Prescriptive analytics can be thought of as the final stage of analytics for businesses. At its core is the idea of business optimization.
What is Prescriptive Analytics?
Instead of just predicting what will happen to your business, the prescriptive analysis makes tweaks to certain variables to provide the best possible outcome and course of action.
Prescriptive analytics is the final stage of the analytics maturity curve that focuses on finding the best course of action given the available data, emphasizing actionable insights rather than data monitoring.
This infographic sheds more light on each stage of analytics maturity.
Depending on your company's analytics maturity level, you might need different sets of tools.
Top 10 prescriptive analytics tools
Now, let's delve deeper into each of these tools.
What is Improvado?
Best for: Consolidating marketing and sales data from different sources in one place and generating analysis-ready insights about your marketing campaigns in minutes -- not weeks.
What we like: Improvado's modular approach to features. You can tailor the software to your exact needs and pay only for the required functionalities.
Improvado offers many prescriptive analytics features for marketing and sales teams that can improve your efforts in different ways:
Moreover, if you're planning on enhancing your analytics but don't have the required resources, Improvado can back you up with the "Professional Services" offering. The company's dedicated analysts can build dashboards of any complexity, set up marketing attribution, provide personnel training, and more. This means Improvado can free up time for your analysts to focus on analyzing meaningful insights.
Improvado also streamlines gathered data to your dashboards in real-time. As such, you get complete control of your marketing and sales efforts across all channels, campaigns, and platforms.
Now, let's get a quick overview of Improvado's features.
The tool pulls performance metrics from various marketing and sales platforms, such as Google Analytics, CRMs, email platforms, Facebook, and more. This data is then streamlined into any data warehouse and visualization tool of your choice.
Instead of wasting time on making endless API requests to tens of different platforms, analysts set up a unified extraction template that pulls raw insights until stopped.
You don't have to browse through the whole API documentation to add a new data source to your report. Instead, you can simply choose the required connector from a dropdown menu, and Improvado will do everything else for you.
However, a pile of raw numbers won't get you far. After the extraction, all data should be cleansed, deduplicated, harmonized, and unified. Improvado's DataPrep module empowers revenue teams with new possibilities for data transformation.
With the help of prebuilt transformation recipes, you can accelerate the data normalization process. Instead of building SQL queries, marketers can operate with data in a traditional spreadsheet-like UI.
Additional features such as decision trees that help you enrich your datasets with new sources and clustering that helps you identify similarities within datasets, make transformation processes even easier.
Finally, all of your analysis-ready insights should be stored in a centralized data warehouse. Easily accessible data will help you remove data silos between departments and supply your visualization tools with up-to-date insights.
Improvado loads harmonized data in 15+ data warehouses. With our custom data update frequency, you can load new data every hour, day, week, or any other period of time you need. Besides, the warehouse stores optimized historical data, so you can track your marketing performance over a long distance.
The platform also supports 18 different visualization tools including the most popular ones such as Data Studio, Tableau, Looker, Power BI. Real-time data updates allow tracking even the slightest changes in campaign performance.
Here's an example of a Data Studio dashboard built with Improvado data.
- No developer assistance needed
- Full support with a customer service rep included
- Ability to create custom metrics and map data across platforms
- Completely customizable and can build out any custom integration
- Aggregate all your marketing data into one place, in real time.
- Marketing integrations are deep and granular, so you can see data at the keyword or ad level
- Great for ad agencies managing campaigns for multiple clients
- View ad creatives from within your dashboard -- This feature is super helpful and I have not seen it offered anywhere else!
- In order to get your dashboards and reports visualized in exactly the way you want, there may be some initial back and forth with your customer support rep.
- Some of the more granular features can be a bit complicated, but support is great about walking users through them.
Improvado has 300+ integrations. Besides, if Improvado doesn't have a required data source by default, the company will create a custom integration on your demand.
What is Alteryx?
Alteryx offers data blending and analyzing features in a one prescriptive analytics tool. The platform provides deployable analytics, makes use of repeatable workflow, and then shares the derived analytics to provide deeper data insights in just hours.
Who should use Alteryx?
Alteryx is great for both data analysts and data scientists because it enables quick and easy connection and cleansing of data directly from cloud applications, data spreadsheets, data warehouses, other sources.
The platform integrates the data, then conducts a prescriptive, statistical analysis without the need for writing another code. Alteryx also offers scalable analytics, which can translate into your organizational success.
- Easy to use, drag-and-drop functionality
- Visual and interactive nature reduces the amount of coding required
- Capable of handling large amounts of data
- Works well with a multitude of BI and database solutions
- Intuitive way to map out processes in a step-by-step visual workflow
- More training would be good, needs more community help resources
- Designed more for on-premise computing, and isn’t exactly the most cloud-friendly tool
- The per-core costs are pretty high if you need to scale out in a large organization.
You can view all of the Alteryx integrations here.
What is RapidMiner?
RapidMiner offers artificial intelligence and prescriptive analytics to companies through an open and extensive data analytics platform. This centralized platform features a powerful and robust graphical interface that enables users to create, maintain, and deliver predictive analytics. The tool also includes scripting support in multiple programming languages.
Who should use RapidMiner?
RapidMiner is designed for analytics teams and unifies the entire lifecycle of data science, from the data preparation stage to machine learning to prescriptive analytic models. The platform’s visual interface features pre-built data connectivity, workflow components, and machine learning.
- Can connect boxes on a canvas to conduct data analysis
- Plethora of data analytics and visualization tools
- No coding skills required
- Free version available
- Can be buggy at times
- Limitations with some versions
Pricing for RapidMiner Studio is charged per year, with a three-year commitment. The company also offers a free version with limited features.
RapidMiner offers an array of data sources. You can view the entire list here.
What is Sisense?
Sisense lets users easily transform their data into stunning interactive reports. The tool’s visualization capabilities include a drag-and-drop, simple user interface, which allows for charts and more complex graphics, along with interactive visualizations, to be easily created.
Who should use Sisense?
Sisense is good for analytics teams looking for a complete view of their data with minimal assistance from their IT department. The prescriptive analytics tool provides actionable insights that lead to data-driven decisions. Users can also connect directly to relevant apps or databases, mash-up multiple data sources, and visualize data.
- Bring together data from multiple data sources
- Wide range of widgets such as gauges, charts, and graphs
- Excellent customer support
- Drag-and-drop dashboard
- Sometimes images don’t look as good after exporting
- Less customization options
- Lacking some flexibility with dashboards
- Data sorting limitations
Sisense pricing is on a custom basis You will need to contact the company for a price quote.
Sisense boasts over 100 data connectors. See the full list of connectors here.
What is Birst?
Birst is a web-based business intelligence and prescriptive analytics tool that connects insights from multiple teams, allowing companies to make better informed decisions, and offering optimization and automation for the entire BI process. The platform’s unique approach connects every user to a shared analytical network that can be easily accessed and extended.
Who should use Birst?
The shared network of analytics offered by tool delivers agility for business users while maintaining IT-governed oversight. Birst focuses on solving one of the biggest challenges in data analytics, which is establishing trust in data from several different sources within the enterprise.
- Visualizer and designer tools provide the ability for custom reports
- Easily integrate/implement into existing sites
- Great customer support
- Collaborative workspace makes it easy to share data
- Steep learning curve
- Tedious to update all different instances
- Can take a long time to load if it is a big data set
- Users say it is fairly expensive
- Setting up a report and drilling across to the desired view can take a while
Birst offers a free trial of its tool. You will need to contact the company, however, for price details.
Birst doesn’t provide any list of data integrations on its website.
What is Knime?
Knime is an open source BI tool for data integration, reporting, and analytics. It features a visual interface that includes nodes for a range of activities, from extracting data to presenting it. The platform is primarily focused on statistical models.
Who should use Knime?
The analytics platform is primarily designed to be used by data scientists, providing statistical functions, advanced machine learning and predictive algorithms, workflow control, and more. Knime can be integrated with several different data science tools, such as Python, R, Hadoop, and H2O among others.
- Open source platform
- Community continuously develops Nodes
- More than 100 modules
- Visual user interface that doesn’t require programming knowledge
- Connect nodes through a drag-and-drop interface
- Nodes are not as customizable as Python/R libraries, though for that Python/R node can be used
- Can run rather slow, particularly when more extensions and nodes are installed
- There can be a steep learning curve for users who haven’t used a similar tool
Knime is an open source platform.
Knime offers a variety of integrations for their platform.
What is Talend?
Talend is a data and marketing tool famous for its versatility of use. It is able to interface with some of the biggest names in the cloud service provider industry, including Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
Who should use Talend?
Talend works with industry leaders in many different sectors and provides cutting-edge software technology for big data access, data integration, and data enrichment. The tool also comes with some of the best data integration and management utilities available.
- JAVA technology allows users to integrate multiple scripts from libraries around the world.
- Can easily connect to databases on different platforms.
- The software can work with different formats including XML, JSON, and CSV.
- High level of customization may require expertise in JAVA.
Talend has different pricing models, including an open source one which is available to users all over the world for free. The service can be hosted on local premises or on the cloud.
Talend offers 100+ data connectors. You can view all of Talend’s integrations here.
What is AIMMS?
AIMMS Prescriptive Analytics Platform leverages mathematical optimization and modeling of data to provide businesses with quantifiable results and a competitive edge. The versatile and robust software works with a wide range of solvers to help address almost any type of problem.
Who should use AIMMS?
AIMMS offers a secure, flexible, and fast solution to address neary any type of business problem. Interactive dashboards provide the entire organizations with analytics and decision support for better results.
The prescriptive analytics tool’s drag-and-drop functionality and visualization options make it simple to create analytic models, while the proprietary language makes it easy to build solutions without having to worry about programming.
- Easy-to-learn language
- Interacts with a variety of solvers
- Intuitive graphical user interface
- Easy to update
- Addresses virtually any type of problem
- The software can be slow at times for logging in
- Users have reported the price is initially too high
No pricing information is provided on the AIMMS website.
AIMMS doesn’t provide a list of integrations on their website.
What is Looker?
Looker is a browser-based platform that offers a unique modeling language. Operating 100% in-database, the tool capitalizes on the newest and fastest analytic databases to get real-time results. It makes it relatively easy for users to choose, create, and customize a wide variety of interactive visualizations, providing numerous graphs and charts and graphs to choose from.
Who should use Looker?
The platform is a useful BI and prescriptive analytics tool for teams across nearly all business departments. Looker is particularly good for organizations wanting an easy-to-use tool that still provides plenty of insights in a visual way.
- Very user-friendly
- Excellent customer support
- Integrates with big data platform and databases
- Great customization
- Custom install options along with their hosted solutions
- With simplicity comes lack of flexibility
- Large dashboards can take awhile to load
Pricing is based on custom business needs, so you will need to contact the company for a quote.
Looker can be used with over 50 data sources.
What is Tableau?
Tableau is a business intelligence tool that helps organizations turn their data into impactful, actionable insights. The user-friendly platform provides an easy way to connect to data stored almost anywhere, in nearly any format. Tableau’s drag-and-drop feature helps users create interactive dashboards with advanced visual analytics.
Who should use Tableau?
Data analysts, or really anyone, can use Tableau to gain valuable insights. The platform can be an incredibly useful way of keeping track of progress for businesses that have numerous clients, and no coding expertise is needed to use the tool.
There is also an option of installing the software on-site or cloud hosting the data analytics tool on Tableau’s server. With the option for cloud hosting, it may be a good option for organizations who don’t want more software installed on-site.
- Versatile tool
- Access to files using cloud and data warehouses
- Connects with a large number of data sources
- Intuitive and user-friendly
- Data can be organized and sorted to appear how you want
- Graphs are somewhat limited
- Sometimes large data files can take several minutes to load
- The dashboard can be slow at times
Tableau offers two different sets of prices for its software. One set of prices for installing the software on-premise and another for the software hosted by Tableau.
Tableau offers the ability to connect to an extensive list of data sources.
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