Business Intelligence Solutions Reviews — Best of 2016

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IT Central Station users have published over 522 Reviews on Business Intelligence Solutions, ranking them according to reliability, stability and ROI from the solution.

Below are the Top 5 Business Intelligence Solutions in 2016, according to our user community.

bi tools reviews


Financial Consultant Gareth Crawshaw speaks of Tableau’s “extraordinary ease of use”, naming the “speed of data discovery” as a major benefit, as it “accelerated our ability to remodel our data and improve our existing ETL processes.”

“I’m able to prototype charts/dashboards in hours vs days or weeks with other tools (mainly Excel)” describes Jonathan Friesen.

Friesen then elaborates that Tableau “doesn’t require me to think about the level of aggregation that I’m going to need as it deals with large data sets…Blends disparate datasets together which is awesome for plan vs actual reports where the data is a two different levels of granularity.”

Room for Improvement

“The basic design of Tableau has some features that could be modified.” writes Larry Keller.

Keller explains that:

  • “There is no need to have five ways to add a new worksheet. Brevity is rewarded – new users have so much to learn that 2 ways would do the job.
  • How to render time – When performing analysis, no single issue is more important than time series data. Tableau uses visual clues in many places – When one uses the pull down option for time that could be visualized better as a continuum. those selections should be presented in green to be visually consistent. Those above in blue.”


BI Expert Pablo Parnisari finds that “for the user, QlikView is a wonderful tool of data discovery, providing powerful tools to navigate easily between a sea of data in an intuitive, easy, and clear way, allowing them to go from facts to KPI and vice versa.

Erin Dettrey, Product Manager of Healthcare Analytics at a Healthcare company, calls Qlikview “powerful, scalable, and a bit addictive, allowing you to “see” your data in ways never thought possible. We can now take medical stats presented in an academic journal and applying them to community-based medicine. This literally changes physician behavior like no other tool.”

Room for Improvement

BI Expert Jeremy Hornber argues that Qlikview lacks “out of the box mapping capabilities (Extensions/Plugins)” as well as “auto-scale for different display resolutions/dimensions.”

Hornber would also “like to see a few more visualizations available out of the box (e..g Bullet Graph).”


Oracle OBIEE

Krishna Marur highlights the “dashboard, alerts and BI publisher” features of Oracle OBIEE.

Senior BI Developer Peter Cseh emphasizes the security management features:

“Security management is very detailed, complex and well defined in OBIEE. I can set up everything that I want; user security, object security, row-level security, etc. For example: I can easily connect users with application roles, different application roles with different privileges or set up data filters, other restrictions for users / application roles or manage subject areas/tables/columns access for users / application roles, etc.”

Room for Improvement

Cseh suggests modifications to the dashboard features. These would include:

  • “Detailed editing of dashboard prompts: By this, I mean the appearance and localization. If I create a dashboard prompt, I cannot edit freely the columns and texts on the user interface of dashboard prompts. For example, I cannot insert individual text fields that are independent from columns; I cannot use CSS to emphasize my texts of columns and the localization is quite limited as well.
  • Smarter BI navigation using hierarchical columns: By this, I mean the navigation from a measure is quite difficult when I use hierarchical columns. When I use a hierarchical column in an analysis and expand the levels and click on a measure on the second level, for example, the BI does not know the appropriate level using navigation and it will result in wrong amounts.”


Microsoft BI

Nigel Mason shares that “Security is easily managed with SharePoint…Works with data, systems and tools we already have. They are “additional” tools rather than complete replacement software.  Easy to upgrade / install.  The new SSRS tools in particular give us an easier way to share insights and reports to our clients and within our own teams.”

Room for Improvement

“The build in Report Builder for end users needs improvement.  But for someone that has some training on SSRS, its very straightforward.” writes Web Developer Rex Campbell.


IBM Cognos

BI Manager Jonathan McKnight shares that “We are able to combine data from multiple sources across the organization and report on the information as a single source. This allows us to provide insights we could not easily determine before our BI implementation. It is fairly easy to use provided you have a good data structure/framework under the hood.”

“As a consultant”, writes BI Consultant Muhammed Eissa, “I have seen many cases where Cognos has helped organizations to increase business performance, and support managers in decision making.”

Room for Improvement

Cognos Consultant Mahesh Kanderi argues that IBM Cognos “needs to be improvised by clearly pointing out the issues/errors in the description to simplify the debugging process, and by enabling more GUI based functionality so that creation of dynamic report and dashboards by using Excel/flat file data is easier.”

Have more questions or inquiries about Business Intelligence Solutions?

Check out the full Top 10 Business Intelligence Solutions of 2016 with peer reviews.


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