Top 5 Business Analytics Tools

Business Analytics: A Brief Overview

Business analytics, often shortened as BA, is a selection of technologies and disciplines required for solving business problems using data analysis, quantitative methods, and statistical models. This field requires a recursive and systemic exploration of an organization’s data that emphasizes statistical analysis for decision-making.

Data is considered a business asset in every data-driven company, which requires mining, processing, and analysis to use it to their competitive advantage. Successfully implementing business analytics depends on professional analysts who have the skillset to understand the relevant technologies such as business intelligence software, data quality, and the commitment to use data to gain insights to make business decisions.

The Importance Of Business Analytics Tools

The overwhelming volume of data generated by cloud applications is undeniable. Large-scale companies and startups rely on business analysis tools and ways to deliver foolproof analytics solutions to extract insights from the generated data. Many tools and application software capture qualitative and quantitative data from various business systems and incorporate them into a repository, which is how most data analysts review and analyze data to ensure smart decision-making.

Many companies use different business analytics software all at once. These include statistical tools, data mining tools, and predictive modeling. These applications for business analytics provide companies with insights to aim for efficiency, profitability, and productivity.

With more and more advancement, business analytics tools leverage powerful features to make data collection and analysis easier. Hence, they can detect trends and patterns from vast datasets and pave the way for newer business analytics models. 

Difference Between Business Analytics and Business Intelligence

Although they seem identical, BA and BI have key differences that set them apart. Business Analytics aims to provide advanced analytics that leverages Business Intelligence as the backbone while solving complex questions and making projections.

Data analytics consists of various applications and techniques falling under the umbrella of data analytics, amongst which two popular practices are business analytics and business intelligence.

Despite sounding the same, these are entirely different concepts for building analytical strategies and extracting the best intel out of the data. High-functioning tools are used by business analysts for gathering, analyzing, and presenting data to the companies for customer satisfaction and achieving business goals.

Top-tier business analytics tools are in high demand due to the high functionalities that advanced software in business analytics promise to deliver for the future growth of business and monetary success. Business intelligence is entirely focused on the current and the past events that the data capture. On the other hand, business analytics is wholly focused on what can potentially happen in the future. 

BI aids companies in building strategies for present situations with active data broken down to answer any specific questions related to the recent data. BA uses data insights to form business strategies and improve productivity and current dynamic systems.

Get Business Analytics Certification from the World’s top Universities. Learn Executive PG Programs, Advanced Certificate Programs, or Masters Programs to fast-track your career.

Five Most Popular Business Analytics Tools

Analysts use many Business Analytics tools for performing tasks with efficiency. Here is a list of some of the most popularly used BA tools in the field of data science:-

1. QlikView

QlikView was the first product created by a business and software organization called Qlik and was formerly known as QuikView. It is one of the most popular tools used in business analytics because of its distinctive and unique features. Compared to software like Tableau, it is faster in response and much more efficient.

QlikView is easy to deploy and learn. It helps users achieve business insights by associating with data. No programming experience is required other than basic knowledge of SQL and VB Script that can help understand how this tool functions. The distribution of this tool is supportive enough as it offers a free version of QlikView to use personally and can be easily implemented by beginners and small startups.

2. Board

Board falls in the list of one of the highest-rated software tools for business analysis because its business analytics model is leasing in the industry. It enables users to create intuitive and interactive business analytics dashboards and reports.

Additionally, this business analytics platform is highly-scalable and integrates the top-tier analytical tools used in businesses, including a high-functioning statistics suite.

Board is a business analytics tool that can manage overwhelmingly large volumes of data and provide a scenario analysis as accurately as possible. It also aids in forecasting by manipulating data used in various scenarios.

3. Splunk

Based in San Francisco, Splunk Technology is popularly known for producing some of the best business analytics tools to handle various aspects of machine-generated data. This involves searching, monitoring, and analysis and helps attain indexes find the link between the repository and real-time data. This repository is often used for generating reports, graphs, and dashboards.

Splunk Free is available and has all its Enterprise features in Splunk 4 for two months. It gives business analysts the benefit of letting users index 500 megabytes of data every day. Both small and medium-scale companies use it.

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4. Microstrategy

The business analytics software known as Microstrategy promises superior analytics capabilities to provide foolproof processing of raw text data that specialists can further analyze through the text analytics solutions of the platform. It is one of the best up-to-date business analytics tools that incorporate statistical capabilities and insightful analytical features, enabling real-time trend forecasting and third-party data mining. It is a first-rate business analytics tool that combines several business analysis techniques and tools, allowing users to produce and share business analytics reports on any device anywhere.

5. Excel

Surprisingly enough, Excel happens to be one of the highest used and least costly data analytics tools used worldwide. Even experts in Tableau or SAS use Excel for data analysis. It is the most crucial tool for dealing with the client’s internal data analytics. Excel performs the complicated task of summarizing data and a preview of the pivot tables that aids in data filtering depending on the client’s requirements. Business analysts must have expert knowledge of the advanced Excel options that aid in modeling capabilities. It also has some of the best pre-built options, such as automatic relationship detection and time grouping.


As organizations worldwide leverage business analytics tools and BI software, it is opening up newer opportunities for skilled and qualified business analysts across sectors like eCommerce, IT, education, healthcare, banking and finance, retail, etc. The roles in this domain are diverse as well – Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Database Administrator, Big Data Architect, Data Visualization Specialist, etc. 

The bottom line is that analytics tools are integral for growth. It is one of the most lucrative fields to pursue because of the advancing business, retail, and eCommerce sectors. If you want to make it big in this field, enroll in a top-tier Business Analytics Certification Program from upGrad. Sign up today to kickstart your career.

Which Business Analytics software is most popular?

Some of the most popularly used Bi software tools are Power BI, Oracle Analytics Cloud, MicroStrategy, TIBCO Spotfire, Qlik Sense, etc.

Is Excel an analytical tool?

Excel is a tool mainly used for data analytics. However, it does not always serve as a complete solution. As a data analyst, you will be required to use many functions for exploring data for better insight.

Is SQL a business intelligence tool?

Structured query language, also popularly known as SQL, is a significant part of business intelligence for speaking to relational databases. One of the defining characteristics that make BI tools unique is how they leverage SQL.

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