7 Best Free Business Intelligence (BI) Software Options

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These free business intelligence software solutions provide data insights and visualization to take your business to the next level.

One of the best things about business intelligence (BI) software is that its benefits aren’t restricted by the size of the business using it. Whether you’ve got 10 employees or 10,000, you can still find value from what business intelligence software offers (such as dashboards and ad hoc queries).

One problem, though? Most business intelligence tools are expensive. If you’ve avoided investing in a BI tool because of cost, worry no longer.

Free and open source business intelligence software exists and is a great way for your business to start reaping the benefits of data and analytics at no cost.

Let’s take a look at seven top-rated business intelligence software options in Capterra’s directory. Each of the tools below (presented alphabetically) have an above-average overall user rating (4.5 stars or higher) compared to other products in the same category. They also have 10+ user reviews, and three or more top BI tool features (more on our methodology here).

This article looks at seven highly rated free business intelligence software options. See the full list of free business intelligence software solutions here.

Where are all the open source business intelligence tools? Unfortunately, at the time of this update, none passed our methodology. If you need an open source option, check out a few BI tools (representative of the players in that space) included at the end of this piece.

7 best free business intelligence software

1. ActivTrak

ActivTrak from Birch Grove Software is a flexible BI tool for team behavior analytics. The full system can handle teams from five to 1,000 and is designed for business owners, IT and HR managers, and team leaders who want to track their team’s productivity.

This option can be deployed via the cloud, SaaS, and the web, and offers mobile applications for both iOS and Android. Support for ActivTrak is available online and via phone during business hours.

Pros Cons
Users rate ActivTrak above average for ease-of-use, and it also receives high marks for customer support. Users wish that ActivTrak had more functionality, and that the data limit was a little higher on the free version.

Cost to upgrade: $7.20 per user, per month for access to the entire suite of offered features. Custom plans/pricing available upon request.

Highly rated by: Users who work in IT and services or as systems administrators.

ActivTrak

ActivTrak’s business intelligence dashboard (Source)



2. ChartMogul

ChartMogul boasts well-known clients such as Typeform and Docker, which speaks to its ability to handle larger user bases. This software is best for businesses who are trying to build or grow a subscription service, as it can measure churn rate and customer lifetime value.

ChartMogul can be deployed via the cloud, SaaS, and the web. Support is available 24/7 through a live representative and online tutorials. Representatives also offer live online training to help businesses get started.

Pros Cons
According to reviewers, ChartMogul is extremely easy to use. ChartMogul scores lower than average among reviewers for functionality. Users cited difficulty importing bulk registrations and lackluster training options.

Cost to upgrade: $100 per month for full functionality.

Highly rated by: Individuals who work in the computer software industry or as product managers, growth engineers, or customer success agents.

ChartMogul

ChartMogul’s business intelligence dashboard (Source)



3. Cluvio

Cluvio is for businesses that have a staff member with a bit of data analytics experience. This software allows businesses to run SQL queries against their databases, can process data in R, and turns out some impressive-looking dashboards and data visualizations.

Cluvio can be deployed via the cloud, SaaS, and the web, and support is offered online or phone during business hours. If businesses need help getting started, the vendor offers webinars and live online training, as well as training materials.

Pros Cons
Cluvio’s customer support ratings are significantly higher than other solutions in the same category. Reviewers say that the software is extremely easy to use. Some reviewers wish the software had more functionality.

Cost to upgrade: $99 per month for a license with unlimited users.

Highly rated by: Data analysts and people who work in the telecommunications, financial services, and e-learning industries.

Cluvio

Cluvio’s business intelligence dashboard (Source)



4. Databox

Databox is the powerhouse of free BI software, scoring high with reviewers in ease-of-use, functionality, and customer support.

Databox allows businesses to track and report on their KPIs through a visually pleasing dashboard, can deliver information across multiple devices, and integrates with popular systems such as Adobe Analytics and Salesforce.

Databox can be deployed via the cloud, SaaS, and the web, and offers mobile applications for iOS and Android.

Pros Cons
Databox users describe the software as visually pleasing and note that it offers a large number of integrations with other software systems that they use. Users say they would like to see even more integrations with other software.

Cost to upgrade: $49 per month for a business plan, and $249 per month for a custom plan.

Highly rated by: Individuals who work in the marketing, advertising, and information technology industries, as well as managers and C-class executives.

Databox

Databox’s business intelligence dashboard (Source)



5. Kyubit Business Intelligence

Kyubit Business Intelligence by Kyubit Solutions is a flexible BI tool that allows businesses to create dashboards and reports from their OLAP, SQL, and CSV data. Although this tool is easy to use, the setup makes it best-suited for those who already have some data analytics knowledge or business intelligence training.

Kyubit can be deployed via the cloud, SaaS, the web, or as an installed software solution. Support is available online or during business hours. For the non-tech-savvy user, Kyubit offers training documents to guide you through the software.

Pros Cons
Users say that Kyubit’s customer support is exemplary and that the software is very easy to use. Users rate Kyubit lower than average on functionality.

Cost to upgrade: $695 per user, per year.

Highly rated by: Database administrators, IT consultants, and reviewers who work in the pharmaceutical and computer software industries.

Databox

Kyubit Business Intelligence’s dashboard (Source)



6. QlikView

QlikView by Qlik is a BI tool offering ETL (extract, transform, load), data storage, and multi-dimensional analysis. as well as a end-user dashboard. This software’s real value is its ability to connect data sources and create data visualizations and dashboards using that data.

QlikView can be deployed via the cloud, SaaS, and the web. The vendor offers phone support during business hours, online support, and provides training through webinars and support documents.

Pros Cons
Reviewers say that QlikView has great functionality compared to other business intelligence tools. Users report that QlikView has lower than average customer support and can be a little difficult to use.

Cost to upgrade: $15 per user, per month.

Highly rated by: BI developers, BI managers, and people who work in the civic and social organization industry.

Databox

QlikView’s business intelligence dashboard (Source)



7. Tableau

Tableau business intelligence software is for people who love Excel’s pivot tables. Or, at least, love the concept of pivot tables. Tableau boasts a streamlined user interface that allows drag-and-drop data manipulation, and data visualizations.

This software can be deployed via the cloud, SaaS, and the web, or installed on your desktop. It also offers mobile applications for iOS or Android.

Training is available in-person, online with a representative, through webinars, and with documentation. Support is available online and via phone during business hours.

While the free version doesn’t secure user data, upgrading allows users to gain access to some top-of-the-line data governance and security features.

Pros Cons
Tableau scores higher than average among Capterra’s reviewers for functionality. Reviewers say Tableau’s customer support is a little lackluster, and that the product can be difficult to use.

Cost to upgrade: $70 per user, per year.

Highly rated by: Students, business analysts, and people who work in the education industry.

Databox

Tableau’s business intelligence dashboard (Source)



Where’s the open source business intelligence software?

Unfortunately, no open source (OS) business intelligence software passed our rigorous methodology at the time of this update (primarily due to a lack of sufficient reviews). Here’s a list of open source software solutions that represent players in that space. While they don’t have very many reviews yet, they look promising:

  • Metabase: In what reviews this system does have, users indicate that this is an open source BI product to watch; it has three of the top features we looked for in free BI software. The bad news? It’s only available for Macs.
  • Pentaho Business Analytics: This OS business intelligence software from Hitachi Vantara has all four of the features we looked for in our free BI software, and has a relatively high rating from users on Capterra.
  • ReportServer: This OS BI platform doesn’t have many reviews yet, but has all four features required for our free BI software list above, and an impressive list of deployment options. This system is not free; its one-time download fee will cost you $2,000.

Do you need your business intelligence software to do something other than what the tools above offer?


Feature descriptions

Below are descriptions of the software functionality referenced in the product write-ups above:

Ad hoc reports Generate reports that meet your ever-changing information requirements, as needed.
Dashboard An assembly of graphs and charts for tracking statistics and metrics.
Key performance indicators Critical metrics by which company/employee performance is tracked and evaluated.
Visual analytics Interact with data visualization elements (such as charts and graphs) to drill down into your data.


Methodology

This article was updated on July 11, 2019. Products considered for this article had to:

  • Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).

Software that met the market definition also needed a minimum of 10 user-submitted reviews published between May 31, 2018 – July 2, 2019, and have an above-average overall user rating compared to other products in the category.

  • “Top” free tools had a minimum overall rating of 4.5/5 stars from reviewers on Capterra at the time of publication.

Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of Capterra.

The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.

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

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About the Author

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Tirena Dingeldein

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Tirena Dingeldein is a former Lead Emerging Technology and Business Trends Analyst for Capterra.

Comments

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Thanks for pointing this out Lucas! When we looked at the information that Metabase provides on Capterra, it indicated that they only provided native installation on Macs. We’ll dig a little deeper to see if this has changed.

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One small correction should be made on an otherwise nice list: Metabase is *not* just for macOS. It can be self hosted from a JAR on any machine that runs Java 8 or higher and will work on either the OpenJDK or Oracle JRE. They also have a Docker container that can be deployed instead of running the JAR on bare metal. They also *offer* (not require) a macOS version.

(I’m not affiliated with Metabase in any way, I just have a copy deployed – on a Pine64 running Debian Linux – to run metrics on the computers in my lab.)

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Nice information, thanks for sharing this blog, i saw one more blog in internet, thethreatreport relevant for data mining concepts, which is very helpful for me.

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

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Also want to add one more free tool, that can be a part of a powerful BI solution. So if you need to enhance your web application or website with data analytics you can embed WebDataRocks Free Pivot Table (https://www.webdatarocks.com/). It will work for all who need to visualize data in smart pivot grid, manage this data and create reports on the fly.

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Hi,
The article was informative and exciting to read. I now know some of the top BI applications that can help me make more informed decisions. Some of them have interactive and easy to use dashboards and user interfacesmaking them extremly easy to use. One of such amazing tool is Innertrends. The application is extremely powerful and easy to use. to know more about it, check: http://toolowl.com/bi/bi-tools-product-review-innertrends

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Finally!!!!!!!!!1 I found Zoho Reports and I can collect data with Zoho Survey and they’re both FREE!!! Thank you for this list!

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Very good article. Just to mention there is no software at third. I mean after 2 which is Jaspersoft, it goes to 4 with Knime.

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One that is missing from this list is MicroStrategy desktop.

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clicdata.com is not free anymore. Only a trial.

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Here are some good open source web based platforms:
http://www.metabase.com/
http://airbnb.io/projects/superset/

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Do any of the free versions allow for importing data from a website? My main objective is to merge data from multiple providers, such as my power bill (daily usage), automation system (HVAC and other system notifications) and other things and merge them into a single consolidated BI warehouse. Today I manually download them and import them using scripts; I’d like to find a single solution that can be scripted to log in as me to those sites and download data on a scheduled basis…

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Well done!
There is also Abixen Platform ( http://www.platform.abixen.com ) which is not a clear BI tool, but contains a module for dashboards and charts creation. It’s a startup for now, but grows quickly on GitHub.

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Recommend adding Qlik Sense (which is the newer offering from Qlik) to your list: http://www.qlik.com/us/products/qlik-sense

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