Business intelligence platforms provide an architecture for businesses to analyze data and reveal actionable insights that can help improve decision-making and inform business strategy. Business intelligence platforms require IT implementation to build the analytical environment, connect necessary data sources, and help prepare the data for usage. Once this architecture is set up, data analysts and data scientists can utilize the platform to prepare, model, and transform business data to better understand the needs and performance of the company. To interact with the data and extract insights within a business intelligence platform, coding knowledge is necessary to build custom queries.
The insights pulled from a business intelligence platform can be used throughout an entire company, from marketing and sales to supply chain and finance. Business intelligence platforms have the ability to pull data from any source, including cloud applications, marketing automation tools, crm software, databases, file uploads, data warehouses, and unstructured big data from Hadoop. While the building of the architecture and creation of dashboards for analysis require IT or data professional work, many business intelligence platforms offer self-service capabilities. This allows dashboards to be distributed to the average business user, empowering better decision-making and strategy through data insights. Additionally, some business intelligence platforms may also offer embedding functionality to place dashboards inside applications and allow them to have analytics capabilities.
Products designed to be primarily configured and used by the average business, without the help of IT for deployment and do not require coding knowledge, are found in self-service business intelligence software. Products that can be embedded inside other business applications are considered embedded business intelligence software. Data visualization software includes products primarily designed to create charts, graphs, and benchmark visualizations.
To qualify for inclusion in the Business Intelligence Platforms category, a product must:
Consume data from any source through file uploads, database querying, and application connectors
Require IT or data professionals to build and deploy an analytics architecture and environment to transform data into a useful and relatable model
Require coding knowledge to support data modeling, blending, and discovery processes
Create reports and visualizations with business utility
Create and deploy internal analytics applications