The Success Factors acquisition of YouCalc shows the shift that is happening in the enterprise workspace. It's not just the analyst who uses business intelligence applications. More so, it's the every day employee who needs way to access information, make sense of it and see it in a visualized manner.

It's almost as if the spreadsheet is getting pushed to the background. It's complexities are being broken down into easy-to-read charts and tables that provide insights and tell a story about the business.

The shift is leading to a boom in SaaS-based business intelligence applications such as YouCalc, which allows companies to important data from third-party applications and create reports. Success Factors will use YouCalc for what it calls "Calculator in the Cloud." Customers will use third party data from services like and integrate it with data from the Success Factors platform.

SaaS-based business intelligence services are reaching a wider audience. But also, the services provide capabilities that offer value to a more advanced community.

The other dynamic is cost. It often costs more than six-figures to install data warehouses on-premise. SaaS based services provide business intelligence that smaller companies may now afford.

Here are five services that may merit further exploration.


Birst recently launched smartphone apps for the iPhone, Android and RIM Blackberry devices. The move demonstrates the company focus on making business intelligence accessible to most business users.


Indicee provides the ability to create mashup environments for users. Indicee promotes the ability for people to make reports faster without having to cut and paste information, deal with software they do not really understand or wait in line for an expert to do the heavy lifting. It handles multiple types of data and integrates with leading ERP applications.


GoodData is similar to YouCalc, providing the capability to do analytics on applications such as, Netsuite and Zendesk. It uses the term "collaborative analytics," to describe its service. It essentially has features for creating reports that analyze data from business apps but also third-party consumer services such as Facebook.


Kognitio provides a data warehouse service that allows customers to run large-scale data analytics projects on a pay-per-use basis.

Pivot Link

PivotLink, like a number of provider, uses in-memory analytics to analyze big data. The goal is to provide business intelligence capabilities to business users.