BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER'S GUIDE 2020

 
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER'S GUIDE 2020
2020
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE
BUYER’S GUIDE

                        1
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER'S GUIDE 2020
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

MARKET OVERVIEW
The process for evaluating and selecting business intelligence software can be complex. These complexities
are growing even wider when organizations consider emerging analytic capabilities like AI and machine
learning. Augmented analytics – which uses machine learning to change how analytic content is developed
and used – is set to become the dominant driver of new BI buying by 2021, according to analyst house
Gartner, Inc. If your use cases involve a large degree of manual data analysis, augmented analytics products
may be an immediate consideration.

Automation is impacting virtually every industry and business process, and data analytics software is about
to become the next frontier. The technology behind automating analytics is heavily reliant on AI and machine
learning. While some organizations are using this functionality already to speed past manual data tasks, BI
solution providers are increasingly tying automation to natural language processing. This will soon enable an
entire swath of business users to run complex analysis just by asking a question.

Auditable (or explainable) AI is an emerging field in machine learning that addresses how black box decisions
of AI systems are made. In data analytics, users want to be able to inspect and understand the steps and
models involved in decision making. And given the pervasive nature of AI-powered business intelligence
tools entering the marketplace, this technology is quickly becoming mainstream. AI will continue to be a
game-changer for BI users, especially those without technical data science skills. However, the best AI-
focused data analytics tools can explain the processes behind each prediction.

Business user ease of use and complexity of analysis are two top-of-mind considerations for buyers in the
current space. Product support capabilities and services offered are also key attributes that require some
thought. Common support packages include assistance for non-technical users who require self-service,
but there’s also sometimes deployment assistance, dedicated use case representatives, and user training
modules that can be a great help.

The BI and analytics marketplace is mature and crowded with excellent software tools for a variety of use
cases, verticals, deployment methods, and budgets. There are very large providers we refer to as ‘mega-
vendors’, like Microsoft, Tableau Software and Qlik. There are also lesser-known innovators with interesting
products that play in niche areas, such as Looker, Pyramid Analytics and Yellowfin BI.

Cue the process of seeking out, evaluating, choosing, purchasing, and deploying a BI and data analytics
solution. Solutions come in a variety of flavors—ranging from traditional enterprise reporting to data discovery
and augmented analytic options. Each features a particular set of capabilities, strengths, and drawbacks.
Choosing the right vendor and solution is a complicated process—one that requires in-depth research and
often comes down to more than just the solution and its technical capabilities.

Solutions Review has developed this buyer’s guide to assist buyers in search of the best possible tool to fit the
needs of their organization. This resource features 10 important questions to ask during the buying process,
and full, one-page vendor profiles that provide a solution overview, three key features, contact information,
and our own ‘Bottom Line’ analysis. Companion research, including our popular vendor comparison matrix,
can be found at solutionsreview.com.

Timothy King, Senior Editor                                               Map Key
Solutions Review
                                                                           B     This solution offers Embedded BI

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER'S GUIDE 2020
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

           5 Questions You Should Ask When
        Evaluating A Business Intelligence Solution

What is my budget?
Your organization’s budget is going to play a major role in deciding the type of analytic tool you wind up selecting. Large solution
providers with expansive product portfolios for enterprise use cases are unlikely to be budget-friendly. However, startups and
emerging vendors trying to make a splash may offer more competitive pricing, especially in this marketplace where there are
plenty of excellent solutions. Matching your budget with a provider’s technical capabilities can sometimes reveal a bargain.

What business problem(s) am I trying to solve?
Purchasing a BI or analytics tool can be an overwhelming task. However, it is easier to narrow down the types of vendors and tools
under consideration when you outline specific business problems you are trying to solve. If you’re in a vertical-specific industry
that tracks against a distinct set of KPIs, that makes your search even easier. It’s best to align prospective solution providers with
overarching business goals.

Who are my BI users?
Are your users mainly going to be technical people like business analysts or data scientists, or line-of-business users? ‘Self-service’
has been one of the most popular buzzwords in the market for a several years now. Organizations are increasingly seeking software
tools that provide users of various skill levels to analyze data. Is that a relevant consideration for your situation?

What are my must-have capabilities?
Modern BI and analytic platforms offer a dizzying selection of features. Capabilities that were once considered advanced in nature
are now mainstream. Likewise, predictive analytics and visual data discovery are the industry-norm. This makes it difficult to pick
just one tool from the pack. Buyers are advised to jot down a shortlist of must-have features and then compare that against the
various offerings to see which best matches up to your specific use case.

What are my expectations?
It’s easy to get swept up in the hype that a flashy new BI platform will solve all of your company’s pain points overnight, but it’s best
to temper expectations. Vendor marketing campaigns and industry pundits sometimes inflate the true value that BI tools can bring
in the early stages. With nearly 3 in 4 BI initiatives set to fail within the first year, keeping a realistic outlook remains a key practice.
Its fine to get excited about solving critical problems, but the road to insight generation is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

                                                                         © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   3
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER'S GUIDE 2020
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

               5 Questions You Should Ask Your
             Potential Business Intelligence Solution
                            Provider

Can your BI tool scale with my business?
Your current data sources, KPIs, business questions, and overall situation may very well change. It would be foolhardy to select a BI
platform based only on how it can serve you at the current time. Very little remains static, so what may seem like the best possible
solution now could be virtually useless in two, three or five years down the road. Weigh the vendor’s current capabilities with its
ability to scale as your organization grows.

Can you provide customer recommendations?
You’ll want to ask prospective vendors to provide references that can show how their software helped other customers achieve
positive ROI. In-vertical references are best, so we recommend seeking first-hand accounts from similar size organizations that do
business in related industries and analyze similar data sources. It’s not about securing the best overall tool; it’s about selecting the
best solution for your specific set of circumstances.

Is there a support package included? What does it include?
The rise in self-service has been a difference maker for many organizations. However, this requires solution providers to offer
support services to keep non-technical users on their feet. You’ll want to find out what types of services are offered with the
purchase of a license. Popular support add-ons range from deployment assistance and dedicated customer service representatives
to user training, certification, and even community forums.

What is the total cost of ownership (TCO)?
There are usually outside costs associated with the purchase of a new BI platform, but does that come with subscription pricing,
third-party expenses, or hidden operation fees? There can be many surprises hidden below the surface. Stakeholders will want
to find out whether there are expenditures for user training, upgrading, troubleshooting or consulting as a result of re-engineering
processes that are being automated.

How long does deployment take?
Once you decide on a BI and analytics product, it takes time to get up-and-running. Have a discussion with the vendor representative
about what that looks like, and how it will impact existing business systems and protocols in the interim. Does the solution provider
offer on-site or remote help with deployment? These are vital questions that have a direct impact on the cost of the tool and the
impact on ROI.

                                                                      © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   4
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER'S GUIDE 2020
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

Solution Provider Profiles
7 ....................................................................................... Altair

8 ....................................................................................... Alteryx

9 ....................................................................................... AnswerRocket

10 ..................................................................................... BOARD

11 ..................................................................................... Chartio

12 ..................................................................................... Domo

13 ..................................................................................... Hitachi Vantara

14 ..................................................................................... IBI

15 ..................................................................................... IBM

16 ..................................................................................... Infor Birst

17 ..................................................................................... Looker

18 ..................................................................................... Microsoft

19 ..................................................................................... MicroStrategy

20 ..................................................................................... Oracle

21 ..................................................................................... Pyramid Analytics

22 ..................................................................................... Qlik

23 ..................................................................................... Salesforce

24 ..................................................................................... SAP

                                                                                        © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   5
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER'S GUIDE 2020
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

Solution Provider Profiles
25 ..................................................................................... SAS

26 ..................................................................................... Sigma Computing

27 ..................................................................................... Sisense

28 ..................................................................................... Tableau

29 ..................................................................................... TARGIT

30 ..................................................................................... Tellius

31 ..................................................................................... ThoughtSpot

32 ..................................................................................... TIBCO

33 ..................................................................................... Yellowfin

34 ..................................................................................... Zoho

                                                                                     © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   6
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER'S GUIDE 2020
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                                     Altair
 Altair offers an open, scalable, unified, and extensible data analytics platform with                            www.altair.com
 integrated data transformation and predictive analytics tools. Desktop-based
 data preparation is available via Altair Monarch, while Knowledge Hub features
 team-driven data prep and a centralized data marketplace to speed collaboration
 and governance. Machine learning and predictive analytics are made available
 inside Knowledge Studio. Altair Panopticon houses the company’s streaming
 processing and real-time visualization capabilities.

 Key Features
 Data Preparation
 Altair allows users to prepare data via desktop, server and web browser. Monarch lets you connect to data sources
 and transform it while Monarch Server features self-service data prep across the enterprise. Altair Knowledge
 Hub adds machine learning and collaboration to the mix for browser and cloud-based data preparation.

 Machine Learning
 Altair’s machine learning and predictive analytics visualizes data and generates explainable results without
 requiring code. Knowledge Studio includes pre-build data preparation and data science functions and integrates
 with common programming languages as well.

 Data Visualization
 Altair’s real-time data visualization enables users to program sophisticated business logic and data functions
 using a completely visual user interface. The platform is designed with business users in mind, and includes a
 stream processing engine called Panopticon Streams.

 Bottom Line
 Altair updated its entire line of data analytics software in June 2020, calling it “the most significant software update
 release in company history.” As part of the release collection, the vendor added automated machine learning
 (AutoML) to its Knowledge Studio predictive analytics solution. This update helps to optimize the modeling
 process while also giving users insights and understanding into how results are achieved. The company’s April
 2020 Panopticon release saw the company add speed and flexibility enhancements. Altair serves customers in a
 number of verticals and is best used by technical data analysts and scientists.

                                                                © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   7
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER'S GUIDE 2020
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                                     Alteryx
 Alteryx is a self-service data analytics software company that specializes in                                3345 Michelson Dr
 data preparation and data blending. Alteryx Analytics allows users to organize,
                                                                                                                   Irvine, CA
 clean, and analyze data in a repeatable workflow. Business analysts find this tool
 particularly useful for connecting to and cleansing data from data warehouses,                                 United States
 cloud applications, spreadsheets and other sources. The platform features tools                              +1 (888) 836 4274
 to run a variety of analytic jobs (predictive, statistical, spatial) inside a single                          www.alteryx.com
 interface. Alteryx went public in 2017.

 Key Features
 Data Preparation and Blending
 Alteryx Designer provides access to all relevant data by connecting to and cleansing data from data warehouses,
 cloud applications, spreadsheets and more. Users can create datasets for analysis or visualization using data
 quality, integration, and transformation tools.

 Scalable Sharing and Collaboration
 Alteryx Server provides a flexible server architecture that can be deployed on-prem or in the cloud. It allows
 users to schedule and automate workflow execution for data delivery, and offload data preparation, blending,
 and analytics into a production-ready environment. Analysts can store, share and publish analytic workflows
 and applications cross-organization while extending Alteryx processes with APIs and macros into internal apps.

 Data Discovery
 Alteryx Connect contains a variety of data discovery tools. It allows users to work with metadata to better
 understand where data comes from and how it is being used. Included search capabilities provide analysts
 with the ability to find and reuse information contained in analytic apps, workflows, macros, visualizations,
 dashboards, and data science models.

 Bottom Line
 Alteryx offers an expansive platform with many noteworthy analytic features, and its foray into data science tools
 figures to be a boon to citizen data scientists. In addition, the company acquired Menlo Park-based ClearStory
 Data in April 2019. Most known for its smart data discovery and automated data preparation features, the merger
 will enable Alteryx to create a natural extension of its own technology that will enable it to grow its data science
 capabilities. Alteryx also launched a new version of its Analytic Process Automation platform in May.

                                                               © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   8
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER'S GUIDE 2020
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                           AnswerRocket
 AnswerRocket offers a search-powered data analytics platform designed for                                5775 Glenridge Dr
 business users. The product enables you to ask business questions in natural
                                                                                                              Atlanta, GA
 language, and no technical skills are needed to run reports or generate analysis.
 AnswerRocket features a combination of AI and machine learning, as well as                                 United States
 advanced analytic functionality. The platform can also automate manual tasks                             +1 (678) 608-0053
 and answer ad hoc questions quickly. AnswerRocket is mobile-friendly and                               www.answerrocket.com
 includes native voice recognition. The company was founded in 2013 and is
 based in Atlanta, Georgia.

 Key Features
 Mobile-Responsive and Cloud-Based
 AnswerRocket is a cloud-based platform that works across any operating system and device type on-demand.
 The companion mobile application is available in the Apple App Store. Voice recognition enables you to ask
 questions in natural language, and the built-in notification system alerts users when there are key updates or
 changes to relevant data and performance in real-time.

 IQ Boosters
 AnswerRocket’s augmented analytics can answer the same simple questions as traditional business intelligence
 tools plus more complex “why” and “how” queries. IQ Boosters explore the relationships between your data and
 can evaluate hundreds of thousands of metric combinations within seconds to pinpoint business-critical insight.
 Users receive a full diagnosis of variables impacting each answer.

 Flexible Dashboards
 Dashboards are customizable and self-service, and asking questions automatically builds a dashboard so users
 can see an overview of answers, follow-ups, and drill-downs. Users can convert dashboards into presentations
 without leaving the platform, as well as publish and share progress and projects across teams via the collaboration
 suite.

 Bottom Line
 AnswerRocket features a breadth of augmented data discovery capabilities and was created for non-technical
 users. IQ Boosters sift through thousands of variables to pinpoint the most important data points to explore.
 Analytics can be accessed via desktop or mobile, and users can ask questions by typing or speaking. Dashboard
 building can be automated on the fly from natural language questions as well. AnswerRocket can be run on-prem
 or in the cloud via the major public cloud providers. The product is best suited for organizations in consumer
 goods, e-commerce, and the financial services.

                                                             © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   9
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                               Board
 BOARD combines business intelligence, performance management, and                                      Piazza Bernasconi 5
 predictive analytics into one platform. As a result, any change to data, data
                                                                                                           6830 Chiasso
 models, security profiles or business rules is immediately propagated to every
 application. The solution provides all the tools required to create and update                             Switzerland
 databases, data presentations, analyses, and process models. The company                                +41 91 697 54 10
 also offers BOARD Cloud, a SaaS version of the platform, backed by Microsoft                             www.board.com
 Azure.

 Key Features
 Data Discovery
 Interactive search-based data discovery works across screens, data, metadata, and applications. BOARD allows
 any search result to be used immediately as a driver for further analyses or as an element for creating new
 reports using the tool’s drag-and-drop self-service analysis UI.

 Simulation
 Users can translate business processes into sophisticated analytical models that enable users to assess the
 impact of decisions on their organization’s performance. BOARD offers the capability to manage real-time
 changes to models, data allocation across dimension and hierarchies, and data calculation and aggregation.
 The Reverse Algorithm extends these features also to calculated fields.

 Scorecarding
 BOARD offers all the functionalities needed to translate company strategy into scorecards and strategy maps
 so organizations can communicate and roll out key objectives. The unified BI and Performance Management
 environment allows users to analyze any trend highlighted by the scorecard and explore events affecting KPIs
 the lowest level of detail.

 Bottom Line
 BOARD is offered on-prem or in the cloud, and the platform unifies any data source into a single logical view.
 BOARD is based on a proprietary data management technology called HBMP that was designed to enhance the
 performance of in-memory computing. The company’s flagship solution offers two authentication layers and
 advanced security management so users can delegate security administration to other key users. BOARD was
 founded in 1994 and has customers in a wide array of verticals. The provider was acquired by US-based private
 equity investor Nordic Capital in early 2019.

                                                          © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   10
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                                 Chartio
 Chartio is a cloud-based data discovery platform that lets you create intuitive                              222 Kearny St
 charts and interactive dashboards. The product features a proprietary, visual
                                                                                                            San Francisco, CA
 version of SQL that enables any user to explore, transform and visualize data
 via a flexible drag-and-drop interface. There is no need to build data models in                              United States
 advance. Chartio includes a set of pre-built connections to data sources like                              hello@chartio.com
 Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery and Snowflake, while also enabling direct                                 www.chartio.com
 access to CSVs and Google Sheets. There are also cloud application integrations
 via Automated Cloud Data Stack Partners. Chartio was founded in 2010 and is
 based in San Francisco.

                                                                                                                                           B
 Key Features
 Visual SQL
 Chartio’s unique interface to SQL enables a variety of user types to analyze data through one interface. The
 interface provides flexibility for users to define data requests with sequential steps. An Interactive Mode lets
 you drag-and-drop to create, edit, filter and share dashboards while the SQL Mode allows for direct database
 communication through an SQL editor.

 Security
 Chartio is compliant with SOC2 Type II, an independent audit designed to ensure good policy and compliance in
 five key areas of security. The vendor also uses a read-only connection to ensure that data remains unmodified
 by your Chartio users. Chartio offers SSH tunnelled connections for databases behind firewalls as well.

 Data Advisors
 Data Advisors assist customers in implementing best practices for each data analytics and BI use case. Premium
 customers gain an assigned specialist to advise and assist with account and support questions, as well as data-
 related issues users may be having.

 Bottom Line
 Chartio is best suited for organizations with a wide range of technical and business users, as the platform features
 two distinct modes for doing analysis. The platform includes data integration, exploration and transformation
 capabilities as well. Users can easily share dashboards via scheduled emails or reports without having to install
 software. Chartio also allows you to schedule alerts to track important metrics or view historical data with a
 unique Snapshot feature. Reference customers enjoy the solution’s ease of deployment, use, and visualization
 functionality.

                                                             © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   11
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                                  Domo
 Domo offers a cloud-based analytics and business intelligence platform for                                772 E. Utah Valley Dr
 decentralized use cases. The provider added new R and Python integration
                                                                                                            American Fork, UT
 capabilities, as well as support for embedded BI in recent months. Domo
 Everywhere enables users to embed interactive Domo cards in portals, on                                      United States
 web properties and inside applications. The company’s platform is highly                                   +1 (800) 899-1000
 customizable, and the Analyzer feature can be tailored to filter out unnecessary                            www.domo.com
 data. Domo went public in June 2018.

 Key Features
 Domo Publish
 Domo Publish allows organizations to share data and insights with customers, partners and vendors, enabling
 customers to build their own content based on shared data. The tool also provides users the ability to replicate
 and publish Domo pages and cards securely leveraging personalized data permissions (PDP).

 Domo Embed
 Domo Embed enables viewers to explore data by drilling, filtering or choosing a different chart type. Users can
 limit access to the intended audience with SSO authentication and user-level card sharing controls, as well as
 personalize the data shown to individual users who are viewing the same card. Domo card embedding uses
 iframes or JavaScript embed codes to ensure widespread compatibility.

 ETL Magic
 Domo Integration Cloud enables users to prepare data with visual integration flows and access and control
 it through the tool’s governance framework. Integration Cloud also includes a new data pipeline tool called
 Integration Studio, as well as its Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) Driver. The product is rounded out by an
 API manager and third-party developer kit so users can build custom data connectors.

 Bottom Line
 Domo is a cloud-based executive management platform that enables organizations to see key data in real-time
 from across the enterprise in one place and on any device. The company offers prepackaged dashboard content
 and functionality for filtering and sorting data visually in Domo Analyzer. Within the last calendar year, Domo has
 released an integrated suite of data science capabilities, a new Integration Cloud iPaas solution, and a certificate
 program designed to help data and analytics leaders demonstrate proficiency with the platform. The vendor also
 launched a new series of augmented analytic functionality in March.

                                                             © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   12
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                             Hitachi Vantara
 Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho Business Analytics platform allows organizations                                 2845 Lafayette St
 to access and blend all types and sizes of data. The product offers a range of
                                                                                                             Santa Clara, CA
 capabilities for big data integration and data preparation. The Pentaho platform
 is purpose-built for embedding into and integrating with applications, portals,                              United States
 and processes. Organizations can embed a range of analytics, including                                     +1 (866) 660-7555
 visualizations, reports, ad hoc analysis, and tailored dashboards. It also extends                       www.hitachivantara.com
 to third-party charts, graphs and visualizations via an open API for a wider
 selection of embeddable analytics. Pentaho is offered in on-prem and cloud
 versions.

                                                                                                                                             B
 Key Features
 Data Integration
 Data integration allows users to blend, orchestrate and analyze data from virtually any source. Pentaho can be
 deployed on a variety of public or private cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
 Users can also integrate and analyze Amazon Redshift, Hadoop and other big data sources in the cloud.

 Graphical Dashboards
 Graphical dashboards are web-based and feature a drag-and-drop design that includes rich navigation, drilling
 and a library of filter controls. Users can custom-build dashboards that are uniquely tailored to their organization,
 and portal and mash-up integration connects business analytics with other applications.

 Security
 Administrative capabilities include analytics security, content permissions, versioning, locking and expiration for
 streamlined management. Backup, recovery and business continuity are also key tenets of the Pentaho Business
 Analytics product.

 Bottom Line
 Pentaho was acquired by Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) in 2015. Post-merger, Pentaho had been offered as a
 standalone software platform until recently when Hitachi combined the Pentaho, HDS and Hitachi Insight Groups
 into a new unit called Hitachi Vantara. The Pentaho data platform is unique because it encompasses data
 integration and BI and analytic capabilities. Hitachi announced new machine learning orchestration features in
 March 2019, and a model management plug-in is available via the Pentaho Marketplace. For companies that want
 to implement only a single product such as data prep, storage, or security, this product is an excellent choice.

                                                               © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   13
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                                     IBI
 Formerly known as Information Builders, ibi is a New York-based solution                                       Two Penn Plz
 provider that offers a wide range of BI and data management software tools.
                                                                                                                New York, NY
 The company’s WebFOCUS platform features self-service analytics and data
 discovery, a visual discovery insight mode, predictive capabilities, and more.                                 United States
 WebFOCUS can deploy secure applications to millions of users, and governance                                 +1 (212) 736-4433
 functionality enables metadata-driven delivery across an organization. The                                     www.ibi.com
 platform also extends beyond dashboards for executives and analysts by
 operationalizing data and analytics for line-of-business users.

 Key Features
 Automated Insights
 Insights can take the form of correlations for detecting where multiple measures show a similar trend, outliers
 that identify unusual patterns in data, and time-based use cases for analyzing business data over time. Insights
 are all available through the platform’s Designer by clicking the new “Insights” button. Users can also add Insights
 to existing portals and dashboards to share them with others.

 InfoApps
 InfoApps are business-driven analytical apps for non-technical users. They typically focus on a specific business
 context, and are often embedded within another application’s screen or portal. This feature allows user access
 to actionable information without having to understand the underlying data and analytics.

 Data Discovery
 The visual data discovery tool allows non-technical business users to conduct data preparation, visually analyze
 complex data, generate sophisticated data visualizations, and share content with others. “Insight” mode enables
 instant visual discovery from a standard chart.

 Bottom Line
 ibi offers a complete portfolio of big data tools, from integration all the way to advanced analytics and data
 management. The vendor recently re-branded and unveiled a major update to its flagship BI and analytics platform
 that brings Automated Insights and new ways to connect to data sourced and third-party data visualization
 tools. There are also new and enhanced customer service and support packages. ibi offers a cloud-optimized
 version of WebFOCUS as well, which includes different deployment, data connectivity, data preparation, and data
 visualization options.

                                                              © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   14
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                                    IBM
 IBM offers an expansive range of BI and analytic capabilities under two distinct                            1 New Orchard Rd
 product lines. The Cognos Analytics platform is an integrated self-service
                                                                                                                Armonk, NY
 solution that allows users to access data to create dashboards and reports.
 IBM Watson Analytics offers a machine learning-enabled user experience that                                   United States
 includes automated pattern detection, support for natural language query and                                +1 (800) 426-4968
 generation, and embedded advanced analytics capabilities. Cognos is IBM’s                                     www.ibm.com
 ‘flagship’ BI and analytics tool, where Watson is the vendor’s entry into the
 emerging AI-powered tools arena.

 Key Features
 Reporting and Visualization
 IBM’s intuitive interface enables any user to author content on the fly, and dashboards can be created using drag-
 and-drop on desktop or mobile. The visual data explorer automatically recommends the best visualizations for
 particular data templates. Users can take advantage of on-demand menus for access to full capabilities within
 one interface in order to create ad hoc reports without IT oversight.

 Data Modeling
 Users can do data modeling via a completely web-based experience that features direct reporting from data
 sources and automatic data model generation based on keywords.

 Data Governance
 Data is protected with layers of permissions, authentication, and history. Data protection controls are including
 whether a user is creating one report for many or many are creating one report. Additional capabilities include
 scheduling and alerts.

 Bottom Line
 IBM has made real strides to modernize its analytic offerings, and with great success. Cognos remains one of the
 most widely adopted BI platforms in the enterprise, and Watson Analytics is on the cutting edge of AI-influenced
 tools. IBM’s BI software can be deployed both on-prem or as a hosted solution via the IBM Cloud. The company’s
 complete analytics portfolio also includes its SPSS Predictive Analytics, IBM Data Science Experience, and IBM
 Planning Analytics tools.

                                                             © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   15
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                                   Infor Birst
 Birst offers a cloud-based analytics solution that connects an organization using                               153 Kearny St
 a network of interwoven virtualized BI instances. The provider’s flagship product
                                                                                                               San Francisco, CA
 is its Networked BI platform. The tool features an adaptive user experience,
 multi-tenant cloud architecture, user data tier, and a completely virtualized data                              United States
 ecosystem. These capabilities enable use of BI across multiple regions, product                               +1 (866) 940-1496
 lines, departments, and customers. Birst was acquired by Infor April 2017.                                     www.birst.com

 Key Features
 Adaptive User Experience:
 The platform combines dashboards and data discovery into an integrated HTML5 interface. The interface is the
 same weather it is viewed on the desktop or mobile version. Birst’s 2-tier analytics allow extension to other tools
 like Excel, R, and Tableau.

 User Data Tier
 Birst automates data unification and refining from any enterprise source. The Infinite Connectivity Framework
 allows scalable access to the chosen source. It uses ‘smart’ technologies to create a Unified Business Model (or
 business-ready Data Tier) that all users can utilize.

 Multi-Tenant Cloud Architecture
 Birst can be deployed in the public cloud, AWS or the private cloud (as a virtual appliance) with the same code base,
 upgrade path, and support level. It broadens query performance through intelligent caching, pre-aggregation, and
 optimized SQL generation.

 Bottom Line
 Birst is a data warehouse, reporting and visualization platform that operates independent of its parent company
 Infor. Customers most commonly use the product for BI provisioning, and because it is cloud-based, decentralized
 analytics as well. Reference customers speak highly of Birst’s service and support offerings, though some users
 note that interface integration needs some work. Birst introduces a new set of Smart Analytics solutions (powered
 by Infor’s Coleman AI) in January 2019. In May 2019, the company unveiled Birst 7 featuring a new user interface,
 enhanced data modeling features, and a new administration module with auditing capabilities.

                                                               © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   16
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                                      Looker
 Looker offers a BI and data analytics platform that is built on LookML, the                                      101 Church St
 company’s proprietary modeling language. The company’s embedded analytics
                                                                                                                 Santa Cruz, CA
 functionality in Powered by Looker utilizes modern database technologies and
 an agile modeling layer that allow users to define data and control who can                                      United States
 access it. Analytics can be deployed as an embedded iFrame or using Javascript.                                +1 (888) 960-2331
 Organizations can use Looker’s full RESTful API or the schedule feature to deliver                              www.looker.com
 reports by email or webhook. Looker is based in San Francisco and was founded
 in 2011.

                                                                                                                                              B
 Key Features
 Agile Modeling Layer
 The agile modeling layer allows users to define data and control who can access it. This assures that data means
 the same thing to everyone regardless of how it is accessed. Complex join logic that is specified in SQL can also
 be done in LookML, ensuring that all users are referencing the same centralized dimensions and metrics.

 Data Modeling
 LookML lets users define specific data models and reference it in other locations. Any complex join logic that
 can be specified in SQL can be done in LookML once and be used by any user. The language also allows users
 to define their organization’s business logic so it can be used by the entire company.

 Looker Blocks
 Looker Blocks are pre-built pieces of code that organizations can leverage to accelerate analytics projects. Users
 can reuse the work others have already done instead of starting from scratch then customize the blocks to
 exact specifications. Some examples include optimize SQL patterns, fully built-out data models, and weather
 and demographic data.

 Bottom Line
 Looker can be embedded in websites, portals and applications. The product’s application for web analytics
 touts filtering and drilling capabilities, enabling users to dig into row-level details at will. New sales analytics and
 developer tools added in April 2019 expand Looker’s suite of purpose-built applications which already includes
 Looker for Digital Marketing and Looker for Web Analytics applications. Looker 7 was released in early November.
 The launch was highlighted by the addition of customizable BI experiences to drive collaboration, enterprise
 security enhancements, and hosting and management capabilities. Looker was acquired by Google in June.

                                                                © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   17
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                             Microsoft
 Microsoft is one of a handful of major players in enterprise BI and analytics.                          One Microsoft Way
 The company’s flagship platform, Power BI, is cloud-based and delivered on the
                                                                                                           Redmond, WA
 Azure Cloud. On-prem capabilities also exist for individual users or when power
 users are authoring complex data mashups using in-house data sources. Power                                United States
 BI is unique because it enables users to do data preparation, data discovery,                           +1 (425) 882-8080
 and dashboards with the same design tool. The platform integrates with Excel                          www.azure.microsoft.com
 and Office 365, and has a very active user community that extends the tool’s
 capabilities.

 Key Features
 Embedded Analytics
 Power BI offers embedded analytics in two different iterations, first for ISVs and developers, and another for
 enterprises. The platform’s Azure-based API set enables organizations to embed organizations even when
 they’ve already designed an app. No matter where the data lies, Power BI allows users to embed visuals into
 apps, portals, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams.

 Self-Service BI and Enterprise Reporting
 Power BI Server provides organizations access to SQL Server Reporting Services in a single, on-prem solution.
 Users can author reports with Power BI Desktop, publish them with Power BI Report Server, and share reports
 for users to consume on the web and across a range of devices.

 Community Support
 Microsoft has an expansive web of partners, resellers, and individual users. The company’s products, including
 the Power BI Suite, are extended as a result of this community framework. Prominent community resources
 include prebuilt apps, video tutorials, visualizations, and individual user forums.

 Bottom Line
 Microsoft offers perhaps the most robust BI and analytic product portfolio of any provider included in this buyer’s
 guide. The company’s Power BI platform is offered in ‘desktop’ and ‘premium’ versions, and connects to Excel
 spreadsheets, on-prem data sources, big data, streaming data, and cloud services. Microsoft enables organizations
 ease of use when running complex data analysis, and cost is a major benefit of the platform. However, its cloud-
 only approach and inability to handle very large data volumes is a caution buyers should be aware of.

                                                             © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   18
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                            MicroStrategy
 MicroStrategy provides out-of-the-box gateways and native drivers that connect                        1850 Towers Crescent Plz
 to any enterprise resource, including databases, mobile device management
                                                                                                          Tysons Corner, VA
 (MDM) systems, enterprise directories, cloud applications and physical access
 control systems. Its embedded analytics tool allows MicroStrategy to be                                     United States
 embedded in other web pages and applications such as portals, CRM tools,                                 +1 (703) 848-8600
 chatbots and even voice assistants like Alexa. The product enables users to                            www.microstrategy.com
 build custom visualizations, connectors and applications, and proprietary APIs
 allow organizations to create custom product offerings and branded mobile
 applications.

                                                                                                                                           B
 Key Features
 Advanced Analytics
 MicroStrategy provides an extensive library of native analytical functions and scoring algorithms, along with
 an SDK to integrate with 3rd-party and open source statistical and data mining products. Users can also utilize
 historical data, create real-time forecasts, and take advantage of more than 300 OLAP, mathematical, financial,
 and data mining functions.

 Data Connectivity
 The platform can connect to any enterprise resource, including more than 100 enterprise database and other
 information assets. MicroStrategy enables users to analyze every kind of data.

 Data Discovery
 Organizations can access, explore, and analyze data with self-service analytics. The platform employs a variety of
 native connectors that allow users to connect to any type of data from spreadsheets to Salesforce and Hadoop.
 In addition, data from multiple sources can be blended, and users can define relationships across tables or
 sources with drag-and-drop controls.

 Bottom Line
 MicroStrategy merges self-service data preparation and visual data discovery in an enterprise BI and analytics
 platform. MicroStrategy 2019 touts a ‘HyperIntelligence’ module that provides new ways for users to access data.
 The product also enables users to inject information directly into a web-based workflow via a new HyperCard
 feature. MicroStrategy 2019 Update 2 (July 2019) features add-ons designed to help augment user productivity
 on other popular BI tools like Tableau, Microsoft Power BI and Qlik.

                                                             © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   19
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                                   Oracle
 Oracle offers a broad range of BI and analytics tools that can be deployed on-                               500 Oracle Pkwy
 prem or in the Oracle Cloud. The company provides traditional BI capabilities
                                                                                                            Redwood Shores, CA
 inside its Business Intelligence 12c solution. Oracle Data Visualization provides
 more advanced features, and allows users to automatically visualize data as                                   United States
 drag-and-drop attributes, charts, and graphs. The tool also enables users to save                           +1 (650) 506-7000
 snapshots of an analytical moment-in-time via story points. Oracle has greatly                               www.oracle.com
 expanded their feature capabilities in recent months to include data discovery
 and data science tools as well.

 Key Features
 Advanced Analytics
 Oracle extends its database into an advanced analytics platform through two components: Oracle R Enterprise
 and Oracle Data Mining. These capabilities allow users to do real-time analytics that deliver insight into key areas
 such as churn prediction, product recommendations, and fraud alerting.

 Data Visualization
 Oracle Data Visualization provides a simple point-and-click data upload function that allows users to see data
 visualized automatically. As a result, visuals are presented contextually. Users can add new data and see
 intelligent updates in real-time, and highlighting one visual automatically enables viewing related information.

 Oracle Big Data Discovery
 Big Data Discovery allows organizations to find, explore, transform, and analyze big data. Users can browse an
 interactive big data catalog and use familiar keyword search and guided navigation. The tool provides access to
 personal and shared big data projects, and provisioning of personal data via self-service.

 Bottom Line
 Oracle offers traditional reporting and dashboards via the Business Intelligence 12c tool. Modern product
 capabilities are included in Oracle Data Visualization, which provides advanced data visualization, data preparation,
 self-service, and advanced analytics. The company’s Big Data Discovery feature set is a Hadoop-based data
 science platform that supports both on-prem and web-based authoring. Oracle’s software is largely available in
 both desktop and cloud versions. However, organizations that are not already “Oracle shops” may have trouble
 with deployment.

                                                              © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   20
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                         Pyramid Analytics
 Pyramid Analytics offers data and analytics tool through its flagship platform,                          Jollenmanhof 22
 Pyramid v2020. The solution touts a server-based, multi-user analytics OS
                                                                                                        1019GW Amsterdam
 environment that provides self-service capabilities. Pyramid v2020 features a
 platform-agnostic architecture that allows users to manage data across any                                 Netherlands
 environment, regardless of technology. The tool enables those users to prepare,                         +1 (203) 202-3500
 model, visualize, analyze, publish, and present data from web browsers and                           www.pyramidanalytics.com
 mobile devices. The company’s product portfolio remains highly integrated with
 Microsoft’s BI tools, offering an enterprise front-end to Microsoft SQL Server
 Analyses Services (SSAS). However, Pyramid has attempted to differentiate
 itself with its new product portfolio.

 Key Features
 Analytics OS
 Pyramid v2020 is an adaptive platform that provides different capabilities and experiences based on user needs
 and skills. It manages content as a shared resource, and is designed to support self-service analytics. The
 platform is agnostic and can be deployed in any environment on any device. It features six analytics modules:
 model, formulate, discover, illustrate, present, and publish.

 Hybrid Deployment
 The platform can be deployed in any environment. It features an open, flexible, multi-tiered architecture that can
 be scaled out and up by tier. Analytics OS can run on any Java-based platform, and offers a scalable repository
 that uses optimized container images that can be deployed in any ANSI SQL-compliant setting.

 Data Modeling
 Pyramid v2020 features modeling on any ANSI-SQL-compliant source, big data engine, Microsoft engine, or
 Pyramid’s internal in-memory engine. In-place modeling allows users to model data where it lives via shared
 queries to SQL, Apache/Hadoop engines, ANSI SQL, or to centralized locations like Pyramid’s in-memory (IMDB)
 or SQL Analysis Services.

 Bottom Line
 Pyramid v2020 includes SAP BW Integration, which enables users to directly connect to SAP BW and natively
 interact with cubes and queries without ingesting data. Users can mash their SAP data with other sources as well.
 An ETL 2.0 feature upgrades the Pyramid Analytics data modeling and wrangling capabilities. The new Augmented
 Machine Learning Server in v2020 lets administrators create standard environments for specific machine learning
 projects. Users can then standardize distinct Python environments to ensure machine learning execution. Looker’s
 simplified user experience and focus on ease of use has been well received by its customer base.

                                                             © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   21
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                                  Qlik
 Qlik offers a broad spectrum of BI and analytics tools, which is headlined by the                     150 N. Radnor Chester Rd
 company’s flagship offering, Qlik Sense. The solution enables organizations to
                                                                                                              Radnor, PA
 combine all their data sources into a single view. The Qlik Analytics Platform
 allows users to develop, extend and embed visual analytics in existing                                      United States
 applications and portals. Embedded functionality is done within a common                                 +1 (888) 828-9768
 governance and security framework. Users can build and embed Qlik as simple                                www.qlik.com
 mashups or integrate within applications, information services or IoT platforms.
 Qlik has added a slew of augmented analytics features in the last calendar year.

                                                                                                                                           B
 Key Features
 Associative Engine
 The in-memory engine allows users to combine an organization’s entire library of data. Users can index every
 possible relationship with data to explore relationships in any direction. There are no pre-aggregated data and
 predefined queries, and users can create analytics without having to build new queries.

 Data Discovery
 QlikView allows organizations to create business-driven data discoveries with guided analysis paths that are
 customizable and tightly governed. It features top-down control of analytics apps, permissions, and data
 management. In addition, granular control of dashboards, layouts, and design allows for centralization of
 applications. QlikView also offers data integration, advanced reporting and global search.

 Security
 Qlik offers a single governance framework to allow for common security, manageability and re-usability. The
 platform can be deployed on one server and scale to address processing requirements whether on-prem or
 cloud. Included high performance in-memory analytics handle data while aligning to a specific security model.

 Bottom Line
 New capabilities included in Qlik Sense Enterprise are aimed at advancing the company’s foray into 3rd-generation
 BI, which include data democratization, augmented analytics, and embedded analytics. In addition to deploying
 Qlik Sense on Qlik Cloud Services, customers can use the platform on Kubernetes. Every Qlik deployment option
 now works as part of Qlik’s multi-cloud deployment framework that can be managed as one instance. Core
 capabilities of Qlik Sense Cloud Business includes self-service app creation, visual data preparation, smart search,
 automated AI-generated insights, and direct connectivity to more than 40 data sources.

                                                             © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   22
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                               Salesforce
 The Salesforce Einstein Analytics platform is available in a number of flavors                         Landmark at One Market
 based on role, industry and included features. The product’s automated data
                                                                                                           San Francisco, CA
 discovery capabilities enable users to answer questions based on transparent
 and understandable AI models. Users can also tailor analytics to their use case                             United States
 and enhance insights with precise recommendations and specific guidance.                                  +1 (844) 848-1057
 Einstein lets you create advanced experiences using customizable templates,                              www.salesforce.com
 third-party apps, or custom-build dashboards as well.

 Key Features
 Data Management
 Einstein includes built-in data management that enables users to connect and clean all kinds of data. Users can
 sync Salesforce and non-Salesforce data via pre-packaged connectors for enterprise applications, database
 services, data warehouse, and file-based data source and website analytics. There’s also self-contained ETL,
 visual data preparation, and a scalable data mart.

 No-Code AI
 Einstein’s AI provides predictions and real-time recommendations, and requires no technical coding experience.
 The AI produces narrative explanations and natural language generation, as well as model transparency and
 predictive and prescriptive analytics. The tool also includes “one-click” storytelling and automated discovery.

 Discovery and Analytics Studio
 Users can build AI-powered analytics apps from scratch or via a package of pre-built templates. Einstein Analytics
 Fast Start templates enable you to create an app to get best-practice datasets, dashboards, and KPIs that matter
 most. Creation is as simple as answering questions in the configuration wizard that generates a curated analytic
 experience.

 Bottom Line
 Salesforce offers a growing number of modern BI and analytics capabilities, as well as augmented data discovery
 and preparation. The platform can host both Salesforce and non-Salesforce data, though Einstein remains
 natively integrated with the Salesforce business application ecosystem. Salesforce touts perhaps the largest
 partner ecosystem of any provider listed in this buyer’s guide that makes use of the vendor’s embedded content
 features. Salesforce acquired in Tableau Software in June of 2019, a move that will enable it to merge the two
 offerings together to offer customers a more full-featured BI portfolio in the near future.

                                                             © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   23
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE BUYER’S GUIDE

                                                                                                                  SAP
 SAP offers a broad range of BI and analytics tools in both enterprise and                               Dietmar-Hopp-Allee 16
 business-user driven editions. The company’s flagship BI portfolio is delivered
                                                                                                             69190 Walldorf
 via on-prem (BusinessObjects Enterprise), and cloud (BusinessObjects Cloud)
 deployments atop the SAP HANA Cloud. SAP also offers a suite of traditional BI                                 Germany
 capabilities for dashboards and reporting. The vendor’s data discovery tools are                        +49 (0) 6227 / 7-47474
 housed in the BusinessObjects solution, while additional functionality, including                           www.sap.com
 self-service visualization, are available through the SAP Lumira tool set. SAP is
 popularly chosen as a company-wide BI standard, especially if an organization
 also plans to use the company’s application offerings.

 Key Features
 Dashboards
 BusinessObjects dashboards allow users to personalize drag-and-drop functionality and interactive gauges,
 charts and widgets. In addition, dashboards provide IT and business users with direct connectivity to live data
 sources. Dashboards can also be embedded so users can view them wherever necessary.

 Self-Service Data Visualization
 SAP Lumira allows organizations to create interactive maps, charts, and infographics. Users can import data
 from Excel and many other sources, perform visual BI analysis using intuitive dashboards, and securely share
 insights and data stories cross-enterprise.

 Predictive Analytics
 SAP offers predictive analytics in both on-prem and cloud versions. The capability allows organizations to
 automate data preparation, predictive modeling, and deployment via in-database predictive scoring for a wide
 variety of target systems. Users can also leverage advanced visualization capabilities and integrate with R.

 Bottom Line
 SAP’s BI and analytics tools are available through a number of deployment channels. As a result, the company’s
 legacy BI functionality can be integrated into its newer offerings for modern use cases. SAP is available on-prem
 and in the cloud via its own HANA cloud platform. Organizations typically deploy SAP via a ‘vendor stack’, which,
 in this scenario where product offerings are so far advanced, is not a major issue. According to Gartner, product
 quality is a problem given the company’s attempt at developing two parallel product lines (BusinessObjects
 Enterprise, BusinessObjects Cloud). However, SAP remains a rock solid choice for enterprise organizations.

                                                             © 2020 | Solutions Review | 500 West Cummings Park | Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 | USA   24
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