When most people think of business intelligence (BI) tools, they first think of using a spreadsheet for their data analysis and graphing needs. While Excel has been around for decades and is used by millions in this fashion, they aren’t always suitable tools for BI kinds of tasks. Up until very recently, BI was mostly for specialists. The tools were hard to operate and required knowledge akin to database administrators. But that has changed, and lately the market has made it easier for normal folks to use them, under what is now being called “self-serve BI.”
I look at five of the leading BI tools for PC Magazine, and you can read my review here of these products: Domo (an example shown here), Qlik Sense Enterprise, Clearify’s Qqube, Tableau Software’s Desktop (which received my Editor;s Choice award), and Zoho Reports. All of them are better than using Excel for BI purposes.