TEC 2013 Market Survey Report: What Organizations Want in Business Intelligence (BI) Software

This report gives an overview of current considerations for organizations seeking to purchase a business intelligence (BI) software solution. Based on aggregate data collected from more than 9,000 BI software comparisons performed using Technology Evaluation Centers’ (TEC’s) TEC Advisor software selection application during 2012, the report details what TEC data reveals about your peers' requirements for BI solutions, including functionalities, delivery models and access, customization and integration, server and database platforms, and budgeting.

Table of Contents

About this Report 
Why BI Software? 
Characteristics of BI Software Most Frequently Sought by Potential Clients
Peer Data: Frequency of Functionality Sought
Peer Data: Planned Purchasing Budgets for BI Solutions
Peer Data: Customization, Integration, and Standards
Peer Data: Server Platforms
Peer Data: Database Platforms

About this Report

This report is based on aggregate data collected from over 9,000 business intelligence (BI) software comparisons performed using Technology Evaluation Centers’ TEC Advisor software selection application. TEC Advisor contains detailed information about product capabilities for a wide variety of enterprise software solutions, including BI solutions.

Using TEC Advisor, business decision makers can define their companies’ high-level BI software requirements in order to identify a working list of solutions to evaluate in depth. They can then compare how, and how well, different solutions support their requirements.

The Value of Peer Assessment

Although each organization has its own unique BI software requirements, it’s useful to consider what other companies are seeking in terms of features, pricing, and specific technical and methodological considerations.

Studying what your peers and competitors are looking for in a BI solution can help you develop a good understanding of what BI software vendors offer, what other companies have identified as important requirements, and what might be a good fit for your own organization.

Start Your Own BI Selection Project with TEC Advisor

You can use TEC Advisor to perform your own in-depth BI selection project. Using TEC Advisor you can see how well over 20 BI solutions address your company’s unique business needs. 

To start using TEC Advisor project, visit this link.

Why BI Software?

Data is among a company’s most important assets, and like any other asset of an organization it needs to be taken care of and utilized in the best way possible. Data can lead to information, information can lead to decision-making, and decisions can lead to action; thus, data utilized in the best possible way within this cycle can improve all subsequent steps of the cycle: better information leads to better decisions, and better decisions lead to effective and highly productive actions. Business intelligence and business analytics (BA) applications aim to accomplish these tasks, and due to the solutions’ evolution and improvement over time, these applications’ adoption within many organizations has increased. 

Nowadays it is infrequent or rare to find organizations that are not familiar with terms such as business intelligence and analytics. These disciplines are now part of the common business language and their utilization is becoming increasingly mainstream within the corporate culture of most organizations.

An increasing number of organizations of all sizes and shapes are now incorporating business intelligence and business analytics solutions into their software stacks and infrastructures. And a large number of software providers keep designing and developing new BI applications that apply different approaches, methodologies, and technical designs to meet a wide variety of business needs. The BI scene is increasingly being filled with a very diverse number of BI offerings.

By knowing these facts, companies want to know what is available in the market but also of importance is knowing what their peers are looking for and selecting when it comes to business intelligence solutions. For example, what are the budgets and platforms of these companies, and more important, what are the functional features they are looking to acquire from a BI application?

TEC’s 2013 BI Market Survey Report takes a dive into the data coming from a large set of BI software evaluation projects to shed light on what our community is looking for with a BI solution, how much they are looking to spend on such a solution, and what the major BI and analytics requirements of this user community are. We hope that presenting our BI user data in such a format will provide an objective view on what users are looking for when seeking a BI solution.  

Characteristics of BI Software Most Frequently Sought by Potential Clients

The information gathered from more than 9,000 BI comparison projects that took place within TEC’s user community in 2012 allowed TEC to gather specific data regarding what our audience is looking for when evaluating business intelligence solutions.

Some of the most interesting results reveal that users and organizations are increasingly looking into making use of predictive analytics and data mining capabilities. Data mining was ranked as the top desired BI functionality in 2012, showing that organizations are seeking predictive capabilities to be able to anticipate change and prepare for potential results of change. This is confirmed by the jump in ranking of other predictive functionality features, such as forecasting, appearing in 13th position (in 2011, forecasting didn’t make it to the top 20 list of most-needed functionalities), and predictive analytics, which jumped from 12th (2011) to 7th position (2012).

These results reveal that many organizations are trying to be less reactive and increasingly able to anticipate future events, and looking to be more efficient and optimal when planning, and thus, perform better not just via establishing proper key performance indicators (KPI) but also by anticipating outcomes better and applying timely changes promptly if needed.
Of course, it is necessary to consider external influences (such as huge vendor marketing campaigns promoting data mining and predictive applications), but there is no doubt that, based on TEC’s internal experience with software evaluation cases, data mining and predictive analytics are increasingly playing a major role when it comes to choosing BI applications.

Another confirmation that organizations are looking to improve performance and achieve effective optimization via the ability to anticipate and/or predict is end users’ high ranking of important functionality such as scorecards, reporting, historical data analysis, and strong data management capabilities such as data warehouse and general data management functionality.

In summary, TEC’s data reveal that users are looking for a solid BI framework enhanced by a rich set of capabilities such as data mining, information delivery (data visualization and reporting), strong data management functions (data warehousing, aggregation, quality, and integration), and industry vertical analytics (especially for marketing and customer analysis). 

Influenced by important mainstream technology trends such as big data and the cloud, organizations appear to be taking steps to evolve their BI and analytics solutions further in order to gain better access to data.

A large segment of the SMB market, medium-sized companies, continues to show extensive interest in deploying BI technologies, spurring on the BI software industry for innovation and price competitiveness.

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