In the past, business intelligence (BI) systems were a complicated technology available only to large corporations and used strictly by dedicated data specialists.
But today, self-service BI tools make it possible for business users without a data background to access, visualize and work with data.
Digital marketing teams are a core business segment that stands to reap the rewards of user-friendly BI solutions. Digital marketers rely heavily on data to drive actions and craft campaigns that directly impact company revenue. BI tools eliminate manual data analysis and the need for technical support, making it faster than ever for marketers to glean actionable next steps.
But many startups are still hesitant to deploy these systems due to a lack of dedicated data experts and financial resources.
Initial start-up costs should no longer be a concern. Many BI solutions require minimal investment costs. The number of affordable solutions has grown tremendously with tools available to fit any budget.
The Benefits of BI Tools
Business intelligence tools have far-reaching implications — especially in the hands of marketers at any level. Some of the most popular uses include:
- Tracking and analyzing online customer behavior
- Reducing manual data analysis
- Measuring marketing KPIs
- Evaluating marketing program ROI
When implemented correctly, the benefits of self-service BI tools in the marketing department far outweigh the initial investment costs. The insights that BI tools provide can help you make informed decisions in real-time and plan for the future using predictive analytics and detailed forecasting.
BI tools for marketers have flooded the market, each with its own unique features and strengths. So how do you determine the right solution for your specific business use case?
Read to learn the strengths of some of the most popular BI tools.
What Are the Best Self-Service BI Tools for Marketers?
Here’s our list of the best self-service BI tools for everyday marketers and small businesses.
Sisense is a leader in the business intelligence software space. The software instantly provides valuable business insights from complex data.
Its user-friendly BI tools and analytics require zero coding experience. Early-stage startups are eligible for a free program if they meet certain criteria as well.
Although Sisense offers support for beginners, it has the flexibility to be scaled and comes with API-first approaches for developers. If you would like to learn more about Sisense, you can sign up for a free demo to see all the features for yourself.
If you’re searching for a cloud-based BI platform that uses SQL for data analytics, be sure to check out Looker.
Looker is designed to help you capture and analyze data from various sources to make smarter business decisions. You can analyze supply chains, digital marketing efforts, customer behavior and customer value across multiple channels and drill into the sources that interest you.
Looker can perform SQL-based queries so non-technical employees can feel empowered to review in-depth analytics without the help of IT personnel. It also includes a storytelling feature that you can use to explore relationships between different data sets and present analysis to stakeholders with rich visualizations.
It’s one of the more expensive self-service BI tools out there, so it’s not ideal for small teams.
3. Microsoft Power BI
Everyone is familiar with Microsoft products to a certain extent, but many are unfamiliar with its Power BI software. Power BI makes it easy to visualize your data and share reports and dashboards across your organization. It connects to hundreds of data sources in the cloud and on-premises.
If you’re looking for a tool that is easy to use and visually appealing, Power BI might be your best bet. It’s widely praised for combining intelligent analytics with a simple interface and stunning data visualization capabilities.
If you’re working alone or on a small team, you can download a free version of Power BI with limited features. You can also purchase a Professional license with better storage, speed and collaboration features starting at $9.99 per month.
4. Zoho Analytics
The beauty of Zoho Reports is its ability to connect to any data source. The main Zoho suite is a SaaS technology designed to help users run their businesses. Within the suite, Zoho Reports is a scalable platform with rich features including collaboration, visual analysis and white labeling.
Startups are eligible for a free plan for two users with unlimited reports and dashboard options. Premium plans are also available starting at $25 per month if you want access to additional features.
Statsbot is a BI solution that simplifies data tracking for non-technical employees. Using a unified data-driven approach, your entire team can communicate and use analytics in an easy-to-follow manner.
Startups are eligible for the Statsbot Free plan for five users, which contains 50 scheduled report messages each month and an unlimited number of profiles for outlets such as Salesforce, Google Analytics and more.
Datapine connects all your data sources into a single location and provides detailed visualizations to assist businesses with data comprehension. Its data integration capabilities allow users to communicate and analyze information from various aspects of the business, including CRM, ERP, and more.
Non-tech savvy users can take advantage of its user-friendly interface and simplified visual charts. Datapine creates visual dashboards that provide a clear picture of goals, progress and other vital information to drive business growth.
QlikView is a BI data discovery product that assists you in creating dashboards and guided analytics applications. The free software is available at no cost for personal use.
You can purchase an enterprise edition with licenses based on server, document, user or application, but pricing information is only available upon request.
The software is customizable to fit any business need. You can create analytics apps from the software regardless of your level of technical knowledge. Depending on your company’s preferences, you can use it in the cloud or by purchasing individual licenses.
8. Google Data Studio
Google Analytics is one of the most common analytics tools for marketers. Google Data Studio pulls selected data from Google Analytics and organizes it into presentation-ready dashboards that update automatically.
As an analysis and feedback tool, Hotjar has a distinct ability to analyze user insights and behavior. Using advanced technologies such as heatmaps, behavior logic, one-on-one testing, cross-device surveys and visitor recordings, it helps analyze websites and landing pages to improve conversion rates.
The software uses a one-script implementation feature that can be used on WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly or any other platform used for web hosting.
AnswerDock is a cloud-based analytics platform that uses AI, natural language processing and data mining algorithms to give you fast and accurate analytics reports.
The advanced BI capabilities of the AnswerDock platform can help you identify potential trends and answer questions beyond the data. It also supports third-party APIs so that performance can be extended beyond the needs of your operations.
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