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5 Reporting Tools for Directing Your Focus in 2024

Learn what reporting tools do, their benefits, and our top five picks for reporting tools in 2024.

Tiffany Lewis
Writer at Motion
May 9, 2024
Table of contents

Looking to graduate your reporting from manual entry into an Excel spreadsheet? Seeking a reporting tool that fits your business needs? Tired of sifting through countless options, unsure of which one to choose?

Whether you want to streamline your small business operations or need advanced analytics for your large enterprise, this post will help you narrow your options and find the perfect fit.

We won’t subject you to a 20+ item list — you've got enough on your plate.

Check out our breakdown of what reporting tools do, the different types, and our top five picks.

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What are reporting tools?

Reporting tools are software applications that collect, process, and present data in a meaningful and visually appealing way. They enable businesses to transform raw data into actionable insights, helping them make informed decisions that drive business growth.

Capabilities of reporting tools include:

  1. Data collection: Collecting data from various sources, including databases, spreadsheets, and external APIs.
  2. Data processing: Processing and manipulating data to make calculations, create summaries, and generate reports.
  3. Data visualization: Using visual representations of data in charts, graphs, and interactive dashboards to more easily understand and analyze it.
  4. Report generation: Automatically generating reports based on predefined templates or custom configurations.
  5. Data sharing: Providing ways to share reports with others through email, online portals, or embedding in other apps.

Reporting tools analytics data

‎Types of reporting tools include:

  • Business Intelligence: Tools that collect and analyze data from multiple sources across an organization, revealing connections between data sets. This provides actionable insights and allows for greater visibility, which leads to more informed decision-making,
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM): Reporting tools that function similarly to Business Intelligence tools but specifically help businesses define KPIs.
  • Information Technology (IT): Tools that gather, track, and apply data that help evaluate and optimize a business's technological systems. These include networks, computers, email, websites, apps, etc.
  • Marketing: Tools that aggregate data from various marketing channels, including social media, email, paid ads, websites, chatbots, and e-commerce software.
  • Dashboard: Specialized reporting tools that focus on creating visual dashboards to track KPIs and business metrics in real time.
  • Ad-hoc reporting: Tools that allow users to create custom reports on the fly without predefined templates or configurations.
  • Self-service reporting: Tools that empower non-technical users to create their own reports and analyze data without assistance.

What are the benefits of reporting tools?

Reporting tools help businesses stay successful and profitable. Data-driven B2B companies with advanced analytics and reporting technology have seen a 15-25% increase in growth and EBITDA over the past few years.

Consider the more immediate benefits of using reporting tools.

Encourage informed decision-making

Reporting tools allow businesses to track essential key performance indicators (KPIs) that help identify opportunities and issues. They present data in a clear, organized, and digestible way, allowing for quick analysis and informed decision-making.

Identify inefficiencies

By analyzing data, reporting software can pinpoint inefficiencies in processes or operations, allowing businesses to improve. Diagnosing these issues can enable you to seek the best solutions and monitor for improvement.

For example, uncovered inefficiencies with scheduling, task management, or workload balancing may cause you to consider solutions such as an AI project management assistant like Motion.

Provide quality insights

Reporting platforms offer deep insights into data trends and patterns. These valuable insights help business users understand their performance and make strategic decisions.

Enable better forecasting

Reporting tools use historical data to forecast future trends. This information empowers businesses to make accurate predictions and plan accordingly.

Produce immediate real-time data

Real-time data updates ensure that businesses always have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips.

The use of real-time data analytics results in increases in revenue, positive feedback, efficiency, operational cost savings, Gross Value Added (GVA), and data accuracy for most businesses.

Aggregate multi-sourced data

Reporting software can consolidate data from multiple sources, providing a comprehensive view of business performance and operations.

Offer visualization and sharing options

Reporting tools offer various visualization options, such as charts and graphs, making it easy to understand complex data. They also allow for easy sharing of reports with stakeholders.

Save time

Automating the data collection and analysis process saves valuable time and allows you to focus on other important tasks.

Reporting tools organizing data chaos

‎Top 5 reporting tools for data analysis

Check out our list of the top five reporting tools for data analysis.

1. Microsoft Power BI – Best for scaling organizations and Microsoft integration

Microsoft Power BI is a powerful Business Intelligence reporting tool that allows you to visualize and analyze data from various sources. It collects and consolidates various datasets and uses them to create visual reports and develop insights.

These can then be infused into any Microsoft tools you use every day to inform collaboration, workflows, and strategic decisions.

Key Features:

One of Power BI's key features is its user-friendly report creation. This allows non-technical users to drag and drop elements to design visually appealing reports without extensive technical knowledge.

Additionally, Power BI leverages AI capabilities to enhance data analysis, offering features like AI-generated reports that automatically identify trends and insights within the data.

Power BI also provides access to hundreds of report templates, enabling you to quickly create professional-looking reports. Moreover, Power BI excels in advanced data analysis, offering various tools and functions for performing complex calculations and visualizations.

Another notable feature is its ability to consolidate data from various sources into a single interface, making it easier to analyze and visualize data from multiple sources.

Power BI allows you to embed reports into websites or applications, enabling seamless sharing and collaboration.



Power BI Pro - $10 per user per month

Power BI Premium - $20 per user per month

Power BI in Microsoft Fabric - included in each Microsoft Fabric plan


Power BI has a G2 rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 1,000 reviews. Its Capterra rating is 4.6 stars, with over 1,000 reviews. TrustRadius scores it at 8.4 out of 10 with over 1,000 reviews.

2. Zoho Analytics – Best for data integration and easy-to-read charts

Zoho Analytics is an analytics platform that allows users to connect to various data sources, including spreadsheets, cloud storage services, databases, and third-party applications. It then consolidates and analyzes all this data in one place.

With Zoho Analytics, users can visualize data using a variety of formats. It offers advanced analytics capabilities such as forecasting, trend analysis, and what-if analysis, empowering users to uncover hidden insights and make data-driven decisions.

Its simple drag-and-drop interface allows users to create reports and dashboards without coding or technical expertise. Additionally, Zoho Analytics provides collaboration features, allowing teams to work together on analyzing data and sharing insights.

Key Features:

Zoho Analytics offers unlimited reports, dashboards, and workspaces, allowing users to analyze data in various ways. It also offers over 75 visualization options, allowing users to choose the most suitable format for presenting their data.

Additionally, Zoho Analytics provides over 100 customizable pre-built reports, which you can tailor to meet your specific business needs. It also supports automatic and scheduled data imports, ensuring that reports are always up to date.

Advanced analytics capabilities include unlimited SQL query tables, predictive analytics, and what-if analysis. These advanced features enable users to gain deeper insights into their data and make informed decisions.

Another useful feature is the ability to comment inside reports, facilitating collaboration among team members.

Zoho Analytics also supports data storytelling, allowing users to create narratives around their data to better communicate insights. Additionally, it offers iOS and mobile apps, enabling users to access and analyze data on the go.

Pricing (billed annually):


Basic - $24 per month

Standard - $48 per month

Premium - $115

Enterprise - $455

Custom - Contact for pricing

Zoho Analytics offers a 15-day free trial, no credit card required.


Zoho Analytics has a G2 rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars with over 300 reviews. Its Capterra rating is 4.4 stars, with nearly 300 reviews. TrustRadius scores it at 8 out of 10 with nearly 300 reviews.

3. Tableau – Best for data visualization

Tableau is a leading data visualization and analytics platform. It's designed to help businesses transform their data into actionable insights.

Its flexible system allows users to connect to various data sources, including databases, spreadsheets, and cloud services, and create visually appealing and interactive reports and dashboards.

It can also handle large and complex datasets with ease. Its wide array of visual analytics options allows you to explore your data from different perspectives and uncover trends and patterns.

Tableau's simple drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for users to create interactive dashboards without programming or complex scripting.

It also offers advanced analytics tools, such as forecasting, trend analysis, and clustering, to help users gain deeper insights into their data.

Tableau is highly customizable, making it easy to tailor visualizations to meet your needs. It also offers features that enable teams to collaborate on analyzing data and sharing insights.

Key Features:

Tableau Prep is a data preparation tool that allows users to clean, shape, and combine data for analysis. It offers a visual and interactive interface, making it easy to understand and manipulate data.

Tableau Data Management includes features such as data cataloging, metadata management, and data lineage, enabling you to find and understand your data easily.

Tableau Catalog provides a comprehensive view of all the data assets within an organization, including databases, tables, and reports. It helps users discover and access the data they need for analysis.

Tableau Prep Conductor allows users to schedule and automate data preparation tasks, saving time and effort. It enables users to set up workflows to prepare data regularly, ensuring that their analyses are always based on the most up-to-date data.

Tableau Advanced Management encompasses a range of features that help organizations manage their Tableau deployments effectively. This includes user authentication and permissions, content management, and scalability options.

Pricing Plans (billed annually):

Creator - $75 per user per month

Explorer -$42 per user per month

Viewer - $15 per user per month


Tableau has a G2 rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 2,000 reviews. Its Capterra rating is 4.6 stars, with over 2,000 reviews.

4. Sisense – Best for self-service analytics

A Business Intelligence software, Sisense helps you easily prepare, analyze, and visualize complex data. It offers an intuitive interface and robust analytics capabilities, making it popular for businesses seeking data insights.

Sisense's In-Chip analytics enables it to process data quickly and efficiently, even when dealing with large and diverse datasets from multiple sources. Its wide range of visualization options allows you to explore your data and uncover trends and patterns.

The simple drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create customizable dashboards and reports without coding or technical expertise.

Sisense also offers embedded analytics capabilities, which allow businesses to integrate analytics directly into their applications and products. This makes it easy to provide data-driven insights to stakeholders and customers.

Key Features:

Sisense integrates with a wide range of APIs and SDKs, allowing users to connect to various data sources and third-party applications. This integration capability makes it easy for users to access and analyze data from multiple sources within a single interface.

Sisense also offers predictive insights, allowing users to forecast trends and make informed decisions based on future outcomes. This feature is particularly useful for organizations looking to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate changes in their business environment.

Additionally, Sisense provides actionable insights, which help identify key trends and patterns in your data that can be used to drive business decisions. These actionable insights are presented in a user-friendly format, making them easy to understand and act upon.


Contact Sisense for pricing information.


Sisense has a G2 rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars with over 900 reviews. Its Capterra rating is 4.5 stars, with nearly 400 reviews. TrustRadius scores it at 8.3 out of 10 with over 100 reviews.

5. Looker Studio – Best for data exploration and collaboration

Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio) is a popular data visualization tool. It allows you to access data from over 1,000 sources and over 900 app connectors.

You can then consolidate this data and present it using one of 40 native visualizations.

Key Features:

Looker Studio's modern Business Intelligence capabilities enable you to visually explore and analyze data in a user-friendly interface. This makes it easier to derive insights and make data-driven decisions.

Looker Studio's LookML data modeling language allows users to define their data models, providing a flexible and scalable way to organize and analyze data.

Embedded analytics allow you to integrate dashboards and visualizations directly into your applications or websites. This enables organizations to provide data-driven insights to customers or stakeholders without requiring a separate Business Intelligence tool.

Looker Studio also offers an integrated development environment (IDE) that streamlines the process of building and maintaining data models and visualizations. This IDE provides a centralized location for data modeling, visualization design, and collaboration, making it easier for teams to collaborate on Business Intelligence projects.

Advanced collaboration features enable teams to share insights, collaborate on analyses, and track changes to data models and visualizations. This promotes a culture of data-driven decision-making and ensures that everyone in the organization has access to the same information.



Contact for pricing on paid plans


Looker Studio has a G2 rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 400 reviews. Its Capterra rating is 4.6 stars, with over 200 reviews. TrustRadius scores it at 8.2 out of 10 with over 200 reviews.

Upgrade your analytics process with reporting tools

Your business is growing, and you’re accumulating crucial data. Your analytics and reporting process needs to mature as well. Choose the right reporting tool for your business to help you make informed, growth-minded decisions backed by real-time insights.

You may already have the tools for forward growth but need advanced reporting to guide you.

You may also discover other processes that need an overhaul, such as your team's project management systems or workload balancing.

Give one of the reporting tools above a test drive to see which may be the right fit for you. If you find inefficiencies with your project, task, or scheduling management, seize the opportunity to try Motion free for 7 days.

Gain greater visibility with top AI and automation technology.

Tiffany Lewis
Tiffany has a BA in Business Management and years of experience writing for SaaS and digital marketing blogs. She bristles at typos, broken links, and 2015 statistics circulated through 2023 content. When not writing, Tiffany's either reading, baking, or mothering her spoiled rescue pittie.
Written by Tiffany Lewis