Want to Create In-Depth Reports That Make a Business Intelligence Analyst Envious? Try These Self-Service Tools.

business intelligence analyst

Business looks like it’s going great! But are you sure?

You might be getting a lot of orders and traffic on your site but what does it really mean?

That’s where a business intelligence analyst comes in.

They can create reports and help you decipher the good from the bad.

If you’re a self-starter and willing to learn, you can put on the business intelligence analyst hat.

There are some great tools available to help you make business plans with confidence.

Let’s have a closer look.

You’re Not Big Enough For Business Intelligence

You can stop right there. Too many people think that only a Fortune 500 company has the need, the information, for a business intelligence analyst to be successful.

If you have a business, you can use an analyst. They will help you go through your business from the ground up, locate efficiencies, find surpluses, and zone in on areas for improvement. The goal of data analysis is to make your business better from top to bottom.

The Spreadsheet

There are those among us (you know who you are) who are like wizards with a spreadsheet. You can line up and sort through information with a confident click.

While that is a noble talent, it’s no longer a practical one.

Information needs to be immediate and accessible. It helps to have it visually represented.

As a business intelligence analyst, you want to spend time reviewing data, not organizing it.

Visualize the Future

Let’s talk about the need for Data Visualization. It’s easy to look at rows of spreadsheets and feel overwhelmed by information.

When you see that same information in a pie chart, suddenly things come together in a tangible and understandable way.

That’s the goal of visualizing data.

It’s not intended to make things pretty and organized. Its goal is to put your data into a form that’s accessible.

The Tools for a Business Intelligence Analyst

There are a number of tools that can help you run the backend of your business. This is by no means a complete list, but one that is intended to give you the “top shelf” toolkits.

As you use these or find others, we’d love to hear what your experiences are.

Google Analytics

So many businesses utilize a Google products. From email to AdWords, Google has become an indispensable business tool.

Their analytics suite ties into other Google products so that your access to information happens for you. It’s easy to use, offers strong visualization tools, and is great for collaborations.


If you’re looking for historical information and futurecast, ZOHO may be the tool for you.

A good business intelligence analyst isn’t just looking to see what you’ve done.They want to help you chart a path to where you can go.

ZOHO does a strong job of providing high-end analytics tools in a user-friendly way. It’s an easy to learn desktop and mobile app (you won’t need dedicated IT staff to run it) that can scale particularly well.

IBM Watson Analytics

It’s a social world.

IBM gets that.

It’s why they’ve made social media analytics an important component of their IBM Watson Analytics tool.

IBM Watson Analytics can provide information in near-real-time (just a 5-second lag) and it’s almost as quick to learn.

Where other systems are loaded with templates that quickly become the go-to defaults for information gathering and display, this system uses the intuitiveness that one associates with IBM.

You’ll feel as if you have a personal assistant guiding you through the gathering and reporting process.

It’s that social connection capability that really makes this tool stand out.

The ability to tie into all of the major social channels and blogs, forums and comments enables a comprehensive look at not only what your company is saying, but what others are saying about it.

The Change

While many of these tools and others like them have been around for years, businesses are just starting to get up and take notice of what they can do for their bottom line.

Affordability is one of the reasons why. These used to be a tool for enterprise level companies and their IT staff who outnumbered your entire workforce.

Now, these solutions are more flexible and portable.

Ease of use, from an installment and a day to day operation, is another reason why more and more companies are bringing the business intelligence analyst in house.

This also ties into accessibility. Not only does this not need to be the work of one person, the information being reviewed doesn’t need to be the domain of any one machine.

It can be cloud-based, accessible wherever you are, whenever you need it.

It’s a role that no longer has to live at one desk.

The need to collaborate and the ease with which these tools can help you do that have contributed to the rise in more employees being more cautious stewards of a company’s bottom line.

Of course, the biggest push may be from the competition.

With an increasingly crowded marketplace for just about everything, companies are increasingly searching for a way to “get a leg up.”

Rather than try to capitalize on what someone else is doing wrong, you can work up reports to discover how you can build on what you are doing right.

What’s Right For You?

The question isn’t “Do I need to increase my analytics work?”

The question is “How should I get stronger in regards to my analytics?”

You might have a five-year plan. Perhaps business is, as they say, booming today. If you don’t take a moment to step back and review your success or future plans, you’ll have no way to tell how successful those plans could be. Or how lasting this run of success will go.

These tools make the business of doing business fun again.

If you have questions about how a business analyst tool can benefit your company, we’d love to talk.