BI tools: what are the 5 most powerful on the market?

BI tools: what are the 5 most powerful

BI tools: what are the 5 most powerful

Business Intelligence is the “ace up the sleeve” of the most successful organizations on the market; a very powerful business practice if applied correctly and the BI tools necessary to exploit it are available.

In this sense, Business Intelligence tools are key to make the most of internal capabilities and to make more efficient decisions regarding corporate strategy.

Originally, Business Intelligence emerged with the purpose of transforming simple pure data into a crucial source of information to support decision-making.

In the midst of this 4th industrial revolution, this data analysis practice became one of the main axes of all digital transformation processes in companies. Therefore, Business Intelligence is no longer an option, but a necessity for organizations that wish to maintain and increase their level of competitiveness. 

What are the 5 most powerful BI tools on the market?

Each Business Intelligence tool varies in its characteristics and functionalities. There are those that are deployed through cloud computing , those that have Artificial Intelligence as their background technology or those that specialize in data visualization, among others.

Within this diversity panorama, we want to show in this article some of the most powerful BI tools on the market:

  • SAP BusinessObjects BI
  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Tableau
  • IBM Cognos Analytics
  • MicroStrategy

SAP BusinessObjects BI

BusinessObjects BI is the business intelligence tool belonging to SAP , one of the most important corporations in the world in terms of business software development. Therefore, BusinessObjects BI is compatible with all products in the broad SAP ecosystem . Thus increasing the benefits and capabilities in organizations.

The tool stands out because it provides constant, simple and clear access to facilitate the analysis of information and the generation of reports. It is used to perform analysis quickly and easily and through the information obtained, create a large number of reports.

Some of the features of this software are:

  • Its flexible architecture allows you to quickly scale the resources to use. In this way, you can support both a few users and tens of thousands.
  • Its network of internal applications facilitates the personalized distribution of data among all decision-makers, even in very large organizations.
  • Its functionalities are integrated with Office. Therefore, you can filter and modify data or find trends from Excel files or other programs in this suite.

Although BusinessObjects BI is 100% on-premises, SAP also has the SAP Analytics Cloud solution . A version of the BI software deployed 100% in the cloud.

Microsoft Power BI

Power BI is Microsoft’s flagship Business Intelligence product. So it integrates naturally and precisely with other brand tools, such as the Office suite and, especially, with Excel for handling databases .

This software is capable of connecting with hundreds of data sources. These are integrated and managed in robust and intuitive display panels that are simple in terms of usability.

In addition, the versatility in Power BI’s design allows it to adapt to the specific needs of both data analysts and IT developers , as well as members of senior management .

According to a comparative study by Frost & Sullivan , Power BI is the most economical solution among the various BI tools for companies of any size.


Tableau is a set of tools that offer a comprehensive solution in Business Intelligence. Although his specialty is data visualization through powerful analytical dashboards, he also addresses other needs in the BI processes of organizations.

This software stands out for the creation of visual dashboards to be able to answer business questions in a simple way. It is highly valued in the BI world for its ability to create dashboards and visual reports very easily.

In this sense, Tableau is made up of:

  • Tableau Prep – Prepare data for further analysis. This tool is subdivided into: Tableau Prep Builder , to create data flows; and Tableau Prep Conductor , to share workflows across the organization.
  • Tableau Desktop : run the respective analyzes in powerful graphical interfaces. This is Tableau’s flagship tool. Known worldwide thanks to its very high performance visual analysis.
  • Tableau Server : Offers a governed and scalable self-service analytics system, capable of integrating with both on-premises and cloud data management infrastructures.
  • Tableau Online – Provides a self-service analytics platform through the cloud. So its main benefit is access through any device connected to the internet.

In 2019, Tableau was acquired by Salesforce , one of the technological giants in the development of the most powerful CRM systems on the market. Therefore, the tools of both brands can be natively integrated with each other. Providing greater agility and robustness to business management systems.

With this acquisition, Salesforce will use its artificial intelligence tool,  Einstein , to leverage Tableau’s capabilities. Enabling the latter to produce smarter and more powerful data analytics and visualizations.

IBM Cognos Analytics

Cognos Analytics is the Business Intelligence solution from IBM, one of the most advanced companies in terms of Artificial Intelligence tools . Therefore, this analytics software is based on AI to increase its capacity and precision in data analysis. Which makes it one of the most powerful BI tools in the world.

Cognos Analytics offers fully personalized analytics experiences through business self-service. Thus, organizations have scalability and governance capabilities over resources and analytics processes.

This system can be deployed both on-premise and in the cloud. In addition, it has a virtual AI assistant based on natural language. Also, it is characterized by reducing data preparation times through automation and integrated intelligence.


MicroStrategy is a brand specialized almost exclusively in data analysis solutions , with extensive experience worldwide in the development of BI tools.

This tool processes and analyzes relational data, allowing its management through intuitive and personalized dashboards . In addition, your analytics reports can be distributed and shared among thousands of users, and each report can be configured according to specific needs.  

Its self-service format, wide variety of data connectors , scalable architecture, and affordable cost make it the perfect tool for small and medium-sized businesses looking to extend their analysis processes to large, high-performance work teams. Thus guaranteeing the availability in real time of all the necessary resources for complex and distributed analytics.

How to choose the most suitable Business Intelligence tool for your business

The Gartner Magic Quadrant is one of the main resources to consider when exploring the BI tools available on the market , in order to choose the most appropriate one.

This Quadrant is the result of year after year research by Gartner in the technology sector, comparing the characteristics, functionalities and integration requirements of different IT tools in multiple sectors.

In this sense, Gartner has classified and positioned, on several occasions, the Business Intelligence tools described in this article. Here you can check the different reports according to each software:

  • SAP BusinessObjects BI
  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Tableau
  • IBM Cognos Analytics
  • MicroStrategy

At Cognodata we advise and accompany you throughout the process of implementing the most appropriate Business Intelligence tool for your business with state -of-the-art technologies .

In a phase prior to implementation, we study the analytical needs of the company and perform an audit of available data to detect integration and information requirements, always placing emphasis on the maximum use of the data for future actions and processes, (eg predictive analytics).

In the subsequent phases, we optimize your data extraction , visualization and analysis methods , so that you can make the most accurate, cost-efficient and results-effective strategic decisions.

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