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Top 5 free or affordable dashboard and SQL reporting tools in 2021

We can see a growing pattern of analysing one’s business data. This trend starts right from the biggest of enterprises to small startups. However, very big businesses could afford any analytic or reporting tools. Whereas SMEs and Startups find it hard to identify the best tool for their requirements which also fits into their budget.

We have analyzed the 5 best free or affordable SQL reporting tools and open source dashboard reporting tools for Startups and SMEs

  • Sprinkle Data
  • Metabase
  • Chartio
  • Redash
  • Mode Analytics

Sprinkle Data

Sprinkle is an all in one no-code data analytics tool. Provides ability to integrate, blend and model data without writing code.

Pricing: Free plan, with paid plans starting from $200-$500

Sprinkle Dashboard

Pros:

  • Does not require data to be loaded into a BI tool. Works directly on the data warehouse.
  • Capable of connecting to a vast set of data sources like MySQL, Kafka, Kinesis, PostgreSQL, Hubspot, MongoDB, etc. See the complete list here Supported Data Sources
  • Different datasets can be joined together using the data modeling interface without coding. Supports semi-structured data.
  • The segmentation feature enables business users to do Exploratory data analysis on their own without depending on the analytics team to build reports.
  • Sprinkle allows users to enable Slack and Email notifications and it also has embedded analytic features, where any users can access the dashboard without accessing the tool.

Cons:

  • Downloading charts in PDF format not supported
  • Currently Git integration is not supported
  • Row level access control available only in higher plans

Metabase

Metabase is an open source graphical interface that helps in creating business intelligence and analytics graphs seamlessly.

Pricing: Starts at $100/month to $300/month business plans, Enterprise edition is tailored for your requirements.

Metabase

Pros:

  • An open-source tool, preferably used by non-technical users as it doesn’t require complex coding.
  • Metabase supports multiple relational and non relational databases as datasources. For example, Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, MongoDB, MySQL, Snowflake, etc. See the full list here Data sources
  • Zero-code required for creating reports, dashboards and visualizations, and for complex queries, SQL can be used
  • With pulses, updates can be sent on specific queries to Slack channel or through Email.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t allow joining of data, metabase works well only with a single data source and struggles when it comes to multiple data sources.
  • Data source integrations are very limited when compared to competitors.
  • Users prefer having API integrations to most third party applications.

Chartio

Chartio is a data exploration solution for all, this cloud based BI tool connects with your data in order to provide business analytics in the form of dashboards and charts.

Pricing: Starts at $400/month and goes upto $900/month. Users can also request a quote for the enterprise version.

Chartio Dashboard

Pros:

  • Chartio is capable of data transformations, data blending and also has data sharing capabilities.
  • The tool is well suited for advanced users as the drag and drop functionality are not as easy when compared to competitors.
  • Chartio supports hundreds of relational and non relational databases. Access the full list here Data sources
  • The tools allow users to combine and compare reports from various sources, say, moosend’s email campaign history can be compared to Kissmetrics’ data.

Cons:

  • The UI is not friendly, and takes a tad bit of time for users to get used.
  • Doesn’t support embedded analytics in the base package.
  • Not the best in class visualization features and the appearance isn’t much appealing.

Redash

Redash is a Business Intelligence tool that runs SQL queries and builds web-based visualization and dashboards as per your requirements.

Pricing: Starts at $49/month and goes up to $450/month.

Redash

Pros:

  • Redash has a vast array of visualizations that users can create and it supports most data sources. Access the complete list here Supported Data Sources.
  • Suitable for advanced users; Any query results can be used as data sources which can be joint with different databases to make advanced reports.
  • The tool has an interactive query editor which shares both the dataset and the query that generated it.
  • With this tool, auto notifications can be enabled, reminders can be set easily and alerts on breaching the preset value.

Cons:

  • Everything needs SQL querying, this makes it hard for the non technical users.
  • Old school data visualization feature and also very limited configurations.
  • Works best when a single SQL data source is used, finds it hard to work when multiple data sources are used.

Mode Analytics

Mode is a collaborative self-served BI tool that works with SQL, R, Python, etc. This tool helps with dashboarding and deriving insights from it.

Pricing: Mode Studio is free whereas Mode Business allows a 14 day trial, both have different sets of options.

Mode Analytics

Pros:

  • Runs on the browser. Simple interface, drag and drop functionality and contains a large number of built-in features.
  • The tool is capable of running complex queries using SQL, Python and R.
  • More than 60 libraries of Python and R are available. Data analysis of Python and R can be done in Mode Notebooks.

Cons:

  • Hard to adapt for business users as it requires at least basic SQL to create even the simplest of charts.
  • As dashboards keep scaling in size, the drag and drop functionality could be tedious.
  • For basic data visualization the options are quite limited. For example, legend color cannot be changed without either re-writing your SQL code or using HTML, same goes for interchanging x/y axis inversion, advanced manipulations have to be done.