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The Modern Marketer’s Toolbox: Data and Analytics Tools

Data-driven marketing is essential to a Modern Marketing strategy. It informs, it enhances, it drives key business decisions. Technology companies, marketing companies, social media networks, have realized and embraced the power of data and have created tools to bring this data to businesses of all sizes. From the sea of data and analytics tools, we’ve selected 20 Business Intelligence, Data Intelligence, and Social Media Analytics tools, so you can find the solution that fits your needs, and your team, best.

Keep in mind as you read through, you don’t have to choose just one. If there is one in each category, or two that raise interest, consider how they could work together to deliver an even more holistic picture of your business through data.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence tools are your advanced business data solutions. These are in-depth programs that provide a comprehensive look at your business numbers, helping you make high-level, business, marketing, and financial decisions. Most BI tools present your data visually, so you can focus on discovering patterns and delivering insights on the data. These are often advanced solutions, so you may need a data or analytics professional to manage the tool.

1. Domo

Domo is a data solution and intelligence platform designed for CEOs, finance experts, business intelligence executives, operations professionals, IT gurus, salespeople, marketers, and service organizations. They cater to a multitude of industries, including education, financial services, health care, high tech, hospitality and transportation, manufacturing, media and entertainment, professional services, and retail. For each of these business roles and industries, Domo offers a tailored solution, which simplifies the process of selecting a BI tool.

Domo’s product The Business Cloud collects and presents your business data in a manner that’s easily accessible and simple to understand. The Card Builder feature takes a look at your data and offers suggestions for how to visualize it. Buzz is a Domo feature that streamlines communication among your team, so you can discuss the data and share insights. A key differentiator of Domo is its dedication to mobile. Not only does Domo offer an iOS and Android app, they have their own Domo Appstore, so you can power and customize your business intelligence solution with more than 1,000 apps. Domo has plans ranging from a free option with limited data and social tools to a $250 per user per month option including all of Domo’s features.

2. IBM Business Intelligence

IBM offers five tools under the business intelligence umbrella. Cognos Analysis for Microsoft Excel helps you analyze data from an Excel spreadsheet. This tool can pull data from multiple sources, including IBM Cognos TM1 and IBM Cognos Business Intelligence. Cognos Analytics is a web-based analytics tool that helps you discover insights from your business data and share those insights with your team.

IBM’s Cognos Business Intelligence for Linux on System z tool offers collaborative reporting, data analysis, customizable dashboards, mobile access, and big data support. IBM® Cognos® Business Intelligence for z/OS offers similar solutions on a different platform. Your IT department can help you decide which platform to go with. Cognos Mobile offers analytics on the mobile device of your choosing, including Apple iPhone, iPad, Android, and other tablets. IBM Business Intelligence solutions are considered advanced analytics solutions, so it’s key to have a data expert take a look at these tools and decide if they’re right for your business. IBM offers online demos and trials so you can test the product before making a purchase.

3. SAS Business Intelligence & Analytics

If you’re well-versed in Microsoft Office, this BI solution may be the perfect fit for you. SAS offers six products to fulfill your BI and analytics needs. SAS® Enterprise BI Server is where your analytics data is housed and where your entire team can go to interact with and discover the data on a Microsoft interface. SAS® Enterprise Guide® has a point and click UX. Analyze your data through a Windows interface and share the results with your team.

SAS® Office Analytics analyzes and presents your data through your Microsoft Office interface of choice, whether it’s Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, or SharePoint. SAS® Visual Analytics presents your data visually. SAS® Visual Analytics for UN Comtrade uses global UN trade data dating back to 1988, which translates to 300 million rows of data to compare and analyze trends to your data. SAS® Visual Statistics is a tool you can use to create and visualize predictive models, so you can make data decisions before reality hits. SAS offers a software trial and software licensing for use by businesses where multiple users can access. You can request a price quote online.

4. Tableau

Tableau offers three ways to get your analytics insights. Tableau Desktop uses hundreds of sources to collect and visualize your data. Tableau Server is the best option for an organization, allowing you to share and collaborate on your data and data visualizations. Data from Tableau Server lives on your own servers. Don’t want to keep the data on your servers? Try Tableau Online, which is the cloud hosted version of their product. You can also use Tableau Mobile with your server or cloud product, so you can look at your analytics information from anywhere.

Tableau is an especially great program for building your own dashboards and reports and sharing them with other members of your team. Their drag and drop interface helps you quickly find patterns in your data, and tell stories with your findings. If you subscribe to Tableau Server, you can collaborate on your reports and figure out next steps, together. Tableau Desktop is $999 for a Personal subscription (connects to six data sources and includes one year of support) and $1,999 for a Professional subscription (connects to 44 data sources and includes one year of support), which we recommend for its compatibility with Tableau Server. Tableau Server starts at $10,000 for 10 users and Tableau Online is $500 per user, per year. This isn’t the most economic of options, but if its features match your needs, it may be the right fit.

5. Oracle Business Intelligence 12c

Oracle Business Intelligence 12c is a business analytics platform that helps you visualize your data, boost ROI, and gain access to big data sources. Their platform puts your data into charts and graphs, so you can draw conclusions and view patterns that you may not otherwise see. Oracle designed their platforms to be simple to use, so you can quickly interpret your data and spend time focusing on what it means for your brand.

Oracle’s BI Ask feature allows you to talk to your data (yes, literally speak to your numbers), ask questions, and receive data visualizations as a response. This feature is available via mobile along with the ability to view and create reports on-the-go. Their predictive analytics capabilities help you forecast and predict future data and conditions. A unique feature to Oracle’s BI tool is their access to Big Data—as the Big Data trend is on the rise, having a handle on these numbers and figuring out if they have relevance to your business could put you ahead of the game. Like many other BI solutions, you’ll have to contact a sales representative for pricing.

6. SAP Business Intelligence Solutions

SAP’s Business Intelligence Solutions provide data and knowledge, so you can make informed business decisions. They also provide several tools that promote visualizing and sharing your data in an easy-to-digest way. By investing in SAP’s product, they’ll match you with one of their three BI platforms, which will provide you with data insights and promote informed decision making. Their dashboards and applications—including the SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards—help you create data visualizations and explore insights in a simple to understand, customizable, visual, and mobile manner.

In addition, they offer data visualization solutions, so you can combine data from multiple sources and create and share stories and infographics from your conclusions. Finally, they offer several reporting and analysis tools you can use to share your data findings and visuals via web, desktop, or mobile. SAP will cater their solutions to best fit your industry, organization, and budget. They offer a variety of solutions, so we recommend contacting them to discuss your options before purchasing a solution. This is not a simple tool to grasp—we recommend assigning a data or analytics professional to work with the program.

Digital Intelligence

Digital intelligence tools are a bit more pared down than business intelligence tools. They’re often the solution if you want data and analytics insights on your website, mobile application, or both. Some even work with your existing CRM or marketing automation program to deliver analytics on the same platform. Digital intelligence tools are offered with a wide range of features and price tags. Professionals with a variety of data skills can use these tools.

7. Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics offers real-time analytics for all of your marketing channels. Their solutions include:

  • Mobile app analytics: so you can understand how users are discovering and engaging with your app
  • Customer360: combines your web and customer data from other channels so you can fully understand who’s interacting with your brand
  • Complete: a solution using predictive analytics, customer profiling and personalization, and cross-channel attribution so you can analyze how your paid, earned, owned media impact your business
  • Video analytics: measures your video content and video ads and how customers engage with those videos
  • Attribution: measures customer acquisition based on your different marketing channels
  • Predictive intelligence: uses data to help you come up with scenarios to try and predict how visitors will engage with your marketing.

Adobe Analytics also offers real-time analytics, real-time automation, cross-channel analysis, and data visualizations, so you can interpret your data in a new way. Because Adobe Analytics is in the Adobe family, all of your data is integrated and saved on the Adobe Marketing Cloud. Adobe doesn’t list their pricing online, so you’ll need to complete an online demo to learn if it’s a fit for your business.

8. Google Analytics

Google Analytics may very well be the most well-known name in analytics. If you have a website or an app, you should be using Google Analytics. They offer three solutions:

  1. Google Analytics 360 Suite, an enterprise solution for businesses
    • The 360 Suite provides you a full 360 degree view of your customer experience. It’s comprised of:
      • Analytics 360: data on every customer’s touch points with your brand
      • Tag Manager 360: tag management, so you can track conversions and collect site analytics
      • Optimize 360: a website testing program so you can discover what your audience likes and dislikes
      • Attribution 360: looks at all of your marketing data and delivers insights on audience conversions from your marketing and advertising efforts
      • Audience Center 360: uses data and analytics to help you understand your customers and enhance your marketing to reach your target audience
      • Data Studio 360: creates beautiful, visual, customizable reports that you can share with your team or stakeholders
  2. Free analytics for small businesses
    • Offers data insights and a tag manager, so you can track basic data of your website, build your audience, and optimize your marketing
  3. Analytics for mobile applications
    • Tracks event data, conversions, audience behavior, audience traffic, ROI, and more

Pricing isn’t available online, so you’ll have to contact Google to discover how much their services cost. Google offers educational resources so you’re not left interpreting data you don’t understand. They host Analytics Academy, which are free lessons designed to help you better understand analytics and how it can help your marketing, and other online resources, such as blog posts, white papers, and guides, to keep you up-to-date on the most relevant analytics information.

9. HubSpot Analytics

If your company focuses on an inbound marketing strategy, you’ll benefit from choosing HubSpot Analytics as your data solution. Their three main features combine marketing and sales data, collect data from all states of the inbound marketing funnel, and provide detailed customer reports, so you can measure how audiences are connecting with your brand. HubSpot not only offers a clean and easy-to-manage online dashboard, but a mobile app, so you can track your most important metrics while you’re away from your computer.

If you already use HubSpot software, they offer a free reporting add on, which provides more in-depth analytics.HubSpot’s analytics solution integrates with their other marketing solutions (which include website and blog publishing, social media management, SEO, email marketing, landing pages), including their marketing, sales, and CRM software. If you are already using or searching for software of that nature, we’d recommend taking a closer look at HubSpot.

10. Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics’ analytics solution offers seven key reports to track your marketing.

  1. The Funnel Report helps you discover where website visitors are dropping off and identifies which CTAs visitors aren’t responding to
  2. The Cohort Report takes a look at your marketing activities for the month and analyzes how those actions affect signup or other behavior rates.
  3. Path Report determines which customer actions lead to conversions.
  4. People Search tracks every single person who visits your site and their behavior within your site.
  5. A/B Test Report calculates the ROI of your A/B testing.
  6. Revenue Report looks at each marketing channel and campaign and delivers data, so you can determine what sectors of your marketing strategy are resulting in the highest ROI.
  7. Power Report performs important calculations that may be difficult, or time consuming, to calculate on your own and answers your data questions.

To get all of these reports, you’ll want to purchase their Power plan, which costs $600 per month and includes an analytics consultant. If you don’t need the Power report, you can purchase their Growth plan at $400 per month, which includes all of the other reports.

11. Mint

If you’re searching for a simple website analytics solution, Mint may be the right fit. This downloadable program provides: daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly page view and visitor reports; a list of website referrers; a look at your most popular and recently accessed website content; insights into your visitors’ most common browser width and height so you can design accordingly; and much more.

Their interface and reports are designed to be simple, so you can quickly digest the data and focus on optimizing your marketing as a result. Mint is only $30 per website, so, not only is this a simple solution, it’s also a cost-effective one.

12. Mixpanel

Mixpanel is a mobile application analytics platform that focuses on measuring actions, not page views. It analyzes whether or not your users engage with your app, understand your app, and return to use your app in the future. If you share that approach to analytics, you’ll likely connect with this product. In addition to measuring user engagement, user retention, and the point where users leave your app, you can also write and implement JQL queries to analyze select data points.

Mixpanel offers a wide range of plans for different size businesses and budgets. A free account includes up to 25,000 data points, which are tracked events on your website. A Startup plan includes 500,000 data points for $150 per month, a Business plan includes 2 million data points for $350 per month, a Growth plan includes 4 million data points for $600 per month and plans increase from there up to 50 million+ data points for over $2,000 per month.

13. Piwik

Piwik is free, open-source, self-hosted analytics software you can download and upload to your own server. You can also upgrade to host your data on their servers. Unlike many analytics solutions, you own your data on Piwik, even when you upgrade to the cloud-hosted version.

They offer a healthy list of features, including real-time data on your website visitors, a report that compares data from all of your websites (if you have multiple), analytics on your ecommerce efforts, user interaction, impressions, and clicks measurement, site speed reports, and goal conversion tracking. Piwik integrates with a wealth of applications including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Sharepoint, and MODx.

Social Media Analytics

If social media is a significant part of your marketing strategy, you’ll want to use social analytics to help you make data-driven decisions. There are a wealth of tools to help support that approach. Some are native to specific social media networks, while others display data from multiple networks. Some solutions even double as a social publishing platform. These tools are typically user friendly and the data is often presented in a simpler manner than digital or business intelligence tools.

14. Buffer

Buffer is a key tool if you’d like all of your social media analytics in one place. You can connect your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn accounts for free (but only one account can be connected per free Buffer account). If you’d like to connect your Pinterest account, you’ll have to purchase a subscription. Buffer offers a range of pricing options. For small teams, a Buffer subscription costs $99 per month and allows you to connect up to 25 social profiles and schedule up to 2,000 posts. For medium teams, a subscription costs $199 per month and allows you to connect up to 50 social profiles and schedule up to 2,000 posts. The also offer a large team subscription and individual subscriptions. Buffer offers a seven-day trial so you can try out their services before making a commitment.

These perks don’t enhance the analytics directly, as this is also a social sharing and scheduling platform, but having all of your profiles in one place streamlines the data-collection process and will help you compare data between social profiles. Even without subscribing, Buffer attaches data to each of your posts. For example, your Buffer account will show you a list of your most recent tweets. Right under those tweets you’ll see how many actions each received. You can sort your posts based on most and least popular to compare content. Buffer also offers the option to search for a specific day range in addition to exporting that data to organize in your own spreadsheet.

15. Facebook Insights

Your brand page’s Facebook insights are available within a tab at the top of your page, in between notifications and publishing tools. You can view a seven-day overview of your Facebook analytics or navigate between more in-depth data on likes, reach, page views, actions on page, posts, events, videos, people, local, and messages. The seven-day overview features a snapshot of the previous week displaying percentages and graphs of your reach, post engagements, actions, page views and likes, and video views, and how they compare to the previous week. You can also take a look at the reach and engagement data for your top five posts and easily access a button to promote those posts if you aren’t seeing the results you desire.

To keep tabs on your competitors, you can select and track pages to watch, so you can compare your data to theirs. Each of the individual sections features graphs with information pertinent to that topic. For example, within the page views section you can take a look at graphs on total views, views by section, total people who viewed, total people who viewed by different demographic information, and top sources. Within each of the individual sections, you can search dates, so you can expand your data beyond seven days.

16. Iconosquare

Iconosquare is a great platform for gathering Instagram analytics. You can view activity on your platform, including follower gains and losses, optimization recommendations with suggestions for when to post for maximum engagement with your audience, engagement insights (where you can view your posts with the most engagements, likes, comments, etc.), and community insights (where you can take a look at your most engaged followers, lost followers, etc.). Iconosquare also builds a set of reports you can instantly download. These reports include key metrics from the past month, top followers, best performing filters, best performing hashtags and a full export of your best time to post chart.

You can track up to five of your competitors, so you can keep tabs on how much they’ve published, how many followers they have, and their engagement rate. Check out your competitors’ post and follower growth for the past day, seven days, and 30 days. Iconosquare offers two plans. Their Plus plan, which costs $28.80 per year and an Elite plan, which costs $149 per year. The Elite plan offers more features including report exports, competitor analytics, and live chat support. Since Instagram doesn’t offer analytics from their platform, we recommend investing in an Instagram analytics platform like Iconosquare if Instagram marketing is a part of your social strategy.

17. Pinterest Analytics

Pinterest offers free analytics insights for anyone with an account. When you reach the dashboard, you’ll see a quick overview with data and activity graphs for three areas of interest: your audience, your Pinterest profile, and your website. For your Pinterest profile and website, you can see your average daily impressions and viewers at a glance and, for your audience, you can quickly see your average monthly viewers and average monthly engaged. On the main dashboard, you can also view your top pin impressions from the last 30 days. When you click into each of the three sections, Pinterest provides more in-depth information.

In your Pinterest profile section, you can search through dates to compare information on impressions and viewers. You can also view an expanded list of pin impressions and boards with pin impressions. Similar information on repins and clicks is also available as well as your all-time most repinned pins and best pins in search. Your website section includes the same information on pins that route to your website, including data from the Pin It button on your website (if you have one) and original pins. The Your Audience section provides demographic data on those engaging with your profile from country to metro to language to gender as well as interests and businesses they’re connected to.

18. Twitter Analytics

Twitter also offers free analytics insights to anyone with a profile. From the dashboard, you can choose to stay there or navigate elsewhere to view data on your individual tweets, audiences, events, twitter cards, videos, and conversions. If you choose to stay on the dashboard, you’ll see a 28-day summary of your tweets, tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions, followers, and tweets linking to you, and how that data has changed over the previous 28-day period. Below those insights, Twitter displays data on your top tweet, top mention, top follower, top media tweet, and top card tweet by month.

The Tweets section features impressions, engagements, and engagement rate of each tweet. You can export the data into a spreadsheet to look at your data over an extended period of time. The Audience section provides an overview of your audience and their interests, occupations, buying styles, wireless carrier, gender, household income, net worth, and more. The Events section features events and recurring trends/hashtags so you can join your audience’s conversation. The Twitter Card and Videos sections display data (impressions, clicks, views, completion rate) for your tweets that contain a Twitter card or video.

19. Socialbakers Analytics

Socialbakers Analytics provides comprehensive, competitive insights for all of your social media platforms, including, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+. Unlike social publishing platforms that feature analytics, such as Sprout Social and Buffer, Socialbakers Analytics focuses on data, providing even more insights than the other two—especially competitor data. You can compare your data to industry competitors, other industries, or any other group you customize.

A unique tool is their Promoted Post Detection, where they monitor your competition’s paid and organic reach. This helps you learn from their successes or setbacks, so you can wisely weave promoted posts into your budget. The reports are customizable and exportable, so you can share or print branded reports to your team members or stakeholders. Their small and medium business plan starts at $75 per month for up to 20 profiles with up to 90 days of data history. They also offer an enterprise plan for larger businesses.

20. Sprout Social

Sprout Social reports provide information organized by each of your groups, profiles, and team members. If you’re unfamiliar with Sprout Social—which provides not only analytics insights, but social publishing and social automation—a group can include multiple social media profiles on different social networks. This helps you compare analytics insights from all of your social profiles at one time. Reports focus mostly on demographic and engagement insights. You can also choose a competitor and compare your Twitter profile to theirs, or compare your website to a social media profile by connecting your Sprout Social account to Google Analytics.

Sprout Social also lists your sent messages, so you can view clicks, responses, and reach for each one at a glance. You can search by date to find the posts range you’d like to check out. To use the analytics features, we’d recommend purchasing their Premium plan, which is $99 per user per month, or Team plan, which is $500 per month for three users. The Premium and Team plans give you Google Analytics integration in addition to engagement and team reporting.

Katie Yohn

Forever a student of marketing and the written word, Katie is always on the lookout for new ways to connect with audiences. She enjoys learning about emerging trends and sharing what she's learned. She also has an affinity for alliteration.