Top BI tools for Mainframes

Without BI, organisations will not be able to dominate with data-driven decision-making but focus on experiences, intuition, and gut feelings.

Business intelligence (BI) tools are widely used today and help businesses to question their data. They can guide a company to make better decisions by current and historical data which can be used for compliance and hiring efforts. BI analyses large amounts of data, which allows executives, managers, and workers to make important business decisions.

BI mainframe tools and their value 

BI mainframe tools play an important role in helping organisations manage their critical business intelligence procedures. This is because mainframes are designed to provide 99.99% availability, led by hardware and software upgrades without application outages. Meanwhile, it also allows applications to access all data. As a result, mainframe tools are sought after due to their high scalability.

This is why big companies rely on it for banking transactions, mutual fund deposits, payroll processing, flight reservations, and telephone billing transactions. In addition, BI mainframe tools have proven to be the best choice for achieving ultra-high availability and scalability, making the mainframe’s support of BI operations alluring.

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While dealing with decisions based on data-driven analytics, the data is stored in IMS hierarchical structures, COBOL copybooks, VSAM files, and DB2 tables in the mainframe. After storing this data, the CPU extracts, transforms, and moves it to a more purpose-built non-mainframe analytics platform. The records and data stored in the mainframe are usually the most important data for any company.

Today, companies want to use mainframe data strategically and monetise its hidden value. However, it is still difficult to fully accomplish it due to technological limits and the pricing policies of vendors. It has made moving data off the mainframe cost-prohibitive. The methods of mainframe data movement known as “extract, transform, and load” (ETL) requires rigorous computing power. It interferes with other critical procedures like transaction processing, backup, and scheduled batch jobs. In addition, the mainframe software vendors charge in “MSUs” (CPU processing loads) because all traditional data movement depends on CPU processing.

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But, advancement in technology can eliminate this overbearing issue. Now, data is extracted from the mainframe and loaded to a cloud. Although it is loaded on the cloud, it can be processed into any standard format, churned with other data and analysed as frequently as required. This method eradicates the high costs and entirely skips through high CPU usage (avoiding MSU charges). Instead, it wields the mainframe’s built-in zIIP engines (a subsidiary processing system) and does not come under the MSU billing system.

As more companies move towards BI mainframe systems, the global mainframe market will reach $2.90 billion by 2025, according to a report by Allied Market Research. 

Top BI tools in 2022

Netsuite Suite Analytics

It is an easy-to-use BI tool that gives real-time visibility into its operational and financial performance. It also helps find trends and deliver insights. It can be used to streamline reporting and refine communications. The business performance data can be incorporated on dashboards and KPIs. Finally, it can help deliver information to decision-makers without depending on IT.

Zoho Analytics

A self-service BI analytics platform, it allows users to create dashboards and visually analyse any data. It has an AI-powered assistant which allows users to interact. Zoho offers a variety of visualisation options – charts, pivot tables, summary views, KPI widgets, and custom themed dashboards.


It is a suite of software tools to use the value of enterprise data by continuously monitoring and validating quality. It can automate testing for report and analysis development. BiG EVAL can do autopilot testing to develop analytical data models, datamarts, and data warehouses. Therefore, it can abstract any data from RDBMS, APIs, Flatfiles, Business applications cloud or on-premises. 


SAP’s integrated business intelligence software is for enterprise-level applications in open client and server systems. It is credited for providing highly flexible and the most transparent business solutions. The applications produced with SAP can be integrated with any system and follows a modular abstraction for easy setup and space utilisation.

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