Today's businesses are drowning in data. In the flood there are undoubtedly pearls of insight but searching for them can be a daunting prospect.
Excel spreadsheets used to be the method of choice but today businesses may find themselves faced with millions of data points and no clear idea of how to use them.
This is where Business intelligence (BI) tools come in, making analysing all this data a more manageable task.
These tools can be used to discover, analyse, transform and report data. There are a vast range of tools, each suited to different types of businesses and data tasks.
CIO UK runs through the best ones on the market for every business purpose. Let us know if we're missing any that you think deserve a place on the list.
Read next: A timeline of Business Intelligence: How decision-makers have been making sense of data
Additional reporting by Laurie Clarke
May 17, 2018
18. IBM Watson Analytics
A more pared back inexpensive alternative to Cognos from IBM is IBM Watson Analytics, which also offers comprehensive business intelligence tools including data discovery and automated predictive analytics .
"With IBM Watson Analytics, we simply upload a set of unstructured data into the cloud, and the solution automatically detects hidden trends, and suggests additional types of analysis we might want to perform," says John Brett, IT and Business System Director at Mears Group. The service is available across web and mobile devices. There is a free version available which bundles spreadsheets, data visualisation, basic analysis and the ability to build dashboards. The Plus package offers more storage and data sources for $30 per month, and the professional package offers even more storage and data sources, in addition to a multi-user tenant to aid collaboration.