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Businesses can use the data generated by customers to improve their products and services to satisfy the needs of their customers. The right tool to collect and analyze this data is a crucial step in meeting business goals for higher engagement, greater sales and more efficient operations.

Start by deciding what data types you would like to integrate, and how you intend to accomplish this. Some tools are specifically designed to provide traditional enterprise reporting, whereas others are made to help you do advanced mathematical analyses or track sensitive data such as health data. It is also important to think about what analytics tools you’re looking at can be integrated into your existing workflow systems and data architecture.

Certain tools are designed for experienced users and data scientists, whereas others allow non-technical users to conduct analysis using a simple point-and-click interface. You should also take a closer look at the tools for data visualization and the features that each tool offers. Certain tools are designed to aid in the visualization of charts while others rely on SQL or other tools from third parties to create models of your data before you can examine it.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, take note of the cost and whether the platform is cloud-based or based on software licenses or subscription fees. Some tools are free, while others require a significant upfront investment to get started and ongoing maintenance costs. Be sure to evaluate these costs to the potential benefits from the insights and efficiencies that can be gained from using the analytics tool.