Business data analytics feature useful tools that are set to become more valuable with technological advancements. However, for small to mid-sized entities, knowing where to begin can be a challenge. The good news is there are plenty of open-sourced free tools available to those looking to gain an understanding of this growing new trend.
Quick Links1. The R Way
2. OpenRefine and Business Data Transformation
3. Google Fusion Tables and Business Data Management
4. Data Studio and Technical Business Reporting
5. Business Intelligence by Microsoft Power BI
If you are a manager, chances are that you are seeking cost and time-effective solutions to make sense of the digital data in your business. We bring great news for you – There are free tools to help you organise large amounts of data and make data-driven decisions, especially if you lack the resources to build a data analytics in-house from scratch.
Here, we reveal 5 free digital tools available for you to gain insights from your trove of data.
‘R’ is a programming language that helps in the understanding of data - from the most basic analysis to heavily detailed statistical analyses of tons of business data. This is because R operates as a script that can be run over the top of any dataset, no matter how large. There is a steep initial learning curve, but once the basics are in place, R can be invaluable to any business. The tool is free of charge and open-sourced, which preserves its impact and utility.
OpenRefine helps to organise messy business data and convert it into useful formats that are presentable in the form of business knowledge. Strategists may then analyse these insights to trigger their customer sales and marketing strategies. OpenRefine is unique in its ability to work on messy data, helping to clean up the data in an intelligent manner, unlike many other tools such as Microsoft Excel, Python Pandas, SAS or the R language, which require data cleansing beforehand. OpenRefine works intelligently to identify and amend the messy rows of data, making it an invaluable tool for business analytics.
Fusion Tables by Google offers a web service for proactive business data management. From gathering data from different sources, collaborating with many parties on analysis, detailed business data visualisation beyond that of common programs such as Microsoft Excel, to the ability to share that information widely through the cloud, Fusion Tables offer comprehensive options. Business visualisation helps to communicate with customers and end user audiences, and Fusion Tables helps by providing anything from the simple, such as pie-charts and graphs, to detailed data visualisation including APIs and geographical maps. The tool is free and user-friendly, costing only time and effort in acquiring raw data. Overall, Fusion tables make for useful routine tools that help support actionable business decision-making.
Unfortunately, Google will shut down its Fusion Tables in 2019; but fret not! The tech giant has cited its own alternatives such as BigQuery, Cloud SQL, Sheets and Data Studio that firms can still harness, and has teased it may open up bigger and better data visualization tools, so stay tuned!
Website: Google Fusion Tables
When information needs to be presented in a nice, simple and dashboard way, you can turn to ‘Data Studio’. The free tool blends and organises data in a useful way, creating accessible charts and reports that can be adapted as required. Data Studio is a completely online tool, but data exports are limited to URL-based reporting. Another weakness is that it only supports manual reporting. The tool does not allow for automated reporting where reports can be set to self-deliver on daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. However, given that it is free, Data Studio is well worth investigating as a business analytics visualisation tool.
Website: Data Studio
Microsoft Power BI as a digital platform helps support a business collection of insights. Even for non-technical users, the platform is useful for gathering, assessing, visualising and sharing data for insight creation. Power BI offers a free version for small to medium-sized business owners. Power BI reports offer charts and data visuals for insightful storytelling and is an accessible tool for users who are already familiar with Microsoft products such as Excel. Power BI reports offer data visualisation for data analysis. It is a useful and free tool for business intelligence management and strategic planning.
Website: Microsoft Power BI
These free tools not only enhance data visualisation, but they also help to integrate data more conveniently, turning raw business numbers into actionable insights. But for all their positive attributes, they still have obvious drawbacks such as lack of complete cross integration capabilities. To address this issue, SaaS companies such as DataVLT are delving deep into blockchain database and analytics solutions for small to medium enterprises so that business insights are available to all more affordably.
Small to medium enterprises looking to better utilise data analytics are invited to work with DataVLT to access a Feasibility Report and potentially participate in the Pilot Partners Program. To find out more, please visit DataVLT.com.
DataVLT is an affordable, on-demand analytics platform secured by blockchain technology. It is designed to simplify the complexity of data science. Backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, DataVLT empowers enterprises to make meaningful sense of their big data and scale cost efficiently. Essentially, it is an end-to-end data/information management platform.
Learn more at www.datavlt.com