Research: Annual Business Intelligence Survey
Business Intelligence Survey: Setting Standards, Resetting Priorities
Among the 534 business technology professionals who completed our InformationWeek Analytics/Intelligent Enterprise 2009 Business Intelligence Survey in July, 47% reported that they had standardized on one or a few BI tools deployed throughout the company. In 2007, only 33% of the 500 IT pros we surveyed indicated they had deployed BI tools to a similar degree.
Given this era of software consolidation, the business intelligence megavendors (SAP BusinessObjects, Oracle, IBM and Microsoft) would have you believe they are in the catbird seat. And to a certain extent, logic and our research suggest they’re right. Powerhouse technologies such as Microsoft SharePoint and Oracle database were pervasively deployed across many enterprises even before the great BI consolidation of 2007—the year Hyperion, BusinessObjects and Cognos were purchased. Acquisitions of BI vendors have naturally promoted further consolidation. But that’s not to say that firms are settling on just one vendor or tool set. In fact, technology diversity rules in large and even midsize organizations, so we were careful to qualify our question, asking if firms have standardized on “one or a few tools.” We’ll discuss diversity in more depth later, but suffice it to say that the top trend identified in this report is that enterprises are setting BI standards—even if that means using two or three products.
When multiple tools are selected, the functionality provided by each generally focuses on different aspects or styles of analysis or reporting. For example, until very recently, advanced analytics tools, such as statistical analysis and modeling suites, were supplied by specialist vendors; the leading BI suites, meanwhile, were dedicated to query, analysis and reporting capabilities. That’s now changing, but existing deployments still tend to reflect that divide.
Another key trend revealed in our 2009 survey is that organizations are forging new agendas for BI. Yes, the longstanding challenges of accessing data and developing reports are still there, as is the push to share BI more broadly throughout the enterprise. But there’s growing interest and momentum behind advanced and emerging capabilities such as analytics, embedded BI and search-style querying. In this report, we’ll discuss how the trend toward standardizing while also setting new goals is a sure and healthy sign of BI maturation. We’re mastering the old challenges and looking over the horizon—or to our more innovative peers—to the capabilities of tomorrow.