Reporting Tools

Get the best reporting tools for your business. Compare product reviews, pricing below. Read our buyer’s guide for more help.

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Tableau Screenshot
Tableau is business intelligence software that allows anyone to connect to data in a few clicks, then visualize and create interactive, sharable dashboards with a few more. It’s easy enough that any Excel user can learn it…
Price Range
$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$70/month/user
Client OS
Windows, Web
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Sisense Screenshot
Sisense is a business analytics platform that cleans your data, provides interactive visual analytics, and delivers insights. Sisense provides customized dashboards based on your industry. The solution can grab data from…
Price Range
$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$4,200/user (perpetual license)
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Looker Screenshot
Looker is a business intelligence and big data software that harnesses the power of SQL to create powerful data analytics. Looker helps companies get value from their data and gives a 360 view of their customers. Looker…
Price Range
$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$300/month/user
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Domo Screenshot
Domo lets you connect your business to improve your decision-making. The software lets your integrate multiple data sources, store information, prepare reports, visualize your data, collaborate with other…
Price Range
$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$83/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
QlikView Screenshot
Discover deeper insights by building your own rich, guided analytics applications with a flexible, business-ready solution. Create business-driven data discoveries with guided analysis paths that are highly customizable and…
Price Range
$ · · · ·
Starting Price
$29/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
SAP Crystal Reports Screenshot
A robust production reporting tool, SAP Crystal Reports turns almost any data source into interactive, actionable information that can be accessed offline or online, from applications, portals and mobile devices. SAP Crystal…
Price Range
$ · · · ·
Starting Price
$495/user (perpetual license)
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Microsoft Power BI Screenshot
Power BI from Microsoft is a suite of business analytics tools to analyze data and share insights. Power BI dashboards provide a 360-degree view for business users with their most important metrics in one place, updated in…
Price Range
$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$10/month/user
Client OS
Web, Windows, iOS, Android
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Jedox Screenshot
Jedox is an enterprise performance management and BI unified software solution. Jedox aims to streamline your planning process, unite users and data on one platform, and improve your businesses budgeting and forecasting…
Price Range
$ $ · · ·
Starting Price
$160/month
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
IBM Cognos Screenshot
IBM Cognos Analytics software provides personalized analytics driven by artificial intelligence (AI). It enables organizations to become top-performing and analytics-driven entities. From business intelligence to financial…
Price Range
$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$70/month/user
Client OS
Windows, Linux, iOS, Android
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Oracle Business Intelligence 12c Screenshot
Analytics should be more than a mirror of the past. As a strategic practice, it offers the ability to understand what is happening in the moment, and help you predict where your business can go. Making analytics a strategic…
Price Range
$ $ · · ·
Starting Price
$150/month/user
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
SAP Analytics Cloud Screenshot
SAP Analytics Cloud (formerly SAP BusinessObjects Cloud) combines all analytics capabilities—including planning, predictive analytics, and business intelligence (BI)—in a single SaaS solution. Take advantage of a modern…
Price Range
$ $ · · ·
Starting Price
$23/month/user
Client OS
iOS, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Zoho Screenshot
Zoho
(2)
Zoho is a suite of software and applications that can combine to streamline business operations. Some applications include Zoho Books, Zoho CRM, Zoho Desk, and more. Zoho CRM: The core Sales & Marketing arm of Zoho will let…
Price Range
$ $ · · ·
Starting Price
$12/year/user
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
ClearPoint Screenshot
Don’t just build reports, dashboards, and scorecards; wow your executive team with your management insight. Use ClearPoint to quickly and easily combine text and graphical information to make dynamic and compelling…
Price Range
$ $ · · ·
Starting Price
$50/user (perpetual license)
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Jaspersoft Screenshot
TIBCO Jaspersoft is a business intelligence tool that provides embedded analytics and reporting for enterprises. The solution aims to help your company get answers from your applications easier and free up staff from spending…
Price Range
$ $ · · ·
Client OS
Mac, Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Klipfolio Screenshot
Klipfolio is a business intelligence software that provides dashboards and reporting for your business completely in the cloud. You can analyze anything from financial data, marketing data, or sales data. Klipfolio can…
Price Range
$ $ · · ·
Starting Price
$29/month
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Microsoft FRx Screenshot
Microsoft FRx is a financial reporting application that gives midmarket segment and corporate businesses immediate control of the entire financial reporting process, with little or no help needed from Information Technology…
Client OS
Windows
Infor F9 Screenshot
Infor F9 is a complete, customizable financial reporting and analysis solution that dynamically links general ledger data to Microsoft Excel. The solution rapidly presents a real-time view of business information in the push…
Price Range
$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$1,500 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Sage Intelligence Reporting Screenshot
The Sage Intelligence Reporting add-on for Sage 50c empowers you to quickly and easily obtain the information required for improved operations and reporting across your entire business. Sage Intelligence gives you the freedom…
Price Range
$ · · · ·
Starting Price
$0 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Financial Statement Generator Screenshot
FSG is a user-friendly program that assists accountants in generating financial statements in a flash! Even if you prepare financial statements using a word processor, you must still setup margins, tabs, underlining, and…
Price Range
$ · · · ·
Starting Price
$79 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Jet Reports Screenshot
You can save time previously spent copying and pasting data. You can save money previously spent on expensive, complicated reports that are obsolete after one use. Get reports from any module in your database such as…
Price Range
$ $ · · ·
Starting Price
$7,995 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises

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Reporting Tools Buyer’s Guide

What Are Reporting Tools?

Reporting tools create reports that let you view trends pertaining to company financials, sales, marketing, human capital management, and more. Reporting tools will give you the power to make tough decisions on underperforming departments or personnel, or the insight needed to duplicate a business process given its success.

Reporting tools create reports by having a designer upload information from datasets (such as accounting software or a CRM), which help create interactive reports such as income statements, cash flows, employee attendance, benefits administration, the status of leads generated, revenue by salesperson, and more.

Reporting tools help you prepare your data, upload your data, and build a report that provides real-time information to improve your business decision making.

Reports generated in reporting tools can be as basic as advanced financial statements that your general ledger can’t create on its own (such as a profit and loss statement or a balance sheet), or as complicated as a certified payroll report or an executive dashboard that pulls data from multiple systems.

Financial Statement Generator Reporting Tools Balance Sheet Example
An example of a balance sheet provided by Financial Statement Generator which helps create reports with data from your general ledger.

Features of Reporting Tools

Feature Description
Ad-Hoc Queries A non-standard inquiry created to obtain information as the need arises.
Data Visualizations Creates a visual means of enabling rapid consumption of key business data, primarily in the forms of charts, graphs, and plots.
Interactive Dashboards A type of data visualization that displays key performance indicators (KPIs) and important data points to allow for quick visualization of the selected data.
Data Blending Import data from multiple sources such as Excel spreadsheets, accounting software, and ERP systems. Export data to a third party file type such as a CSV or PDF file.
Reporting Tools Sisense Interactive BI Dashboard
The interactive BI dashboard in Sisense can show productivity levels of employees based on time spent in specific workflows.

Benefits of Reporting Tools

Understand Your Data Better With Visualizations

Data is the main driving force behind most decisions. Reporting software can help provide the appropriate layer of abstraction to tell the necessary story with your data, in the form of a visual. Visualizations help communicate data easier in a way that can elicit the appropriate response from the target audience. For example, a spreadsheet that has sales data can help show quarterly sales to important decision-makers, but it can also help understand the motives behind why your sales may have increased or decreased lately.

Increase Productivity With Integrations

Reporting tools will operate as their own program, and in many cases may ask you to upload the data set you need to analyze. However, many reporting tools can now integrate or embed with your existing business software (such as an ERP solution) without much modification. This gives your business reporting capabilities directly into the financial or ERP program you use and can speed up the creation of any needed interactive reports.

Real-Time Analytics and KPIs

Real-time reporting gives you updated business intelligence based on your data analysis as they happen. Rather than waiting for reports to update over a predetermined length of time (such as with annual budgets or a monthly financial report), managers can see their exact figures as they change, in order to make more informed decisions at a quicker pace.

SAP Crystal Reports Reporting Tools Recruitment Dashboard
A recruiting dashboard in SAP Crystal Reports helps visualize the cost of acquiring an employee.

Reporting Tools for BI

At the core of any business intelligence software is the reporting functionality. BI reporting software provides a full view of your business with self-service analytics and reporting that can help you create interactive dashboards, visuals, KPIs, and more into easy to read reports for your business decision makers to understand.

Most BI tools have a strong reporting capability which offers drag-and-drop capabilities that basic end users can understand. This can let you adjust tables and data sources to your liken to see what type of report pops out.

Static vs Real-Time Reporting

You’ll want to determine how complex your reporting tool needs to be. Most classic or basic reporting tools will provide static reporting capabilities, while advanced BI tools provide real-time analytics in your reporting or dashboards.

Static reporting provides information data that is current up to the date that the report was created. Static reporting is less likely to change over time and is thus used in more big-picture discussions, such as year-end budgets or monthly financial statements. These types of reports are more commonly found in on-premise reporting tools.

Static reporting is what is thought of in traditional reporting in the early days of spreadsheets and manual (paper) reports that are distributed out to employees. Static reports can become easily dated and have mostly been moved aside in reporting tools for real-time reports.

Real-time reports can be accessed from a variety of devices via the cloud with internet connections. These reports provide up to the minute details to key business data, such as sales levels, stock counts in your inventory, and more.

Real-time reporting software capabilities help decisions be made in seconds. For example, if your inventory counts are getting too low, your purchasing manager can be properly notified so that stock can be replenished. This can help you avoid having to turn down sales orders due to a longer-than-expected fulfillment window.

The above scenario is an example of how real-time reporting has an advantage over static reporting to increase the power of your brand and of your market performance.

Reporting Tools in Excel

When is Excel useful to be used as a reporting tool? Is it possible to continue to use Excel as the primary source of data and have another program create reports?

Given the presence of Excel in the workplace (there are 1.2 billion Office users as recent as 2016), many will want to utilize the solution for reporting purposes. An office that primarily uses Excel usually benefits from the following:

  • Familiarity with the program. Most people are familiar with the layout of spreadsheet software and have experience using one in college, at internships, or at another job. Because of this, there is little to no learning curve needed to get new employees properly recording data.
  • Templates and formulas to aggregate data. Excel has a few built-in features and provides a wizard tool to help you create what is necessary. Given the vast user base, there are many communities online dedicated to helping you learn advanced capabilities.
  • As low cost as you can get. Excel is included as a part of MS Office, which previously came with the purchase of a lot of new computers. Nowadays, business users can expect to spend $8.25/user/month for Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.

However, Excel was intended to be a place to store your data, and not to operate as a reporting tool. Offices that grow a dependency on Excel or spreadsheets may eventually have to deal with:

  • Human error. When a dataset gets large enough, so does the chance for error. Missing a decimal place or typing a “0” instead of a “1” can drastically change your numbers and thus produce inaccurate reports.
  • Static data and collaboration issues: As previously mentioned, real-time data has plenty of benefits over static data, and companies looking to create reports as current as possible will have to deal with data potentially being outdated. Some cloud-based spreadsheets such as Google Docs can assign multiple end users editing privileges, which means if you have the spreadsheet pulled up on your computer, it will have the same data set as anyone else that may be viewing the file.

Many reporting tools will offer the import of Excel files (.CSV) or any other type of spreadsheet to create the reports you desire. They may also provide you the ability to use the familiar functionality of Excel directly within the program, or some type of hybrid approach where the reporting solution operates as an extension to Excel.

A level of integration can avoid the manual process of conversion, or avoid the process of tracking data in one program (your spreadsheet program) and reports in your reporting software. Not only that, but it provides little to no learning curve to letting your Excel-fluent employees create the reports they want.

While Excel can be a low-cost and useful tool, it doesn’t mean it can truly be a “reporting tool” without the aid of the right software.