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With so many different cloud BI tools available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want a flexible and efficient way to manage and analyze your business data but need to figure out which tool is best. I've got you! In this post I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using dozens of different cloud BI software with various teams, with my picks of the best cloud BI tools.

What Are Cloud BI Tools?

Cloud BI (Business Intelligence) tools are software applications that offer business intelligence services such as data analysis, reporting, and visualization, hosted on cloud infrastructure. They enable businesses to integrate data from various sources and provide tools for analyzing and presenting this data in an understandable and actionable format. These tools are accessible over the internet, eliminating the need for on-premise hardware and software installations.

The benefits of using cloud BI tools include increased accessibility and flexibility, as they can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes them particularly useful for remote teams and mobile access. They offer scalability, adapting easily to the changing data needs of a business. Cloud BI tools typically have lower IT costs compared to traditional BI solutions due to reduced infrastructure and maintenance requirements. Additionally, they facilitate real-time data processing and collaboration, allowing businesses to make timely, data-driven decisions and share insights easily across teams.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Cloud BI Tools

Below, I’ve reviewed every tool on my list, providing you with a summary of what it does, standout features and capabilities, and a snapshot of the tool’s internal workings. I’ve also included some pricing information and a few pros and cons that might help you narrow down the right tool for you.

Best for empowering your entire organization with data-driven decision-making

  • 30-day free trial for new users
  • From $30/user/month, billed annually
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Rating: 4.5/5

Qlik Sense is the business analytics tool from Qlik Analytics Platform that allows everyone in your organization to utilize the insights of data analysis to improve their workflow through AI-powered insights and suggestions, as well as AI-accelerated data prep and advanced analytics integration.

Why I picked Qlik Analytics Platform: The reason this solution made my list is because Qlik allows your team to easily communicate their discoveries with everyone who needs to see them through fully interactive and secure offline and online mobility. Business users can get answers and share their work anywhere they happen to be.

Qlik Analytics Platform Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include data integration through open and standard APIs with customization and extension capabilities, SaaS and multi-cloud architecture to drive scalability for on-premise and private cloud environments, and data management through data warehouse automation.

Integrations include Adobe Analytics, Amazon S3, Coupa, IBM DB2, Jira, Microsoft Azure, MongoDB, Oracle Netsuite, Salesforce Sales Cloud, and SAP CRM. Qlik offers over 100 connectors for data integration.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Tons of customization capabilities
  • Very easy to get started
  • Mobile app for more accessibility

Cons:

  • Issues with processing big data sets
  • Limited data modeling and interactive visualizations

Best for automating your ETL/ELT

  • Free trial available
  • From $80/user/month
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Rating: 4.5/5

As a low and no-code analytics platform, Alteryx strives to encourage everyone on your team to engage with data by making reporting and insights fun and unique. With quick results that can deliver breakthroughs every day, Alteryx offers a cloud platform that can help organizations connect, prepare, analyze, scale, and automate.

Why I picked Alteryx: This platform caught my attention because of their ability to help you build and orchestrate robust ETL/ELT data pipelines as any scale. Connect to over 150 data sources, upload them to your destination, transform the data into readable and visually appealing reports, and publish outputs to downstream applications.

Alteryx Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include Alteryx Designer Cloud to help even non-technical users prep and create stunning reports, Alteryx Auto Insights to uncover and share your data story, and democratized spatial analytics for better decision-making based on geospatial insights.

Integrations include Adobe, AWS, BluePrism, Google Cloud, Microsoft, Snowflake, Tableau, ThoughtSpot, UiPath, and Veritone.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Accessible, intuitive navigation design
  • Robust community provides advice and assistance
  • Interface is very easy to use

Cons:

  • Requires some training to utilize effectively
  • Cost per seat can seem high

Best for automating and modernizing your reporting process

  • Free trial + free demo available
  • Pricing upon request
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Rating: 4.4/5

Domo is a system that’s been designed to work for anyone in your organization so nobody has to wait on analyst reports anymore. With their cloud-native data experience, this platform takes traditional business intelligence to the next stage with user-friendly dashboards and apps, as well as providing a centralized space where anyone on your team can access real-time insights.

Why I picked Domo: This platform made my list because it encourages collaboration between teams. Anyone can turn spreadsheets into visual dashboards that update themselves as data changes, schedule reports and updates for key stakeholders, and collaborate on new reports in real-time in shared workspaces.

Domo Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include self-service data analytics that brings data from every source into one unified view and proactive reporting that changes charts as data changes and notifies you of any updates.

Integrations include Basecamp, DocuSign, Dropbox Business, GitHub, Google Analytics 360, Google Drive, Mailchimp, Microsoft Excel, SurveyMonkey, and Trello.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Plug-and-play integrations make setup easy
  • Features are easy to learn
  • Creates polished and professional reports

Cons:

  • Can be sluggish with big data sets
  • Customer support can be slow to respond

Best for building a BI-focused tech stack with products from the same family

  • $300 in free credits
  • Pricing upon request
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Rating: 4.4/5

Looker is a cloud BI tool that’s part of the Google Cloud and uses an intuitive, web-based interface that enables data exploration, report building and sharing, and data-driven decision-making throughout your entire organization. At Looker’s core is data discovery through a simplified coding language called LookerML, which allows data analysts to design and create mini-applications to enhance data exploration.

Why I picked Looker: I chose Looker for this list because the platform has a whole family of additional business intelligence tools that could enhance your tech stack, including Looker Embedded for embedded analytics and applications, Looker Modeler to centralize your most important metrics across the entire company, and Looker Studio to visualize data with configurable tables, charts, and reports.

Looker Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include databases that allow you to manage and migrate enterprise data more securely, Data Cloud Alliance to provide global businesses with seamless data access, and AI and machine-learning tools that generate instant insights.

Integrations include Asana, Dropbox Business, Google Analytics 360, Google Workspace, HubSpot CRM, Mailchimp, Microsoft Excel, Rippling, Salesforce Sales Cloud, and Slack.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface and intuitive design
  • Great customer support team
  • Very easy to learn and use

Cons:

  • Instant update isn’t so instant; may require a page refresh
  • Large data sets can cause lag time

Best for cloud BI plans designed for your industry

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing available upon request
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Rating: 4.4/5

This business intelligence platform was built to offer smarter planning and actionable insights for better business decisions that unify your strategy for finance and operations. BOARD strives to provide you with the crucial insights you need to gain more visibility across your entire organization — from goal setting to operational execution.

Why I picked BOARD: I chose this platform for my list because of their unique pricing structure. Instead of breaking down the subscription plan right away, they tailor a tool based on your industry or need, including solutions for finance, retail, supply chain, and sales.

BOARD Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include advanced analytics with machine learning forecasting and simulation, low-code or no-code customization with drag-and-drop editing, and artificial intelligence for scorecard and strategy management.

Integrations include Google Analytics 360, HubSpot CRM, Marketo Engage, Microsoft Excel, Oracle CRM, Salesforce Sales Cloud, SAP HANA Cloud, ServiceMax, SugarCRM, and Veeva CRM.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and maintain
  • Quick handling of high-volume data
  • User-friendly interface for an engaging environment

Cons:

  • System maintenance is not dynamic
  • Reporting designs could be improved

Best cloud BI tool for enterprise-level deployment

  • 90-day free trial
  • From $36/user/month
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Rating: 4.2/5

The SAP Analytics Cloud is a web-based BI tool that’s built on SAP’s HANA platform that provides it the power to run apps within the cloud and consolidate analytics from many sources into a single, centralized experience. You get real-time data analytics for employees at every level with versatile personalization options and device optimization.

Why I picked SAP Analytics Cloud: This tool caught my eye because of its dashboard-based interface and prioritization of social collaboration. In addition to ad hoc reporting, planning, and forecasting, you can leverage conversational tools to take effective action, share insights, synchronize workflows, and schedule meetings.

SAP Analytics Cloud Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include data visualization and exploration to inspire audiences, self-service BI modeling and preparation where you set the KPIs, and predictive forecasting with machine learning tools that allow you to anticipate business needs.

Integrations include Google Analytics 360, Google Drive, HubSpot CRM, Meta for Business, Microsoft Office, Qualtrics CoreXM, QuickBooks, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Twitter, and Workato.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Constantly expanding tool offerings
  • Simple and easy user interface
  • Allows web-based log-ins

Cons:

  • Limited analytics features, like drilling through metrics
  • Cannot edit models after creation

Best for its unique scale and performance with large data sets

  • Free trial available
  • Pricing upon request

As a business intelligence and analytics software, Sigma Computing is designed to help businesses connect with data warehouses more securely and visualize data by using charts and dashboards with JSON parsing and SQL authoring. This platform offers a familiar interface with spreadsheet-like visuals and functionality.

Why I picked Sigma Computing: This data analytics tool made my list because of its capability with large volumes. With Sigma Computing, you can aggregate and analyze billions of rows in seconds to maximize your CDW investment. With data warehouses and unique cloud-design principles, they deliver scalable performance.

Sigma Computing Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include data capture and transfer through built-in, code-free connections and self-service data preparations for technical and non-technical users alike.

Integrations include Alooma, Amazon Redshift, Datameer, Fivetran, Gmail, HubSpot CRM, Mailchimp, Matillon, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Slack, and Snowflake.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Lots of tutorials and guidance videos
  • Data continues refreshing while working
  • Familiar, spreadsheet-style interface

Cons:

  • Learning the platform can take time
  • Can be expensive to add on new features

Best for creating interactive visual reports

  • 14 Days Free Trial
  • $8000/year

As the flagship offering from SAS, this visualization tool offers plenty of features to help you build custom interactive reports. Use the self-service data preparation feature, visual data discovery tools, interactive reporting, and dashboard for simplified analytics capabilities and organizational governance for non-technical users.

Why I picked SAS Visual Analytics: The reason this platform caught my eye was for more than just the reporting and visualization tools. SAS Visual Analytics also boasts a massive library of free tutorials that can teach novices new skills and enhance the skills of more experienced team members. This platform also offers training courses through specialist certification programs.

SAS Visual Analytics Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include data exploration and analytics with augmented analytics, interactive reporting that’s simple to share and discuss, and conversational AI chatbots through the SAS Conversation Designer.

Integrations include Amazon Aurora, Amazon Redshift, Amazon S3, AWS CloudFormation, Google Cloud, Google Cloud BigQuery, Google Cloud Datastore, Microsoft Azure, OpenShift, and SAS Analytics Pro.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Works very fast because of parallel computing support
  • Easy to use with low-code requirements
  • More affordable for large organizations

Cons:

  • Has a steep learning curve, which means tutorials are essential
  • Less affordable for small businesses

Best for aerospace, engineering, and technology use cases

  • 30-day free trial available
  • Pricing upon request

Altair is a global tech company that strives to provide SaaS solutions for aerospace, engineering, and other high-tech companies. Altair One offers data mining and analytics software businesses can use to run programs written with SAS language syntax without the need for translation or third-party products.

This platform has been built to handle high levels of throughput for time series analytics, operation research, graphing, matrix manipulation, and machine learning.

Why I picked Altair: Many of the tools on this list are designed to accommodate non-technical users, but I chose Altair specifically because it takes this feature to a higher level. Using Altair, you can combine programming languages to maintain, create, and run data models or programs using SQL, Python, R, and SAS languages.

Altair One Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include Altair® OptiStruct® for generative design to democratize topology optimization; Lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) solver, which enables you to predict the aerodynamics of cars and other vehicles; and data transformation that extracts information from PDFs, text files, spreadsheets, and other structured sources.

Integrations include Acrome, Alibaba Cloud, AWS, BluePrism, CellBond, Google Cloud, Microsoft, Oracle, Qlik, Solace, and Tableaux.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Robust and intuitive tools
  • Fairly easy setup with some guidance
  • Easily adaptable when creating AI solutions

Cons:

  • Limited delivery and integrations
  • Has a steep learning curve

Best for delivering industry and role-specific analytics

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request

This native cloud BI platform is an analytics tool designed to help your organization understand and optimize complex processes. Infor Birst claims they process data in less time than traditional BI solutions using patented automation and machine learning technology that can help you leverage your insights for smarter business decisions.

Why I picked Infor Birst: I like this platform because they utilize modern data architecture to deliver the support you need to take your analysis anywhere it needs to go. With this flexible approach to managing data, you can enjoy scalable, secure, and adaptable tools that can blend centralized and decentralized data analytics.

Infor Birst Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include automated data integration to reduce manual tasks for your team, networked BI to support centralized and decentralized team governance, and data sharing to include customers, partners, suppliers, and other stakeholders in your decision-making process.

Integrations include ADP, Bitium, Delphi AI, DocuSign, Marcom Portal, Marketo Engage, Microsoft Excel, SyteLine, SupplyMover, and Tableau. Infor Birst is also part of the new Shopify Global ERP program.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Enhanced API options to check any data
  • Customization is much more user friendly
  • Powerful processing and infrastructure capabilities

Cons:

  • Limited BQL functionality options
  • UI could be a little more intuitive
Tools Price
Qlik From $30/user/month, billed annually
Alteryx From $80/user/month
Domo Pricing upon request
Looker Pricing upon request
Board Pricing available upon request
SAP Analytics Cloud From $36/user/month
Sigma Computing Pricing upon request
SAS Visual Analytics $8000/year
Altair One Pricing upon request
Networked BI Pricing upon request
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

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Other Cloud BI Tool Options

With so many business intelligence tools available, there are a few more options that didn’t make my main list. Check out these runners-up:

  1. TIBCO Spotfire

    Best for analyzing both data in motion and data at rest

  2. Sisense

    Best for infusing data into every part of your workflow

  3. Zoho Analytics

    Best platform with years of experience — operating since 2009

  4. Pentaho

    Best for reducing your energy consumption and carbon footprint

  5. Oracle Analytics

    Best software for data preparation and enrichment

  6. Microsoft Power BI

    Best platform for empowering your whole team to utilize data

  7. Salesforce CRM Analytics

    Best for integrating with your Salesforce-driven ecosystem

  8. Tableau Desktop

    Best tool with a secure self-service environment

  9. AnswerRocket

    Best BI software for panel data and brand analysis

  10. Thoughtspot

    Best BI software for organizations of any shape and size

Selection Criteria For Cloud BI Tools 

Are you wondering what main evaluation and selection criteria I used to develop the list of the best cloud BI tools for this article? Here’s a breakdown of my specifications:

Core Functionality

The core capabilities of each cloud BI platform may vary slightly, but typically, all BI software will help businesses make better decisions through the following steps:

  • Gathering data: This information may come from external or internal sources.
  • Cataloguing data: Your software needs to clean up, organize, and standardize the data.
  • Storing data: These platforms will store your data in their cloud to create your database.
  • Analyzing data: Next, the tools will sort the data and make it easier to understand.
  • Interpreting data: Reports with charts and insights make the data meaningful.

Key Features

To ensure the functionalities above, all the cloud BI tools on my list will have some combination of the following features. Please note that some platforms will change the names of these features for branding and uniqueness.

  • Executive dashboards with personalized, relevant information that’s easy to understand.
  • Location intelligence to track and monitor customer locations.
  • Interactive reports, including drill-down reports, thorough reports, and OLAP analysis.
  • User-specific security to ensure only the right people can see relevant data.
  • Mobile BI for on-the-go access to your software on phones and tablets.
  • Predictive analytics that leverages historical data to prepare you for future trends.

Usability

In this list, I prioritized tools that ensure a positive user experience with platforms that are simple to implement, easy to use, and have robust training, guidance, and support from a customer service team. I also chose those with intuitive interface options and organized menus that make it easier to navigate.

Software Integrations

Optimal operations of your BI platform necessitate data-sharing and mining so your tech stack needs to be as open as possible to your cloud BI platform. Listed in each software summary, you’ll see the most common integrations for each tool, along with some information about native or Zapier-driven integrations.

Pricing

Cloud BI tools have varying features and functionalities so you can expect some range in pricing and structure. However, most platforms have a subscription model due to the cloud-based operational model. Pricing is also frequently user-based so will vary depending on the size of your organization. You can expect many platforms to start at $30/user/month. Other platforms only offer customized options.

People Also Ask

Need to learn more about Cloud BI tools before making your decision? Check out the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Other Revenue Operations Software

If you’re looking for other tools related to business intelligence, take a look at these breakdowns for a few more top options. 

What’s Next?

I hope this guide provided you with the insights you needed to choose the best cloud BI tool for your organization — and maybe find a few more tools to round out your tech stack.

If you’re looking for even more guidance from the revops experts, sign up for our newsletter to get weekly updates straight to your inbox.

By Phil Gray

Philip Gray is the COO of Black and White Zebra and Founding Editor of The RevOps Team. A business renaissance man with his hands in many departmental pies, he is an advocate of centralized data management, holistic planning, and process automation. It's this love for data and all things revenue operations landed him the role as resident big brain for The RevOps Team.

With 10+ years of experience in leadership and operations in industries that include biotechnology, healthcare, logistics, and SaaS, he applies a considerable broad scope of experience in business that lets him see the big picture. An unapologetic buzzword apologist, you can often find him double clicking, drilling down, and unpacking all the things.