It is easier than ever to collect data, but small and medium-sized businesses often don’t know what to do next. Thankfully, there has been a recent boom in the development in the number of data science course that you can choose, data visualization, reporting, and analysis tools, making it easy for new SMBs to get in the Big Data game. Already, the business intelligence and analytics software market has reached $18.3 billion, and it could exceed $22.8 by 2020. The time to invest in Big Data is now.

Big Data isn’t new, but it might be new for you. If you are eager to do more with your available data, you should try the following platforms:


The very definition of user-friendly, BOARD is a self-service environment that employs drag-and-drop functions to perform analysis and create reports. BOARD continues to add innovative features to its platform, most recently including natural language processing, which allows you to make verbal requests that the software will complete.

Crimson Hexagon

There is no shortage of tools for social media analytics, and many of them provide identical features and functions. However, none is as wide-reaching and customizable as Crimson Hexagon, a self-serve tool for large enterprises. Unlike other social media analytics tools, Crimson Hexagon uses more than keywords to track and understand audiences, and you can mix and match different tools with the powerful platform to gain the exact measures and visualizations you need.


DrivenBI’s flagship business intelligence product SRK may not be as powerful as other analytic tools on this list, but it is certainly among the most user friendly. Indeed, SRK was designed to require no IT skills whatsoever, so anyone from the head of marketing to an entry-level salesperson can generate pertinent reports. Even better, the platform offers granular access controls, so different levels of employee have limited access to data sets and functions.


New contract management systems not only facilitate the creation and termination of contracts, but they track a contract’s entire lifecycle, monitoring data to ensure your business is getting the most from its contracting practices. This reporting and analytics platform is specific to contract lifecycle management, and it is a powerfully targeted way to use data to transform a discrete aspect of your business.


If your enterprise isn’t yet data driven, you might need Grow. This reporting software helps accelerate growth by establishing team objectives and developing strategic decisions. Grow’s dashboard unites data from dozens of sources but remains simple to use and easy to read. It is an ideal beginner-level data reporting tool.


Unlike every other tool on this list, Logi is not a completed analytics or reporting program; rather, it is a developer kit, sold to encourage large enterprises to create their own analytics and reporting applications. With Logi, you have the power to completely customize your program to provide the features your business needs — and even sell it for additional income. Plus, Logi is configurable, meaning it is user friendly and does not require specialized skills to use. With this kit, you can truly develop your own platform.


SAS is one of the largest and most powerful analytics software makers, and it offers an assortment of add-ons and assimilating products that address nearly any analytics and reporting need you can dream of. What’s more, SAS offers a bevy of features as standard, such as centralized IT administration tools and user authentication for data governance, which rival developers charge extra for. At the very least, you should sample their self-serve analytics platform Visual Analytics.


Not all analytics programs generate the visually appealing graphics you need to explain the data you’ve collected and dissected — but Tableau does. Connecting to a wide range of data sources, from Excel to Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse, MapR Hadoop Hive Connectivity, and others, Tableau makes it easy for anyone to create colorful, animated charts and maps that can be embedded in any presentation. You can use Tableau through an online service or through the Tableau Server.


As your business grows, it’s likely that the sources of your data will increase, as well. Unfortunately, as this happens, it becomes ever more important that you maintain data quality. Trillium’s Refine and Prepare products make analytics faster and simpler by connecting various data sources, creating a coherent index, and combining or deleting conflicting or incomplete records. Then, when you use a visualization program, like Tableau, your data will be clean and beautiful to behold.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.