Top 11 Advanced Analytics Features of BI Tools

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(This is a multipart series about how to evaluate and select the right BI tool for you and your team. To see the entire outline of the series and a framework for how to evaluate a BI tool, see How to Select the Best BI Tool for You.)

Like shopping for a car or a new electronic device, there are likely a lot of features that the average Jane won’t need. We aim to cover the breadth of features that the top tools and analysts in the market are talking about.

It’s important to focus on what’s right for you and your use case. We recommend buyers be careful to not let features creep onto their “Want to have” or “Mission critical” lists when doing your research. It can be really easy to learn about a cool feature and then think about all the cool and creative ways you could use it. Curiosity and creativity is to be human.

Remember: You started shopping to fill a specific need. Keep that front and center as you research while getting educated on other cool features and how you may use them after your initial set of requirements are delivered.


Here are the top advanced analytics features of BI tools to consider as part of your evaluation.

1. Advanced Data Analysis using Python and R

The solution supports advanced and sophisticated data manipulation and data analysis by using libraries and packages of Python and R programming languages.

2. Calculated Columns or Fields

The solution enables creating new data from existing data by applying various formulae and functions.

3. Cluster Analysis

The solution supports cluster analysis based on k-means, k-medoids, hierarchical clustering, and several other methods to facilitate advanced segmentation and the creation of groups.

4. Predictive Modeling Markup Language (PMML) Support

The solution allows importing and exporting of predictive data models using PMML, an XML-based predictive model interchange format.

5. Regression Analysis

The solution facilitates regression analysis to analyze the relationships between a set of independent variables and a single dependent variable, generate a model that describes these relationships, and use the model to make predictions. It supports various types of regression analysis like linear, logistic, exponential, polynomial, ridge, multivariate, etc.

6. Scenario and What-if Analysis

The solution facilitates determining how the projected performance is affected by changes in the assumptions that projections are based upon. It helps to compare different scenarios and their potential outcomes based on dynamic parameters or values.

7. Segmentation and Cohort Analysis

The solution can slice and dice the data along many dimensions, based on specific criteria, and create data groups for further analysis.

8. Sentiment Analysis

The solution offers sentiment analysis to evaluate text based on words and phrases that indicate a positive, neutral, or negative emotion.

9. Statistical Functions

The solution allows using simple and advanced statistical functions like mean, mode, median, skew, variance, standard deviation, kurtosis, correlation, covariance, etc. to perform statistical analysis of the dataset.

10. Text Mining (Text Analytics)

The solution allows exploring and analyzing large amounts of unstructured text data and identify concepts, patterns, topics, keywords, and other attributes in the data.

11. Time-series Analysis and Forecasting

The solution facilitates the analysis of the ordered sequence of values of a variable at equally spaced time intervals. It also helps in forecasting future trends based on past and present data and trends using forecasting methods like exponential smoothing, linear trend, moving average, regression, ARIMA, SARIMA, SARIMAX, etc.


Follow the links above to read more about core functional requirements of a BI and analytics tool.

Did we miss something? Drop us a line and we’ll see about getting it added.

Need help with your BI tool selection? Book a call with us and we’ll see if we can help. If we can point you in the right direction with a short phone call, great! If you’d like to hire us to do an evaluation and selection for you, contact us and we’ll make a selection together.

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