Abhishek into the leader’s quadrant as surveyed by

Topic: BusinessComparative Analysis
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Last updated: September 11, 2019

Abhishek [email protected] [email protected]

comAbstract – In this paper we talked about some of the datavisualization applications that fall into the leader’s quadrant as surveyed byGartner 1. We present an opinionthat these business applications are believed to be self-servicing andenterprise ready, which makes end user confused about, what tool to use, aseach tool solves a specific purpose and may not be the best fitment as ageneric solution to all the enterprise needs. With respect to different casestudies and use case scenarios, we try to compare & contrast & evaluatethe different BI tools based on various use cases and enterprise requirements. Wehave also included a cross tab comparison of the BI tools vs feature metrics tohelp the reader better interpret & understand which solution best fitstheir requirements.Key Words –  DataVisualization, BI, self-servicing,        I.                       IntroductionBusiness intelligence is an umbrella term that covers all theactivities that are necessary/required by an organization to turn raw informationinto actionable insights 2 to helpexecutives, managers and other corporate end users make informed business decisions.

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Businessdecisions could be operational or strategic. Business Intelligence istechnology driven and it leverages different software or application totransform data into consumable insights. In order to make proactive andinformed decisions it is important for decision makers to have a deepunderstanding of business performance and visibility into the business KPIs. Itis important to have correct strategic focus on BI to have competitiveadvantage (by taking right decision at right time). BI solutions not only help organizationsunderstand its data and derive insights within itself, but also could be stretchedto benchmark with competitors, customers, industry, and market scenarios. Before the self-service BI tools were introduced, BI dependedheavily on an IT specialist to configure data & reports for the businessteam. IT department had been the guardians of the data and dataintelligence/reports were executed by the IT team. Moreover, the report/insightgeneration process was laborious and time-consuming leading to decision delay.

This dependency around information exchange led to a wide rift between IT andBusiness teams. After the introduction of self-service BI tools; thescenario, however is changing now and quick decisions needs to be taken byBusiness to stay competitive. Business needs real time insights not onlylimited to the historic KPI but also predictive and simulation scenarios tomake informed and controlled decision.  Self-service BI tools are positioning themselves as acomplete enterprise solution for BI which could be used easily by Business toslice and dice through data & advocating ‘Do it Yourself’ philosophy. However,it must be emphasized that a lot of market leaders do require a lot of codingand data preparation to even start with the development of dashboards, views,reports etc. Some of the current applications have the limitation to evenhandle large amount of data efficiently.

So, to pave the correct strategy forBI & data intelligence, Business and IT heads need to assess differentfactors before deciding to go head with a specific BI tool.       II.                       Modern Business Intelligence Domain Data Tool Business Intelligence In ourexperience, modern business intelligence is an amalgamation of 3 primarydomains. Domain Knowledge + Data Knowledge + Tool Knowledge = Business Intelligence.     Figure 1.  What isBusiness Intelligence?As there are various modern BI solutions available on themarket, it is important to select the appropriate solution to meet theenterprise requirement.

Some of the key considerations business should look at beforeadopting a tool be:§  How critical is to have real timeaccess to insights & KPIs for Business?§  Does all the data reside in Datawarehouse? Is the data clean? Is data preprocessing required?§  How would the intelligence be sharedacross the organization?§  Will there be access restriction toboth data and intelligence?§  How much customization in the BIreports will be required?§  Does Business have necessary skillsto adapt to BI technology and self-govern the reports & insights?§  What kind of intelligence isrequired?o   Descriptive(what has happened) to understand different drivers for various KPIso   Predictive(simulation scenarios) to assess the forward-looking scenario Also, the scalability, data security are other importantconsiderations to have before building a full-fledged enterprise platform. Wehave also worked with various business scenarios where a BI suite was used tosolve specific set of problems by business and not adopting a vanilla approachto solve all the problems at enterprise levels. We call such approaches as’Agile BI’ and is often very affective and rapid in solving business problems.    III.                       Business Intelligence ToolsThere are number of Business Intelligence tools available inthe market, we have considered the one’s that lie in the Leader’s quadrant of Gartner’smagic quadrant 1, for thisresearch paper.

 A.      TableauTableau is an offering by Tableau Software. Tableau uses apatented technology by Stanford University which provides an end user an easydrag-drop mechanism to create different charts and tables 15.

It is on a mission to liberate data for everyone. Along withthis it offers access to metadata management, interaction in guided stories& dashboards, commenting options, data alerts, email subscriptions &auto data refresh. Tableau offers a variety of visuals which facilitates theend-user to create stunning reports. It has easy to understand navigation andhas different connectors to connect to different databases. Importing data iseasy and reports could be easily created by dragging & dropping dimensionsmeasures in a chart object.

If the data is readily available in the data warehouse and noETL processing is required, Tableau would require very little to no backendcoding hence suiting Business teams to adapt it. Tableau pros·        Automatedupdates·        Commenting·        Datanotifications·        Drag– Drop & toggle views·        EmbeddedDashboards·        FilterData·        Highlights·        Importall types of data·        Listof native data sources·        Metadatamanagement·        Mobileready dashboards·        NoCode data queries·        RequestAPI·        SecurityPermissions·        Sharingfiles and dashboard·        Stringinginsights into guided stories·        Tableaupublic and data sharing·        Translatingqueries into visualizationsTableau Cons·        Earlydata preparations·        FinancialReporting·        CostProhibitive·        NeedIT expertise B.       QlikViewQlikView is an offering by Qlik Technologies Inc.

It uses apatented Associative engine which delivers beyond the capability of query-basedBI tools. It is capable of smoothly blending data from different sources. Ithas very fast in-memory engine thereby facilitating end user to slice &dice data very quickly. Qlik View is a partly different from the other querybased BI tools, it offers guided explorations to help you control the deliveryprocess, and the application include myriad of features and tools to collaboratewith, that lets you use this application along with your colleagues or simpleshare them across 16. Beingcompatible with most devices, it integrates smoothly with all range of datasystems and servers.

QlikView however, has a steeper learning curve andrequires backend scripting to create analytical reports or insights. Qlik View Pros·        Customizationof dynamic apps·        Rich& extensive data visualizations·        DataSecurity·        ExtensiveAPI·        Interactionwith other dynamic apps·        QlikView NPrinting·        QlikView Scripting·        QlikView Workbench·        RealTime Collaboration and sharing·        Templates,Design & LayoutsQlik View Cons·        Requirestrained developer·        Prohibitivecost·        Nocentralized security·        Lowcustomer surface·        OutdatedInterface C.       Power BIPower BI is a BI tool developed by Microsoft.  It was devised to be the part of the Microsoftecosystem, but it rather eventually transformed into a fully functionalapplication that is now a prime in the BI industry. It has a huge supportsystem and following. With all this, Microsoft continues to balloon itsfeatures and connectors such as MailChimp database.

Thus, one can use this applicationto improve quality your visualization and to directly query your SQL databasesand spark data sources 8. Withthis application, end-user can interact quickly and easily with the data bymaking use of simple drag-and-drop features to spot trends as well as naturallanguage queries to get fast answers. Analysts can utilize a free-form canvasfor drag-and-drop data navigation as well as a vast library of interactivevisualizations, easy report creation, and fast publishing.

As Power BI is partof Microsoft’s set of business apps, it offers seamless integration withpopular Microsoft software systems such as SQL Server, Azure, and Excel 8.Pros Power Bi·        Adhoc analysis·        Adhoc reporting·        Authorrich interactive reports with power bi Desktop·        Customizabledashboards·        Datasets·        Fullsuite of BI tools for data visualization and reporting·        Helpand feedback buttons·        Navigationpane·        Onlineanalytical process·        Qquestion box·        Reports·        TrendIndicators·        Viewrich graphical visualizations from complex BI dataPower Bi Cons·        Doesn’thandle large data sources well·        Prettycomplex·        Doesn’tallows granularity·        Nosolution to data quality                                                                                                                                 IV.                       BI Development FrameworkHaving worked with various BI applications & Business usecases, we are outlining the BI development framework we observe in most of theenterprise where BI implementation is required. Figure 2.

BI Development FrameworkA.      Data Blending:In an enterprise set-up, where the IT and Compliance teamstightly regulate the data, all data might not reside under a single datauniverse. There could be requirement to use external data (Hoovers, Dun etc.) to benchmark performance metrics with competitors.

Thus, thechoice of the tool must have the following characteristics to connect to thesecure data source effortlessly.§  Connectivity to multiple data sources§  Data blending§  Large data handling capabilities§  Easy integration B.       Extract, Transform & Load:Once the tool has been measured on the connectivity andintegration scales, the next factor to consider is whether the data imported intothe tool requires a transformation or not. This data can be both structured orunstructured, thus an ETL tool might be required if the BI tool lacks datatransformation capabilities or if the BI tool fails to prepare some of thebusiness logics or rules into the data.

One should keep following factors infavor of data preparation in mind before making a selection.o   MetadataManagemento   DataCleaning & preparationo   Levelof Logic Calculationso   DataAggregationDepending on your data, data sources and dashboarding requirements,you might think you can adopt the apt BI tool, but that may not be the case inmost business cases.   Some importantfactors that most business miss out to assess a BI tool – o   Changemanagemento   Scalabilityo   Bundlingwith other productso   DataSecurityo   DataRefresho   EndUser interfaceo   Costand Maintenanceo   Advanceanalyticso   EasyDeploymento   CollaborationWe have further assessed some of the market leaders againstsome important metrices to understand where they stand up in against eachother. C.      Visualization:If a picture’s worth thousand words, then a visualization isworth thousand pictures 13. It’sthe primary role of the business analyst to understand the businessrequirements working the stakeholders and as a next step, converting hisrequirements into visualizations that can make him look at several pictures inone glance. Visualization might seem to be the last step in the process of datavisualization, but it is crucial for a business analyst to draw up thewireframe for the visualization, before the ETL process begins. With this it isalso viable to keep the organizational process assets handy, that will furtherfacilitate the design and development of the enterprise solution.

We have triedto catalogue the best case for the common charts used in an enterprisescenario, that can assist business analysts to select an appropriatevisualization with the business scenario.   Figure 3 14 – Chart Suggestion – A Thought Starter      V.                       Qualitative MetricBased on theexperience gained across multiple projects and under different domains, weprepared a qualitative metrics vs the BI applications to give a quickassessment on each application that can help business choose what caters bestto its need. We have rated the applications on the scale of 5 to display levelof completeness and ability to execute  Table 1. Qualitative features Vs.

BITools     VI.                       Evolution of toolsAll the Business Intelligence tools discussed, are gearing upconstantly to cater to most of the industry needs. Not only these applications haveadvanced to the phase where they can explain the data along with some brilliantvisualizations, these applications are actively and aggressively taking stepsto be adept enough to simulate scenarios and predict future.   Currently these applications are mature enoughto integrate with a 3rd party analytics tool (R in the case), querythe data and present/render the outputs visually.

  But looking at the pace they have beendeveloping their feature arsenal, soon enough they would be standaloneapplications where you can extract, transform, load, analyze and visualize dataat the same time.   VII.                       Scalability and enterprise frameworkTableau provides a robust infrastructure (Tableau Server)that meets the security, scalability, extensibility and architecturalrequirements of Business Intelligence team. It provides flexible deploymentoptions that scale up to the largest businesses. It supports your dataarchitecture decisions by allowing live connection to a variety of databases orin-memory analytics. And most of all, it lets BI managers get back to strategicintelligence by getting them out of the dashboard-creation and update cycle.

QlikView ‘s product components and architecture allow forhorizontal and vertical scaling and are utilized when the demands on the systemincrease 10. Allowing IT professionalsto effectively capacity plan for future expected system utilization, in orderto maintain end-user performance at the calculated high levels, QlikView can bescaled uniformly. QlikView deployments in the long run have proved to supportmyriad of concurrent users without fail and handle extremely large and complexdata universe performance factor has the maximum uptime for the end user.PowerBI is more purposefully designed as Software as a Service (SaaS) that provides99.9% uptime with fast deployment in scenarios like cloud or hybrid cloud +on-premises 5. You can scale tothe needs of your business at high pace, the cost associated with these arequite optimized costs and are based on the number of users and their specificdata needs.

User can stay connected to the data, that resides on cloud or on-premise via scheduledrefreshes or even live connection through the enterprise gateway to letuser, not miss any important insights.  VIII.                       References1.       Sallam,Rita L.

, et al. “Magic quadrant for business intelligence and analyticsplatforms.” Gartner RAS core research notes. Gartner, Stamford,CT (2014).2.      Strom, David, and Pam Baker. “The BestSelf-Service Business Intelligence (BI) Tools of 2017.

” PCMag UK, 29 Sept.2017,uk.pcmag.com/cloud-services/74173/guide/the-best-self-service-business-intelligence-bi-tools-of-2017.3.       “TopBusiness Intelligence Tools Compared | Find the Best BI Software.

” BISurvey, bi-survey.com/business-intelligence-software-comparison.4.       JoshParenteau Market Intelligence Manager, Tableau Software. “Evaluation Guide: Howto choose the right modern BI & analytics platform.” Tableau Software,www.

tableau.com/learn/whitepapers/evaluation-guide-how-choose-right-modern-bi-analytics-platform.5.       “Insightsfor your users, ease of management for you.

” Enterprise IT | MicrosoftPower BI, powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/enterprise-ready/. 6.

       https://qlik.com7.       https://selecthub.com/business-intelligence/tableau-vs-qlikview-vs-microsoft-power-bi/8.       “MicrosoftPower BI Review: Pros, Cons & Pricing of the Popular Business IntelligenceSoftware.

” CompareCamp.com, 5 Jan. 2018,comparecamp.com/microsoft-power-bi-review-pros-cons-pricing-popular-business-intelligence-software/.9.       https://www.yurbi.com/blog/10.

    “QlikViewScalability Overview.” QlikView Scalability Overview Version History,community.qlik.com/docs/DOC-7203.11.    MarcRueter Senior Director of Technology and Strategy – Tableau Software, and EllieFieldsSenior Director of Product Marketing, Tableau Software.

“Tableau for theEnterprise: An IT Overview.” Tableau Software, www.tableau.com/learn/whitepapers/tableau-enterprise.12.    Hathi,Kamal.

“Power BI at Ignite 2017: announcing enterprise-Ready capabilities forestablishing data culture at scale.” Microsoft Power BI Blog | MicrosoftPower BI,powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-at-ignite-2017-announcing-enterprise-ready-capabilities-for-establishing-data-culture-at-scale/.

13.    “Amodern way of gathering requirements: Visualizations.” TechTarget,searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/blog/Software-Quality-Insights/A-modern-way-of-gathering-requirements-Visualizations.14.

    Abela,Andrew. Advanced presentations by design: Creating communication thatdrives action. John Wiley & Sons, 2008.15.    “TableauReview: Pros & Cons of a Popular Business IntelligenceSolution.” CompareCamp.

com, 5 Jan. 2018,comparecamp.com/tableau-review-pros-cons-popular-business-intelligence-solution/.

16.    “QlikViewReview: Analysis of Pros & Cons of the Top Business IntelligenceSystem.” CompareCamp.

com, 5 Jan. 2018,comparecamp.com/qlikview-review-analysis-pros-cons-top-business-intelligence-system/. 

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