Business Intelligence (BI) is a collection of technological infrastructure, processes, and architecture to understand raw data and gain insights. Rather than making decisions using raw or minimal data, BI enables decision-makers to make data-driven decisions. It gives companies powerful insights to capitalize on new opportunities, resulting in increased profitability.
BI is an extensive ecosystem consisting of a Source/Input Layer, Aggregation/Transformation Layer, and Visualization/Reporting Layer. All layers are essential. However, most users focus only on the visualization layer offering access to modern BI visualization tools such as Tableau and Power BI. Even though companies invest billions of dollars in creating, managing, and developing other BI infrastructure aspects, users focus mainly on visual analytics tools.
It is essential to have BI Connectors in order to facilitate easy data transfer. It is a custom-built solution, which makes it possible to integrate any kind of data sources, solutions, and services (Zendesk, Shopify, ServiceNow, Jira, monday.com, etc.) directly to innovative BI visualization tools (Tableau and Power BI). It solves repetitive and cumbersome data import/export across solutions.
BI tools offer data-summarization options where you can create reports, graphs, charts, summaries and a dashboard for quick data summaries. Overall, BI tools improve how teams can shift to using data visualization tools without the need to learn new skill sets or implement expensive technology.
In this article, we’ll focus on BI connectors. Here, we’ll learn “What is BI connector?,” its benefits, key features and the best BI Connectors you can use to simplify data understanding. So, keep reading if you’re an IT user, a professional data analyst, or a CEO/CXO.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this blog post:
BI Connector: what is it and why you may need it
Overview of BI Connectors Key Features and Benefits
- BI Connector Features
- BI Connector Benefits
Must-Have BI Connectors for Power BI, Tableau, and Other BI Software
- Power BI Connectors List
- Tableau Connectors List
- Connectors for BigQuery, Oracle Analytics, and SAP Analytics Cloud
Table of Contents
BI Connector: What Is It and Why You May Need It
BI Connector is a custom-built solution that connects data sources to visualization tools, enabling companies with robust analytics and business intelligence requirements to take a more flexible, hands-on approach to analyzing their data. As BI connectors are custom-built, it gives companies the freedom to connect any data source to their software/tool. This can also include data sources that contain business-critical data.
For example, if you want to fetch data from your excel sheet into a data visualization tool such as Power BI, you need a connector to transfer data seamlessly. Another example is connecting Jira to Power BI, where Jira is the data source, and Power BI is the data visualization tool. There’re hundreds of possibilities as you can choose from tons of available BI connectors that connect your choice of data source and visualization software/tool. Ultimately, the BI connector builds the path for seamless data transfer and analysis, giving businesses valuable insights to make successful decisions.
Overview of BI Connectors Key Features and Benefits
There’re hundreds of BI connectors in the market. The wide availability gives you excellent flexibility to connect any data source type. However, you need to make sure that you pick the “right” BI connector for your needs, as it can save you a lot of time and effort. This section will focus on the key features you should look for in a BI connector. We’ll cover BI connectors benefits as well.
BI Connector Features
Before picking the BI connector, look for the features mentioned below:
- It should be able to provide convenient data export.
- A BI connector should give you the flexibility to play with your data. This means you can create unlimited data sets/data sources and then include as many tables and fields to the data source.
- Easily export any custom fields without complicated steps.
- No limitations in exported data.
- The exported data should be ready for analysis and converted to target types.
- You should be able to configure BI Connector to schedule refreshes for actual reporting.
- The user interface should be easy to use.
- It should also offer good filtering options. This way, you can easily select relevant information and export it using proper data selection, reducing data extraction time.
- You can do secure data sharing with permission settings and access management.
BI Connector Benefits
BI connectors are beneficial to your business. It not only creates a seamless data connection between data source and software but also provides benefits, including normalizing data, automating repetitive tasks and offering data quality improvement so that you can make better decisions.
Businesses generate data both internally and externally. CRM and ERP generate known data internally but still lack the data consistency required to get insights. And that’s where Business Intelligence comes in. It solves data consistency and provides clarity in variable calculations across datasets. The goal is to have accurate and consistent datasets so businesses can use them to make effective decisions.
In all of these, BI connector plays a crucial role and provides the following benefits:
- BI connectors lets you connect data from multiple sources and normalize them, taking out any variations that can cause redundancies or improper segmentation.
- BI connectors save time by automating repetitive tasks. Once set up, you can forget about data import/export. You can set up BI connectors to automate routine tasks such as user input, data entry, validation and data field and mismatch updates. This way, you don’t have to worry about small mistakes that can creep in if you don’t use BI connector’s automation.
- With BI connector, you’re bound to get good data. It negates any risks with poor data quality, which can hamper decision-making. Here, you translate data into information. The BI tools then let you visualize the data, giving you the necessary means to make proper decisions or plan future business strategies.
- The influx of good data also impacts an organization’s efficiency and productivity. Teams now have meaningful and insightful information that lets them make better decisions, improving their productivity and effectiveness.
- You also get enhanced data governance and increased ROI from BI investments.
- Lastly, organizations can use full BI software potential as teams across organizations work without any access permissions concerns.