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Gartner Business Intelligence Summit Reveals Changing, Growing BI Market: Page 2

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Posted May 6, 2011 By Drew Robb     Feedback
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Gartner analyst Rita Sallam delved into more detail on BI trends. She is bullish about the market, noting that 2010 was the first year that business intelligence revenue exceeded $10 billion and was one of the rare areas of software that continued to grow throughout the recession. Last year, sales soared by 13.4%.

"If information is the oil of the 21st century, then BI is its refinery and its biggest opportunity," said Sallam. "BI has remained one of the CIO's top priorities for the past five years."

Within that growth, however, there is plenty of change going on. In 2009, most money went to building BI platforms based on the tools of such companies as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, IBM and SAS. In 2010, applications rebounded and grew more than the platform side. Sallam said this highlights a focus on advanced analytics and out-of-the box solutions. She also expects BI services to grow by 3X in the coming years.

Another factor behind the platform decline, she added, might have been customer discontent. As the financial picture worsened a couple of years ago, BI vendors such as Actuate and SAP made changes in maintenance that may have caused some discontent with customers. That may have boosted revenue in the short term, but not in the long run. 2010, on the other hand, was characterized by a wave of new releases such as Oracle 11G and IBM Cognos 10. There also appears to be more vendor independence being demonstrated by customers.

On the one hand, Sallam said, many users are standardizing on reporting with the big stack vendors, but on the other side of the coin, business users are demanding easier to use tools. In particular, they are buying flexible data discovery tools to model their own data, as well as mobile interactive tools.

"Those categories of tools are doing well," said Sallam.

MicroStrategy, she said, grew in the double digits due to it mobile dashboards. QlikTech, too, moved into the leaders portion of Gartner's BI Magic Quadrant (MQ) due to its nimble data discovery technology. Its IPO, one of the first in BI for several years, was a big success, she said.

Shifting usage patterns are another trend. Reporting and ad hoc querying may be two of the more common usages of BI, but both are declining, according to Gartner surveys. In contrast, dashboards and interactive visualization are rising rapidly.

"North America grew almost as fast as emerging markets in the past year," said Sallam. "Overall, we expect the market to increase by 11% to 15% annually over the next few years."

One problem for BI in general, though, is low penetration rates. According to Gartner, penetration has been pegged below 30 percent for several years, as only about 28 percent of possible BI users actually access the system. The reason behind this is that they find it too difficult and too time consuming. But younger users arriving on the scene are bringing about a marked shift. They expect their analytics to work just like a Google search. That's why ease of use has emerged as the top buying criterion for the first time. Companies such as Targit, Tableau, Tibco Spotfire, QlikTech, Kxen, Board and LogiXML have emerged to fill this need.

"Purchases by business units are increasing and they will control at least 40% of total BI budgets by 2014," said Sallam. "They want newer and better BI with rapid data discovery and simplicity."

 

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