Business Intelligence apps: 10 you have to download

Opinion Jane McCallion Aug 2, 2013

Read on to discover the top Business Intelligence apps around


1) Desk.com

Desk.com wraps up helpdesk, social CRM and customer support into a single handy app. All customer service conversations are displayed on one desktop, where they can be sorted, prioritised and handled by your own team.

Desk.com is integrated with social media, and responses can be delivered through Twitter, Facebook, email, chat or a phone call as appropriate.

Pricing starts from $3 per month for up to three agents with only basic support tools (billed annually), or $29 per month per agent for a complete package for unlimited agents (also billed annually).

2) Marketo
Marketo is a marketing automation and sales app for businesses of all sizes, from small businesses just starting out to long-established multinationals.

It has a range of tools, including email marketing and event marketing, landing pages and forms and lead scoring. It also features instant CRM integration, reporting and analytics and sales insights.

Pricing starts from $1,195 per month for an unlimited number of users. A free trial is available and discounts are offered for non-profit organisations.

3) Insightly
Insightly is a CRM and project management app aimed at small businesses. It can be used to manage customer transactions, interactions, leads, proposals, opportunities and projects from any device or browser.

It also features integration with Google Apps, including Gmail, Calendar and Docs.

Insightly is offered on a freemium and subscription basis. Up to three users, 200MB of storage and 2,500 contacts in the app is free. Subscriptions start from $29 per month.

4) Salesforce
One of the best-known cloud apps out there, Salesforce is a CRM system that includes integration with social media and email.

It also offers mobile access, so users can stay connected while they’re out and about.

Additionally, Salesforce includes analytics, its own social platform for use within the business – Chatter – and forecasting and offers customers the ability to build their own custom apps.

Pricing starts from $5 per user per month and a free trial is also available.

5) Clarizen
Clarizen’s project and work management app provides scheduling, tracking and collaboration functionality to businesses of all sizes.

Users can establish project schedules, track budgets, issues and milestones, and set up a project hierarchy, among other tasks.

The app also features integration with Salesforce has a mobile app for iPhone and Android to keep users up to date while they are on the go.

Pricing starts from $24.95 per user per month. Email only users are free. A free trial is also available.

6) FreeAgent
FreeAgent’s bookkeeping and accounting app is aimed particularly at small businesses and freelancers.

The app allows users to manage their expenses and invoices, automatically chase late payments, import bank statements, submit proposals and view real-time cash flow. They can also create invoices within the application and their customers can pay online straight from the emailed invoice using PayPal of GoCardless.

The app can also be used to forecast Income Tax and Corporation Tax and VAT registered users can use the app to pay VAT to HMRC.

Pricing starts from £15 per month.

7) TribeHR
This HR and workforce management app allows users to carry out most HR functions online, including vacation planning, job postings, anonymous microfeedback, timesheets and goal setting.

Tribe HR simplifies and automates much of the day-to-day, repetitive tasks involved in HR and is particularly suited to SMBs, non-profits and other organisations with low workforce numbers (5-500).

The app is accessible via internet browser, mobile internet browser or Android or iPhone apps.

Pricing starts from $2 per employee per month. A free trial is available.

8) Zendesk
Zendesk is a customer service app for businesses of all sizes, from SMBs through to enterprise.

The app gives users the ability to flexibly manage tickets while giving managers insight through reporting and advanced analytics. It also allows group rules and macros to be established, as well as private and public forums for reporting and discussing issues.

Customer enquiries can be dealt with via email, phone, chat, social media or the web – whichever is most suitable.

Zendesk also features over 100 out-of-the-box integrations with other business software, including Salesforce, Google Apps, Atlassian, FreshBooks and WordPress.

Pricing starts from $20 per year for up to three agents.

9) Freshdesk
Freshdesk is a helpdesk and social customer support app that brings together all customer interactions into one tool.

The app also has automation features, such as automatically converting emails into support tickets and scenario automations.

Customer service operatives can choose how to best respond to enquiries, including Facebook and Twitter.

For their part, customers can also head online to check the status of their support tickets and there is also the option to set up a community portal, where customers can share ideas, ask questions and vote on each others’ ideas.

Pricing starts from $15 per agent per month, with the first three agents free.

10) Mavenlink
This online collaboration and professional services automation app helps professional services providers to more easily manage projects from start to finish.

Through its collaboration functionality, Mavenlink allows these providers and their clients to securely communicate, share documents and manage tasks.

Time tracking, expense reporting, and invoicing and online payments are all automated via the app’s professional services automation capabilities.

Finally, its project tracker simplifies and speeds up management, with project-orientated to-do lists, events, messages and comments being integrated into users’ existing email systems from day one.

Mavenlink also features integration with Google Apps and Quickbooks.

The app operates a freemium model, with a basic plan available free. Paid subscriptions for premium plans start from $19 and a free trial is also available.

Jane McCallion