Business intelligence (BI) is all about making information-driven decisions. When you have the authorizations, BI systems determine what your users need to know. Whether you use one of these business intelligence systems examples to increase profits or run a better business, the results are undeniable.

Business Intelligence (BI), in one form or the other, has been around for decades. Of late, BI has gained huge popularity that encompasses both IT and Business professionals in its fold. This is due to the increasing demand for data-driven decision-making in all sectors of industry.

How Business Intelligence can benefit your sales and marketing


CountantsFollowSep 24, 2019 · 7 min read

Be it the right online platform for marketing campaigns or how to target online customers with the right promotional message, data continues to influence decision-making in sales and marketing strategies. Now with the evolution of business intelligence in sales and marketing disciplines, marketing professionals are in a better position to use actionable intelligence in tracking customer purchases, the best-selling (or least-selling) products, along with which marketing channels are driving most conversions.

Business Intelligence Tools or Systems

Modern-day marketers are increasingly relying on business data to determine the best channel for promoting their latest product campaign or where to spend their budget and resources. Business adoption of cloud-based business intelligence tools in 2018 has doubled from its 2016 levels, with 90% of the marketing teams depending on cloud-based business intelligence (or BI) to complete their work in 2018.

Business Intelligence Tools or Systems

Why is Business Intelligence so important for business?

Business Intelligence Tools or Systems

In the first place, what is a business intelligence and why is it so important for business corporations? By definition, business intelligence or BI is a set of processes and technologies that can derive relevant and meaningful information from raw business data. This means information can be used by various organizational functions (including marketing and sales) to improve business decisions and actions.

Application of Business Intelligence in Marketing

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics uncover data that reveal future trends. The forecasts produced by these analytics offer the best suggestions for future actions. The information provided by predictive analytics supports the approach of the sales team and helps to increase their revenue. Predictive analytics not only determine the best message for customers by analyzing their past behavior but also tell the company which products are better to market to which customers. When marketers understand customer behavior better, they’re able to be proactive with future customer needs. Predictive analytics also helps marketers to improve their customer engagement efforts and use more valuable messaging to reach their target audience.

Technology Integration

When customers use business intelligence tools for marketing, they create a fully integrated marketing approach. Customers use all available channels and resources to research and discuss a product or service to make their decision on whether to buy. Therefore, marketers must integrate data from all available platforms to design the best interactions. Integrating marketing technology is the best way to convey a unified message throughout a customer’s experience with your company. Unifying the message throughout a customer’s journey is important to offer a seamless customer experience. This can be achieved by integrating real-time data to personalize customer responses. When marketing technologies are integrated, companies provide their customers with consistent messages across all platforms, ensuring the brand stick out in the customer’s mind.

Social Analytics

These tools gather information from user conversations and actions across all online platforms. Social analytics offers marketing departments insight into customer behavior and thought processes. These analytics examine statistics of page browsing and social media. Web analytics offer marketers data on which parts of their site, links, and ads that lead customers to their site are more successful. This data allows marketers to make a better decisions when it comes to the content and messages on their site.

Social media analytics offer marketers unique insights into the hearts and minds of their customers. This insight allows companies to learn more about their target audience and improves their ability to engage with their customers. Social media analytics offers actionable insight like campaign tracking. Campaign tracking judges the performance of a campaign and determines the factors that impact the performance of the campaign. Social analytics foster an intimate understanding of customer opinions which is important for enhancing engagement, campaign strategies, and monitoring performance.

Customer Data

When all customer data is gathered together, it can be used to make more informed marketing decisions. When companies have more accurate data, they can engage with their customers better. Therefore, unified customer data is important. When customer data isn’t unified, marketers communicate inaccurate, out-of-date messages to their customers and don’t take advantage of all the data at their disposal.

Business intelligence tools draw data from multiple areas together and organize that data into a unified format. This data provides insight into customers and where the data came from, allowing marketers to know where each customer engages from. These tools provide the most effective business intelligence for marketing and sales. The role of business intelligence in marketing allows companies to make better, more informed marketing decisions.

Why use business intelligence tools?

For starters, data discovery, which used to be limited to the expertise of advanced analytics specialists, is now something everyone can do using these tools. And not only that, these tools give you the insights you need to achieve things like growth, resolve urgent issues, collect all your data in one place, forecast future outcomes and so much more.

In this article, we will explain the top 15 Business Intelligence tools in 2021 and hopefully put you on the right path towards selecting a tool fit for your business.

Keep in mind: these business intelligence tools all vary in robustness, integration capabilities, ease-of-use (from a technical perspective), and of course, pricing.

SAP Business Objects

SAP Business Objects is a business intelligence software that offers comprehensive reporting, analysis, and interactive data visualization. The platform focuses heavily on categories such as Customer Experience (CX) and CRM, digital supply chain, ERP, and more. What’s nice about this platform is the self-service, role-based dashboards it offers to enable users to build their dashboards and applications. SAP is a robust software intended for all roles (IT, end uses, and management) and offers tons of functionalities in one platform. The complexity of the product, however, does drive up the price so be prepared for that.


Datapine is an all-in-one business intelligence platform that facilitates the complex process of data analytics even for non-technical users. Thanks to a comprehensive self-service analytics approach, datapine’s solution enables data analysts and business users alike to easily integrate different data sources, perform advanced data analysis, build interactive business dashboards and generate actionable business insights.


SAS Business Intelligence

While SAS’ most popular offering is its advanced predictive analytics, it also provides a great business intelligence platform. This well-seasoned self-service tool, which was founded back in the 1970s, allows users to leverage data and metrics to make informed decisions about their business. Using their set of APIs, users are provided with lots of customization options, and SAS ensures high-level data integration and advanced analytics & reporting. They also have a great text analytics feature to give you more contextual insights into your data.


Yellowfin BI

Yellowfin BI is a business intelligence tool and ‘end-to-end’ analytics platform that combines visualization, machine learning, and collaboration. You can also easily filter through tons of data with intuitive filtering (e.g. checkboxes and radio buttons) as well open up dashboards just about anywhere (thanks to this tool’s flexibility inaccessibility (mobile, webpage, etc.). The nice thing about this BI tool is that you can easily take dashboards and visualizations to the next level using a no-code/low code development environment.



A product of Qlik, QlikSense is a complete data analytics platform and business intelligence tool. You can use QlikSense from any device at any time. The user interface of QlikSense is optimized for touchscreen, which makes it a very popular BI tool. It offers a one-of-a-kind associative analytics engine, sophisticated AI, and a high-performance cloud platform, making it all the more attractive. An interesting feature within this platform is its Search & Conversational Analytics which enables a faster and easier way to ask questions and discover new insights by way of natural language.


Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics is great BI tool for in-depth reporting and data analysis. This business intelligence tool has automatic data syncing and can be scheduled periodically. You can easily build a connector by using the integration APIs. Blend and merge data from different sources and create meaningful reports. With an easy editor, you create personalized reports and dashboards enabling you to zoom into the important details. It also offers a unique commenting section in the sharing options which is great for collaboration purposes.



Sisense is a user-friendly data analytics and business intelligence tool that allows anyone within your organization to manage large and complex datasets as well as analyze and visualize this data without your IT department getting involved. It lets you bring together data from a wide variety of sources as well including Adwords, Google Analytics, and Salesforce. Not to mention, because it uses in-chip technology, data is processed quite quickly compared to other tools. Thi platform is even recognized as a leading cloud analytics platform by various industry experts such as Gartner, G2, and Dresner.


Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a web-based business analytics tool suite that excels in data visualization. It allows users to identify trends in real-time and has brand new connectors that allow you to up your game in campaigns. Because it’s web-based, Microsoft Power BI can be accessed from pretty much anywhere. This software also allows users to integrate their apps and deliver reports and real-time dashboards.



The data discovery app, Looker is another business intelligence tool to look out for! Now part of Google Cloud, this unique platform integrates with any SQL database or warehouse and is great for startups, midsize-businesses, or enterprise-grade businesses. Some benefits of this particular tool include ease-of-use, handy visualizations, powerful collaboration features (data and reports can be shared via email or USL as well as integrated with other applications), and reliable support (tech team).


Clear Analytics

This is for all of the Excel Lovers out there…This BI tool is an intuitive Excel-based software that can be used by employees with even the most basic knowledge of Excel. What you get is a self-service Business Intelligence system that offers several BI features such as creating, automating, analyzing, and visualization of your company’s data. This solution also works with the aforementioned Microsoft Power BI, using Power Query and Power Pivot to clean and model different datasets.



Tableau is a Business Intelligence tool specialized in data discovery and data visualization. With the software, you can easily analyze, visualize and share data, without IT having to intervene. Tableau supports multiple data sources such as MS Excel, Oracle, MS SQL, Google Analytics, and SalesForce. Users will gain access to well-designed dashboards that are very easy to use. Additionally Tableau also offers several standalone products including Tableau Desktop (for anyone) and Tableau Server (analytics for organizations), which can be run locally, Tableau Online (hosted analytics for organizations), and many more.


Oracle BI

Oracle BI is an enterprise portfolio of technology and applications for business intelligence. This technology gives users pretty much all business intelligence capabilities, such as dashboards, proactive intelligence, ad hoc, and more. Oracle is also great for companies who need to analyze large data volumes (from Oracle and non-Oracle sources) as it is a very robust solution. Additional key features include data archiving, versioning, a self-service portal, and alerts/notifications.



Domo is a completely cloud-based business intelligence platform that integrates multiple data sources, including spreadsheets, databases, and social media. Domo is used by both small companies and large multinationals. The platform offers micro and macro-level visibility and analyses (including predictive analysis power with Mr. Roboto, their AI engine). From cash balances and listings of your best-selling products by region to calculations of the marketing return on investment (ROI) for each channel. The only setbacks with Domo are the difficulty in downloading analyses from the cloud for personal use and the steep learning curve.


IBM Cognos Analytics

Cognos Analytics is an AI-fueled business intelligence platform that supports the entire analytics cycle. From discovery to operationalization, you can visualize, analyze and share actionable insights about your data with your colleagues. A great benefit of AI is that you can discover hidden patterns because the data is being interpreted and presented to you in a visualized report. Keep in mind, however, that it can take a while to get familiar with all of the features within this solution.



Business intelligence is one of the most important parts regarding improving business processes. If you know what is happening with your information, the systems, and the company itself, you will be able to deal with any change. Knowing this, you should probably get every business intelligence system that has the potential to take you to next level.

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