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BI tools comparison matrix:
Your guide to choosing the right tool

Your comprehensive guide to selecting, implementing, and excelling in BI with expert insights and vendor comparisons

What can BI tools do for your business?

In today's data-rich business landscape, making informed decisions is paramount to success. That's where Business Intelligence (BI) tools come in. With BI tools, your business can:


Gain unparalleled visibility with dashboards: Visualizations and dashboards provided by BI tools give you a clear view of your business performance. With BI, you can monitor key metrics, track progress towards objectives, and uncover insights through intuitive charts and dynamic dashboards. When you have a BI tool at your disposal, making data-driven decisions rooted in a deep understanding of your operations becomes a walk in the park.


Boost efficiency with real-time insights: BI tools help you stay ahead of the curve by reacting to data trends as they unfold. They offer near real-time access to key business metrics and trends, empowering you to monitor your operations, identify areas for improvement, and take proactive actions early on. BI tools facilitate the use of actionable insights for process optimization and improved overall efficiency.


Foster a data-driven culture with self-serve analysis: Fostering a data-driven culture with self-serve analysis involves empowering every team member to make data-driven decisions. BI tools facilitate this by providing user-friendly interfaces, enabling anyone in your company to find answers to their inquiries, create insightful reports, and delve into specific segments. This nurtures a data-driven culture where everyone has the tools to uncover meaningful insights and contribute to company-wide success.

Different types of BI tools

Open-source tools

Open-source tools are usually created collaboratively by a community of contributors in an open and transparent manner


Lower initial cost: Open-source tools offer a cost-effective solution as they are available for free. Additionally, the parent company often provides commercially available cloud versions, which include services such as cloud hosting, deployment, and access control, all at a more budget-friendly price point.

Customizability and flexibility: With open-source tools, businesses can easily adapt and customize the software to meet their specific needs or integrate it with other systems.


Require technical expertise: Maintenance and support demand a team of highly skilled developers.

Lack of support: Open-source tools often rely on user communities for support, which may not always offer timely assistance. You might also encounter occasional bugs and issues.

Lack of guarantee of service: The tool's uptime and maintenance are entirely reliant on the technical support team.

Enterprise solutions

Enterprise solutions are commercial applications tailored for large organizations, offering rich features, scalability, security, and comprehensive support


Comprehensive feature sets: Enterprise tools offer a wide range of robust features, each designed to address the complex needs of large organizations. These include advanced analytics capability, scalability, support for handling large volumes of data, and easy collaboration with alerts.

Integration capabilities: Enterprise BI tools often come with pre-built connectors and integrations to various data sources, databases, and applications commonly used in enterprise environments.

Support and training: Enterprise support includes implementation, troubleshooting, maintenance, and training for new features.


Cost: Enterprise solutions can be costly due to licensing fees, subscriptions, or upfront expenses.

Vendor lock-in: Since it's a commercial offering without open-source backing, price increases and negotiations are subject to the vendor's discretion.

Learning curve: While many enterprise BI tools come with user-friendly interfaces, they may still have a learning curve, especially when handling complex analyses or advanced features. Users might require training to fully leverage these capabilities.

Factors to consider when deciding on the right BI tool

What’s your budget?

The pricing of BI tools can vary significantly, spanning from hundreds to thousands per month. Various BI tools employ different pricing structures: based on the number of users, license types (e.g., developers, viewers), or exclusively annual commitments. With such extensive price differences, it's crucial to factor in both the number and types of users. Are you making BI tools available to your entire company, catering to non-technical individuals venturing into self-serve data exploration? Or are you specifically targeting executive leadership, providing them with invaluable insights? Be sure to also take into account your end-users' technical skills as you assess the necessary features.

What are the requirements for technical users to build dashboards?

For technical users, certain factors hold great importance: compatibility with current systems and data sources, performance, scalability for managing extensive data volumes, and the ability to customize charts flexibly.

What are the requirements for non-technical users to use dashboards?

Non-technical users prioritize factors like ease of use and learning curve, collaboration and sharing features, alerts/notifications (e.g., via Slack or email), anomaly detection, and data refresh schedules.

Do you require self-serve analysis capabilities?

Prevent scenarios where the business team notices an unusual trend and has to wait for the analytics team's explanation. Assess the self-serve capabilities' complexity according to your end users' skills (SQL or drag-and-drop) and needs. This may involve accessing answers through pre-built dashboards and reports with simple drill-downs or conducting more in-depth exploratory analysis with raw data.

Are you looking to embed analytics in applications?

When you require external stakeholders to access dashboards or integrate analytics into existing business applications, embedded capabilities become essential. Additionally, it's important to factor in role-based access features within the embedded application.

What are security and access control considerations?

Because BI tools frequently manage sensitive data, robust security and access control features are of paramount importance. Flexibility is key in selectively granting access to datasets, tables, reports, dashboards, or specific data values based on user roles or attributes. For instance, ensuring that sales reps can only access data pertaining to their respective regions or accounts is vital.

How’s important is customer support and new feature release speed?

It is important to consider the availability of timely support and the speed at which new features are released. These factors contribute to a great user experience, especially since enterprise contracts are typically bundled for at least one year.

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Future trends of BI

Business intelligence is a rapidly evolving field, driven by advancements in technology and ever-changing business requirements.

NLP integrations with BI tools: With the explosion of innovation in natural language processing, business intelligence is transforming from reporting to prediction and prescription of insights based on available data. With NLP-enabled tools leveraging semantic structures, people can ask questions and get insights on the go. For instance, Delphi serves as an AI-powered conversational interface for the semantic layer, enabling you to ask a wide range of questions through Delphi's Slack chatbot, providing insightful responses and assistance.

Input tables: Until now, tables in Business intelligence have been read-only, only analyzing data present in warehouses. With input tables, business teams can now break through the Data-to-Warehouse barrier. For example, Sigma launched the new input table feature to incorporate human context, such as projection, into analysis.

More niche tools: Such tools cater to specific industries or business needs allowing companies to gather more targeted and relevant data for their analysis. By focusing on specific niches, these tools can provide deeper insights and more specialized functionality compared to broader business intelligence platforms.

How 5X helps with BI tool selection and management

Needs assessment and tool recommendations

We thoroughly assess your existing systems, pain points, and strategic priorities to gain a deep understanding of your business use cases. Based on this analysis, we recommend the best BI tools that align with your budget, industry, company size, special requirements, and specific use cases.

Proof of concepts with your real data

After narrowing down the options to 2-3 tools, we help you build dashboards using your actual data across different tools. This allows your business end users to interact with real contextual information, aiding in the decision-making process. This process usually takes 2-3 months for scheduling vendor demos, fighting for data team resources; 5X can make it happen in less than 2 weeks.

Streamlined negotiations and contract handling

5X takes care of all the negotiation, paperwork, and contract management on your behalf. We engage with BI tool vendors to secure the enterprise contract, eliminating the need for you to navigate complex sales conversations.

Seamless integration with 5X data platform

Our end-to-end data platform ensures effortless integration of your chosen BI tool with other tools through a simple 1-click process. Once you onboard your data vendors, such as data warehouses, ingestion, and modeling tools onto the 5X platform, your new BI tool gets seamlessly added and configured with your existing tools. This eliminates manual work and maintenance concerns, enabling you to focus entirely on analytics.

Effortless migration & support to new tools

Transitioning to a new BI tool is a breeze. Our specialists handle data migration, tailored planning, and user training, guaranteeing a smooth switch, and post-migration support ensures a successful transition.

Centralized billing, user management, and usage insights

Through the 5X platform, all vendors provisioned under 5X are consolidated into a single monthly bill. This simplifies financial management by eliminating the need to handle multiple invoices. Additionally, 5X platform allows you to manage user access, monitor usage, and access all your dashboards from a single location.

Choosing a 5X vendor means partnering with a trusted expert, ensuring your BI journey is backed by industry-leading innovation and support. Book a demo now to tap into the efficiency, growth, and innovation that BI tools bring.

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