Business Intelligence Solutions Market Trends

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Business Intelligence Solutions
Market Trends

by Rochelle Shaw

Docid: 00017785

Publication Date: 2205

Report Type: MARKET


Business intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process for analyzing
enterprise data and presenting actionable information or actionable
intelligence to executives and other enterprise end users for the purpose
of facilitating informed business decisions. The leading providers of
business intelligence solutions include IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, SAS,
and Tableau.

Report Contents:

Executive Summary

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Business intelligence (BI is a technology-driven process for analyzing
enterprise data and presenting actionable information (or “actionable
intelligence”) to executives and other enterprise end users for the
purpose of facilitating informed business decisions.1

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Information is the currency of modern commerce – a condition enabled over
the past thirty years by:

  • The establishment of the public Internet which opened the information
  • The emergence of new storage technologies that allowed for the
    creation of data warehouses and other large-scale repositories; and
  • The development of massively parallel processing which matched data
    volume with data processing speed.

These landmarks in information technology – supplemented by more recent
advances like mobile computing, cloud computing, edge computing, the
Internet of Things (IoT), and, of course, artificial intelligence or
machine learning – have contributed to an environment where enterprise
success is largely defined by the ability of enterprise personnel to:

  1. Gather large quantities of raw data or information (processed data);
  2. Interpret that data or information in ways that reveal new insights into
    enterprise operations or enterprise business opportunities.

Business intelligence is the discipline – and a business intelligence
solution is the engine – for gaining business knowledge and guiding
business planning.

Among the leading providers of business intelligence solutions are:

  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Oracle
  • SAP
  • SAS
  • Tableau

Market Dynamics

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BI Market

According to Verified Market Research, the global business intelligence
(BI) software market was valued at $18.33 billion in 2020, and is
projected to reach $35.18 billion by 2028, expanding at a compound annual
growth rate (CAGR) of 8.45 percent from 2021 to 2028.

VMR attributes the growth to applications, many in the retail sector,
aimed at improving customer satisfaction and, thus, enhancing customer

The factors tending to retard BI growth involve the real or perceived
costs of software acquisition, licensing, and installation.

Cloud-Based Solutions

Not surprisingly, the widescale adoption of remote and hybrid work,
fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, has prompted many, if not most,
enterprises to implement – or migrate to – a cloud-based or SaaS BI

Data Visualization

The old adage about a picture being worth a thousand words is
particularly true in the BI space. As analyst Ritinder Kaur
observes, “Storytelling and intuitive visuals are engaging ways to help
clients understand critical insights. Data visualization turns
business information into graphics and charts that users find easier to
understand than blocks of text and numbers. Data storytelling puts
data into context by building a narrative around critical metrics, whether
through dashboards, interactive reports or beautiful visuals. Dashboard software is evolving from simple [key performance indicator
(KPI)] monitoring to in-depth data analysis through interactivity and
augmented analytics.”2

Data Governance

Another present-day influence on the BI industry is data
governance. According to Ms. Kaur, “Data governance ensures the
quality of business assets through role-based access, authentication
protocols, and auditing. When data is accurate, unique, and
up-to-date, users trust the insights are reliable, boosting revenue and

Information Security

Inextricably related to data governance is information security,
protecting the security and privacy of enterprise data or
information by:

  • Installing anti-virus applications,
  • Erecting network firewalls,
  • Practicing intrusion prevention, and
  • Achieving data loss prevention.

Mobile BI

Mobile BI, or phone-based BI apps, are becoming more popular because:

  1. The smartphone is rapidly replacing the laptop as the preferred
    instrument for business transactions; and
  2. The smartphone permits BI analysts to promptly respond to key
    performance indicator (KPI) alerts, thus reacting to business-impacting
    events as they occur.4

Market Leaders

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Prominent players in the business intelligence market space include IBM,
Microsoft, Oracle, SAP SE, SAS Institute, and Tableau Software.5

IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson

IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson takes BI a step further with AI
capabilities (like machine learning) that not only present an accurate,
trusted, and complete picture of a business, but forecast what’s coming in
the future, predict outcomes, and explain why they may happen. The
solution offers data visualizations and predictive analytics, among other

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and
connectors that work together to turn unrelated sources of data into
coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. The data may
be an Excel spreadsheet, or a collection of cloud-based and on-premises
hybrid data warehouses. Power BI lets clients easily connect to their data
sources, visualize and discover what’s important, and share that with
anyone or everyone they want.

Oracle Analytics Cloud

Oracle Analytics Cloud is a scalable and secure public cloud service that
provides a full set of capabilities to explore and perform collaborative
analytics. Large organizations and small teams can share data more simply,
without the need to manage or consolidate multiple versions of
spreadsheets, and quickly perform ad hoc analysis of the spreadsheet data.

SAS Enterprise Guide

SAS Enterprise Guide is a powerful Microsoft Windows .NET client
application that provides a guided mechanism to exploit the power of SAS
9, an integrated software suite for advanced analytics, business
intelligence, data management, and predictive analytics. SAS 9 can be
invoked through both a graphical interface and the SAS programming

SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics Cloud delivers insights on accumulated history, the present
situation, and forward-facing trends to all decision-makers, revealing the
next steps toward adding optimal business value. The solution combines the
SAP business intelligence (BI) system with enterprise planning.
Importantly, clients gain the power of artificial intelligence, machine
learning technology, and predictive analytics.

Tableau Desktop

According to analyst Samuel Greengard, “Tableau has emerged as a leader
in BI and analytics with a framework that supports rich visualizations and
storytelling. It offers appealing and highly customizable dashboards, and
it can accommodate huge data sets. Tableau Desktop connects to hundreds of
data sources, both on-premises and in the cloud. It includes drag-and-drop
functionality along with support for AI and ML.”6

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Past Tense to Future Tense

As analyst Kathy Leake points out, today’s BI practitioners are looking
more to the future than the past. “Much of the modern business
intelligence landscape is focused on what happened in the past. The system
takes data from the last quarter, past year or whenever, and it will tell
you what happened. Past-tense analysis can be useful, but it is no longer
Forward-thinking companies need BI systems that can answer why
something happened, make suggestions about what to do, and predict what
may happen in the future


“If you are going to benefit from these types of insights, you need BI
systems that can do more than just crunch numbers. This is one of the
reasons why experts from Gartner and elsewhere think so many businesses
are looking to augmented analytics as a solution for business
intelligence. BI platforms that use augmented analytics can take data from
several sources, identify trends and connect the dots to reveal causation.
Many of them even employ technologies like predictive and prescriptive
analytics to forecast future events and deliver solutions.”7

The Democratization of Business Intelligence

Any enterprise function is most effectively employed when utilized by a
broad cross-section of the enterprise community. As analyst Eric Avidon
reports, “With advancing [natural language programming (NLP)]
capabilities, vendors are attempting to make their platforms accessible to
more users.

“Given that most people don’t have backgrounds in computer science and
statistics, there are barriers to working with data. Most employees don’t
know how to code, and they don’t have the requisite training to interpret
data and ask the follow-up questions that lead to insights.

“Augmented analytics tools aim to reduce those barriers by guiding
business users with no-code capabilities, including NLP features that
enable data queries in natural language with written or spoken words.”8

Business Intelligence on a Mission

Armed with new capabilities, including process automation and machine
learning, new-generation business intelligence solutions are poised to
target critical enterprise objectives. As analyst Avidon speculates, one
such vital objective may be the support of
environmental, social and
governance (ESG)


“For reasons including regulatory compliance and altruism, many
organizations are undertaking ESG projects. For example, oil and gas and
other carbon-intensive industries have instituted measures to increase
sustainability, and organizations need to reduce their carbon footprints
and measure their progress.”9

New Models of Business Intelligence

Analyst David Taylor predicts the development of new varieties of
business intelligence, specifically:

  • Collaborative BI

    – BI software combined with collaboration
    tools, including social media, and other … technologies [to] enhance
    the working and sharing by teams for collaborative decision-making.

  • Embedded BI

    – Embedded BI allows the integration of BI
    software or some of its features into another business application [to
    enhance and extend the application’s] reporting functionality.”10

Strategic Planning Implications

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The selection of a business intelligence solution is on par with the
selection of a cybersecurity solution. The latter solution is essential to
maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of enterprise data – or, in
its refined form, enterprise information. The former is essential to
discovering the meaning of that carefully preserved data and information –
those special insights that enable enterprise planners to chart a course
leading to enhanced operational productivity and business profitability.

In selecting a solution (or two or three, as appropriate), the
acquisition team should:

Survey the needs of prospective BI users (an
expanding universe given the incorporation of NLP and other user-friendly

Attend to the specific requirements of the
four BI user groups:

    1. The Professional Data Analysts, who drill deep down into enterprise
    2. The IT Analysts, who support the BI infrastructure;
    3. The Business Users, who regularly invoke BI software; and
    4. The CEO and Other Senior Managers, who depend on business
      intelligence to inform their crucial decision-making.11

Pursue a formal procurement process, including
the issuance of a request for proposal (RFP).

Where multiple solutions seem viable and
valuable, conduct pilot projects to identify the leading candidate (or

Prior to accepting a particular solution or
solutions, develop meaningful metrics for BI success, usually dollars
saved or dollars earned.

Finally, don’t be hesitant to switch out an
under-performing BI solution. There is, literally, “too much at stake.” to
settle for ineffective BI operations.

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About the Author

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Rochelle Shaw is a freelance author who has been
tracking high technology for over 30 years as a writer, editor, and
industry analyst. She is a frequent contributor to Faulkner Information

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