Although vendors dread it and many salespeople dodge it, one of the first questions an organization will have when starting to investigate dashboard software is a natural and obvious one: “How much will this business dashboard software actually cost us?” Like it or not, pricing remains at the top of most customers’ priority lists.
Unfortunately, many people find it challenging to find their own answers to this extremely relevant and mission-critical question because very few software companies are willing to advertise their pricing on their websites. (Some do, though, and we recognize them below.) So while many organizations may want dashboard software, they may ultimately end up going without simply because they haven’t been given the information they need to be able to make the type of educated business decision that will let them sleep easy at night.
So, as a BI software company ourselves, we thought we’d take some of the guesswork out of dashboard software pricing by detailing the ways that many vendors price their solutions as well as what size business those solutions tend to cater to. While we provide accurate figures below, please do keep in mind as you’re reading that pricing can vary dramatically depending on individual requirements and the software needed to meet those.
Dashboard software’s three main pricing models
Comparing business dashboard software prices can sometimes seem like comparing apples to oranges. That’s because a price can be associated with any one of three main licensing models — not even taking into consideration potential deviation from one of those standard models or a potentially confusing and complicated combination of elements from two or all three models.
When trying to understand why a dashboard software’s price may vary so greatly from another’s, you have to take into account the licensing model the vendor has chosen. Here are the most common three:
1) User-based license model: A user-based licensing model prices a business dashboard software according to user-centric criteria. For example, depending on the vendor, a user-based license model can price according to the number of users of the dashboard software or the types of users of the software (e.g., viewers vs. builders).
2) Data source-based license model: Many dashboard software vendors will license their solution based on the number of sources (i.e., databases) or connectors you require their dashboard to read from. This model is common with many SaaS or Web-based dashboard solutions containing a number of pre-built integrations used to connect with other SaaS-based solutions.
3) Server-based license model: A popular license model with large enterprise software vendors is server-based pricing. Server-based licensing is priced according to the dashboard software’s properties, such as the number of processes, speed of the processes or amount of memory demanded of the software.
Actual business dashboard software prices for every business size
So what is the actual price for business dashboard software? As you’ve gathered from the information above on the different licensing models, it can vary quite broadly, from free to hundreds of thousands of dollars. An organization’s specific requirements (e.g., a cloud-based vs. on-premises solution) can widen that pricing gap even further.
However, there is still great — and very specific — data out there regarding dashboard software pricing. What we’ve done is break the information we’ve found down based on the typical requirements of small, medium and large businesses and provided some specific vendor pricing examples so you can get a solid sense of what to expect price-wise if you’re in the market for a business dashboard software solution. Keep in mind, however, that although we’ve categorized pricing according to overall business size, this doesn’t preclude movement among the categories. A large business may have a small dashboard requirement if it has only a small team utilizing it, for example, and the right solution is very much defined by individualized needs.
1) Zoho Reports: Although Zoho has designed a lot of software for small businesses, not many people know about them. Zoho is very transparent with respect to its pricing, and the company even provides a “freemium” offer wherein an organization can begin using the software via two licenses at no cost. Beyond that, Zoho offers a variety of plans that range from $25 to $495 a month and support between two and 50 users.
2) Geckoboard:Geckoboard offers an easy-to-use cloud-hosted dashboard with pre-built connectors to lots of SaaS-based solutions. Geckoboard prices on the number of dashboards and number of users and seems to offer unlimited data connections from their large list of integrations. Geckoboard’s pricing ranges from $25 per month up to $599 per month, depending on the package selected.
3) Power BI by Microsoft: Organizations that don’t currently have an “official” dashboard software are most likely creating data charts in Microsoft Excel. I like to refer to Excel as the No. 1 business intelligence tool in the world simply because it’s available to the highest number of business users out there. For the purpose of this blog, I’m including this Microsoft solution in the small business category; however, it can scale to address medium and large business needs as well. Microsoft’s Power BI, part of its Office 365 cloud suite, ranges from $10 to $52 a month per user. However, for large-scale environments pricing can soar to $25,000 per month and more!
4) Klipfolio:Klipfolio has been in the BI space since 2001, and in 2011, it converted to a Cloud BI solution. Klipfolio is an option for small to medium-sized businesses that are looking for Cloud-based BI. They would be a good fit for companies looking to connect to mainly SaaS data sources or SMBs that want to upload spreadsheets or data via Excel, CSV, or TXT. Klipfolio offers connectors to a wide variety of sources, including all the big players like Salesforce, Dropbox, Google Analytics, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Klipfolio advertises pricing starting at $29 per month, per user to $199 per month and is limited by users, number of dashboards, and features.
5) Dundas BI: We’ve heard about Dundas BI from a few recent evaluators of our software. The price is geared toward small businesses and the functionality of their product looks to cover all the important requirements. On their website, they advertise a $6 per user per month but there’s a little tiny asterisk next to it and if you follow that it says that is the cost for large deployments. So you can expect smaller numbers of users cost a bit more. One caution we have recently heard is that the Dundas BI 4 has some issues with being stable and that is how they found our software in their search for something else.
Medium-size business dashboard software and pricing
1) Sisense:Sisense is a business analytics software tool that jumped onto the BI scene in 2010 with $4 million in Series A funding. Sisense received Round D of funding in Jan 2016, which totaled $50 million. Since then, the company has been growing rapidly, positioning itself as a major player in the BI space and was recently listed in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics Platforms. Sisense has a powerful set of interactive dashboards that are offered both in the cloud and on-premise. Unofficial feedback from evaluators of both Yurbi and Sisense tell us that Sisense is upwards of $40,000 a year for only a 20 user environment.
2)Yellowfin BI: Yellowfin offers the business user a wealth of dashboard capabilities, but its differentiator is its strong mapping capabilities. Yellowfin’s “Location Intelligence” allows users to merge their special data with their traditional BI data to put dynamic maps onto reports or dashboards. In addition to mapping, the 12-year-old company also receives kudos for its innovative approach to collaborative BI. According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (2015), Yellowfin’s customers tend to be SMBs, and 64 percent of Yellowfin’s surveyed customers say it’s their BI standard. Yellowfin advertises a price page on their website now where they show a Community edition that is free for AWS or Azure users, $1,750 per year for a 5 user deployment, and then contact sales for anything larger.
3) Looker:Looker has made a big splash in the industry since 2011, at least to investors. They have raised a total of $177.5 million dollars with the last round being March 30, 2017, for $81.5 million. We have heard from other evaluators of Yurbi that their software is nice but also very expensive at $5000 per month to start. We’ve also heard the pricing model is confusing and is based on things like number of queries, data size, users, and more and if you look at the pricing page on their website, they don’t clear things up month (there are no numbers, just sales talk on why you should contact them).
4) Chartio:Chartio is another cloud-based BI tool that we put in a similar category to Looker. They were founded in 2010 but have only raised $6.7 million (we say only in jest). They also follow a complicated pricing scheme (we’ve been told) taking into account CPU cycles and processing time. We hear they start roughly at $10,000 per year for a team of 5.
5) Pentaho and Jaspersoft: These two products generate a lot of interest because they are open source and provide functionality that compares nicely to what’s offered in the large business category of vendors below. But while the price for these two vendors is a lot better than those of their larger counterparts, don’t make the mistake of confusing “open source” with “free.”Pentaho and Jaspersoft both offer free community versions of their dashboard software but also have paid enterprise versions that provide support as well as a lot of add-ons and features not included in the free versions. And beyond the software, it’s important to remember there is a cost associated with the technical expertise required to produce the desired results from the software.
6)Yurbi: We have to toot our own horn here and talk about Yurbi and our pricing. Our approach to pricing is to keep it simple, configurable, and transparent. So we’re pretty open to talking about pricing (as you can tell from our blog). With Yurbi, you get a complete BI Platform and a set of tools that provide more than just dashboards. We offer real-time, interactive dashboards, but also a self-service report library where users can schedule reports, export, embed, and more. We also provide a complete ad-hoc query building process that is completely codeless. Plus Yurbi is packed with security and audit capabilities. Our starting point is $120 per month which provides 1 Power User (builder or admin user) and 2 Concurrent Agents (secure viewer), and 5 Public View Report licenses (unlimited anonymous viewers). We also have a Business Tier that starts at $1,050 per month for 5 Power Users, 10 Concurrent Agents, and 30 Guest View Reports. We also offer unique pricing for software vendors looking to embed or OEM analytics. You can see our transparent approach to pricing on our website here.
1) Qlik: Some say that Qlik revolutionized the dashboard industry by bringing the concepts of data discovery and in-memory analytics to the mainstream. Qlik is having a little business turmoil with new CEOs and significant layoffs and it seems that growth has slowed for them. Qlik has a lot of products these days from on-premise to cloud-only, plus they have Qlik Sense which ranges from free to $25 per user per month based on their website page and then the traditional Qlikview. Although traditional QlikView software pricing is no longer published on their website, in the past our evaluators tell us user-based pricing ranges from $1,350 for a named user to $15,000 for a concurrent user license. Options like an enterprise server license can go for around $35,000. An Expressor Enterprise Server is also available for $95,000; tack on an additional 20-23 percent of the list price to account for the cost of annual maintenance.
2) Tableau Software: Tableau is also an industry leader that is going through a little bit of turmoil. Wall Street has fallen out of love with it recently and they are lots of rumors of an acquisition coming soon. The company’s claim to fame is the ability to create amazing visualization dashboards. Although arguably, Tableau could fit into the medium-sized business category, from a features and functionality perspective, we feel they fall more accurately into the large-sized business category. Tableau recently switched to a subscription model, which some complained was an increase from their old model. Per their website, the cost of Tableau’s personal-use desktop software ranges from $35 to $70 per month per user. It’s cloud-only version from $35 to $42 per month per user. Its server-based software’s price, however, was unspecified. Unofficial feedback on the price of a Tableau Server is $999 per user, so a 10-user requirement would run approximately $10,000, with a 20 percent annual maintenance charge (or converted to their new subscription terms).
3) Traditional BI Vendors: This category is also reserved for the largest dashboard vendors in the industry, such as SAP Business Objects, IBMCognos, Oracle BI, Microstrategy, Information Builders, TibcoSpotfire and similar companies. The common trend for companies this size is that they don’t release their pricing on their websites. In most cases, the old adage “If you have to ask how much it costs, you probably can’t afford it” is probably true for the majority of people interested in these vendors. However, for very large use cases or in environments that have already invested heavily in one of these vendor’s technologies for other reasons, it may make sense to go with that vendor’s dashboard software as well. Unofficial ballpark ranges for these vendors’ dashboard solutions are $100,000 to seven figures. Typically, these vendors will route you to one of their partners for business below $100,000, and deals with those partners tend to fall in the price range of $25,000 to $100,000.
Our Bottom Line
Remember that this is just an overview of those companies in the dashboard software business who (for the most part) publish their prices. We hope this article has armed you with the research you need to feel confident discussing business dashboard software with any vendor — those who publish their pricing as well as those who do not if that’s what interests you. There are many solutions out there to explore — including our own, Yurbi, whose pricing you can learn about here – and we hope you feel empowered by this information to explore them thoroughly.
Please feel free to assist other readers as well by leaving a comment below regarding any dashboard cost information and/or good products you feel we left out of this blog. We plan to revise often to include the latest information.