12 Brawny Business Intelligence Options For SMBs
Business intelligence started out as a technology geared to large organizations with big budgets and plenty of IT support. The good news for small and midsize businesses is that BI has gone mainstream and that trend has led to plenty of low-cost, easy-to-deploy, and easy-to-manage BI options. There are desktop-analysis tools that enable power users to distribute reports, dashboards, and data visualizations across your organization. There are quick-to-deploy software-as-a-service-based systems that can growth with your organization. And then there are the scaled-down suites from the biggest BI vendors that give you the essentials of BI at a lower cost.
Working smarter--not harder--is what business intelligence is all about. So what business, government agency, or non-profit organization wouldn't want to take advantage of BI? The challenge for SMBs is acquiring BI software on slim technology budgets, then deploying and maintaining systems with limited IT support. A number of vendors have responded with BI options geared to smaller and growing companies. Tibco Spotfire and Tableau Software, for example, offer no-cost and low-cost tools that let users develop and share easy-to-understand data visualizations. BIRST, MyDials, and PivotLink are among a handful of on-demand BI systems that can subscribe to online. LogiXML, Microsoft, and QlikTech have hit a sweet spot in serving midsize firms. Finally, IBM Cognos, Oracle, SAP BusinessObjects, and SAS offer scaled-down versions of their enterprise-focused BI suites. Read on to find out more about of each of these options.