• Mike

What BI Tool Should My Company Be Using?

Updated: Feb 22, 2020

If you haven't been living under a rock, you've certainly realized that data, Big Data, is vital to remaining competitive and relevant in today's business landscape. And with that comes visual analytics in order to arm the decision-makers in your business with the insights they need to drive the firm to greater levels of success. But a question I hear time and time again across different companies who are ready to start their analytics journeys is, "what tool should we use?"

Several years ago, the decision was a bit easier. Big-box data systems had bolt-on solutions for analytics and visuals. But these were often bulky, expensive, and the cookie-cutter visuals were not very compelling. Then Tableau shook up the market and quickly became the leader in visualytics, and for good reason! Not to say they were the first with the drag-and-drop style self-service visualytics tool, but there is no question that a decade ago Tableau largely stood alone in this market as a viable tool for mid to large size companies. But in recent years, several other options have popped up and challenged Tableau's dominance. Qlik, Power BI, Cognos, and even Alteryx (to a degree) have created value for customers in the BI space, but have invariably made the decision for licensing a more difficult task for companies.

Gartner is a source that I know and trust (as do many other experts), and they've recently published their opinion in their February 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant (see Figure 1 below).

It's no surprise that Microsoft [Power BI] has a huge lead on the pack, and Tableau is trailing in second.

Those who have worked with me know my preference (having worked with Cognos, Qlik, Oracle, Microstrategy, Tableau, Salesforce, and Power BI) is Microsoft's Power BI as well. But how do you know if its right for you and your company? A colleague of mine shared this article from that I thought did a great job breaking down some of the major comparative features of Tableau, Qlik, and Power BI. I recommend reading it. And if you'd like more details about my opinion or have questions on other features, feel free to reach out in the comments, or via email!

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