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What is Business Intelligence? Components of BI and Top 8 BI Tools for Data Visualisation

Businesses are constantly searching for ways to obtain a competitive edge in today’s data-driven world. One powerful method to achieve this is through Business Intelligence (BI). The methods and resources that businesses use to analyse data related to business operations are referred to as business intelligence.

The viewpoints of business operations that BI technologies provide are historical, current, and predictive. With the use of BI, businesses can acquire data from various internal and external sources, ready it for analysis, develop and run queries, and generate reports, dashboards, and visualisations.

In this article, we will cover what business intelligence is, look at its importance, and talk about the top 8 BI tools that are well-known for their abilities in analytics and data visualisation.

What is Business Intelligence?

The term “business intelligence” (BI) describes the methods, tools, and techniques used to gather, compile, organise, evaluate, and display business data. BI’s primary goal is to facilitate improved business decision-making. 

Organisations can use business intelligence (BI), which includes various tools, applications, and methods, to gather data from different internal and external systems, prepare it for analysis, develop and run queries, and create reports, dashboards, and visualisations. This makes the analytical results accessible to both corporate decision-makers and operational staff.

Components of Business Intelligence

The components of business intelligence include:

Data Collection

Data collection is a major component of business intelligence (BI). Data collection from multiple sources, including databases, cloud services, and external data streams, is part of this process. The goal is to create an extensive dataset that offers a comprehensive perspective of the business environment. Efficient data collection guarantees that all relevant data is recorded and provides a powerful basis for additional analysis.

Data Integration

After data collection, integration is required to bring multiple sets of data into a single, consistent format. The process involves transforming, cleaning, and loading data into a BI system or centralised data warehouse. Accuracy and consistency are ensured through data integration, which is essential for trustworthy analysis. Extensive and accurate information can be obtained with a single dataset.

Data Analysis

BI tools evaluate the integrated data using complex algorithms and statistical techniques. This analysis indicates correlations, patterns, and trends that may take time to notice. The purpose is to convert unprocessed data into insightful knowledge that can drive strategic business choices.

Data Visualisation

Data visualisation uses graphs, charts, dashboards, and reports to display the analysed data visually. Complex data is easier to comprehend and use when it is visually represented. Practical visual tools make essential metrics and trends easier to see, which improves communication and more informed decision-making for the entire organisation.

Top 8 BI Tools for Data Visualisation

These are the top 8 business intelligence (BI) tools for data visualisation, which are crucial for gaining new perspectives and making the best possible use of organisational data.


Tableau is well known for its powerful and simple data visualisation features, which enable users to build a wide variety of dashboards and visualisations. It makes data analysis and sharing within an organisation incredibly simple.

Users with limited technical expertise can create insightful reports by using Tableau’s drag-and-drop interface, which makes it easier to create complex visualisations. Businesses are better able to make timely decisions because real-time data analysis features keep them aware of the most recent metrics and trends.

Power BI

Microsoft’s Power BI is another powerful business intelligence tool with extensive data visualisation and business analytics features. For companies already using the Microsoft system, it is an obvious choice because of its seamless integration with other Microsoft products like Excel and Azure.

With the help of Power BI, users can build real-time dashboards that offer the most recent information, improving the ability of business operations. Businesses can customise reports to meet their unique requirements due to its custom visualisation capabilities.

Different datasets can be integrated with the help of extensive data source connectors, and AI-powered analytics improve data exploration and discovery by offering deeper insights with advanced machine learning models.


Qlik offers two primary products, QlikView and Qlik Sense, which provide powerful data visualisation and self-service analytics. In particular, Qlik Sense emphasises usability and interactivity, enabling users to explore data naturally.

With Qlik products, users easily understand data relationships and connections due to the associative data model, which opens the way to additional information. Data from multiple sources is guaranteed to be clean and prepared for analysis because of Qlik’s strong ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) features.

Qlik’s responsive design improves accessibility, which makes sure dashboards and visualisations look incredible on all devices.


Google Cloud’s Looker is renowned for its innovative approach to data analytics and business intelligence. Users can access and analyse data using its web-based interface from any location. Looker is a potent tool for users who know SQL because it uses SQL to discover and analyse data.

LookML, the data modelling layer, makes it possible to create reusable data models, which enhances the efficiency and consistency of data analysis. Making decisions is made possible by real-time data exploration features, which guarantee that users are constantly working with the most recent information.


Domo is a cloud-based business intelligence platform that offers business management tools, data integration, and visualisation all in a single platform. Because of its scalability, it can be used by companies of any size.

Domo can handle huge amounts of data effectively because of its cloud-native architecture, which also offers real-time data insights that help with decision-making. Domo’s mobile-first design encourages adaptability and responsiveness by enabling users to access their information and findings anytime, anywhere.


Sisense provides a complete business intelligence (BI) solution that integrates data preparation, visualisation, and analysis. It is recognised for its ability to manage large and complex datasets. Sisense can handle large amounts of data effectively because of its in-chip technology, which enables quick data processing.

The drag-and-drop feature simplifies the process for users to create dashboards and visualisations, allowing them to gain knowledge without having a deep understanding of technology. Predictive analytics and machine learning are advanced tools that provide deeper insights into business data. They help organisations predict trends and take proactive actions.

SAP BusinessObjects

SAP BusinessObjects is a set of front-end applications that lets business users view, sort, and analyse BI data. Being a strong tool for companies already using SAP products, it integrates well with the company’s other enterprise software.

Ad hoc reporting features from SAP BusinessObjects enable users to generate reports instantly, encouraging adaptability and responsiveness. With the help of its data visualisation features, users can convert unorganised information into valuable insights that improve decision-making.


MicroStrategy offers enterprise-level BI and analytics solutions and also provides a full range of tools for mobile intelligence, advanced analytics, and data discovery. Businesses can quickly analyse large volumes of data and gain valuable insights by using MicroStrategy’s high-performance analytics capabilities.

The platform’s mobile BI features make it possible for users to access their data and insights from any location, which improves productivity and allows for mobile decision-making. Data protection is guaranteed by enterprise-grade security features, which encourage compliance and trust.


In conclusion, Business intelligence is important as it helps businesses make data-driven decisions. The best BI tools, like Tableau, Power BI, and Qlik Sense, offer strong analytics and data visualisation features that help companies get more insights and make informed decisions. Business entities may discover the strength of their data and drive strategic growth by choosing the best BI tool for their unique requirements.


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