10 Best Data Manipulation Software: Expert Picks!

Data Analysis
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Every industry sector is characterized by a high level of competitiveness between businesses, all of whom are looking for an edge. 

One way for them to achieve this advantage is by analyzing the data they collect from their customer interactions to gain insights about internal operations and customer preferences. The best data manipulation software handles this work easily, accurately and efficiently. 

Keep reading to find our best picks for this valuable tool.

Coming Up

What is Data Analysis?

What are Data Analysis Tools?

Why is Data Analysis Important?

What are the Types of Data Analysis Tools?

How to Choose Data Manipulation Software

What is the Best Data Manipulation Software?

Data Analysis is a Must-Have and Must-Do

What is Data Analysis?

Data analysis is the science of using data created from internal operations and external transactions with consumers to gather insights that allow companies to increase both profits and efficiency. 

Companies that employ data analysis are in a constant cycle of looking deeper at the information hidden in their customer interactions and operations. However, the task of gathering this data can be as time-consuming and tedious for decision makers. 

More importantly, the data being gathered for analysis must be accurate, which isn’t always possible if it’s done with human hands across multiple locations. 

This technique is commonly known as data mining, and it’s become an incredibly important task for every business.  However, the best data analysis software can make the task of gathering data easier, which allows company decision makers to spend their time analyzing data instead of simply collecting it. 

What are Data Analysis Tools?

Data analysis tools are software that allow companies to employ the best data analysis methods. These tools accomplish that mission by compiling large volumes of information from the company’s internal and external transactions. 

Every single time a client interacts with a company, whether it’s at a brick and mortar location or through its online operation, data is created. That data reveals important information about customer preferences and internal company operations.

Putting all this data together is a large and tedious task, but when properly done, companies can pick up on trends that increase profits and help companies increase their efficiency. 

The best data manipulation software, such as SolveXia, assists companies in collecting this data through standard reporting and the creation of custom reports. 

Perhaps most importantly, these tools make the process of data collection efficient and accurate, which means decision makers can spend more time “reading the tea leaves” instead of simply picking them off the tree and bagging them up. 

Why is Data Analysis Important?

Imagine for a moment that you have a company that is spending $1,000,000 annually on advertising and making $4,500,000 in sales. 

On the surface, you’re getting a solid return on your investment. But data analysis is important because it can reveal insights to you about your advertising expenses that may not readily be apparent. 

A deep dive into the data can illuminate important facts like:

  • Which advertisements have the highest conversion rate
  • Which geographic regions have customers who spend the most money on your products
  • Which type of advertising (e.g., banner ads, promotion codes, strategic partnerships) motivates your customers to spend the most money
  • Which one of your product configurations or packages are most popular
  • When your customers are most likely to buy

Simply looking at your sales data and advertising line items on a spreadsheet won’t reveal that information. However, conducting a deep data analysis can show you all this information, and perhaps allow you to increase your ROI on advertising by several fold. 

Unfortunately, the work of gathering the data for thousands of website visits, store visits, conversion rates and sales, then connecting them back to individual advertisements is a task that could take days, weeks, or even months. 

This is where data manipulation software can be so important. Tools like SolveXia allow you to run automated, customized reports that will link all this deep data and present it to you in an easy to read series of graphics and charts.

These kinds of insights can be the difference between merely hitting your quarterly projections and pushing your profits into the stratosphere by blasting past those projections. As the level of competition in every business sector increases, the importance of data analysis is even more magnified. 

What are the Types of Data Analysis Tools?

The type of data mining you’re doing for your company will go a long way towards determining what type of data analysis tools you need. 

The best tools will offer you a wide range of capabilities when it comes to data gathering and analysis. However, different businesses have different needs, and therefore, will need different data analysis tools. 

Some data analysis tools are better suited for statistical analysis, which analyzes raw numbers from company operations to paint a current picture of what’s going on. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a data tool that can forecast the future based on a specific set of variables or datasets, you may need a predictive analysis tool. 

If you’re looking to do a complete data analysis based on the data your company gathers, a qualitative analysis tool might be the most effective for your needs. 

How to Choose Data Manipulation Software

Your choice in data manipulation software will be as important, if not more important, than the decisions you make with the data you do collect. 

The last thing you want to do is choose a tool that is poorly suited for the task at hand, or is so difficult to use that simply gathering the data places an even larger burden on your staff. You will also want an option that is cost-effective, while being powerful enough to handle the work you need done.

The best data analysis and manipulation tools will give you the flexibility to conduct as many analyses as possible as easily as possible. Ideally, you would be able to use one tool that could accomplish a number of these functions on an as-needed basis. 

A finance solution like SolveXia gives you the capability to use your data manipulation software for a number of different functions (i.e. regulatory reporting, reconciliation, rebate management, and more). 

SolveXia comes standard with basic tools along with the capability to create your own custom data sets that are unique to your business. 

Best of all, you can use SolveXia’s software to automatically collect your essential data accurately and efficiently. 

Once you remove the burden of data collection from your CFO and analysts, you’ll free them up to do what they are paid to do: analyze the data and help make better business decisions based on that data. 

What is the Best Data Manipulation Software?

The best data manipulation software will depend on several variables, almost all of which are unique to your business. With that said, keep reading to get an overview of the top data analytics tools on the market.

1. SolveXia

SolveXia is a low-code platform to automate spreadsheet-driven data preparation and manual processes. With its robust suite of solutions, its data manipulation tools offer users the best of all worlds when it comes to user interface, cost effectiveness and analytic capability. 

It is backed by a powerful engine that can conduct automated reporting and run processes over 85% faster than manual input. 

In addition to this speed, SolveXia delivers unprecedented accuracy and reduces errors by up to 98%. SolveXia’s cloud-based servers are available to users all over the world 24/7/365.

SolveXia’s user-friendliness completes what is a truly impressive data analytics package. This no-code solution can be installed very easily without excessive input from the IT department, and it is compatible with hundreds of pre-existing apps or data sets. 

That means you can have SolveXia up and running within hours of installation and your entire team can use it without having to be retrained or attend expensive orientation classes. 

Users can run a full-suite of data analytics automatically through SolveXia’s easy-to-use dashboard. However, they also have the ability to set SolveXia up to run custom analytics for reporting unique to their specific business. 

All in all, this is one of the most powerful, cost effective and comprehensive data analysis packages on the market. 

2. Apache Spark

Apache Spark is another open source tool, and is best suited for processing large amounts of data or machine learning. It is fast, and user-friendly, which means you can use it to scan large datasets in a short time span. The Apache tool can be used to analyze big tranches of data and analytics on multiple computers. 

It also offers users a large suite of algorithms and machine learning capability. However, Apache also depends on your internal RAM to operate. That means you’ll need a lot of very powerful computers to maximize its capabilities. Apache Spark also lacks a file management system, which means you will need to integrate it with other tools. 

3. Oracle Analytics Cloud

Oracle has been one of the most respected names in tech and data analysis for decades. The Oracle Analytics Cloud allows users to conduct their data manipulation and analysis on a cloud-based platform. This means it can be easily accessed from anywhere in the world by multiple users, which is a big benefit for companies with international reach or even multiple locations in the same city. 

Oracle’s tool also has an extremely powerful AI engine that can be programmed to run custom algorithms. That will allow users to gain very deep insights from the data they do collect. This is a strong tool, but also one that comes with a high price. Oracle’s technology is expensive, and may not be best suited for a small to medium size operation. 

4. Tableau

Tableau is a data manipulation tool that specializes in allowing the user to create customized dashboards and spreadsheets for their data. Users speak highly of its ability to quickly create strong visual reports and this tool offers strong mobile app capability. It’s also important to note that Tableau’s team offers very strong support to its mobile app users. 

Unfortunately, Tableau does not offer you the capability to pre-process your data or run more complex, custom analyses. Also, getting the most out of Tableau requires users to be proficient with R or Python, which must be used before you can input your data into Tableau. 

5. IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos leverages a powerful AI engine to uncover hidden trends in your company’s data. More importantly, Cognos gives you the information you need in simple, easy to understand graphics and English. It will also automatically collect and collate your data, which is a less error prone and more efficient process than tools that rely on manual input such as Excel. 

However, the IBM name comes with a price which may be prohibitive to small and medium sized businesses. Another consideration is compatibility. It’s going to be windows based, and some of its capabilities will be more difficult to use if your company is already operating on  different software. 

6. Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio offers you a data manipulation tool powered by the world’s preeminent search engine technology. That also means Google Data Studio users will have access to some of Google’s most powerful tech, such as Google Analytics, and Google BigQuery. 

You can also integrate this all into a tool that allows you to build custom dashboards and collect very specific data that is relevant to your business. 

The minus side of the equation is that Google Data Studio is largely geared towards companies that are already using Google’s other tech. If you’re not, you may have to modify other data you collect before you can feed it to the data studio, which can be expensive and time consuming. 

7. SAS Business Intelligence

SAS is a very powerful data manipulation tool that offers users a wide range of reporting and analytics capability. This tool is geared towards larger operations, which also means that its reporting and analytic features are set up to be easily shared between multiple users in the same company. 

This collaborative capability also extends to multiple mobile apps, and makes SAS a very flexible tool. On the down side, SAS is geared towards larger businesses and can be expensive to use. 

8. R

R is another open-source data manipulation tool that is best geared towards data mining and analyzing raw statistics. It offers users a standalone tool that is compatible with many pre-existing softwares and apps due to R’s open source base. 

However, users report that R is more difficult to learn than Python, and offers users less operational security (which is probably due to its base as an open source program). It is also a little bit slower than some other tools, which means running your reports may take longer than other tools. 

9. Python

Python is a well-respected open source data manipulation tool that derives power from its flexibility. In fact, Python is more than a tool, it’s an actual programming language. This means a skilled user can employ Python to easily conduct a full range of data analysis from basic reporting to in-depth analysis. 

Python is cost-effective, easy to master and has a multitude of custom reporting capabilities that have been perfected by other users. Unfortunately, it also uses a large chunk of memory and it may not conduct analysis as quickly as other tools. 

10. Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is perhaps the “elder statesman” of data manipulation tools. It is not only one of the oldest, but one of the most effective. This is especially true for businesses that are doing basic data mining and collection via spreadsheets, which are this tool’s bread and butter. 

In the hands of a skilled user, Excel can be used to create strong visual analytics reports and it can be easily integrated into other apps or programs in the microsoft family. 

However, Excel does require a very skilled hand to maximize its capabilities and it has limitations when it comes to handling big data. Specifically, Excel relies on a lot of manual inputs, which can be error prone. This could lead to bad data input, which of course leads to incorrect conclusions. 

Data Analysis is a Must-Have and Must-Do 

There was a time a few decades ago that data analysis was something that only the “best” and most innovative companies did. That time is past. These days, almost every successful business is pouring over its internal data looking for an edge. 

Every single customer transaction and internal function of a company can be improved through the use of data analysis.

If your competitors are using these tools and you’re not, you are operating at a competitive disadvantage. With that in mind, choosing a data analytics tool is no longer a  luxury, but a necessity. 

A finance tool like SolveXia provides a combination of power, user-friendliness and cost effectiveness making it a tool worthy of strong consideration. If you’re looking for a data analytics tool, and you’re unsure where to begin your search, request a free demo with SolveXia today. 


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