Enterprise analytics tools can cover a lot of bases for your business, helping you study how your individual departments function (including the effectiveness of, say, your HR, sales, and marketing departments), and giving you a high-level perspective on how efficiently your business is running.
With increased reliance on productivity software and other tools, it’s easier than ever to gather data on the internal workings of your business. The question is, which overarching enterprise analytics tools are best to help you aggregate and analyze those numbers?
Ideally, you’ll have an app (or several apps) that help you quantify the various elements of your business, make projections for the future, and learn which changes can improve your productivity, profitability, or other important stats. Hundreds, if not thousands of software developers have marketed their product, claiming it to be the best, but not all of them are worth integrating into your business.
That’s why I took the time to curate this list, assembling some of the best enterprise analytics tools available to today’s average entrepreneur.
Enterprise Analytics Tools for Every Business Leader
There’s no one-size-fits-all enterprise analytics tool that will work perfectly for every business, but these are some of the best apps currently in circulation:
First up – we may be a little biased – but we have our own tool, EmailAnalytics, which is an enterprise analytics tool designed specifically for Gmail and G Suite. It enables you to measure and display statistics like how many emails you’re sending and receiving, your busiest times and days, average email response times, and how long your average email threads are. Thanks to intuitive data visuals, you can quickly learn which holdups are interfering with your team’s productivity—and squash them.
If you’re more focused on your customer behavior than employee behavior, you might want to try Hotjar. It’s an enterprise analytics tool designed to help you measure and analyze user behavior. With built-in heatmaps, customer surveys, and one-on-one testing environments, you’ll dig deep into how your app or website is performing. And thanks to the visualization tools available, it’s easy for even analytics amateurs to make use of it.
Designed to serve your entire organization from the ground up, Chartio tries to be an all-in-one enterprise analytics tool—and it mostly succeeds. Cloud-based and customizable, you can use the default drag-and-drop tool to build and tweak your own dashboards, or rely on your development team to play with the SQL editor and build something from the ground up. Chartio also easily integrates with other platforms, so you can draw in and crunch data from a multitude of sources.
4. Infragistics ReportPlus
Report Plus by Infragistics is an enterprise analytics tool to help you create, manage, and distribute dashboards for a variety of business functions. Using more than 30 different applications, you can create graphs and charts on the fly, and save your reports to the cloud, where your entire team will be able to conveniently access them. It’s not fully customizable, but it’s simple and to the point.
Tableau has gained a ton of popularity lately in part because of the diversity of tools it offers. There are more than 150 tools and features within this app that help you analyze your available data and connect to various external sources. While many of the enterprise analytics tools on this list require some degree of coding knowledge, this one is mostly self-explanatory—and its mobile app is highly intuitive.
If you’re looking for an enterprise analytics tool that functions almost like a search engine, AnswerDock may be for you. Thanks to built-in machine learning and natural language processing, you can type in almost any semantically coherent question and get a reasonable answer from the data you’ve provided. The potential shortfall here, of course, is that you may not have sufficient data to get the answer you want.
7. Google Analytics
Still the top dog of web-based analytics, Google Analytics has a long history of providing in-depth data to webmasters and business owners all over the world. It’s free to create an account and easy to integrate, so in a matter of minutes you can start gathering data on your web users’ behavior, including inbound traffic, time spent on page, and even your conversion rates.
Not to be confused with the short-lived social media app, Periscope offers support for several different programming languages, including Python, R, and SQL, so you can custom-code the interface and build exactly the tool you need. Because it’s so flexible, you won’t have to worry too much about compatibility, giving you the power to connect to and manage nearly any data source.
9. Zoho Analytics
Zoho Analytics has a few distinguishing features that help it stand out from the other enterprise analytics tools on this list, including a focus on automation and usability. You’ll use Zoho Analytics to upload your data, at which point the app will automatically and proactively scan those data for errors and inconsistencies. You can also create automated reports to be sent periodically to key members of your staff (or your clients). And if you ever get confused, there are plenty of tutorials to help you learn the basics.
Redash is ideal if your main priority is learning more about your target demographics for marketing purposes, as it’s not as robust for collecting data on how your business functions high-level. Its biggest advantage is that it’s entirely open source, meaning it’s free for you to use. It relies heavily on SQL for its core interface, but if you ever get confused with development, there’s a team of dedicated developers to help you with common problems.
The in-chip architecture of Sisense is what sets it apart from the competition, enabling it to perform complex calculations at speeds that simply wouldn’t be possible with more entry-level tools. In the modern age of big data, this is a huge advantage for an enterprise analytics tool to have. However, you should note that currently, reporting is web-only.
12. Power BI
Microsoft’s Power BI (business analytics) is a flexible piece of software intended to be useful for both hardcore data scientists and your average business owner. Its UI is similar to Microsoft Excel, making it user-friendly to tech savvy people, and it doesn’t require any prior coding knowledge to get it to run the way you want.
Domo prides itself on offering enterprise analytics in the most user-friendly form possible. In today’s world, businesses are rich with data, so it can get messy to try and connect those data points together. Domo makes it easy, giving you access to data connectors and visualizations so even an amateur can draw the conclusions they need. You can use the cloud to run these calculations, or host Domo using your own servers.
It’s hard to find too many faults with enterprise analytics tools that are free and open source. Metabase is another such open source tool to help you understand the numbers behind your business’s performance. With it, you’ll be able to creatively filter and group your data, and visualize connections between those data points. You can also create your own graphs and charts, so you can display your data to other people within and outside your organization.
15. IBM Cognos Analytics
IBM Cognos Analytics is a somewhat new rebrand of Cognos Business Intelligence. It has several built-in, self-service dashboards and all the typical features you’d expect from a business intelligence product. User experience is one of its highest priorities, so you should have an easy time learning and integrating it in your business.
Trying to cover every area of business data, Datapine has 50 common dashboard templates available to business owners from the start. However, if these aren’t enough for you, you can customize your own dashboard, or build one from scratch. You can also pull in data from multiple external sources, and set up automatic reporting, so you can stay up-to-date on how your business is growing.
17. TIBCO Spotfire
TIBCO Spotfire is another enterprise analytics tool that tries to make use of the intuitive power of search. Relying on high-tech AI, this tool allows you to make common-sense queries and explore the data you’ve already gathered. There’s also support for real-time analytics, predictive analytics, and streaming analytics.
Qlik is an end-to-end data management and analytics app designed for developers to create custom apps. Highly scalable and as flexible as any business analytics tool, don’t expect Qlik to be easily learnable—but you can count on it for almost any long-term enterprise analytics need.
If your business uses a lot of third-party tools or flat files already, you’ll be pleased to hear that Panoply has more than 150 built-in integrations—including compatibilities with other enterprise analytics tools. Relying on programming languages like SQL, Python, and R, you can study your results like a data scientist, or just use templates for a simpler, high-level experience.
20. SalesForce Analytics
You know SalesForce as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, but did you know it also has several cloud and data management tools as part of SalesForce Analytics? You can use the built-in AI tools and features to run a hard analysis of all your current business data, without any prior knowledge of how to code. You can also rely on preexisting dashboard templates, or try to customize your own.
Mode is a little more technically complex than some of the other tools on this list, but if you have a data scientist on your team, it may be ideal. With it, you can perform heavy statistical analyses on multiple business topics, or conduct your own original research. And since the customization options are pretty much limitless, you can rebuild the tool however you’d like.
Apache’s Zeppelin is free and open source, which automatically makes it a winner, and it allows you to use any number of programming languages, including usual suspects like Python and SQL, and less popular languages like Scala. There’s definitely a learning curve to mastering this enterprise analytics tool, and it isn’t for amateurs, but there’s a big community with lots of support.
The core Yellowfin experience is ridiculously intuitive, relying on drag and drop mechanics for the majority of its features. You can also use it to automate your reporting, so you can ensure the timely delivery of those meaningful numbers without scrambling at the last minutes. It also offers a number of optional modules you can plug into the core app, which you’ll need to purchase for the complete experience.
24. SAP Analytics Cloud
SAP is well-known for a reason. Its SAP Analytics Cloud is perfect for taking the data you’ve already collected and scrutinizing it at every level. It isn’t designed to help you gather the data in the first place, so you won’t find built-in cleaning tools, but if you already have access to good data, this is an intuitive and practical tool you can leverage to make sense of those statistics.
Looker is another complex tool, designed more for data scientists than business owners. However, it offers a native data modeling language called LookML with a ton of flexibility for creating your own analytics experience. It will take some time to build this platform to suit your organization, but it’s highly scalable and can connect to almost anything.
Birst is an end-to-end cloud platform designed for enterprise analytics. With it, you can apply your own analytics schema (such as Amazon Redshift or Exasol), and take advantage of Birst’s signature “networked analytics” approach, which allows you to connect both centralized and decentralized groups through a network of virtual instances.
Founded by ex-Google employees, ThoughtSpot offers free accounts for up to 5 users and up to 10 GB of data. As enterprise analytics tools go, it’s easy to learn and use, even if you’re not an expert. One of its best perks is its reliance on a search-based interface, which helps you quickly scour your existing data and get answers to your most pressing questions.
Getting Started With Enterprise Analytics Tools
There’s usually no risk in signing up for a free trial, so make sure you experiment with multiple enterprise analytics tools before you make a final decision—and don’t be surprised if it takes you a few tries before you find a perfect fit.
If you’re looking for a simple enterprise analytics tool that can teach you more about how you and your employees are working and guide you in boosting your team’s productivity, EmailAnalytics should be your first stop. Integrating easily with all your employees’ email accounts, you’ll soon be able to balance your employee workloads, analyze the effectiveness of your communications, and improve your team dynamics for the better. Sign up for a free trial today!
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before exiting it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics, and co-host of the podcast The Entrepreneur Cast.