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Announcing the Top Rated Business Intelligence Tools for 2018

February 12th, 2018 10 min read

Today, we awarded the 2018 TrustRadius Top Rated badges for Business Intelligence Tools. The TrustRadius Top Rated awards are unique in that they are an unbiased reflection of customer sentiment, based solely on user satisfaction scores. They are not influenced by analyst opinion, the vendor’s company size, popularity, site traffic, or status as a TrustRadius customer.

Business Intelligence emerged with the development in the 1980’s and 1990’s of data warehouses and OLAP processing that enabled extraction and viewing of data from multiple points of view. Business Intelligence has developed rapidly since then, and the importance of “big data” in gaining competitive advantage in today’s economy has made the technology more critical than ever. Data discovery and visualization tools have shifted the emphasis away from centralized, legacy systems with an emphasis on data governance, towards a more agile approach providing ad-hoc data exploration and intuitive visual renderings of data. As in other technology domains, there has also been a gradual shift to the cloud, along with an emphasis on tools for the general business user, rather than IT or data modeling experts.

An increased emphasis on data discovery, agility and business user self-service is evident in all of the following tools. But a parallel preoccupation with enterprise features like data governance, security, and data preparation is also notable, as vendors try to satisfy the requirements of the IT department.

Here are the winners:

Overall Top Rated

Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server

Tableau is, in many ways, the blueprint for visual analytics, with an easy to use platform for exploring and visualizing large volumes of data from multiple different sources. Tableau’s position on the TrustMap reflects end-user reviews and ratings of Desktop and Server. Tableau Desktop is used to visualize and analyze data, create workbooks, visualizations, dashboards and stories, while Tableau Server allows users to publish workbooks so that they are available in a central location for viewing by others. The product was designed with business users in mind and has been successful at serving that audience. This success has led to more and more requests for more enterprise-level features like data governance, and data preparation.

“We use Tableau as a way to visualize data, as well as, just display the raw tables. We have it connected to various data sources like Oracle, HANA, Kyvos, MemSQL. The tool is used across our department and used at many places across the organization. It is a great way to visualize the data on the desktop and with the recent upgrade to 10.3 on our server environment, we have hopes of using the mobile application.”

Ben Lowe | Senior Manager | Verizon Wireless

TIBCO Spotfire

TIBCO Spotfire is a data discovery and visualization tool and is capable of processing very large data volumes and includes a built-in predictive analytics runtime engine along with location analytics, so it can be used as a general purpose analytics tool but also by customers in data-intensive industries like retail, energy, life sciences and financial organizations.

“I am able to quickly gain access to data of all types. It is able to dynamically develop visualizations that are both visually appealing and drive business decision making.”

Peter Wolf | Senior Operations Analyst | DuPont Pioneer

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft developed Microsoft Power BI as an inexpensive visualization and data discovery tool providing data preparation, data discovery and interactive dashboards. It is sold as a standalone web-based tool. Power BI has seen rapid uptake by the Microsoft BI user base.

“Power BI is a market leader in visualization and analytics toolsets. The backing of Microsoft is critical because the tool is familiar to users who use Microsoft products. Integrates well with any data source – whether it is a CSV, an Oracle Database, SQL database, or any data warehouse. The visualization options are great and provides flexibility and variety.”

Abhinav Rai | Manager, Business Intelligence, Research and Analytics | BnBreeze

Alteryx Analytics

Alteryx Analytics is a self-service data preparation and blending platform, and also provides predictive analytics and geo-spatial mapping capabilities. It is frequently used as a self-service data preparation tool capable of accessing data from multiple sources and preparing it for analysis by a number of visualization tools.

“Alteryx offers a range of tools that can be used to clean/prepare your data for analytics along with ETL capabilities. Alteryx has some amazing analytics capabilities including but not limited to spatial, behavioral, predictive etc.”

Verified User | Consultant in Information Technology | Retail company with 10,001+ employees

SAP Lumira

SAP Lumira, originally called SAP Visual Intelligence, is SAP’s data discovery and visualization product, which was first introduced in 2012. Lumira is integrated with SAP HANA and with the Business Objects Suite, but can also be used standalone. Nonetheless, most Lumira users are also users of otherSAP applications.

“We use it to highlight KPI’s, trends in Sales and Logistics trade lanes. We also use SAP Lumira dashboards for deals to identify areas in Sales, that the organization needs to focus on to be more effective, like Churn based customer reporting. We use Lumira to connect directly to BW queries on BW4HANA.”

Verified User | IT Project Manager | Logistics company with 10,100+ employees


Domo provides the ability to view real-time data in a single dashboard, and reviewers often comment on its appealing user interface. Domo integrates on premise data and external data sources in the cloud, and can ingest both structured and unstructured data into a single view. The product includes a large number of connectors to external systems out of the box.

“As a tool it’s comfortable, approachable and forgiving. If you have a tool that end users can dive into without fear, and create and think and collaborate, without training, without hand-holding, you quickly realize how rare and important that is. You’ll need more licenses than you think because of how fast user adoption is.”

Jesse Mauser | Vice-President Data Analytics | Atlas General Insurance Services


Sisense is a comprehensive product with a columnar data store, an ETL layer and a set of front-end tools for constructing dashboards and visualizations. The proprietary data store called “elasticube” is more flexible than OLAP cubes, with much less reliance on data modeling. Sisense has also abandoned the familiar in-memory technology common to visualization tools for an “in-chip” solution which uses the data storage provided by the chip set, in addition to RAM and disk storage.

“Excellent single-stack BI solution, allowing great flexibility for data-modelling within the Sisense platform itself, with no need to perform the data modelling on a separate platform. The data modelling is implemented using standard SQL which makes anyone familiar with SQL already able to use the system.”

Adi Hecht | Team Leader | Bynet


Looker is a recent entrant in the BI as the company was founded in 2012. Looker is notable for its data modeling layer called LookML that gives data analysts tools to build sophisticated SQL queries, which can then be run by business users without necessarily understanding the complexities of SQL structure, and then pulled into point-and-click reports by business users. Looker’s originality is the turn away from the almost ubiquitous open-source framework Hadoop back to SQL.

“The data modeling layer, LookML proved to be extremely helpful for the Data team to define data models and abstract end users – data consumers – away from the complexity of underlying data sets.”

Gleb Mezhanskiy | Product Manager, Analytics | Autodesk

Tableau Online

Tableau Online is a hosted version of Tableau licensed through a subscription model and runs on the company’s own multi-tenant cloud infrastructure. It allows users to publish dashboards and invite colleagues or customers to explore data with interactive visualizations. Tableau Online can connect to cloud-based data sources like Salesforce.com, Google BigQuery, and Amazon Redshift. Additionally, users can connect their own on-premise data, if they have at least one license to Tableau Desktop, which includes tools for pushing data to the Tableau server in the cloud.

“Tableau is charged yearly per user. It is SaaS and multi-tenant, secure…and it is maintained by Tableau. It cannot connect to cubes. Tableau Online means you don’t have to worry about the scaling – it is just there and works. For those who don’t have IT infrastructure to handle it, Tableau Online is a great alternative.

Verified User | Quality Assurance Manager | Banking Company with 1,001-5,000 employees


InsightSquared is a sales analytics platform providing a comprehensive set of reports for sales leaders. The product provides pipeline management tools allowing for user-defined pipeline stages and lead progress. It also enables forecasting closed deals based on the win rates of specific employees, identification of high-opportunity leads, and forecast comparisons to historical sales averages.

“We use InsightSquared to manage our pipeline as well as sales activity. The reports and dashboards facilitate our weekly forecast call and the one on one’s with the sales manager and our sales reps. It is being used primarily by our sales group but other groups such as our marketing and business development teams leverage specific reports.”

Steve Kim | Sr. Manager, Revenue Operations | Verifi Inc.

Google Charts

Google Charts is a web service that produces visual charts from data supplied by the user. It contains various charts ranging from the simplest line graph to a complex hierarchical tree map. It is free to use and does not require much technical knowledge apart from some knowledge of JavaScript.

“Google Charts is well suited when you have a lot of data coming from an Excel, CSV file or even a database table and you need to render it inside a website. You can provide a well-looking interactive preview of all your data. Google Charts also works great on mobile and tablet environments. Another great scenario is to use Charts to show network usage statistics inside a web application.”

Marc Pampols | Technical Director | Semic

In addition to overall top rated awards, we also recognize tools that are top rated in a specific market segment. Company size is one way to help buyers identify the right solutions for their use case. To qualify for these lists, at least 15% of the product’s reviews and ratings must come from that market segment.

Top Rated by Enterprises

Top Rated by Mid-Size Companies

Top Rated by Small Businesses

Congratulations to the winners of the Top Rated Business Intelligence Tools Award!

Top Rated Criteria

Products included in the Top Rated Business Intelligence Tools for 2018 list must have been in the top tier of their category TrustMap on Jan. 26, 2018, to earn a Top Rated badge. To qualify for the Business Intelligence Tools TrustMap, products must have at least 50 reviews and ratings on TrustRadius. Every reviewer is verified and every review is vetted before publication. Products are plotted on the map based on end-user data, including users’ likelihood to recommend scores as well as buyer research patterns. To learn more about TrustMaps and Top Rated methodology, check out this page.

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