BI tools vs analytics tools: Picking the right one

Astha Rattan
Astha Rattan
January 17, 2024
BI tools vs analytics tools: Picking the right one

Meet Sarah.

She's a Product Manager for an enterprise product. Managing different tasks, from features to sales, Sarah has a lot on her plate. On top of it all, Sarah needs to make a decision. The challenge is deciding between BI tools vs. analytics tools.

Sarah is confused — while she is aware that both business intelligence and data analytics are vital to running a business, she isn’t sure about which tool will deliver the best results for her and her team. Sounds familiar?

This isn’t a challenge isolated to Sarah, but one that many of us struggle with. In this article, we will uncover the significant differences between bi tools vs analytics tools, share the top 5 within each category, and help you decide what’s best for you.

BI Tools vs Analytics Tools: What are They?

The terms data analytics vs business intelligence are often used interchangeably. And this is what has created much of the confusion. A question to ask is, “Are BI tools and analytics tools the same thing?” The short answer is no. However, they do share a bunch of similarities and that is where this confusion stems from.

What are BI tools?

Business Intelligence tools collect and analyze data from various sources. They provide a comprehensive view of business performance through data captured from sales, marketing, finance, operations, and other departments. Using BI tools, you can explore what-if scenarios. This can help mitigate risk and inform real-time decisions. For instance, BI tools can help the team know how increasing the marketing budget might impact signups.

BI uses concrete data to give insight into business records. It allows business officials to evaluate the overall journey and the company's direction efficiently.

BI answers the "what" and "why" using historical and current data.

What are Data Analytics tools?

Data analytics tools answer specific, well-defined questions about a business. They leverage statistical and computational techniques to identify trends, relationships, and patterns within data sets. These tools focus on the nitty-gritty aspects of the analytics process, including collecting, cleaning, inspecting, transforming, storing, modeling, and querying all types of data.

There are four main types of data analytics. Each has a specific focus and approach.

Descriptive analytics

Analyzes historical data to gain insights into past events.

Examples: Website traffic analysis and customer satisfaction scores.

Diagnostic analytics

Analyze data to understand why something happened in the past.

Examples: Churn and employee turnover analysis.

Predictive analytics

Predicts future outcomes based on historical data through statistical models and machine learning.

Examples: Demand forecasting and customer lifetime value prediction.

Prescriptive analytics

Offers suggestions for what actions should be taken to achieve a defined target by leveraging data and analytics

Examples: Pricing optimization and marketing campaign optimization.

Data analytics vs. business intelligence tools still seem pretty similar until this point? Don’t worry, let us now uncover some big differences between the two.

The above table shows that both BI and analytics tools deal with data to support decision-making. BI is more focused on reporting and monitoring past and current performance. However, analytics tools delve deeper into data analysis, aiming to uncover patterns, trends, and insights that can guide future actions.

Top 5 Business Intelligence Tools (+Benefits)

In this section, we will compare business intelligence tools and software. All these five tools are agile and successful. You can compare each of their benefits to determine which would work best for you.

1. Datapine

Source: Datapine

Datapine is a business intelligence tool that simplifies data analysis for a broad range of users. This platform integrates various data sources for comprehensive analysis and interactive dashboard creation. Focused on presenting current data and trends, Datapine helps users clearly understand their business operations.

Benefits of Datapine:
  • Has an intuitive drag-and-drop user interface that helps users explore data easily.
  • Combines different data sources for unified analysis. You can connect your data remotely or transfer it to Datapine’s warehouse.
  • Easy to use for even non-technical users.
  • Features impressive analytics features such as drill-downs, widget linking, and hierarchical filters.
  • Offers a 14-day free trial.

2. Tableau

Source - Tableau

Tableau is a leading business intelligence and data visualization tool known for its intuitive and powerful analytics capabilities. Tableau enables organizations of all sizes to understand and act on data effectively. It offers a versatile environment for data exploration, whether deployed in the cloud, on-premises, or integrated with Salesforce CRM.

Benefits of Tableau:
  • The platform offers interactive visualizations.
  • Connects and extracts data from every data storage platform available.
  • It's easier to learn than Python, Business Objects, Domo, and other coding languages.
  • Users can customize their dashboard for devices like mobile phones or laptops.
  • Simplifies data analysis with a user-friendly environment.
  • Offers a free 14-day trial of the Tableau desktop version.

3. Microsoft Power BI

Source - Microsoft

Microsoft Power BI is a dynamic, unified platform for self-service and enterprise business intelligence. It empowers users to connect to and visualize any data, fostering a data-driven culture within organizations. The platform boasts AI capabilities and an intuitive report-creation interface. It also seamlessly integrates the insights into everyday applications, enhancing decision-making processes.

Benefits of Microsoft Power BI

  • Provides quick inquiry and analysis without requiring specialized technical support.
  • Has a short learning curve.
  • Updates every month with new functions and features.
  • Connect disparate data sources in one environment, creating a single, reliable source of truth.
  • Power BI connects seamlessly to SQL servers and other databases. It reads data from Excel files, text files like XML and JSON, Azure sources, and online services like Google Analytics and Facebook.
  • Integrate seamlessly with commonly used applications.


Source - Qlik Sense

Qlik Sense is a modern cloud analytics platform that offers unparalleled data exploration capabilities. Its associative analytics engine helps users to freely make selections in all objects, in any direction, refining context and discovering insights instantly. It leverages AI and ML to minimize cognitive biases.

Benefits of Qlik Sense

  • Automated insight generation and AI-assisted creation enhance the user experience.
  • Compatible with all devices like desktops, tablets, laptops, and mobile phones.
  • Has search and conversational analytics. This makes it easy for users to interact with data and generate valuable insights.
  • Combines a real-time data pipeline with action-oriented capabilities for in-the-moment insights and immediate actions.
  • Features intelligent alerting and powerful collaboration tools, enabling proactive decision-making.

5. Zoho Analytics

Source - Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics is a self-serve business intelligence and analytics platform. It enables users to connect, prepare, and analyze data effortlessly, uncovering hidden insights within minutes. Zoho Analytics stands out for its ease of use, offering an intuitive drag-and-drop interface augmented with AI and machine learning capabilities. This includes conversational analytics, automated insights, and predictive analytics.

Benefits of Zoho Analytics

  • Features an augmented, self-service module for data cleansing, transformation, enrichment, and cataloging.
  • Offers AI-assisted insights, predictive trends, and cognitive analysis.
  • Enables the building of interactive reports and dashboards with various visualization tools.

Top 5 Analytics Tools (+Benefits)

Here we will compare some of the leading data analytics tools with respect to robustness, integration capabilities, ease of use, and pricing. You can compare these analytics tools and their benefits to select the right one for your organization.

1. Houseware

Houseware is the 3rd-gen product analytics platform that helps you analyze your product and business data and get insights with ease.

Crafted for product-led businesses, this platform goes beyond the scope of general analytics and data visualization. Being warehouse-native, it employs a zero-copy paradigm, where data doesn't need to be moved, cleaned, or transformed before it is queried.

This eliminates the need to extract, transform, and load your data to external data silos. Instead, it directly connects to your data warehouse (the single source of truth) to generate cross-functional and contextual insights that go beyond linear insights.

Benefits of Houseware:

  • Offers a sustainable and growth-friendly pricing model. Ideal for mid-margin and high-traffic businesses.
  • Provides advanced cohort and segment creation capabilities without any learning curve.
  • Self-serve dashboards with a high level of customization.
  • Top–notch security and data control.
  • No lock-in or long contracts since it works on the top of your warehouse.  

2. Google Analytics

Source - Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that helps businesses understand and interact with their customers. It collects, analyzes, and sorts data from a business' website and provides a deep dive into customer behaviors, preferences, and journeys. Its intuitive interface and good features make it an important tool for small businesses seeking to optimize their website.

Benefits of Google Analytics

  • Offers tools to improve marketing return on investment by understanding customer behaviors and preferences.
  • Reduces reporting time significantly.
  • Features automated tools for reliable measurement and intuitive reporting

3. Heap

Source - Heap

Heap Analytics is a leading product analytics software, catering to a diverse range of organizations. It collects comprehensive data from every part of a website and presents it in an easily understandable format with line graphs and funnels. Heap primarily focuses on customer engagement and activity, identifying areas in the customer journey that require attention.

Benefits of Heap Analytics

  • Offers immediate insights into visitor activity and website performance.
  • Tracks every user interaction on the website automatically, saving time and effort.
  • Optimizes user experience across different devices by tracking website performance on each.

4. Mixpanel

Source - Mixpanel

Mixpanel is an innovative analytics platform designed for modern organizations to analyze user behavior effectively. It stands out with its interactive reports and insights into popular features and functionalities, highlighting power users. Mixpanel's unique approach focuses on measuring actions taken by users rather than just page views. All you need to do is import your data from your warehouse to Amplitude to perform an analysis.

Benefits of Mixpanel

  • Focuses on user actions for more detailed insights into user behavior.
  • Provides reports for a deeper understanding of user engagement.
  • Identifies popular features and functionalities within the app or website.
  • Allows analysis of conversion rates and user pathways retrospectively.

5. Amplitude

Source - Amplitude

Amplitude is a leading analytics tool best known for its intuitive dashboards, providing self-serve insights that help businesses focus on critical areas. It offers a comprehensive understanding of user behavior by tracking real-time events. This deep dive into user analytics helps identify trends, optimize product features, and enhance overall user experience. Established enterprises with savvy product teams and a significant investment can gain a nuanced understanding of their product's usage and impact with Amplitude.

Benefits of Amplitude

  • Offers detailed insights into the entire user journey.
  • Users can leverage various features like advanced behavioral analysis, alerts, conversion drivers, etc., if they opt for a paid plan.
  • Easy to implement and create reports and dashboards.
  • Although users occasionally hear some usability complaints, the overall analytics system is easy to use.

What to Choose: Data Analytics vs Business Intelligence

Choosing the appropriate form of analytics for your organization can be daunting. And you can achieve that if you clearly understand the differences between business and data analytics. Besides the understanding, you should also compare data analytics tools with BI tools to select a tool that aligns with your goals and requirements.

As a platform offering easy access to cross-functional insights to everyone in your organization, Houseware is proving to be an ideal analytics platform for forward-looking companies. It's the 3rd generation of product analytics built for teams who want to confidently make smart decisions.  

Book a personalized demo today to learn how Houseware can impact your growth strategy.

New call-to-action
Click me

Related Blogs

6 Ways to Effectively Increase Your Conversion Rate with Chatbots

Modern revenue teams are using Houseware to create a scalable growth culture. Get started today with a host
Houseware brand icon
Elena Baroda
December 16, 2022
Read more

6 Ways to Effectively Increase Your Conversion Rate with Chatbots

Modern revenue teams are using Houseware to create a scalable growth culture. Get started today with a host
Houseware brand icon
Elena Baroda
December 16, 2022
Read more

6 Ways to Effectively Increase Your Conversion Rate with Chatbots

Modern revenue teams are using Houseware to create a scalable growth culture. Get started today with a host
Houseware brand icon
Elena Baroda
December 16, 2022
Read more
Top 5 Behavioral Segmentation Examples to Drive Personalization

Top 5 Behavioral Segmentation Examples to Drive Personalization

Drive personalised product and marketing campaigns and increase engagement with these 5 behavioral segmentation examples.
Astha Rattan
Astha Rattan
April 5, 2024
Product Management Analytics: Goals, KPIs, and Metrics

Product Management Analytics: Goals, KPIs, and Metrics

Convert raw usage data into accurate user insights with product management analytics. Set clear goals, KPIs, and informed metrics.
Astha Rattan
Astha Rattan
April 5, 2024
How to Leverage Product Usage Analytics Data

How to Leverage Product Usage Analytics Data

Enhance product performance and user experience with product usage analytics. Learn its importance, key metrics, and top recommended tools.
Astha Rattan
Astha Rattan
April 5, 2024