Small Business Trends

3 Best Free Reporting Tools to Check the Health of Your Business

By | 8 min read | Published ; Updated on

Reporting tools allow real-time access to essential data and rapid generation of multidimensional reports.

As a marketing, finance, or operations manager responsible for discovering insights from raw data to create performance reports, you know the challenges. Time-consuming report generation, lack of detailed reports, or the inability to collate multiple reports in spreadsheets are some of the common hiccups.

These challenges in your business reporting sound familiar? It might be time to invest in reporting software. The tool will help you streamline your reporting process from data collection to report generation. You can also share the gathered data or the final reports with other team members for instant access and clear communication.

However, investing in a technology tool can be expensive and if you don’t have a budget yet, it’s best to at least try it out for free. Lucky for you, there are free reporting tools available on the market to try your hand at its features before purchasing. This article highlights the three top free reporting tools (sorted alphabetically) based on user ratings and reviews. Read the complete methodology here.

/Check out the full list of reporting tools in Capterra’s software directory.
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1

ActivTrak: Offers virtual agents to collect your business data

ActivTrak is a data reporting tool with a virtual agent (a coded mechanism) to collect all your business information and deliver actionable insights such as growth opportunities or new product launches. The agent collects data and executes responses to user activity while running in the background. All the information gathered from the analysis is stored and reported to the cloud storage when you’re offline. You will get alerts and can access the insights once you log in.

With ActivTrak, you can view and analyze the data insights delivered by the virtual agent in a graphical dashboard. The tool lets you build interactive reports, which can be further shared with clients and team members.

ActivTrak uses a multi-layered approach to encrypt your business data. The data is collected and shared using encrypted collection protocols such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and multi-factor authentication.

For queries related to the software features, you can reach out to ActveTrak’s customer support team via email and phone call.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2022
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Key Features:

  • Activity dashboard
  • Alerts and notifications
  • Alarm-triggered screenshots
  • Reporting and analytics
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$9 per user, per month, billed annually

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">User Dashboard in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/135366/ActivTrak/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ActivTrak </span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">(</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/135366/ActivTrak/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
2

Google Analytics: Enables creating custom reports to map your customers’ journey

Google Analytics is a free reporting tool that helps you understand the customer journey on your website. You can customize your website analytics reports with metrics that match your business goals. You can even select specific marketing metrics such as acquisition, engagement, monetization, and retention to get the most accurate results that lead to efficient website optimization.

As a marketing data reporting tool, Google Analytics offers a template gallery with pre-designed reporting templates such as tables, charts, multi-step funnels, and tree graphs. You can select a template that best matches your report style, add your data, and download or share reports with clients and team members.

You can also use the Google Analytics dashboard to track the performance of your mobile application for traffic and engagement. The tool’s mobile device tracking feature creates a data filter that focuses on traffic from mobile devices, helping you understand if your website is user-friendly across mobile devices.

Google Analytics has a mobile application for Android and iOS devices that lets you track traffic on multiple digital assets on the go. For queries related to the tool features, you can reach out to the support team via email or live chat.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2022
Best Functionality
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Key Features:

  • Activity dashboard
  • Predictive capabilities
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Tag management support
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

Available on quote

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Website traffic analysis in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/177042/Google-Analytics/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Google Analytics</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/177042/Google-Analytics/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
3

Jira: Provides a customized Kanban board to streamline workflow

Jira reporting tool is designed to help businesses streamline their workflow for maximum efficiency. You can use the tool to build customized Kanban boards for your team to update and track project progress. Set up your Kanban board with one of the default workflows available and start adding your tasks. As your team and work progresses, you’re able to update the workflow as needed.

You can hover over each task on the Kanban board to check details such as project types and due dates. Double-click on the task if you need any additional information about the project such as the name of other team members or the data source related to the project.

Jira has a mobile application for Android and iOS devices to prioritize work, resolve requests, capture tasks, and more on the go. For technical support, you can reach out to the customer service team via email or call.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2022
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Key Features:

  • Agile reporting
  • Backlog
  • Customized workflows
  • Scrum and Kanban boards
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$75 per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kanban board in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/19319/JIRA/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jira</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/19319/JIRA/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>

How to choose the right free reporting tool

Here’s a list of key considerations when selecting the best reporting tool.

  • Assess the report customization feature: An ideal reporting software should let you customize your reports based on the specific performance metrics that match your current business needs or strategies. Check the extent to which you can customize your report with the selected reporting tool before signing the purchase deal.
  • Look for data visualization options: Reports with alpha-numeric values can be critical to understanding therefore, you need to present them simply and interactively. Most reporting tools offer visualization options such as graphs and charts to present your reports. Check the available data visualization options with your selected reporting tool and also analyze if they are a perfect fit for the kind of reports you create.
  • Check for real-time updates: Real-time access to data insights is crucial in reporting to make informed business decisions. Assess the availability of real-time information updates with your selected software tool. Also, check if the tool allows you to set alerts and notifications for changes in the set performance metrics or project progress.

Common questions to ask while selecting free reporting tools

You can ask your shortlisted software providers the following questions to make an informed decision when vetting free data reporting software tools.

Does the tool enable integration with data management applications?

You should be able to directly export the data from your data management applications such as Excel to the reporting software. This saves you a lot of time manually entering the data into the tool for analysis. Ask about the integration feature as some software vendors facilitate direct API integration while others offer their suite solutions.

How to share created reports with clients and team members?

You should be able to download and share the created reports and analytics dashboard with clients and team members to keep them updated on the performance and progress. In addition, the stakeholders should be able to comment on the reports or dashboard or share their feedback in chat without having to switch between multiple applications. Ask the software vendor about the report sharing feature and other collaboration tools available with your chosen reporting tool.

Does the tool allow modifying pre-designed report templates?

Most reporting tools offer pre-designed templates to add your data such as graphs, charts, tree diagrams, and more. However, not all tools, especially the free version, let you modify the existing templates. Ask the software vendor if you can modify the pre-designed report templates and if yes, which elements can be modified?

How did we choose these products? We didn’t—you did

To find your ideal software match, you need information you can trust—so you can save time, stay on budget, and focus more energy on growing your business. It’s why we vet and verify all our user reviews and recommend only the tools endorsed by people such as you.

In other words, our product recommendations are never bought or sold, or based on the opinion of a single individual—they’re chosen by your peers, reflecting the views and experiences of our independent base of software reviewers.


At Capterra, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.

To be considered for this list, products had to:

  • Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Capterra within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher. We selected the three products with the highest ratings to feature in this article.
  • Offer a free, standalone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
  • Meet our reporting software market definition: “Reporting software applications allow real-time access to essential data and the rapid generation of multidimensional reports from diverse data sources. Among many other uses, Reporting software can generate financial statements, track the success of sales strategies, monitor responsiveness to regulatory compliance concerns, and manage internal controls or security audits. Reporting software is related to Business Intelligence software and Survey software.”

The “Best functionality” tool is identified based on the highest user ratings for functionality that a vendor received based on publicly available reviews as on August 29, 2022.

Disclaimer: We conducted this analysis based on reviews and ratings data as of August 29, 2022. In order to present the most up-to-date information, the product cards show real-time ratings. Please note that this means the ratings value in the product card may not reflect the ratings value at the time of analysis.


Looking for Reporting software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Reporting software solutions.

About the Author

Saumya Srivastava

Saumya Srivastava

Saumya Srivastava is a writer at Capterra. She provides expert insights and helps small businesses identify the right software for their needs by conducting primary and secondary research and analyzing user sentiment. A postgraduate in mass communication, she has worked as a content creator for an educational website and an advertising agency. Her expertise lies in social media marketing and content strategy. When not working, she can be found meditating or spending time outdoors.

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Comments

Comment by Andrew Conrad on

Hi Gabee! They should all have an option to print your report, but if not, you can export to Excel or Google Sheets and print from there

Comment by Gabee on

Can any of these do print report and have show or upload picture options?

Comment by MAROUANE on

To OP: I love ClicData but how again is it “Free and Open-Source” ? Do you even understand what open-source means ? None of these seem worth trying seems to be free holyhell…

Comment by Yogesh Deshpande on

Yet another opensource report generator https://sourceforge.net/projects/query2report/ worth trying

Comment by David Ionesi on

ClicData is MENTAL! I LOVE IT! Thank you for sharing!

Comment by Klo Di on

I would like to check this solution here: http://www.get-itsolutions.com

Avatar

Comment by AK on

You can also check WebDataRocks Free Web Reporting Tool for data analysis and visualization: https://www.webdatarocks.com/

Comment by Neil Spoonhower on

What exactly about Jedox Base is free??? Nothing that I see except a free trial version.

Avatar

Comment by Amanda Wilson on

I can’t agree that Spago is a nightmare.

As for me, the only problem could occur if someone can`t get what is the process of its work.

Comment by Paul Reichow on

Andrew,
I laughed when I read your comment about Spago BI that people have had trouble making it all run smoothly. Spago BI is incredibly hard to get working right. Spago is a nightmare.

The online support boards are almost useless…filled with the questions I had, but with no answers, and most material years old.

I would recommend that people skip Spago and try some of the others mentioned here.

Comment by José Ricardo Borba on

Any BI software that was don’t writed in Java?

Comment by nagi on

If you are looking for good online report builder forms solution,I have found http://www.ecubeapps.com to be very good.

Comment by Chris Rock on

Thanks for sharing information about Software package

Comment by Chris Rock on

You wrote very well about Software Packages, thanks for sharing this information

Avatar

Comment by Abhishek on

I would ike to add a new open source BI tool to the list i.e Helical Insight (http://www.helicalinsight.com)
It is first BI tool with Inbuilt workflow, API driven architecture and inbuilt machine learning.

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