5 Top Business Intelligence Tool Vendors According to IDC

Business intelligence dashboarders should immediately read the recently released paper (report dated July 2007 based on 2004-2006 data) written by IDC entitled “Worldwide Business Intelligence Tools 2006 Vendor Share“.

In addition to reviewing the “state of the union” in terms of BI tools and vendors, this excellent report offers some very interesting insight as to the ongoing adoption of business intelligence and dashboards by business users.

As defined by IDC, BI tools such as Dashboards belong to the query/reporting/analysis branch of the business intelligence tools section of the larger family of tools known as performance management tools and applications.

Here is a very interesting view of the taxonomy of business analytics software as seen by IDC:

diagram of idc business analytics software taxonomy 2007


IDC defines the BI tools market as including both stand alone packaged software and embedded business intelligence tools provided by RDBMS software companies.

Business intelligence tools such as query, reporting and analysis tools (including enterprise dashboards) and advanced analytics tools (data mining, statistics) are siblings of analytical spatial information management tools, financial performance and strategy management applications (budgeting, planning, consolidation, profitability management, scorecards), supply chain and services operations analytical applications, CRM applications (sales, customer service, contact center, marketing, website analytics, price optimization), workforce analysis applications and data warehouse platforms (data warehouse management and generation).

Here is a look at the situation report offerred by IDC. They base their study over the market data of the last few years:

IDC study of the bi tool market

How is your business intelligence tool vendor doing? IDC offers a rare survey of the BI vendor landscape by revenue and market share:

BI vendor revenue figures and market share

There is plenty more in the report so be sure to follow that link to read it for yourself.

Here are a few highlights that really caught my attention:

IDC continues to evaluate the BI tools market in the context of what has been
identified as a 15-year market cycle that began in 2005. Historical analysis suggests
that most markets experience a typical s-curve pattern. This pattern begins with early
modest growth, which is followed by accelerated growth and then a mature period
with a slowdown in growth, and it ends with a decline until a new market cycle
resumes. The BI tools market is currently in its third s-curve market cycle and is only
in the third year of the current cycle. Therefore, IDC expects acceleration in the BI tools market starting in 2009.

The Top 5 Business Intelligence Tool Vendors According to IDC:

1- Business Objects

Business Objects continues its reign as the leading BI tools vendor. In 2006, the
company’s software revenue in this market reached $894 million. In 2006, Business
Objects experienced a slight slowdown in its BI tools license revenue growth. After
gaining half a percentage point in share in 2005, the company gave it up in 2006.
However, the latest information on the uptake of its Business Objects XI platform
suggests a pickup in growth in the latter part of 2006 and early 2007. Business
Objects is also making an aggressive push into the midmarket, where it targets
organizations with less than $1 billion in revenue. The company’s partner network is
one of its strongest assets, and this effort, which depends in large part on indirect
sales, is expected to contribute to the growth of Business Objects’ BI tools.

2 – SAS

SAS was again the second-largest BI tools vendor, with $679 million in software
revenue and a continued steady increase in market share to 11%. SAS had the
highest growth rate among the top 3 BI tools vendors and the third-highest growth
rate among the top 10 vendors. SAS still derives more revenue from its advanced
analytics tools, but its effort to revamp and more aggressively market its QRA tools
since 2004 has paid off, with QRA’s share of SAS’ total BI tools revenue increasing
from 37% in 2004 to 44% in 2006. As the leader in the advanced analytics market,
SAS holds 31% of that market segment.

3 – Cognos

Cognos maintained the third position in the BI tools market, with $622 million in
software revenue and a 10% growth rate in 2006. It is also one of only three vendors
with at least a 10% share in the BI tools market. Cognos has pursued a two-pronged
strategy of developing and marketing BI tools and financial performance management
applications, with recent expansion into other related performance management
markets such as workforce analytics. Nevertheless, BI tools remain Cognos’ largest
product line. In 2006, Cognos released several enhancements to its core BI platform.

4 – Microsoft

Microsoft had another strong year in the BI tools market, with the highest growth rate
(28%) among the top 10 vendors. IDC’s revenue allocation for Microsoft in this market
differs somewhat from other vendors in that its BI tools revenue is not only made up
of standalone software that the company acquired with its 2006 purchase of
ProClarity Software but also includes what IDC calls embedded BI tools that are
bundled with Microsoft SQL Server. These database-embedded tools include SQL
Server Analysis Services and Reporting Services. As part of its broader business
analytics offerings, Microsoft also includes SQL Server Integration Services within
SQL Server. Its other related tools that the company positions within the business
analytics stack include Microsoft Excel, with specific Excel 2007 features for BI, and
Performance Point Server, a set of performance management applications to be
released in the second half of 2007.

Microsoft’s growth in the BI tools market can be attributed to focused sales and
marketing efforts in recent years, accompanied by both internal R&D and
acquisitions. While, in the past, Microsoft considered BI to be functionality that helps
to sell databases and enhance its partners’ more extensive BI capabilities, the
company has since identified BI as a market worth pursuing directly.

5 – Hyperion

Hyperion maintained its fifth position in the market, with a 5.2% market share and a
12.3% growth rate. Since releasing its latest BI platform, which incorporates the best
of the Hyperion and former Brio components (in addition to certain new performance
enhancements), the company has improved its standing in the BI tools market.
Hyperion’s other major product line includes financial performance and strategy
management applications, where company has been the market leader for years.
In March 2007, Oracle announced its plans to acquire Hyperion. IDC sees the event
as a positive development for both Oracle and former Hyperion clients.

For more information, please see directly the IDC paper entitled “Worldwide Business Intelligence Tools 2006 Vendor Share“.

Note: Independent software vendors often look to a dashboard oem solution as quick answer to secure KPI reporting from their applications. They can eliminate the time and risk of developing a dashboard enterprise software solution by embedding desktop dashboard software designed to their specifications by a company such as Klipfolio. That enables them to use the new desktop dashboard software approach.

Tags: BI Tool Vendor Rankings by IDC, business intelligence software vendors ratings


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