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The Top Ten Trends in Business Intelligence: Page 2

By Drew Robb     Feedback
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Business Intelligence Trends

6. Fast Food BI: BI used to be a fine dining experience. But all the indications are that it is about to move into the fast food category — at least for some users.

"On-demand offerings with utility-based licensing have piqued the interest of a growing number of consumers," said Gareth Doherty, an analyst at InfoTech Research. "The growing interest in the BI market for lower-cost solutions has led to an increase in software-as-a-service BI offerings, even among the mega-vendors" such as IBM Cognos, SAP Business Objects, SAS and Oracle Hyperion.

7. BI for the Masses: Most major vendors are preaching the virtues of wider BI deployments at the department level. According to Doherty, this is primarily a marketing move aimed at gaining a greater footprint and larger licensing volumes within organizations. But there are benefits on the customer side. The promise of self-service BI is to lower dependence on IT and reduce IT-related support and maintenance costs by creating a self-sufficient user base.

"Vendors have developed more user-friendly interfaces and better office integration to aid in the push for departmental BI," Doherty said. "Vendors successful at departmental deployments, like QlikTech's QlikView, with its rich visual data discovery, are facing stiffer competition."

8. The Rise of the Little Guy: Over the last couple of years, many independent BI vendors have been gobbled up by the bigger fish. In some cases, this dead-ended innovation. However, the remaining independents continue to add new twists to the BI development pathway.

"Independent vendors will continue to grow and innovate by bringing BI to the masses through rich interactive data visualizations," said Nobby Akiha, senior vice president of marketing at open source BI vendor Actuate. "Vendors that best provide these types of services and BI for everyone will begin to take a stronghold in the BI market."

Surprisingly, some of the big names acknowledge this trend.

"Small vendors will continue to emerge to address specific niche BI needs such as alternative visualization paradigms, or specific decisioning engines and algorithms to augment and integrate within the ecosystem of the established platform vendors," said Fryman.

9. The Big Get Bigger: According to Gartner analyst Dan Sommer, the top five vendors now account for 71 percent of the pie. SAP led with 22 percent, followed by Oracle, SAS Institute, IBM and Microsoft. As more acquisitions take place, expect more than 80 percent of the market to reside in the hands of the few. But there is hope.

"While IT is trying to rationalize around one or a few vendors, the market for self-service BI is wide open," said Sommer.

10. Visualize It: Instead of raw data, statistics or predictions, BI is beginning to get a lot more visual — and that is leading to some culture shock. Many organizations face the quandary of getting long-time spreadsheet users to try new tools such as visualization in 2-D and 3-D, which goes way beyond what they are used to accomplishing in Microsoft Office.

"The addition of visualization capabilities has been primarily about improving the 'story around the insight' but also seeing new motivation to expand the use of BI through these very graphic means to understand data," said Matthew Mikell, a BI strategist at SAS.


This article was originally published on October 9, 2010
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