If you work in QA, you know that structured query language (SQL) knowledge is a huge benefit. The language is a great way to manage databases and compare information before and after processing.
The best SQL analytics tools make performing these tasks easy. They also enable you to display results in beautiful charts and graphs, then share these reports with people in your organization.
This article will introduce some top SQL analytics tools and highlight why I like each one.
I will go into detail about the strengths of each tool later in the article. Or you can find out more by clicking the link to the tool’s website.
Here’s How I Chose These SQL Analytics Tools
Here’s a summary of the evaluation criteria I used to select the tools on this list. These are the features that make the tools stand out in a crowded market.
- User Interface (UI): A good UI compliments powerful features by making the software a pleasure to interact with.
- Usability: Despite the complexity of the language, SQL tools can be surprisingly beginner-friendly due to features like built-in code samples.
- Integrations: Analytics tools are only as good as the data you feed them. All the tools on this list integrate with a wide variety of data sources. Choose a service that integrates with the SQL databases and datasets you currently use.
- Value for $: This list includes everything from free open source SQL tools, to costly solutions designed to power enterprises. While prices vary vastly, we think each one offers good value for money.
SQL Analytics Features to Look Out For
Most SQL analytics tools have some functionality in common. Here are some of the main features to look out for.
- Data visualization: It’s no use having data if the people you share it with can’t understand what it says. The best SQL analytics tools make creating powerful data visualizations easy.
- Report sharing: It should also be easy to share your findings with people inside and outside your organization. Look for the ability to create online reports you can update in real-time.
- Data management: SQL analytics tools have data management features. They will automatically organize data from different sources.
- SQL Samples: Not everyone in all QA teams is fluent in SQL. If this is the case in your team, look for tools with sample queries or the ability to save templates.
Aqua Data Studio is a database IDE that allows you to run queries on most popular data sources. It also comes with plenty of big data management and visual analytics features. The IDE helps data scientists easily develop and run SQL queries. Results are shown in a filterable spreadsheet-like grid which makes them familiar for anyone who has used Excel.
A cool feature is a visual whiteboard. This lets those without advanced SQL code knowledge create queries using a visual drag and drop interface. The tool uses this information to generate a full SQL statement.
Aqua Data Studio pricing starts at $499 for a single user.
Cluvio is a cloud analytics platform that lets you analyze data in your existing databases and warehouses. You can then create and share interactive dashboards.
The process is satisfyingly simple. The tool works with most databases, including AWS, Oracle, Google Cloud, and Microsoft SQL Server. Just connect the data from inside the dashboard. You can then use the built-in SQL editor to create and run ad-hoc queries. This results in easy-to-read charts and dashboards that you can share with others in your organization.
Cluvio has a free plan for single users with limited dashboards and queries. Paid plans start at $279/month.
IBM Db2 Big SQL is an enterprise-level analytics solution that uses an SQL-on-Hadoop engine. Running queries from within the platform is easy and there are even ready-made templates you can use. The tool also integrated with Apache Spark.
The tool stands out due to its powerful data management features. It allows you to integrate multiple data types. For example, you can combine new forms of unstructured data such as that from social media or video and audio streaming with traditional data. Companies with a lot of cold data taking up bandwidth can easily offload this to Hadoop.
You can buy versions of the tool either integrated with the Cloudera Data Platform or a cloud-native service. Contact the company for pricing.
Singular is a data platform that makes it easy to pull in data from various marketing platforms and run queries. The software has ready-made integrations with all the leading marketing platforms, including Google Ads, Facebook, Linkedin, and many more. Import data from each platform to get an overall view of marketing activity.
You can see fields like ROI, conversions, and cost, which makes it easy to see how campaigns are performing across multiple platforms. The tool also comes with ready-made sample SQL queries so you can perform searches without knowledge of SQL.
Singular has a free plan that provides unlimited data connectors and seats. Paid plans offer more reporting and permissions. Contact the company for pricing.
PivotData REST Service is a SQL analytics solution that provides web pivot tables for all your acquired databases. The tool allows you to store multiple values in one table, as well as sort your tables by values, totals or labels. PivotData REST Service also provides server-side pagination for larger pivot tables. PivotData REST Service provides dashboard software where you and your team are able to create and manage your key performance indicators, as well as performance metrics. The tool also provides strategic planning software so you and your team can collaborate on the analysis of your databases. Lastly, PivotData REST Service allows you to export your user-defined reports through PDF, CSV, HTML and JSON. PivotData REST Service provides integration with frameworks such as ASP.NET, Java, PHP and Ruby. The cost of PivotData REST Service starts at $499/per year for a 1-Server Licence. The tool also offers a trial pack.
One feature I like is how Teradata Vantage Advanced SQL Engine helps you get fast answers. It does this by breaking down complex analytics workloads and distributing them for more efficient performance.
The software has plenty of features. 4D analytics is particularly powerful—it combines geospatial location metrics with time-series data, which is especially useful for gaining insight into technology like IoT smart devices.
The amount you pay for Teradata Vantage depends on your usage and your cloud server. Pricing starts at $3 per vantage unit on AWS.
Valentina lets you create reports from either your existing database or its own object-relational system. It does this by combining an enterprise reports server with two database servers. Built-in encryption and SSL ensure that your data is secure. You can also see a real-time overview of database performance by watching live logs and running diagnostics.
The reports server lets you turn the data into visual reports. These can be exported as PDFs, web pages, images, or text reports. Whichever option you choose, it’s easy to share these reports with your team or people outside your organization.
The company offers a powerful free server. The paid option costs $1,499.95 per server and adds features like data modeling and report design.
Databricks is a robust data science and analytics platform. It uses lakehouse architecture that combines the performance of data warehouses with the flexible object stores offered by data lakes. The SQL platform is super flexible. Data analysts can query data directly using the SQL-native interface. Or you can integrate it with BI tools like Tableau and Microsoft Power BI for further insights.
When using the native platform, you can save regularly used code snippets to make repeat queries easy. You can even cache results to shorten run times. Once you have your results, you can create easy-to-understand visuals and share them with other parties, including those outside your organization, via the web.
Databricks pricing is based on the resources you use. The standard plan starts at $0.07 per Databricks Unit.
Apache Zeppelin is a web-based notebook that lets you plug in data from various sources for analysis. QA analysts can then run queries and create visualizations based on the results.
Once the report is finalized, you can share the URL with relevant parties. You can even embed the results in a web page using an iframe. And if you need to change an aspect of the report you can do so—all adjustments are reflected in real-time.
A huge benefit to using Apache Zeppelin is that it is open-source and free to download and use.
SQL Sentry is a database monitoring tool from SentryOne. It lets you optimize database performance by helping you monitor, diagnose, and fix database issues. The performance analysis dashboard shows an overview of server activity. If you want to look at a particular aspect, you can dig deeper into the data from here.
The top SQL view is useful. It highlights the top 20% of resource-intensive database queries. You and your team can then focus on tuning these queries to improve database performance. Sharing performance data is easy too. Create reports in a web browser and then share them with people in your organization.
SQL Sentry doesn’t advertise pricing. But you can head to the website to request a quote.
Need expert help selecting the right Analytics Software?
If you’re struggling to choose the right software, let us help you. Just share your needs in the form below and you’ll get free access to our dedicated software advisors who match and connect you with the best vendors for your needs.
Aqua Data Studio
Best for its drag-and-drop query builder
|$499 for a single user||Website|
Best for small businesses and startups
14-day free trial
IBM Db2 Big SQL
Best for a SQL-on-Hadoop solution
Best for marketing teams
PivotData REST Service
Best for embedding self-service analytics into your web application
Teradata Vantage Advanced SQL Engine
Best for 4D analytics
|$3 per vantage unit on AWS||Website|
Best free SQL solution
Databricks SQL Analytics
Best for unifying data management
Best open-source SQL data analysis tool
Best for database monitoring
- Microsoft SQL Server
Best for those in the Microsoft ecosystem
Best SQL analytics for predictive customer & sales data
- SQL Diagnostic Manager
Best for database diagnostics
- Database Manager by Nucleon Software
Best for a wide variety of data source support
Best for local data storage for individual applications
If you still haven’t found what you need, then check out our list of the best big data analytics tools.
Can SQL be used for data analytics?
Put simply, yes. SQL lets you query, manage, update, and reorganize large amounts of data. This provides useful insights you can use to make better business decisions.
What are some SQL server analytic functions?
SQL server functions are code snippets that you can execute on an SQL server. Analytic functions calculate an aggregate value based on a group of rows. SQL analytics functions include:
CUME_DIST: Calculates the cumulative distribution of a row.
PERCENTILE_CONT: Calculates the value of a group of data a specific percentile.
LAST_VALUE: Shows the last value in a list of values.
What Do You Think About These SQL Analytics Tools and Services?
SQL analytics tools are a great way to gain insight from large amounts of data. But while useful, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. That’s because there are many different tools on the market, and many have similar features.
This article aimed to make things a little easier. Hopefully, it has helped you start your search for the right software. To get more helpful articles about QA, sign up for our newsletter, where we share our latest insights. Subscribe by clicking here.
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