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12 Brawny Business Intelligence Products For SMBs

Business intelligence isn't just for the big boys anymore. Check out our short list of star SMB options, from easy-to-deploy SaaS choices to affordable versions of the biggest BI suites.
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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.

RECOMMENDED READING:

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Cost, IT Support Top BI Obstacles For SMBs

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Can Open Source Solve Big Data For SMBs?

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Jon eieio
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Jon eieio,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/5/2012 | 5:53:35 PM
re: 12 Brawny Business Intelligence Products For SMBs
The fact that you dismissed MicroStrategy as a legitimate option for mid sized businesses really puts your opinion into question. I can understand why you might not recommend MSTR to small companies or companies that have a weak IT/IS staff because MSTR does expect you to understand the science of data warehousing. and you need to be able to read.

I have been working with MSTR for 10+ years and any "analysis" of the industry that dismisses this software (and yes, mentioning it as an afterthought, hidden in a final paragraph, is dismissive) does not add legitimacy to you or InformationWeek.

FYI I believe that online support does come with the free version of MicroStrategy.
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