Comparing Different Tools for Business Analytics


Data suggests only 20% of the businesses founded today survive the first 12 months. Worse, it’s the same trend since 20 years ago. In reality, no one knows the longevity of a company. Some defy expectations and last for decades. Others that are more well-established meet their untimely demise through bankruptcy or acquisition.

But some factors can provide the company with some ideas. One of these is analytics, a process that offers some glimpse on the health and well-being of the business. For this, companies can consider the following tools:

1. Excel Spreadsheet

Perhaps the most basic of them all is the Excel spreadsheet. Its primary advantage is it’s easy to use. It also comes with essential features such as formulas, tables, and charts. If the organization uses Windows, there’s a good chance this application is already built-in—for free. Microsoft also regularly updates its programs, so if the computer is connected to the Internet, one may receive upgrades quickly. These updates are important as they may come with new features or patches to fix bugs or security issues.

Companies can also make the data more mobile. They can upload their Excel spreadsheets in Google Drive, for example. On the downside, this is a crude tool. To make the most out of the software, one needs to understand the many features, which then introduces a learning curve.

2. Cloud-based Platforms

Cloud-based intelligence tools for businesses are dynamic. They can encourage collaboration among members or even business partners and investors regardless of where they are in the world. As long as they have an Internet connection, they can see the data in real time.

Some platforms can also integrate a variety of analytics programs and then compile the information from these places to create a more concise picture of the business.

In the process, the data is not only current but also more likely accurate. It helps decision-makers take the right approach toward business growth. This option may also be SaaS (software as a service), which means businesses can select their preferred solutions and only pay for the tools they can use. They can also cancel their subscription or contract at any time.

3. Installed Software or Program

man creating a presentation analysis

For a more comprehensive approach to business intelligence, companies may choose to use a software or program it can install. It usually comes with a CD or a thumb drive.

One of the best things about this option is that it’s secure. It can allow administrators to limit access to specific data. It may also be able to generate reports based on the information provided. The program can also perform other related tasks, which may include project management or forecasting.

The biggest challenge with this one is the update. At some point, the business might need to upgrade the software to utilize better features or tools. When this happens, they may have no other option but to buy the new software, which can also be costly. Companies can only install it on one computer, or it might allow a few users for each application purchased.

Among the three, the Cloud-based platform choice seems to be the most logical. It’s not as cheap as Excel, but it provides a higher value than any of the other three options. In the end, though, it’s always about what the business needs are at that moment. Find the option one can scale, depending on the company growth.

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