The adoption of business analytics doubled between 2013 and 2016, according to the BARC Research
and Eckerson Group
study BI and Data Management in the Cloud: Issues and Trends
. The most popular tools are those that are designed to improve data exploration, including visual discovery. Additional factors that differentiate cutting-edge business analytics tools include extensive support for dashboard reporting (76%), ad-hoc analysis and exploration (57%), and dashboard authoring (55%). But there are dozens of new business analytics tools released into the market every year, making it a daunting task to select the best choice for any organization. Blogger Louis Columbus, of SelectHub, has tried to simplify the process, by identifying six key criteria to use in making a selection. His advice follows.