The right business analytics certification is what provides you with comprehensive theoretical coverage as well as practical knowledge of how to use different business analytical tools and technologies. Business analytics is the process of exploring and investigating past business data to drive useful information and make strategic business planning. The tools that help business analysts in these processes, by allowing them to combine and analyze data, are known as business analytical tools.
Being one of the fastest-growing fields in the job market, business analytics is considered a lucrative career option by many. If you aspire to build a career in this field or if you are already working as a business analytics professional, you must know the different analytical tools used by companies today. Here are some important business analytics tools that help you work more efficiently as a business analyst:
Microsoft Excel is one of the most cost-effective and widely used business analytics tools all over the world. Due to its ease of use and wide accessibility, Excel is still preferred over other advanced software SAS and Tableau by many organizations. Some of the key features of Excel include summarization of complex data, data filtering as per requirements, form creation, Pivot Tables, etc. The software can deal with small as well as massive amounts of data, which makes it suitable to be used for every data type.
Power BI is another popular business analytics tool offered by Microsoft. It is majorly used for data visualization and also helps professionals in building interactive reports. Moreover, the tool provides data warehousing capabilities, such as data discovery and data preparation. With Power BI, users can recognize real-time trends in data and share reports. Along with Power BI Desktop (a desktop-based interface), the software also offers Power BI Services (cloud-based business services), which users can access from anywhere.
SAS is a statistical software that focuses on data management, predictive analysis, and advanced analytics. Due to its easy-to-use methodologies, SAS is widely used by analytics professionals in most organizations today. It simplifies the analysis of large data sets with its high-end platform that allows users to transform raw data into useful information in real-time. With SAS, business analysts can share visuals and reports with other team members via the web as well as mobile devices.
Tableau is a data visualization tool, which has gained popularity due to its advanced features, like interactive dashboards, unique visuals, live and in-memory data, robust security, etc. It allows users to connect to any data source and customize visualizations as per their requirements. With its powerful functions like data cleaning and data discovery, Tableau allows users to perform data analytics in seconds.
Launched by a company called Splunk Technology, Splunk is another popular business analytics tool. Many companies use it to capture, index & find correlations between real-time data, and to process machine log files data. This data is captured from a searchable repository and can be used in the generation of reports, graphs, and dashboards. Splunk is majorly used by small and medium enterprises, but can also be effective in some analytical processes at large companies.
MicroStrategy is another commonly used analytical tool that comes with a range of useful features like data visualizations, data discovery, and web services. The platform also hosts other tools and sources to fetch data for analysis. Users can create interactive reports and share them from any location and any device. With MicroStrategy, business analysts can process unstructured text data smoothly, provided that they have a basic understanding of data analysis, programming, and SQL.
QlikView, designed by a software company called Qlik, is popular for its unique analytical features. It is even faster than Tableau in response and is easy to learn and deploy. You don’t need any prior experience in programming to use this software, but only a basic understanding of SQL is enough. Qlik also offers a free version of QlikView, which is suitable to be used for business analytics by small and medium enterprises.
Sisense is also a powerful business analytics software that allows businesses to analyze and visualize vast amounts of complex data. Both small businesses, as well as large enterprises, use this tool for their analytical requirements. With Sisense, users can bring data from multiple sources, combine different data sets, and analyze data to identify hidden patterns and forecast future trends. Several industry experts have even recognized it as a top cloud analytics platform.
Domo is a cloud-based business analytics platform that provides great connector support and allows users to integrate multiple data sources. With its ease of use and micro & macro level visibility, this tool helps users see real-time data. It is designed to assist small and large-sized businesses in finding workable solutions and performing informed actions based on the insights gained from data.
Board is another top-rated business analytical tool that is best known for its ability to create custom reports and dashboards as per business requirements. This tool can deal with massive volumes of data. It uses data visualization, drill-down, and drill-through functionality to manipulate data, which can further be used for accurate analysis and trend forecasting. Board helps businesses in enhancing their overall decision-making process.
KNIME is an open-source business analytics platform that allows users to access, combine, analyze, and visualize data without any programming. Its no-code interface makes it easy to understand for analytics beginners. Moreover, experienced professionals can use the advanced set of data science tools offered by KNIME. It supports various types of structured and unstructured data, including PDF, CSV, XLS, and XML text formats, time series data, spreadsheets, etc.
Rapid Miner is a popular platform for business analytics as well as data science. Professionals can use it to perform predictive analysis and advanced analytics, such as machine learning, data mining, and data visualization. No prior experience in coding is required to use this tool. It supports various types of data sources, including Excel, Access, Tera Data, IBM SPSS, Oracle, etc. With RapidMiner, you can control the data sets and formats for predictive analysis.
Apache Spark is another open-source platform that focuses on the analysis of unstructured data. It integrates easily with other data ecosystems such as Hadoop and this is the most significant reason behind the popularity of this tool. It has its own machine-learning library and is considered a great option for business analytics.
R is an open-source programming language for graphics and statistical computing that is widely used by business analytics. It helps in data mining and statistical analysis of data. Business analytics often use R programming to build practical models and identify patterns in data. Knowledge of R programming is a must if you want to make a career in the business analytics field.
Python is the most sought-after programming language in the field of business analytics and has gained more popularity with the increasing significance of Big Data. Integrating seamlessly with big data, Python is a powerful analytical tool. It has become even more important with the development of analytical and statistical libraries such as SciPy and NumPy. It is simple to learn and easy to use, which makes it the favorite language for programmers.
Dundas BI is a highly flexible open-source platform for business analytics. Professionals often use this tool to create and view interactive reports, dashboards, scorecards, etc. It allows you to analyze large volumes of complex data, including text and location-based data, leaving no data points behind.
Apache Storm is a real-time data processing system that can process massive amounts of data in a horizontally scalable and fault-tolerant method. Many professionals confuse Apache Spark with Apache Storm. While Spark is for static data, Apache Storm deals with real-time data and is suitable for stream processing.
Being internals of the Hadoop ecosystem, Pig and Hive allow users to reduce the complexity of MapReduce queries to a minimum. The Pig component is generally used by programmers and researchers for semi-structured data. However, the Hive component of Hadoop is used by analytics professionals for fully structured data.
If you want to make a career in business analytics, you can start with Edvancer’s ‘Certified Business Analytics Professional’ course. It covers business analytics in R comprehensively and allows you to develop your practical knowledge through 70% practical content. You can even choose to learn as per your comfort as Edvancer offers two learning options, including self-paced learning and a live online classes program.
1. What is the most popular and common business analytic tool?
Ans. Some most popular and widely used business analytics tools include MS Excel, MS Power BI, Tableau, SAS, MicroStrategy, Splunk, QlikView, R Programming, Python, etc.
2. What are analytical tools in business?
Ans. Analytical tools are the software that businesses use to make their business analytics process more efficient. These tools allow analytics professionals to perform better and make better data-driven decisions.
3. Why use business analytics tools?
Ans. Business analytics tools can help you analyze data in a better way and improve the overall efficiency of business operations.