IT Central Station’s crowdsourced user review platform helps technology decision makers around the world to better connect with peers and other independent experts who provide advice without vendor bias.
Our users have ranked their solutions according to their valuable features, and have also discussed where they see room for improvement. You can read user reviews for the top 10 business intelligence solutions here, to help you decide which solution is best for you.
Tableau is ranked by our users as the number one solution of the end of Q1 2017, but what do users really think of the solution?
This Finance Operations Manager at a tech company writes, “The best feature of Tableau is the usability. It allows a business user to prototype something without going through IT and spending a lot of time and money trying to translate requirements. Going back and forth, it allows you to rapidly develop things that you need to analyze the data.”
He also notes, “The thing I don’t like is the refresh feature. The users can have the web page open and there’s a browser refresh every 10 minutes, or every 30 minutes, whatever IT sets as the refresh rate. You lose everything when you have to refresh the page and it may take 30 seconds. So, that’s a bit frustrating too. You expect that when you leave a browser page open, you want it to keep that view there.”
IT Central Station users rank QlikView as the number two solution of the end of Q1 2017.
Shabaz Sheikh explains that “Extraction from almost all data sources provides a lot of value to me. Ease of operation, data modeling and creating dashboards with simple objects and the abundance of visualizations are also valuable.”
Roy Yung finds that “By comparing with the latest data discovery tools like Tableau, Qlik Sense, and Sisense, the layout and colors are not eye catching enough. It looks like a very powerful excel with a lot of powerful features for analysis. But it may not be good for presentation.”
#3 Oracle OBIEE
Oracle OBIEE is ranked by our users as the number three solution of the end of Q1 2017.
Peter Cseh writes how “With the three-layer repository, the development and interpretation are very simple. The three layers are divided from each other well both in logical and physical meaning. The physical layer is used for importing data, creating aliases, building physical joins, setting up connection pools, managing cache and hints for tables.
The business model and mapping layer is used for creating logical columns, fact and dimension tables, hierarchies, measures, using fragmentations and filters, applying business logic.
The presentation layer is used to prepare, group and organize the data for users to view.”
Ramesh Nalem, however, points out that “Some of the additional features required are that it should be more user-friendly.
Sometimes, when we use the drag-and-drop feature it does not drag the object and needs to be user-friendly. It’s not available today. If it would be more flexible, that would be helpful.”
#4 Microsoft BI
IT Central Station users rank Microsoft BI as the number four solution of the end of Q1 2017.
Rafael Martins Cardoso writes that “Since its integration into SQL Server 2005, Microsoft has made a number of improvements and added many new features. It had a big overhaul in 2008 and acquired a bunch of new features with 2008 R2: KPIs, maps, sparklines, new functions, published Report Parts, and more.”
Cardoso would also like to see improvements made to the “Antiquated IDE for code developers extending it. I really wish that the custom code windows provided richer programming assistance (like autocomplete, object-oriented constructs, Intellisense…) and support for other programming languages.”
#5 IBM Cognos
IBM Cognos is ranked by our users as the number five solution of the end of Q1 2017.
Mike Bernaiche shares that “IBM Cognos Analytics is a data discovery and reporting platform for your department or your entire enterprise. But it’s much more than just managed reporting: It provides departmental users with the self-sufficiency they need to bring in their own external data, explore it, and even merge it with corporately governed data, all without needing to go to IT. With that ability, they can get fresh perspectives that are simply not available in their existing reporting environment.”
Bernaiche then adds that “IBM Cognos Analytics continues to improve with every release. On the horizon are some major enhancements that include:
- World-class mapping capabilities (This is now available with release 5. IBM partnered with Mapbox and now offer beautiful geospatial mapping capabilities.)
- Connections to more data sources (with release this is greatly improved.)
- Storytelling features like Watson Analytics (available with release 4.)
- Connections to Frame Work Manager packages for dashboards (available with release 5.)”
IT Central Station users rank MicroStrategy as the number six solution of the end of Q1 2017.
Gonzalo Segarra finds that “The most valuable thing is not the product. It’s having a product for BI. We first made a lot of dashboards.
They are very useful for management and automatic reports with summarized data.
The dashboards can be exported to MHT. This allows us to send them by email, or publish in our intranet and sync in mobile devices so they can use it offline calculations, and query optimizations.”
Rajavel Selvaraj Ganesan adds that “Some of the basic features such as Axis Label formatting on Graphs, Quick Switch on mobile (iOS), properly updated documentation on their websites, and faster enhancement fixes when needed for customers/businesses that are simple in nature rather than holding it for longer durations to fix.”
#7 SAP Business Objects
SAP Business Objects is ranked by our users as the number seven solution of the end of Q1 2017, but what do users really think about SAP Business Objects?
Shahid Latif writes that “The features that I think are valuable in SAP Business Objects – BOBJ (WEBi, BI Launch Pad, Rich Client) are the drill down capabilities to the nitty gritty lowest level and perform an in-depth analysis from different angles. Other products may also have this, but I believe with BOBJ, it is a lot better.”
A BI Consultant speaks of how he “encountered an issue with security. When I promoted the association between the CMC security profile and the Security Universe profile as I took our application from dev to test to production, I noticed that the associations were lost. This forced me to newly associate all over again.”
IT Central Station users rank Pentaho as the number eight solution of the end of Q1 2017.
Saravanan Ramaraj emphasizes Pentaho’s valuable feature of “Ad-hoc reporting (available only in Enterprise Edition) GEO-referencing using Google Maps ETL (Pentaho Data Integration) Support for both JasperReport, BIRT.”
Federico Blezio adds that he “would like to see self-service analysis and front-end tools.”
#9 SAS Visual Analytics
SAS Visual Analytics is ranked by our users as the number nine solution of the end of Q1 2017.
Thireindar Min shares that thanks to the “Interactive reporting with various statistical graphs. The company was able to see the 360 view of how the customers were consuming their services in terms of membership, events and educational purposes from a central data storage loaded in SAS which was very hard to achieve without the software.”
This engineer describes that he’d “like to see the ability to use Python or other codes within the workflow. The helpdesk was not great. Part of the reason why we went back to open source Python was that their help desk could not solve our problems quickly enough.”
#10 Panorama Necto
IT Central Station users rank Panorama Necto as the number ten solution of the end of Q1 2017, but what do users really think of the solution?
Lucy Sokitch writes that “This solution is very easy to use and offers a huge variety of features. It helps us reach our customers and our vendors, supports different graphics templates and implements interactive analytics tools. Also, it has very effective tools to connect with your colleagues which is one of the best I have ever seen.”
Sokitch also notes that “Panorama doesn’t have big community support and many issues we refer to the technicians. This isn’t great, especially with the lack of time. Also they do not support a Linux version and we have some problems with this.”
Read more user reviews for the Top BI Tools of Q1 2017 here.
More User Feedback on Top BI Tools:
Tableau 10: Best New/Improved Features — January 27, 2017
Business Intelligence Tools — [PDF REPORT] — April 2017