface and intuitive features. This will reduce the learning curve for your team and encourage adoption.

  • Integration: Ensure that the tool can seamlessly integrate with your existing data sources, such as databases, CRM systems, and cloud platforms.

  • Security: Data security is of utmost importance. The tool should have robust security measures in place to protect your sensitive information.

  • Customization: Every organization has unique requirements. Look for a tool that allows customization to meet your specific needs and preferences.

  • Support and training: Consider the availability of support and training resources provided by the tool. This will ensure that your team can maximize the BI capabilities.

  • Data visualization: Look for a tool that offers compelling and interactive data visualizations. This will make it easier for users to drill down and filter, answer the next questions, and find correlations in the data. 

  • AI-driven search capabilities: Incorporating AI-powered, natural language search into business intelligence greatly enhances data discovery and access. 

  • Mobile accessibility: In today's mobile-centric world, having access to business intelligence on the go is crucial. Mobile compatibility and multi-experience interfaces are key to user adoption.

Now, let's take a look at the top 9 BI tools so you can find the solution that’s best for your business.

9 best business intelligence tools

1. ThoughtSpot

Let's cut to the chase: ThoughtSpot is our go-to business intelligence tool. We’re a bit biased, but for good reason. ThoughtSpot’s user-friendly, search-driven approach to data analysis allows you to search for insights in natural language. 

With ThoughtSpot's self-service analytics capabilities, any business user, regardless of their technical or analytical background, is empowered to explore your data, unlock valuable insights, and bring data into their decision-making process. That’s why companies like HP, Snowflake, and Accern all explore their business data on ThoughtSpot.

 Core features:

  • Data visualization: With Liveboards, you can create interactive dashboards and visualizations to represent your data in a valuable, contextual, and actionable way.  

  • AI-driven search: ThoughtSpot Sage empowers everyone to ask and answer questions from their business data. Our powerful natural language search is as easy to use as your favorite search engine.

  • Data connectivity: ThoughtSpot connects to various data sources, including data warehouses, cloud data stores, and other databases. This empowers your data team to quickly connect and start searching on top of your live data.

  • Data modeling: You have the ability to create governed, reusable, and logical data models that enable everyone to create insights with live analytics. Additionally, ThoughtSpot Sage automatically generates suggested synonyms to optimize your search experience

  • Collaboration and sharing: You can share insights, reports, and dashboards with colleagues and collaborate on data analysis projects. With ThoughtSpot’s note tiles, you can provide important directions for how to read or use a specific visualization.

  • Multi-modal experience: Enhance user engagement with data by offering a versatile approach to data exploration. This includes real-time mobile monitoring, seamless integration with workplace apps like Google Sheets, and the ability to push insights back to your workforce applications like Slack.

Ready to get started? Try ThoughtSpot for free and unlock the power of self-service analytics.

2. Mode

Next up is Mode, a tool tailored for data-savvy professionals. Mode’s data analysis and business intelligence tool make it easier for analysts to collect, analyze, and visualize data that business users can consume to gain insights and make data-driven decisions. 

Mode has helped companies like Shopify, Greenhouse, Twitch, and many more move ahead using Data. Its range of tools and features for data exploration, reporting, and collaboration, make it a popular choice for data teams, analysts, and data-driven professionals. With Mode, you can connect to diverse data sources, build data models, schedule reports, and perform advanced analytics using SQL, Python, and R. 

Core features:

  • Ad-hoc analysis: Get answers to challenging and important questions with standalone reports. Mode's ad hoc analysis tools provide the power and flexibility you need to get high-impact data for effective decision-making.

  • Self-serve reporting: Starting with trusted data designed by your data team, you can explore and build your own analysis, no code required.

  • Interactive dashboards: With Mode, you can build code-free interactive reports and dashboards that save time. Data teams can design all kinds of data delivery—like mix and match text, notebook output cells, and more—to build completely custom internal data tools.

  • Advanced analytics: Perform complex statistical and predictive analysis side-by-side with simple charting.

  • Custom data apps: Build powerful internal tools and customer-facing reporting. Deliver exactly what your business teams and customers need to use data to the fullest.

Try Mode today and revolutionize your data analysis!

3. Power BI

Developed by Microsoft, Power BI is a data visualization and business intelligence tool. It allows you to transform raw data into meaningful insights and interactive reports. It is widely used for data visualization, reporting, and analytics. Power BI is commonly adopted within organizations that heavily depend on the Microsoft ecosystem. While it offers an intuitive interface, mastering Power BI's full potential can be challenging, as it requires a strong analytical background.

 Core features:

  • Data visualization: Power BI allows you to create data visualizations, including charts, graphs, maps, and tables using a drag-and-drop interface.

  • Data transformation: Power Query, a component of Power BI, enables data cleaning, shaping, and transformation, including joining tables and creating calculated columns.

  • Sharing and collaboration: You can share reports and collaborate by leaving comments on data points.

  • Integration: With Power BI, you can connect to various Microsoft data sources, such as Excel spreadsheets, databases, and cloud services to consolidate data for analysis.

💡Relevant read: 10 Power BI alternatives and competitors to consider

4. Tableau

Tableau is a data visualization and business intelligence software that allows analysts to analyze, visualize, and interact with your data to make informed decisions. It is designed to help you transform raw data into comprehendible insights. Tableau’s features and capabilities include data connectivity, drag-and-drop data visualization, advanced analytics, and the ability to create interactive dashboards and reports. 


Core features:

  • Data connectivity: Tableau can connect to various data sources, such as databases, spreadsheets, cloud services, and more. This helps you to consolidate and analyze data from different places.

  • Advanced analytics: The platform allows technical data team members to perform complex calculations, predictive modeling, and statistical analysis on your data.

  • Collaboration and sharing: You can share your Tableau visualizations, dashboards, and reports with others.

  • Trend lines and predictive analysis: Tableau helps you see trends in your data and predict future outcomes. 

5. Looker

Looker is one of the best business intelligence tools that is driven by a powerful semantic layer. This semantic layer allows users to create a structured representation of their data, defining relationships between data, metrics, and dimensions. Looker's approach to data modeling simplifies data access and interpretation, making it easier for both technical and business users to explore and analyze data. 

Core features:

  • Data exploration: You can create custom reports and interactive visualizations to gain insights from their data.

  • Embedded analytics: Looker can be embedded into other applications, websites, or workflows.

  • Collaborative analytics: It supports collaboration by enabling you to share reports, dashboards, and data models with team members.

  • Integration with Google Workspace: Looker connects your data visualizations to Google Workspace tools like Slides and Sheets. 

💡Relevant read: Looker vs Power BI.

6. SAP BusinessObjects

SAP BusinessObjects, often referred to as SAP BO or simply BusinessObjects, is a suite of business intelligence software tools and applications developed by SAP. It helps data pros collect, analyze, and visualize your business data.

SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence tool

Core features:

  • Reporting and analysis: You can create reports and analytical dashboards to gain insights from your data.

  • Collaboration and sharing: Users can collaborate—by sharing reports and dashboards with your team. 

  • Role-based dashboards: You can create role-based BI dashboards that deliver information to decision-makers.

  • Real-time analytics: Connect with SAP Business Warehouse and SAP HANA for analytics.

7. Sisense

Sisense’s business intelligence reporting tool enables your business to connect to various data sources and create visualizations and dashboards. The tool offers features like data blending, data modeling, and data visualization. Sisense also provides advanced analytics capabilities, allowing you to perform complex calculations and predictive analytics.

Core features:

  • Data visualization: Using a drag-and-drop interface, you can create dashboards, widgets, and filters for integrating with applications.

  • Data modeling: Sisense enables data analysts to merge and model data through a code-first workflow within the platform and offers integration with Jupyter Notebooks.

  • Git integration: Their Git integration enables better version control.

  • Mobile access: Sisense offers mobile apps for iOS and Android so users can access their data on the go.

8. Domo

Domo provides a range of tools and features that enable users to gather, analyze, visualize, and share data from various sources. Domo is used by businesses in various industries to gain insights from their data, make informed decisions, and improve overall performance.

Core features:

  • Reporting and dashboards: Domo offers a range of reporting capabilities and a drag-and-drop feature for ad-hoc analysis and content creation. 

  • Mobile accessibility: Domo is compatible with popular mobile apps for iOS and Android, making it accessible to a broad user base.

  • Collaboration: Domo includes features for in-context chat, user profiles, project management, task tracking, and scheduled content.

  • Cloud infrastructure: Domo's infrastructure is built using cloud-native architecture, which incorporates dynamic scaling and massively parallel processing (MPP). 

9. Qlik Sense

Qlik Sensecaters to a range of analytics use cases including dashboards, custom analytics, and embedded analytics. It can be deployed either on-premises or in the cloud. 

Core features:

  • Data visualizations with extensions: Users can create interactive visualizations such as charts, tables, and graphs. Extension libraries such as Vizlib can sit on top of Qlik Sense to add more charting capabilities.

  • Self-service BI: Qlik Sense allows users to build their own analytics and reports without extensive IT support. 

  • Associative data modeling: Qlik Sense is known for its associative data model, which allows users to explore data and discover hidden relationships and insights within it. 

  • ML capabilities: Users can run ML experiments in the Qlik Cloud Analytics hub and use the output to build a data model and create charts.

The best BI tools unlock value in your data

ThoughtSpot offers a unique and powerful approach to exploring and analyzing data, making it the best BI tool on the market. If you're ready to unlock the full potential of AI-Powered Analytics and find the true value of your data, it's time to try ThoughtSpot. 

Sign up for a 14-day free trial today!