Choose a category and discover the best software tools for your business. See the results of thousands of hours of research and testing.
As a small or enterprise business, you are constantly searching for the best software tools to make work easier and simplify tasks. The appropriate solutions help you get the most out of day-to-day work by making processes more efficient. But selecting the best software for your business isn’t easy, and you can’t afford trial and error, especially if the time or budget is tight.
The software development industry provides dozens of tools for every category and niche. At first, that seems like a blessing since you have various choices. But it’s also a real challenge for anyone who decides to get their hands on selecting the best software for a specific job.
How do you tell which platform is the perfect fit for your needs? Based on subjective online reviews and advertisements? Or by trying to go through websites of software providers who all say the same things?
That’s where Softailed comes in. We conduct extensive research on all top business software companies across all geographies and niches to consider the significant similarities and critical differences of each software. The results are purely data-driven rankings of software companies backed by the knowledge of industry experts and market research. Our studies aim at helping you make a rational decision on the best software for your business needs.
What are the Best Picks?
Our Best Picks are a selection of the top 10 software tools, ranked from best to least good, to help you with your decision-making.
The lists with the best software you see on the pages are just a fraction of the total providers we have looked at. This approach guarantees that we only feature the best solutions on the market that we think are worth recommending.
It’s essential to recognize that the Best Picks represent the overall winners of each software category, which translates to the best value and, therefore, the most well-rounded offers. To get to this point, we create a custom set of criteria that we develop individually for each software category. Every criterion has a different weight on the overall ranking, depending on its importance. However, we also break down the best software tools based on each criterion, which we call the "sub-best picks". So next to the overall best picks, you will also be able to see who performs best in terms of criteria such as Ease of Use, Features, Price, etc. Each criterion is again broken down into different attributes with weights to create a ranking for each criterion separately.
Don’t worry, there is no hidden advertising involved. The software rankings are derived from analyzing tons of data, consulting with thought-leading experts, and summarizing thousands of user data.
We guarantee maximum objectivity without favoring providers in any way. Here you can find out more about our guidelines.
How do we create the Best Picks?
Our ultimate goal is to perform the most detailed competitive software analyses backed by the latest market insights, latest industry trends, and expert knowledge. After that, we develop custom ranking systems based on weighted criteria to list the best software tools with a selected set of information to help you decide.
Our process to create the Best Picks is as follows.
1. Market Research
Market research is the first step in creating a ranking of software companies. We invest primarily in time and resources to understand the market. It starts with finding the right experts within the software niche and consulting with companies that are either active users or need specific software. We use a wide range of people and customer groups to collect as much data as possible globally. We do this to identify the needs of each segment and pain points.
Based on these findings, we define software solutions' importance and real value for businesses. Our industry experts help to verify this data by carefully evaluating each part of the research.
2. Criteria & Tests Creation
We continue by finding and documenting the similarities between software providers to create a foundation for comparison. Firstly, we filter the current market leaders and expand the list of providers gradually to never slip in terms of adding providers that do not belong in the market.
Based on the core findings, our specialists determine the categorization approach and highlight points that belong to the same area, like features. By doing so, we structure the data and get an extensive list of providers and categorized attributes.
Once all software providers have entered the research and the base is set for them, we start developing our comparison criteria. Again, we use our market research and match our categorized attributes accordingly.
We further evaluate how specific attributes can be best measured among all providers and, if needed, develop standardized tests to be performed.
For instance, we can accurately measure a value like “storage” in GB.
However, subjective parameters like “ease of use” could only be taken from actual user data as there would be no clear base metric for comparison. Thus, it’s sometimes necessary to work out a standardized test to evaluate the top software tools for specific criteria. In some cases, we also use a hybrid method, using extensive user data and complementing it with a standardized test. In other words, part of the “ease of use” ranking could come from comprehensive customer data (if a sufficient size is available), and another part of the score can come from our standardized test. How we proceed is individually determined on a case-by-case basis.
After creating the criteria with their attributes, it’s time to fill the database.
3. Data Collection & Testing
We gather data directly from the providers, collect every bit of information on their websites, and reach out to them to learn more about their products and services. Reaching out is a time-consuming yet powerful way to get all the data we need for our database. It further helps us to evaluate the level of support, as we can measure things like their response time, the quality of their answers, etc., right with it.
This brings us to the next point: executing tests and evaluating the results. While it is sometimes hard to assess subjective parts, we always try to go the extra mile by making things as objective as possible through our custom tests. They provide the most accurate information possible and undergo exceptional quality control to support our overall research.
4. Cheese Hole Procedure
To fill the holes, we use our self-developed cheese hole procedure, which describes multiple data collection and testing rounds to fill blank fields in our database. We do so as providers often use different wording for the same features, which is only visible if going through the services multiple times.
This process identifies and closes significant gaps by deleting entire attributes if our experts see their relevance is out of scope or if only a few providers have a specific feature. In the latter case, we note this for the respective providers and include it later in the pros or cons and the ranking.
5. Ranking System Development
At this stage, we have an incredibly comprehensive database that includes every little detail about the business software tools of a given category.
To form an accurate ranking system from this data, we use our market research from step one and consult our experts to weigh each attribute to the whole criterion. Doing so ensures that vital parameters have more power in our software rankings than less important ones. In the next step, we do the same for the criteria concerning the overall ranking score.
Here is the procedure:
- Development of custom scales to measure each attribute (e.g., if storage in GB is an attribute of a criterion, we could evaluate how much GB represents 10 points and how much reflects 1 point. However, if the storage has a significant dependency on the price, then we may use a scale such as “GB” divided by “price” instead - it all comes down to what makes the most sense in the whole equation)
- Development of mathematical functions to calculate a score for each criterion based on the respective attributes with their weights
- Development of the overall score, including the weight of each criterion
- Transforming the scores into rankings from best to worst
6. Quality Assurance
Now that we have our software rankings with the overall best list and the ones for the respective criteria, it is time to recheck everything for possible errors.
Things we do to ensure everything is correct:
- Checking if the numbers are right
- Checking if the weights are correct
- Checking if the functions run smoothly without any bugs
- Validating the consistency of our data with our research
- Reviewing and verifying the results with our industry experts
After everything is checked and verified, we create a detailed report about our analysis so that our content writers can give you the results in simple words.
And that’s what you see on our best picks: summarized lists of our detailed studies with the best software providers at a glance.
Start exploring our Best Picks
Choosing the right software solution for your business requires solid technical knowledge and extensive research. It can become confusing and stressful, but as you can see, we’ve covered you with our passion for solving mysteries in the software jungle.
Discover our Best Picks categories for the best startup and enterprise business software.
If you have already chosen a general direction of thought, you can compare specific providers side by side with the help of our Comparison Tool.
If you want to skip the fuss of digging into technical specifications and just seek reliable recommendations based on your unique business requirements, check out the Finder Tool to get our recommendations.
What do the Best Picks tell me?
How can a provider be scored best for multiple criteria?
How accurate is the data?
How are different pricing plans taken into account?