Understanding business data can be complicated. That’s why breaking down data into charts, graphs, pictures and other forms of visual representations has become a great solution for many companies in the IT industry. This is what data visualization is all about.
When you visualise your data, you make it more engaging and detailed. It also makes computations, such as those that reflect sales and profit volumes, easier to understand. Instead of looking through page after page of encoded numbers and text-filled spreadsheets, you can now take a quick look at the pictorial representation of the company’s sales and profit.
In other words, visualizing data makes big data analytics much simpler.
What is data visualisation?
The concept of data visualisation has been around for centuries, appearing in the form of maps, pie charts, and statistical graphs. As technology continuously developed, visualising data became more advanced as we now have software that can work with both big data and small business data.
While the main function of data visualisation is to make technical reports more visually appealing and easier to understand, it also automates several specific tasks that used to be done manually.
- Can help businesses better understand and analyse data composition
- Is used to analyse distributed data
- Helps businesses track data over time
- Is used for evaluating current and existing performance data
- Is essential for analysing and appraising project data
Businesses that regularly work with information (which will be most of us these days!), will not have to worry about going through a long and complex process in determining what their data is telling them. After all, data analytics will be easier to understand – meaning that efficiency will be greatly improved.
When it comes to business intelligence and data visualisation, the leading brand on the market is Tableau. Let’s take a closer look at how it can benefit your business.
Tableau Business Intelligence Software
As one of the most popular business intelligence tools of 2019, it’s not surprising that Tableau is preferred by many companies worldwide. It’s capable of creating attractive and well-designed visual reports, which is arguably the main reason why companies invest in data visualisation in the first place.
Despite its many advantages – such as interactive data visualisation, easy implementation, ability to manage massive amounts of data, a responsive dashboard, and mobile support – there are still quite a lot of businesses that have second thought about implementing Tableau.
Tableau can be rather expensive, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. Even for more established companies, the price tag can be enough to make you scour the market for alternatives. The current pricing packages are divided into two: Tableau Server – which is $175,000 8-core and $35 per user – and the Tableau Online package, which has limited features and comes with a $35 per user price. For businesses that have a big employee population, this can mean more expenses down the line. In addition, Tableau requires users to have full knowledge about running SQL queries.
These are the main reasons for why many businesses are now looking into Tableau alternatives, as many similar tools offer maximum functionality at considerably lower rates.
7 Great Alternatives to Tableau
Sisense is a business intelligence tool that comes with a drag-and-drop user interface. You’ll absolutely love its highly visual and interactive non-technical dashboards. The tool works in real time and is capable of visualising big data as well as heterogeneous or disparate data.
Unlike Tableau, you don’t need to have advanced technical skills in order to create interactive dashboards.
Some of Sisense’s most interesting and useful features include the ability to export data to different formats (such as PDF, images, CSV, and Excel); it allows the tracking of widget usage, logins and dashboard; it regularly monitors threats; it analyses complex data and performs efficient big data queries. Finally, it uses a single dashboard for visualising data sources.
Sisense makes it easy for you to share insights with your partners, managers and customers. If you’re not sure if Sisense is the best data visualisation tool for your company, you can sign up for a free demo.
This BI tool is ideal for large companies that deal with big amounts of advanced data. Like Sisense, it uses the drag-and-drop technique, making it easier for you to design your ultimate dashboard.
Dundas BI can be integrated into your company’s website as its main business intelligence tool, and it can also serve as the central data portal. Aside from visually appealing multi-dimensional pie charts, Dundas BI also offers the following features:
- Can be accessed via web browser
- Ability to integrate all data sources types
- Allows users to customize visualized data
- Offers ad hoc reporting tools
- Features intuitive advanced and predictive analytics
You can try Dundas for free for 45 days. Alternatively, you can request a live demo.
One of the best features of Looker is the intuitive web-based interface. This analytics and reporting software is ideal for companies that already have analytics in place, as it helps ensure that your data is regularly updated.
The LookML feature is used for defining business data and building reports. This data will then be combined, analysed, and translated into SQL queries.
Most businesses like Looker because:
- It’s easy to use
- Encourages users to collaborate
- Helps analysts come up with smarter decisions based on real insights
- Is mobile compatible
- Can be converted into PDF, Excel and Google Docs
Looker offers a free demo to anyone who would like to try it out.
This is the ideal option if you want to bring together data from different areas, sources and units within your organisation. Domo updates data in real time, and your data is accessible by a coding-free visual editor.
Besides giving you a variety of charts, Domo also offers a fully mobile-first approach. It also integrates with social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Cloud-based domo is simple to understand easy to use. It comes with highly affordable pricing options, and you can sign up for a free trial before committing.
SAS Business Intelligence
Don’t let the name fool you – we have nothing to do with this rather brilliant business intelligence solution! SAS Business Intelligence is part of a suite of enterprise solutions from SAS. Also known as Visual Analytics, it takes advantage of the power of analytics and business intelligence in gathering essential business data.
Using real time deployed analytics, it allows you to get insight from high quality data. In many ways, it’s the ideal data warehouse tool as it functions across multiple sources and the entire organisation.
Simple and user-friendly, SAS Business Intelligence is equipped with many helpful features. It consists of plenty modules, namely:
- SAS Visual Statistics
- SAS Enterprise Guide
- SAS Office Analytics
- SAS Enterprise BI Server
- SAS Visual Analytics
The latter is probably the most important one, as it helps you with tasks such as understanding and exploring visualised data, analyzing its patterns and relationships, and gathering useful insights for the company.
SAS BI integrates with Microsoft Outlook and Excel, amongst others.
The arguably strongest feature of this business intelligence tool is its embedded intelligence. This feature allows Good Data to provide small and medium enterprises with a system capable of delivering well-analysed and insightful statistics.
Good Data is also good when it comes to easily visualize information, including large and complicated data sets. It works with all possible data sources such as on-premise, SaaS, unstructured and structured data. It’s user-friendly, customizable, and allows for collaboration, exporting and sharing using the dashboards.
The pricing plans for Good Data are quite average. While it’s not the cheapest solution on the market, the price isn’t so high that it will blow your socks off either.
This is yet another excellent Zoho solution. If you’re looking for a BI tool that’s both easy to set up and use, you should go for Zoho reports.
With Zoho, you’re guaranteed to get the best and most efficient visualisation solution for an affordable rate. Aside from data visualisation, Zoho Reports also boasts of features such as insightful dashboards, an interface similar to spreadsheets, drag-and-drop functionality, and online collaboration among team members.
Zoho Reports works with any data source, so you can easily gather data from files, databases, the cloud, in-house applications, and other business applications. They offer a free trial.