Which Reporting Tool Is Best in Market?

What is the best reporting tool on the market?

The best reporting tool on the market is Sisense because of its comprehensive functionalities and easy-to-use interface. As the industry leader in business intelligence, this software can help you collate and analyze complex data from multiple sources. This tool also allows you to use a wide variety of data visualizations to make it easier to present reports.

Business intelligence software solutions are great for improving the overall performance of your company. These tools can help you uncover a wide array of data and give you deeper insights about your business operations. This allows you to make better and faster decisions to gear your company towards success. However, not all BI tools are created to cater to the same type of business, so it is best to figure out which ones are best suited specifically to your business before you decide to invest in one. To help you make the best choice, we will be breaking down the functionalities of all the leading products in the industry and judging them in detail by their own merits.

reporting tools

Cloud business intelligence is growing at an impressive rate. Worldwide spending on business intelligence services was seen to increase by 30% in 2018, putting the total market size at $114 billion. While just a small part of the bigger pie, cloud-hosted business intelligence was projected to quicken its pace and reach a market value of $2.94 billion in 2018 compared to $.75 billion in 2012.

Of course, there are many kinds of cloud reporting tools, also known as Business Intelligence (BI) software. They all process and analyze corporate data to help you understand the health of your business. They all use a variety of formulas and metrics to measure, compare, and relate business indicators. They make it possible to distinguish the strengths and weaknesses of every company. The main functions of these systems are data discovery, data management, and reporting, but some of them also evaluate functionality and employees’ performance.

However, if you want to know how to choose the best business intelligence software solution for your business, we highly recommend you to consider our leader Sisense and the rest of our 10 leading BI products which we will mention in this article.

Which Reporting Tool Is Best in Market Overall?

In trying to answer this question, we first have to determine what are the right criteria for evaluating BI software. According to a BI Survey, the criteria best-in-class companies use for selecting their BI software confirm that successful projects are based on selecting the tool rather than the vendor. In particular, there are eight criteria used to evaluate BI software:

  1. Functionality
  2. Fast query performance
  3. Ease of use for report recipients
  4. Flexibility of the software
  5. Large data handling capacity
  6. Support of large numbers of users
  7. Vendor listed as corporate standard
  8. Bundled with another product

By referring to this set of criteria, we have concluded that Sisense is the best product available on the market. To learn more about the features, pricing, and user experience that this software solution has to offer, you may take a look at our detailed review of Sisense here. However, we suggest that you first check out the top BI products on this article so you can see how they compare with each other.

If you are still wondering about what these software solutions can do for you, feel free to read our article explaining what are the business intelligence tools and their benefits to different industries.

Which Reporting Tool has the Best Functionality?

Sisense has an ElastiCube Manager to help you reinforce your workflows and analyze your data better.

1. Sisense

Static reports quickly become dated and are easily ignored. Luckily, Sisense is known for having fully interactive reports and KPI dashboards that let you turn your business into a data-driven enterprise. All Sisense reports and dashboards are generated based on real-time data, allowing everyone in your organization to analyze the same numbers, rely on a single source of truth, and always access the freshest insights. You can also access reports directly from your web browser, or use email alerts and PDF exports to spread the word. With Sisense, users can unify all the data they ever need and want into visually appealing dashboards via a drag-and-drop user interface. Sisense basically allows users to turn data into highly valuable insights and then share them with colleagues, business partners, and clients via interactive dashboards. 

2. Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics runs a close second to Sisense when it comes to functionality due to its comprehensive set of features. Offering intuitive reporting and embedded analytics, this self-service BI platform also has AI, natural language processing, and machine learning technologies at its core. With this, you can streamline data gathering and simplify reporting processes so that you can get hold of the information you need faster. Much like Sisense, this software also leverages drag-and-drop navigation to allow both novice and professional users to manage the platform with ease. What’s more is that all of these functionalities are mobile-ready, making it great for teams that are always on-the-go. 

Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics

Try out Zoho Analytics with their free trial

3. ReportPlus

Another business intelligence solution that does not fall short when it comes to functionality is ReportPlus. Deployed via cloud or on-premise, this tool utilizes real-time data to give you a complete overview of the different aspects of your business operations. To make it even better, ReportPlus supports over 30 business-specific data visualizations for sales, finance, marketing, retail, manufacturing, and other industries. These can be configured according to your preferences so you can be sure that you are getting the information you need right at your fingertips.

Detailed ReportPlus Review

Which Reporting Tool has the Fastest Query Performance?

Aside from its unparalleled business intelligence features, Sisense also has robust pulse monitoring options.

1. Sisense

Sisense allows you to come up with new BI reports in minutes, not days. With easy to use drag-and-drop capabilities, even non-technical users can use Sisense BI reporting tools to join all their data sources into a single repository and build insightful reports with beautiful visualizations. Users can even adjust data models, tables and sources, query terabyte-scale data and generate a new report or dashboard in just a few clicks, and without going through endless iterations with your technical departments.

2. Looker

Looker is a data-discovery application that provides an intuitive approach to data exploration. It offers a web-based interface that business users can utilize to tap into the expertise of their data analytics team. They can build and share reports on the fly, so other functional groups can benefit from the questions they’re asking and the knowledge they’ve created. Thus, Looker can help all companies use data to drive their business decisions and activities in the right direction.

3. datapine

Much like Sisense and Looker, datapine packs a punch when it comes to processing ad-hoc queries at lightning speed. It leverages best-in-class analytics, robust data connectors, and advanced calculations to help users collate and explore the information they require at the fastest possible time. The software even makes use of powerful filters and beautiful data visualizations so it is easier to create comprehensive and engaging reports that will surely impress you and your stakeholders.

Detailed datapine Review

Which Reporting Tool is the Easiest to Use for Report Recipients?

Yellowfin has best-in-class data visualization and data sharing tools.

1. Yellowfin

Instead of generating traditional chart and graph reports, Yellowfin leverages data storytelling to give report recipients a more substantial data exploration experience. With this BI software, you can utilize trellis charts, infographics, GIS maps, and other forms of data visualization to bring your reports to life. It even comes with a fully-integrated presentation module that lets you whip up interactive reports complete with text, images, and videos. What makes this even better is that you can share your reports on both desktop and mobile devices in an instant.

2. QlikView

QlikView is a business intelligence solution built for collaboration. This platform not only allows users to build reports as efficiently and as quickly as possible. It also makes it easy to export reports into different file formats for faster sharing. You may even choose to print the report directly from the platform so you don’t have to go through multiple processes just to get a copy of the finished report. For internal sharing, all you have to do is toggle with user permissions so that the data is accessible to the different members of your team.  

Detailed QlikView Review

3. Tableau

Tableau is a business intelligence system that helps companies visualize and understand their data. Giving a revolutionary new approach when it comes to business intelligence, this BI solution allows businesses to quickly connect, visualize, as well as share data with an efficient seamless experience all the way from the PC to the iPad. It even has mobile-ready dashboards and a specialized Tableau Reader for better data viewing

Detailed Tableau Review

Which Reporting Tool is the Most Flexible?

Looker has a flexible interface with highly configurable settings.

1. Looker

Out of the products in this article, Looker appears to be the most flexible business intelligence software. It has a scalable architecture that allows it to adapt to the needs of your operations, making it ideal for any business size. It also supports an extensible modeling language and gives users the means to fully customize and export reports however they want. What’s more, is Looker has API capabilities that let it integrate into custom or third-party applications. This way, you can extend its functions or combine it with your existing business systems.

2. QlikView

Not far from Looker when it comes to flexibility is QlikView. Available for deployment via cloud or on-premise, this software solution has a dynamic BI ecosystem and a highly configurable interface. From customizing connectors, templates. And dashboards to personalizing roles and permissions, this BI tool will help you carry out your operations the way you prefer.  It also has open API capabilities that allow users to combine their software with the different widgets, third-party applications, and add-ons that they want.

Detailed QlikView Review

3. Qualtrics Research Core

Lastly, we have Qualtrics Research Core. While this enterprise market research platform focuses heavily on data processing and analysis, it is not limited to business intelligence. Qualtrics Research Core is used by businesses and schools of different sizes that are looking to perform accurate qualitative and quantitative research. It is made accessible on all types of devices and it can support multi-channel surveys and customized data management. With this, you don’t have to worry about having limited options when it comes to survey distribution, report generation, and data accessibility.

Qualtrics Research Core

Qualtrics Research Core

Try out Qualtrics Research Core with their free trial

Which Reporting Tool Has The Largest Data Handling Capacity?

The Sisense welcome page is easy to navigate for both novice and professional users of reporting tools.

1. Sisense

Decentralized reporting could mean different departments and stakeholders looking at completely different numbers, which could quickly create messy situations. With Sisense, you can put an end to data silos and spreadsheet chaos. This software serves as a centralized data repository to ensure everyone is working with a single source of truth.

2. Looker

There is a lot Looker can offer in addition to open API integration blocks and flexible pricing. It analyzes both web-hosted and SQL information and accommodates over 25 data variations. The platform is designed to end data chaos and bottlenecks and does so in an intuitive interface that employees can understand in little to no time.

3. SAP BusinessObjects Lumira

SAP BusinessObjects Lumira is built specifically for large companies so you can be sure that this can handle huge amounts of data. It can pull data from multiple sources and seamlessly compile them into one database in just a few clicks. This way, you can accommodate all of your company data quickly and securely without worrying about duplicates. If you think that your enterprise will be handling larger data sets, the software can be configured to allow greater RAM usage for your convenience.  

Detailed SAP BusinessObjects Lumira Review

Which Reporting Tool Supports a Large Number of Users?

Sisense is equipped with custom dashboards that can be configured to the needs of your operations.

1. Sisense

Sisense is the leading business intelligence software for many companies, ranging from startups and developing enterprises to Fortune 500 giants including eBay, Sony, ESPN, Comcast, and NASA.

2. Looker

Looker is the preferred business intelligence application of over 700 companies worldwide, helping them keep customers satisfied and discover how to turn traffic into valuable eCommerce information. Before contacting them for a quote, we advise you to request a free demo and explore the features in advance.

3. SAP BusinessObjects Lumira

Just as SAP BusinessObjects Lumira can handle plenty of data, this software is also built to support a large number of users. With this, you can be sure that your whole team will be able to get access to your data and reports with ease. Just be sure to get in touch with the vendor to request a custom plan in case their standard plan isn’t able to handle your requirements.

Detailed SAP BusinessObjects Lumira Review

Which Reporting Tool Has Their Vendor Listed as Corporate Standard?

Sisense offers a holistic data view that plenty of Fortune 500 companies love.

1. Sisense

Among the top 10 business intelligence platforms we mentioned, Sisense is the only reporting tool that is listed as corporate standard. Trusted by many reputable companies, this software empowers thousands of users across the world by simplifying their reporting and analytics and putting the power of data into the hands of business users. They are dedicated to speedy, successful deployments and work closely with every client to make sure they gain the maximum value out of Sisense, and with minimal overhead. That’s why the world’s leading companies – from Fortune 500s to fast-paced startups – choose Sisense as their BI reporting tool.

Which Reporting Tool is Bundled With Another Product?

Zoho Analytics has a comprehensive dashboard that gives you a 360-degree view of your data.

1. Zoho Analytics

As part of the Zoho productivity suite, it is only natural that Zoho Analytics may be bundled with the vendor’s other products. With this, you can make use of the powerful business intelligence features that the software has to offer in line with other robust systems for marketing automation, help desk management, project management, as well as sales management. In addition to that, you can get it at a price that is much lower than when you purchase them separately.

Zoho Analytics

An award given to products our B2B experts find especially valuable for companies

Try out Zoho Analytics with their free trial

2. QlikView

QlikView is only one of the many products offered by Qlik. The vendor has multiple business intelligence and data analytics tools that may be used together. Alongside Qlik Sense, Qlik Core, Qlik Data Catalyst, and other products, QlikView opens up more reporting possibilities for users. This makes it much convenient for users to collect more data, get results faster, and generate reports effortlessly.

Detailed QlikView Review

3. SAP BusinessObjects Lumira

As massive as your data can be, SAP BusinessObjects Lumira can tell the story of your business easily, giving presentations with predefined scripts and complex spreadsheets. Currently, SAP BusinessObjects Lumira is among the most popular SAP analytic solutions, integrated well with the rest of its productivity and BI suite to avoid using third-party software altogether. BusinessObjects Lumira doesn’t only gather information, it also analyses it, protects it, and generates detailed and accurate reports.

Detailed SAP BusinessObjects Lumira Review

Guidelines for Selecting a Reporting Software

Before you decide on which reporting platform to invest in, let us first discuss some guidelines for selecting software solutions. This way, you can fine-tune your browsing process and ensure that you are getting exactly the type of reporting platform that you need.  

  1. Define What You Need a Reporting Software For – Not all reporting software are created equal. This is why it is important to first understand what you’ll be using it for to zero in on what type of platform you should get. For instance, if you are looking to use reporting software to simply monitor your daily operations, you might opt for a platform that focuses heavily on business activity monitoring and analytical processing. On the other hand, if you need this software to get a pulse on your customers, you might be better off with a reporting tool that supports survey analysis and querying tools. There is also business intelligence software that is created for collaboration, so it makes it easy for teams to gather and visualize data.
  2. Find Out How Much Data You Plan on Processing – After you’ve determined what type of reporting tool you need, you need to estimate how much data you plan on processing. Some BI solutions can only handle so much information, so it is important to find out if your prospective software’s capacity can support your requirements. You should also try to check if the vendor offers options to upgrade the data capacity of the software. This way, you can avoid having to switch reporting tools whenever the amount of data you process increases.
  3. Determine Your Preferred Deployment Option – Another factor you should think about is your deployment preference. There are reporting software that can be deployed via cloud and there are those that can be deployed on-premise. If you want to make sure that your company data doesn’t leave your workplace, an on-premise solution might be more ideal for you. Meanwhile, a cloud-hosted reporting tool will give you the convenience of accessing your data using different devices. As a bonus, cloud-hosted software plans are often inclusive of maintenance services so you don’t have to go out of your way to perform routine bug fixes and upgrades.   
  4. Calculate the Total Cost of Ownership. Aside from subscription rates and user licensing prices, there are other costs to take into consideration when purchasing reporting software. Factors like installation fees, employee training costs, and data migration costs are what make users spend more than they initially planned, so keep in mind that these are just startup fees. You also have to find out more about maintenance support and license renewal rates to calculate the total cost of ownership of a product. The bottom line here is that you should take your time to find out if a particular software solution is worth the price before finalizing your decision.
Chris Miller

By Chris Miller

Chris Miller is a senior customer service analyst at FinancesOnline. For more than 5 years now, he has witnessed and written about the tremendous impact of digital technologies that have deeply disrupted the customer service industry. The onset of chatbots and other AI/ML tech, omnichannel platforms, highly personalized service, the emerging blockchain methodologies specially created a deep impact, all of which are reflected in his writing. His reviews of customer service applications serve as invaluable resources for businesses of any size and scale.

Nikhilesh says:

Hello Chris,

I would request you to please review have a look at Open Source BI product Helical Insight.

It comes with an absolutely free version as well as a paid version.

It comes with a drag drop interface to create reports, dashboards and data visualization.

There is also a module allowing for pixel perfects multi pager document kind of reporting as well with options like grouping, alignment, report header, page header, report footer, page footer, summary, repeat by, page setup and many more allowing you to create reports like invoice salary slips bank statements tickets etc.

There are many other options which includes embedding, exporting in various formats, email scheduling, user role management, support of SSO (like CAS, LDAP, active directory, Oauth etc). Entire application can be white labelled. There are more than 30+ charting options and it is also possible to extend and integrate any sort of javascript charts like D3, C3, chartsjs etc. By default there are also a lot of advanced statistical and scientific charting options allowing users to fulfill their analytical data viz need as well as visualize huge amount of data.

For performance enhancement there is support of pagination, caching, as well as load balancing. Options to use inmemory mode as well.

There is support for mapping also with integration of openmaps and extendable to Google Maps also.

There is a workflow module which can allow you to create your own custom workflow and automation as well.

There is a support of various kind of databases, flat files, big data db, graph databases. Every functionality of Helical Insight is supported by API. Please do give it a try.

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