Top 10 Data Analytics Tools for 2022
Data plays a crucial role in just about every facet of business. In its raw form, it doesn’t provide any value; it takes a skilled data analyst to gather insights from the data and use those to inform good business decisions. The right data analytics tools make all the difference—but which ones are the best?
To help you navigate the long list of analytics tools on the market today, we created this guide. Here are our picks for the top 10 data analytics tools for 2022 and beyond:
1. R (Programming Language)
This free program is one of the leading analytics tools in the industry. R was designed to add new functions easily. Its ability to manipulate your data and present it in different ways makes this tool one of the preferred programs on the market. Some features that set R apart include the following:
- Strong graphical capabilities
- More than 10,000 different packages and extensions
- Compatible with other programming languages (Java, .NET, Python, C, C++, and Fortran)
R can run on a wide variety of UNIX platforms along with Windows and macOS. To download, go to https://www.r-project.org/, and click the “download R” link at the top of the page under “Getting Started.”
2. Apache Spark™
Apache Spark is another tool widely used in the data analytics industry. This program is a lightning-fast unified analytics engine for big data and machine learning. Spark has easy-to-use application programming interfaces (APIs), such as R, SQL, Python, Scala, and Java for operating on large datasets. This includes a collection of over 100 operators for transforming data and over 80 high-level operators that make it easy to build parallel apps.
Spark also comes packaged with higher-level libraries, including support for SQL queries, streaming data, machine learning, and graph processing such as the following:
- Spark SQL for SQL and structured data processing
- MLlib for machine learning
- GraphX for graph processing
- Structured Streaming for incremental computation and stream processing
Apache Spark runs on both Windows and UNIX-like systems (e.g., Linux, macOS) along with any platform that runs a supported version of Java. To download this tool, you must first verify that you have the latest version of Java and ensure the Scala programming language is installed on your system. Download the latest version of Apache Spark.
3. Tableau Public
Tableau Public is a free platform to share and explore data visualizations online. Tableau is one of the most popular tools in the industry because it connects to cloud apps such as Google Analytics and Salesforce. Additionally, Tableau offers “curated galleries of community-created visualizations or search for topics by keyword with the help of hashtags.”
The difference between this tool and the others mentioned is Tableau offers their “public” edition for free and their “desktop professional edition” as a paid option. Tableau Desktop can connect to data on-prem or in the cloud—whether it’s big data, a SQL database, a spreadsheet, or cloud apps like Google Analytics and Salesforce. Tableau Public Edition, on the other hand, can only work with data from Microsoft Excel, multiple text file formats, statistical files, Google sheets, and web data connectors.
Additionally, with Tableau Public Edition your data is out in the public once your report is published on the Tableau Public Server. With Tableau Desktop, though, no one can see your reports unless you provide access. Both Tableau Desktop and Tableau Public can run on Microsoft Windows 7 or newer, macOS, macOS Mojave 10.14, macOS Catalina 10.15, and Big Sur 11.4.
Some key features available with both the free and paid editions include the following:
- The Tableau Dashboard: This provides a holistic view of your data through visualizations, visual objects, text, and so forth.
- Live and in-memory data: This ensures connectivity to both live data sources and data extraction from external data sources as in-memory data.
- Robust security: This contains a fool-proof security system based on authentication and permission systems for data connections and user access.
RapidMiner is one of the best tools in the industry, boasting prominent awards for their services. According to their website, RapidMiner is used by over 975,000 users worldwide. Their users include more than 40,000 companies in 150 countries. Their platform is designed to aid in data processing, building machine learning models, and deployment.
One of the biggest differences between RapidMiner and other tools is that RapidMiner does not require users to write code manually. RapidMiner can also integrate with various data source types such as Excel, Microsoft, Teradata, Oracle, Sybase, IBM DB2, Ingres, MySQL, IBM, and others. All RapidMiner products can run on Windows 7 or newer, Linux, and macOS X 10.10–10.14.
Some of RapidMiner’s features include the following:
- Visual Workflow Designer: Helps you create a central source of truth for your project, allowing you to share workflows with other users.
- Automated Data Science: Enhances productivity by allowing you to automate the data modeling process. This can help you find insights more quickly.
- Code-Based Data Science: Create your own code-based models in a managed notebook environment.
5. QlikView® and Qlik Sense®
QlikView is Qlik’s premier self-service business intelligence, data visualization, and data analytics tool. They recently released a new version called Qlik Sense, their next-generation analytics platform. This tool offers additional features and functions such as the following:
- Augmented intelligence
- Governed self-service analytics
- Visual data prep
- SaaS/multi-cloud functionality
Pricing for QlikView and Qlik Sense will depend on which edition you choose. The “Personal Edition” is free and features unlimited access. The “Enterprise Edition” requires you to contact QlikView for pricing tailored to your specific needs. Qlik Sense Business edition offers a free trial, after which there is a cost per user. All editions of QlikView and Qlik Sense can run on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 or newer.
Talend is a big data analytics program designed to simplify and automate big data integration. They offer a special feature, the Talend Trust Score, which gives you at-a-glance visibility into the reliability of any dataset. Their open-source platform is free to all users and other services offer a 14-day trial before payment is required.
Like some of the other big analytics programs, Talend hosts a suite of products, including the following:
- Talend Cloud Data Integration: This allows built-in data quality, connectivity, and native code generation in or out of the office.
- Stitch: This rapidly moves data from 130+ sources into a data warehouse so you can get answers faster with no coding required.
- Talend Data Fabric: This includes big data integration, data governance, application integration, and Platinum Customer Support Services. Pricing is available on a client-by-client basis.
To set yourself apart in the industry, consider getting Talend certified. Talend Academy offers certification exams that assess your knowledge of product usage and the underlying methods required to successfully implement quality projects. Exams can be taken on your own desktop or laptop.
Splunk is a tool used to search, analyze, and visualize machine-generated data. Splunk pulls all text-based log data and provides a simple way to search through it. They offer a few different products with varying pricing options, including the following:
- Splunk Free: This is used to search, analyze, and visualize the machine-generated data gathered from applications, websites, and so forth. It also offers up to 500MB of indexing volume per day. If you only have a few users and a light need for Splunk, the free version will suffice.
- Splunk Enterprise: This is designed for collecting, searching, monitoring, reporting, and analyzing all your real-time and historical machine data. This version offers unlimited indexing volume and provides workload pricing measured with Splunk Virtual Compute units (SVCs) and ingest pricing measured in GB/day for select deployments.
- Splunk Cloud: This delivers the benefits of Splunk Enterprise as a cloud-based service. It provides a complete suite of self-service capabilities for you to ingest data, customize data retention settings, customize user roles and centralized authentication, configure searches and dashboards, update your IP Allow List, and perform app management. Like Splunk Enterprise, pricing is measured with Splunk Virtual Compute units (SVCs) and ingest pricing measured in GB/day for select deployments.
SAS is one of the largest companies providing analytics software and tools. Their tools are used for various analytics, such as advanced analytics, multivariate analysis, business intelligence, criminal investigation, data management, and predictive analytics. Similar to Microsoft, they offer a suite of products for data mining, statistical analysis, forecasting, text analytics, optimization, and simulation.
SAS has a large suite of products, including, but not limited to, the following:
- SAS Customer Intelligence 360: This allows you to see every previous interaction that a customer has had with your brand, enabling you to allocate marketing budgets to attract, serve, and retain customers.
- SAS Detection & Investigation: This consolidates massive amounts of data from internal and external sources, and a powerful fraud analytics engine processes all data in real time or batch. A unique, hybrid analytic approach uses multiple techniques—automated business rules, predictive modeling, text mining, database searches, exception reporting, network link analysis, and so forth—to detect more fraud with greater accuracy.
- SAS Visual Data Mining & Machine Learning: This is a comprehensive visual and programming interface that supports the end-to-end data mining and machine learning process. It enables everyone to work in the same integrated environment.
- SAS Visual Forecasting: This provides an open forecasting ecosystem for quickly and automatically producing a large number of reliable forecasts.
KNIME is another open-source reporting and integrated analytics tool. KNIME tools allow users to analyze and model the data through visual programming. They offer two main products for users: KNIME Open-Source and KNIME Server. Their analytics platform is free and open source. KNIME Server is used for large companies looking for the deployment of data science workflows, team collaboration, management, and automation.
The key features offered within these tools include the following:
- Scalability through intelligent automatic caching of data in the background while maximizing throughput performance
- Extensibility via API for plugin extensions
- Import/export of workflows for exchanging with other KNIME users
10. Splice Machine
Splice Machine is another tool designed for big data. It can be ported across various public cloud platforms, such as Amazon Web Services, Google, and Azure. They offer three editions: Cloud, Enterprise, and Community Edition. The Community Edition is free, while the other two editions require payment.
- Cloud Edition: You can configure and deploy managed database service in the Cloud Edition in a matter of minutes. This edition includes on-demand nodes and storage, managed backups and restores, integrated Jupyter notebooks, and Splice Machine cloud manager.
- Cluster Community Edition: You can deploy the free, open-source Cluster Community Edition of Splice’s On-Premises Database on a cluster that is managed by Cloudera, MapR, or Hortonworks.
- Enterprise Edition: This includes access to Splice Machine Database on a cluster that is managed by Cloudera, MapR, or Hortonworks. This edition adds features such as backup and encryption, PL/SQL support, backup and restore capabilities, column level access control, and security features, including Kerberos.
- Standalone Community Edition: You can install and run the free Standalone Community Edition of Splice’s On-Premises Database on a computer running macOS, Linux, or CentOS. This edition is a great way to quickly learn about the many features of Splice Machine: Scale-Out Architecture, ANSI SQL, Distributed In-Memory, Hybrid Row-based, and Columnar Storage, among many more.
To try any of these editions, complete this form and the site will provide you with the option to download V3.0 or V2.8 Community Edition standalone versions that will allow you to perform functional testing of Splice Machine on macOS X, CentOS, or Ubuntu system.
Grow Your Analytics Career with a Wake Forest MSBA
Although the market for data analytics tools is crowded, with the list above, you can learn the features of each, compare, and choose the tools that best suit your needs.
A Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) may help you further your data analytics career. The Wake Forest MSBA program provides deep analytics expertise while enhancing your problem-solving abilities and leadership skills. It’s also completely online, so busy working professionals can continue to work while attending classes.
Find out more about the online MSBA program at Wake Forest by contacting us today.