8 Best Reporting Tools in 2024

Reporting Jan 30, 2024 21 minutes read

Table of contents

    Are you hitting your monthly revenue goals? Driving a ton of traffic to your website? Have a great closing rate in your sales department?

    That’s great news – but your C-executives and shareholders won’t exactly take your word for it.

    Instead, you need a quality reporting tool to share your performance and key insights in a clear and professional manner.

    And while there are a variety of robust reporting tools on the market, it’s not easy to find the best one for your specific business. You need to consider factors such as integration, scalability, ease of use, real-time reporting capabilities, cost, and more.

    To make this decision easier, we did extensive research and talked to 41 industry professionals to compile a list of the 8 best reporting tools going into 2024.

    But before we start analyzing each tool separately, let’s check out a few insights from our research.

    Out of the respondents that participated, 1/3 of them belong to Marketing and Advertising, and most of them have between 11 and 50 employees.

    About 1/3 of the respondents stated that Google Analytics 4 is their primary reporting tool, followed by Databox and HubSpot Marketing Analytics.

    Which reporting tools are you currently using.

    Reporting Insights is the main purpose for using the selected reporting tool for 80% of the companies, followed by Data Analysis (78%), Creating Dashboards (56%) and Data Management (56%).

    When it comes to meeting and exceeding expectations, most respondents (regardless of their choice of the reporting tool) are very satisfied. The leading aspect is security and compliance.

    As for use frequency, over half of the respondents use their reporting tool at least once a week.

    With that covered, let’s dive into the specific tools:

    1. Google Analytics 4
    2. Databox
    3. HubSpot Marketing Analytics
    4. Looker
    5. Zoho Analytics
    6. DashThis
    7. Microsoft Power BI
    8. QuickBooks

    Google Analytics 4

    GA4 Reports

    Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is one of the world’s most popular free analytics tools. It provides detailed insight into how users interact with your website and lets you track and measure traffic, engagement, and behavior.

    Oh, and it’s also a reporting powerhouse.

    There are numerous features GA4 offers specifically for reporting purposes.

    For starters, users can create custom reports for specific purposes by choosing dimensions and metrics that are most relevant to their business goals.

    You can also schedule reports and send them automatically at regular intervals, which is particularly useful if you send them out on a weekly or monthly basis.

    Marketers can use audience segmentation features to build more targeted reports. For example, you can create reports for specific user groups based on their behavior, acquisition source, or demographics. This is great for understanding different user segments.

    And this is just scratching the surface.

    But what our respondents like most about reporting with Google Analytics 4 is its data analysis capabilities.

    Why use GA4?

    As for features that met or exceeded expectations, security and compliance are the highest rated. It’s followed by flexibility, customization options, and user interface navigation.

    Best aspects of GA4 reporting

    The vast majority of our respondents use Google Analytics 4 on a daily or monthly basis.

    Frequency of use for GA4

    For Michael Gottron of Germicidal Maids, the most valuable part of Google Analytics 4 is “understanding how users interact with the content and websites I manage is paramount.”

    “This feature provides insights into which pages are most engaging, what content resonates with the audience, and where users tend to drop off. It helps me optimize content strategies and improve user experiences.”

    Garrett Yamasaki of WeLoveDoodles says that by using GA4, “we noticed a significant uptick in user interactions and time spent on articles related to dog training.”

    “The AI-powered insights highlighted this trend, indicating that our audience grew interested in this topic. Initially, our primary focus was on breed-specific information and general dog care. However, with the data from GA4, we realized there was a substantial demand for more in-depth dog training content. This insight led us to pivot our content strategy.

    We began producing more articles, guides, and video content about dog training techniques, tools, and best practices. The result? A marked increase in user engagement, longer session durations, and a boost in organic search traffic. Moreover, we received positive feedback from our community, thanking us for the valuable training resources.

    This wouldn’t have been possible without the granular insights provided by GA4. It not only helped us identify a gap in our content but also allowed us to address it effectively, further cementing our position as a trusted resource in the dog-loving community.”

    Google Analytics 4 Pros & Cons

    Pros:

    • Customizable reports
    • Advanced segmenting within reports
    • Real-time reporting option
    • Exploration features (e.g., cohort analysis and user exploration)
    • Integration with other Google tools (e.g., Google Ads)

    Cons:

    • Steep learning curve
    • Limited pre-built reports
    • Includes a transition period for historical data

    Google Analytics 4 is best for digital-first businesses and e-commerce platforms that require detailed and user-centric reporting across multiple channels. It’s also one of the best-automated SEO report tools in the market.

    Databox

    Databox is a business analytics tool that helps companies gather, visualize, and track their performance data from various sources in one place.

    With 100+ integrations available, you can connect your Databox account to a wide range of data sources, including Google Analytics 4, HubSpot, Semrush, Excel, Facebook Ads, QuickBooks, WooCommerce, Mailchimp, and many more.

    More than 20,000 businesses of all sizes trust Databox for their analytics and reporting needs, including both emerging startups and established enterprises.

    Here are some of Databox’s main features and capabilities:

    • Custom dashboards and data visualization: Databox users can build custom dashboards where they can compile all of their most relevant metrics and then visualize them to make them more easily understandable. With all of your data points in one place, you can track changes as they occur in real time, identify new trends, pinpoint problematic areas, and get a birds-eye overview of your performance. You can either build a dashboard from scratch or use our template gallery with pre-built dashboards that you can customize in just minutes.
    • Goal setting and tracking progress: Users can also set goals for any metric or KPI and then track and manage the progress toward them. This way, the goal isn’t sitting in a separate spreadsheet that may end up unopened in weeks – instead, you’ll be able to visualize your progress in real time.
    • KPI Alerts: If your KPI trends are going up or down, you shouldn’t wait until the end of the month to get the news. With Databox Alerts, you can set up automated performance alerts for any specific KPIs you want to focus on. All you need to do is set the condition for which you want to receive an alert, and you’ll be notified via email, Slack, or mobile.
    • Benchmark Groups:

    And as the icing on top… let’s talk about Databox Reports.

    Databox offers an all-in-one reporting automation tool that can save countless hours each month by pulling you away from the tedious manual reporting process.

    Instead of juggling around different tools and spreadsheets to manually report your findings, you can use our dashboard reporting tool to quickly and easily communicate your findings to shareholders and executives.

    Databox features several pricing plans:

    • Free plan that allows users to connect up to three data sources, making it convenient for smaller businesses or individual consultants.
    • Starter plan at $47/mo. Up to 5 users and more data sources are supported.
    • Professional plan at $135/mo. Up to 15 users and 300 custom metrics.
    • Growth plan at $319/mo. Offers indefinite users and dashboards, hourly data updates, and up to 1,000 custom metrics.
    • Premium plan at $799/mo. Comes with extra benefits, including priority support and enterprise-level security and compliance.

    All of these plans have a free trial, except for the Premium Plan.

    When we asked our respondents how they use Databox for reporting, we found that the top-ranked purposes are data analysis, reporting insights, and data management. 

    Why use Databox as a reporting tool?

    The best-evaluated aspects of Databox in terms of meeting/exceeding expectations are integration with other tools, security and compliance, and ease of use.

    Best aspects of using Databox

    As for frequency, most Databox clients use the reporting tool on a weekly basis.

    How often do you use Databox

    For Adrian Hall of Pharmacist Schools, the one Databox feature that stands out is customizable dashboards:

    “Databox helps us to create tailored, visually engaging dashboards that display the most critical data points, enabling our team to quickly gauge campaign performance and make data-driven decisions. The flexibility to customize these dashboards according to our specific KPIs and goals streamlines our reporting process and enhances our ability to track the success of our SEO and marketing initiatives. This ensures that our efforts are consistently aligned with our business development objectives, facilitating informed, strategic decision-making.”

    On the other hand, Tanya Kuwadekar of Oxygen values the ‘story’ feature the most:

    “It helps us to standardize the format of showcasing the rise and drop. Plus, all the calculated metrics will update automatically so it saves us time in making the reports, doing the charts, and manual copying and pasting of data. With this feature, we can focus on the most important part – finding the issues and solutions to them.”

    Danielle Matthews of Reborn Renovations adds that “Databox also saves me plenty of time.”

    “It’s effortless to use. Due to this, I don’t have to spend much time getting marketing reports. It delivers quick results, and I can comprehend if we are investing in a worthwhile marketing strategy according to it. Hence, I can make efficient decisions for my company.”

    Kalie Fry of Atlas agrees and adds that “instead of spending time sifting through data and copying over the numbers, we’re able to look at everything all at once.”

    “This has freed up time in our reporting workflow so our team can analyze the data more closely, identify trends, and provide better recommendations. Because we’re able to spot those things early on, it’s allowed us to pivot our marketing initiatives much more effectively.”

    Databox Pros & Cons

    Pros:

    • You can build dashboards both from scratch or use pre-built templates
    • Dashboards are easy to use and set up
    • Custom metrics available
    • Professional visualizations that are simple to set up
    • Track changes in real-time
    • Wide range of integrations

    Cons:

    • May be too expensive for some businesses

    Databox is best for any business that wants an easier and more efficient way to track its performance and automate the reporting process – whether it’s a small startup or a large enterprise.

    HubSpot Marketing Analytics

    HubSpot Marketing Analytics

    HubSpot Marketing Analytics is a component of the HubSpot platform, which is widely known for its inbound marketing, sales, and service CRM software.

    The Marketing Analytics feature specifically helps businesses and marketers to track, analyze, and report on their marketing efforts throughout the entire customer life cycle.

    HubSpot Marketing allows users to build custom dashboards for reporting, where they can connect their CRM data to marketing data.

    It also includes advanced reporting features such as multi-touch revenue attribution and customer journey analytics tools that help you get more granular with the data you’re communicating to company shareholders.

    HubSpot Marketing pricing is separated into two cohorts:

    • Businesses & Enterprises: the Professional plan starts at $800/mo and includes up to 2,000 marketing contacts. The Enterprise plan starts at $3,600/mo and includes up to 10,000 marketing contacts.
    • Individuals & Small Teams: the Starter plan starts at $18/mo and includes up to 1,000 marketing contacts. There’s also a Free plan with limited contacts and capabilities.

    For our responders, the top-ranked purpose for using HubSpot Marketing Analytics as a primary reporting software is reporting insights.

    Why use HubSpot Marketing as a reporting tool?

    The best-evaluated aspects of HubSpot Marketing Analytics in terms of meeting/exceeding expectations are customer support and integration with other tools.

    Best aspects of using HubSpot Marketing

    Most respondents use HubSpot Marketing Analytics for reporting every week.

    How often do you use Hubspot Marketing

    For Daniel Thompson of Salt Water Digital, one standout feature of HubSpot Marketing is its “multi-touch revenue attribution.”

    “This feature enables us to accurately attribute revenue to various touchpoints along the customer journey. It goes beyond basic first-touch or last-touch attribution models, allowing us to understand the holistic impact of different marketing channels and interactions on the conversion process. By providing visibility into how each touchpoint contributes to revenue generation, we can allocate resources more effectively, optimize our marketing mix, and make informed decisions to enhance campaign performance.”

    Ilan Nass of Taktical Digital highlighted the lead management feature:

    “It enables us to access all interactions we’ve had with every prospect. This data has helped us in many ways. We have used this data to create personalized messages to our prospects. This data has also helped us make our marketing campaigns more targeted. Its performance metrics analysis has even helped us SEO optimize our site better.”

    HubSpot Marketing Analytics Pros & Cons

    Pros:

    • HubSpot CRM integration
    • Advanced reporting for more in-depth insights
    • Customizable dashboards
    • Includes multi-touch revenue attribution

    Cons:

    • May be harder for beginner marketers to navigate the interface

    HubSpot Marketing Analytics is best for established businesses that are scaling fast and have the budget to leverage all of HubSpot’s diverse features and capabilities.

    Looker

    Looker business intelligence software

    Looker is a business intelligence software and big data analytics platform that helps you explore, analyze, and share real-time business analytics easily. It’s part of the Google Cloud Platform, having been acquired by Google in 2019.

    While the user interface is designed similarly to other Google products (e.g., GA4), this tool isn’t as beginner-friendly in comparison. Users should understand the basics of SQL and programming to really leverage its full potential.

    For reporting purposes, some of the main things Looker offers include:

    • Dashboards and data visualization: Looker allows users to create dashboards where they can display a wide range of visualizations, including charts, graphs, and tables. This way, users get a high-level view of key metrics and trends.
    • Drill-down capabilities: Users can click on any part of their report to explore the underlying data in more detail.
    • Real-time reporting: Looker connects directly to your database so it can provide real-time reports.
    • LookML for custom reporting: Looker’s unique modeling language, LookML, allows users to define custom dimensions and measures, which can come in handy if you need tailored reports.

    As for plans and pricing, Looker offers three types of plans – Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition, and Embed Platform. All three come with 10 standard users and 2 developer users. There’s no specific pricing detailed on the website, as users need to talk to the sales department to find a custom solution.  

    Ben McLaughlan of Easy Mode Media is one of our respondents who use Looker. He says that one of his favorite things about the tool is that it “connects with so many different data sources.”

    “The flexibility of the tool’s integrations and the data you can show makes for a useful client-facing dashboard.”

    Looker Pros & Cons

    Pros:

    • Advanced data modeling
    • Real-time reporting
    • Integrates seamlessly with Google data
    • Users can go more in-depth with reporting due to drill-down features

    Cons:

    • Complex, compared to other tools, requires basic SQL and programming skills
    • Some users report performance issues with larger datasets

    Overall, Looker is best for e-commerce and technology companies, but it can also be used for a wider range of industries.

    Zoho Analytics

    Zoho Analytics

    Zoho Analytics (formerly known as Zoho Reports) is a popular self-service business analytics and reporting software that helps users easily create professional dashboards.

    The user-friendly interface allows users to create reports by simply dragging and dropping the fields they need. This makes it easy even for those with little to no technical background to build detailed reports.

    The tool can process large amounts of data and it’s particularly popular for how simple it is to set up cross-functional reports using different sources.

    One of Zoho’s most unique features is the AI-powered assistant, Zia.

    Zia is an AI analytics assistant integrated within Zoho Analytics, and it’s designed to simplify data analysis and reporting by allowing users to interact with their data using natural language. This way, they can get more in-depth insights through AI-driven predictions and recommendations.

    Zoho Analytics includes four pricing plans:

    • Basic Plan starts at €24/mo and is limited to 2 users and 0.5 million rows.
    • Standard Plan starts at €48/mo and is limited to 5 users and 1 million rows.
    • Premium Plan starts at €115/mo and is limited to 15 users and 5 million rows.
    • Enterprise Plan starts at €455/mo and is limited to 50 users and 50 million rows.

    These are the annually billed plans – monthly ones are a bit pricier on a month-to-month basis.

    Joseph Harisson of IT Companies Network talked about what an impact Zoho Analytics had within his organization:

    “Its user-friendly reporting features have given us concise insights into our data. This has allowed our team to quickly spot trends, patterns, and anomalies, which helps us make informed decisions based on up-to-date information. Another great benefit of Zoho Analytics is the ability to create personalized dashboards and reports. This has improved collaboration among our team members since we can easily share these reports with the people, ensuring everyone is on the same page and can contribute to the decision-making process.

    Moreover, Zoho Analytics has streamlined our data analysis by automating data integration from sources. This saves us time. It also ensures that data remains consistent across various departments. In conclusion, Zoho Analytics has greatly enhanced our decision-making process by providing insights fostering collaboration and simplifying data analysis.”

    Zoho Analytics Pros & Cons

    Pros:

    • Simple drag-and-drop interface for creating reports
    • Advanced collaboration features
    • Extensive integration capabilities that allow users to build cross-functional reports
    • Includes an AI-powered assistant, Zia, that helps with data analysis, forecasting, and spotting trends

    Cons:

    • Steep learning curve for beginners
    • The free version is limited when it comes to customization options

    Zoho Analytics is best for enterprise businesses that need advanced features and more detailed cross-functional reports.

    DashThis

    DashThis digitam marketing tool

    DashThis is a digital marketing tool that provides businesses with a platform to create and manage marketing reports and dashboards for a variety of areas.

    The tool comes with several pre-built dashboard templates (e.g., SEO, PPC, social media, and email marketing), which you can customize for specific reporting needs.

    These dashboards are fairly easy to create with the drag-and-drop interface, which also makes DashThis a beginner-friendly option.

    Users can set up reports to update automatically at regular intervals (daily, weekly, monthly) and reduce the time they would otherwise spend on manual data entry.

    DashThis also includes client management features which are especially useful for agencies. To be specific, users can create individual client accounts with customized reports for each one.

    DashThis comes with four pricing plans:

    • Individual Plan starts at $49/mo ($42/mo if paid yearly) and is limited to 3 dashboards.
    • Professional Plan starts at $149/mo ($127/mo if paid yearly) and is limited to 10 dashboards.
    • Business Plan starts at $289/mo ($246/mo if paid yearly) and is limited to 25 dashboards.
    • Standard Plan starts at $449/mo ($382/mo if paid yearly) and is limited to 50 dashboards.

    Erik Norsted of Olive & Company highlighted some of his favorite DashThis features:

    “We value DashThis’s direct platform integrations, data flexibility (e.g., filters, segments, timeframes, etc.), and well-designed visualizations. All of these features are critical for streamlining our reporting workflow and delivering analysis that aligns with our clients’ unique needs, questions, and expectations.”

    DashThis Pros & Cons

    Pros:

    • 50+ pre-built templates available
    • Automated data collection and report generation features
    • Beginner-friendly interface
    • Unlimited users on all pricing plans

    Cons:

    • Limited deep-dive analytics
    • Not suitable for larger organizations and enterprises

    DashThis is best for freelance marketers, agencies, and SMBs who need easy-to-use reporting software with a variety of pre-built templates.

    Microsoft Power BI

    Microsoft Power BI

    Microsoft Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools designed to help organizations analyze and share data insights more efficiently.

    And when it comes to reporting, Power BI offers a comprehensive set of tools and features.

    For starters, users can create highly interactive reports. To be specific, you can interact with the data visualizations through filtering, slicing, and drilling down to view different levels of data granularity.

    Plus, you don’t have to be a coder to create these complex reports – there’s drag-and-drop functionality that makes report building easy for everyone.

    Power BI also offers a ton of different data visualization options. This includes standard visualizations like line, bar, and pie charts, as well as more complex ones like scatter plots, waterfall charts, and heat maps.

    Aside from the built-in visuals, Power BI also offers custom visuals. These can be downloaded from the Power BI Visuals Marketplace, and they’re particularly useful for specialized data representation, where you need more than just the standard visuals.

    Microsoft Power BI offers a free plan with limited features and includes several paid ones:

    • Power BI Pro is priced at $10 per user, per month.
    • Power BI Premium is priced at $20 per user, per month.
    • Microsoft Fabric starts at $4,995 per month for P1 SKU.

    When asked about his favorite Microsoft BI feature, Nick Robinson of Pick and Pull Sell Car said that he “values seamless integration the most. Since I rely on many business tools, I can integrate Microsoft Bi with them.”

    Microsoft Power BI Pros & Cons

    Pros:

    • Seamless integration with Microsoft products
    • Drag-and-drop functionality
    • Advanced data visualization tools
    • Constant updates for new features and capabilities

    Cons:

    • Bulky user interface
    • Not affordable for smaller businesses or agencies

    Microsoft Power BI is best for large businesses and enterprise organizations that need help reporting and analyzing large and complex data sets.

    QuickBooks

    QuickBooks accounting software

    QuickBooks is primarily an accounting software solution that offers on-premises accounting apps as well as cloud-based versions.

    While reporting isn’t its primary function, it does come with a nice set of tools.

    QuickBooks comes with 200+ pre-built templates that you can further customize (add new filters, set up custom fields, etc.) and it includes a variety of financial reports such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements, cash flow reports, and similar.

    For more specific purposes, you can build reports from scratch within the tool and manually set up your key indicators, data points, visualizations, etc.

    QuickBooks comes with a 30-day free trial and includes the following paid plans:

    • Simple Start Plan starts at $15/mo
    • Essentials starts at $30/mo
    • Plus starts at $45/mo
    • Advanced starts at $100/mo

    QuickBooks Pros & Cons

    Pros:

    • One of the most comprehensive reporting software for financial reporting
    • Easy-to-navigate interface
    • Offers specialized reports for simplifying tax preparation
    • Affordable price

    Cons:

    • Doesn’t offer much for other key reports aside from accounting
    • Limited integration options

    QuickBooks is best for small and medium-sized businesses that don’t deal with complex data sets and primarily need reporting features for accounting and financial statements.

    Put Your Reporting on Autopilot with Databox

    Manual reporting is one of the busy manager’s biggest enemies.

    You’re constantly going back and forth between your spreadsheets, collecting data, compiling screenshots, uploading visuals… and it takes forever to build something that the shareholders will both like and understand.

    With Databox Reports, that painstaking, hours-long process can be cut down to just a few minutes.

    We offer an all-in-one dashboard reporting software where you can handle everything from initial analysis and visualization to reporting in one place.

    The interface is highly intuitive, and there are plenty of customization options that help you design the ideal report that looks both sleek and professional in no time.

    You can even use our Data Story slides to minimize the time you would otherwise spend on manually typing a specific analysis for your numbers without sacrificing quality.

    Once your report is ready, you can schedule to have it sent automatically at a set interval and share it with your team members. And no matter when you send it, the report will show numbers in real-time, so you won’t have to worry about your team staying up-to-date.

    So, if you’re finally ready to automate your reporting process and make things easier for both you and your team, sign up for a free trial and start using Databox today. 

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