Which Business Intelligence (BI) Tools Are Right For Your Business?

AgileTech Vietnam
4 min readSep 3, 2020
best business intelligence (BI) tools review list in 2020 by agiletech

In 2020, there are plenty of options when it comes to Business Intelligence Tools that may confuse business purchasers with over choice. There is an overwhelming number of factors to consider selecting the platform that suits your business’ needs the most.

Fortunately for you, we have gone through the trouble of evaluating four of the leading products on the market: Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, Google Data Studio, and IBM Cognos. These products are assessed across three main categories of features, price, and whom it is for.

business intelligence software tableau, power bi, google data studio, IBM cognos by agiletech

Top Business Intelligence Tools 2020

Top Business Intelligence Tools — Review & Pricing


For an individual user, the price is $70/month and is billed annually. That makes a bill of 840$ per year. For the needs of teams or organization collaboration, Tableau introduces three user types and freely allows you to create your option mix corresponding to the business’ needs.

Microsoft Power BI

Power BI offers two enterprise pricing plans: a free version and a paid ‘Pro’ version that costs $9.99 per user per month.

  1. Free version — comes with basic reporting features and a 1GB data limit per user.
  2. Pro version — gives you all Power BI features, including real-time dashboard updates, more customization options for visuals, and access management controls for security.

Google Data Studio

Noteworthy, Google Data Studio is a-completely-free business intelligence tool to use and access. You will save dollars while still be able to access a relatively resourceful data system and share your reports with anyone.

IBM Cognos

Premium — This plan allows the solution to be deployed in a multi-tenant cloud architecture. It’s priced at $70 per user per month and includes:

  • Uploading data to cloud sources
  • Joining data from multiple sources
  • Sharing content with users
  • Ability to create dashboards with new or old content
  • Ability to create data stories using web pages, images, text, and other media
  • Data discovering using artificial intelligence
  • Advanced pattern detection

Enterprise — This plan includes the full capability of Cognos Analytics, such as 500 GB user storage and backup. Pricing is not publicly available, so you’ll have to contact IBM directly for a quote. Users can optionally purchase cloud throughput capacity and an additional 250 GB user storage.

Why Use Business Intelligence Tools?

Connecting to data

Probably one of the most important qualities (aside from visualizing) of business intelligence tools is connecting to the data. Here are the highlights from each:


  • 75+ built-in connectors
  • Option to extend connectors with ‘web data connector’
  • Supports most file types (CSV, JSON, Excel, etc.)
  • Connects to most databases (Microsoft, Amazon, Snowflake, SAP, Spark, Google, etc.)
  • Connects directly to some services (Google Analytics, Dropbox, Marketo, Salesforce)

Power BI

  • Visual interactions are the killer feature
  • Ability to create custom visuals (even low code in Microsoft Visio) or download community visuals
  • Not as many customization features as Tableau but reaching feature parity with each release
  • Simple and effective approach to creating visuals

Google Data Studio

  • Makes it easy to create something that looks pleasing without much effort
  • Recently opened up the ability to create community visuals (community is very small right now)
  • Very limited customization
  • A very simple approach, but a little too simple

IBM Cognos

  • Visualization tools are not simple enough for average users to understand albeit being appealing itself
  • Insights in visualization are strongly enhanced
  • Enables responsive options and customizable actions
  • Engages the audience through scenes and stories with definable animations

Sharing Data

Visualizations are great — but not if you can’t deploy it to others. Here is where each stands:


  • Other than static files, sharing requires purchasing accounts for viewers at $12 per user per month
  • The online portal is dated and can be slow to refresh data
  • White-labeling is limited without embedding
  • Embedding is available but requires developers to make fully functional

Power BI

  • Limited export of static files
  • Power BI files can be shared, but end-user needs Power BI Desktop to view
  • Sharing online requires purchasing viewers (if outside your organization) @ $10 per user per month (no minimums required)
  • Same issues as Tableau with the online portal, white-labeling, and embedding

Google Data Studio

  • Built around easy sharing, but does require a Google account
  • The online portal is fresh and easy for users that are accustomed to other Google products (e.g. Google Drive)
  • Sharing is always free with no limits
  • PDF/printing is limited

IBM Cognos

  • Enables sharing via email or Slack
  • Embedding is available
  • Dashboards and be exported under PDF format
  • User can create URLs that open or run content objects, such as reports, dashboards, stories, and data module

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