BI: Innovation or Degustation?
While some Business Intelligence commentators argue that BI has become something of a commodity, it is perhaps more of a speedy innovation phase that is taking place. Business Intelligence vendors are, on the whole, still servicing the needs of huge, complex and profitable companies – but mobile BI apps are indeed making reporting tools more available to all tech-savvy companies.
Smaller independent vendors have led the way with their highly intuitive interfaces, in-memory analytics, and an ability to connect to any data source anywhere – features quickly mimicked by the larger and mid-size vendors. One ‘power play’ example would be Microsoft’s PowerPivot (or Project Gemini), a free product with an intuitive interface and Excel connectivity.
The mega-vendors – having consolidated with smaller BI vendors amid mass industry upheaval – are now holding their own. Over in the US, Gartner announced in April 2010 that the mega-vendors held two thirds of the BI market, and even that market share was growing. In fact, mega-vendor Oracle was seen as the “BI standard” by 82% of survey participants (in the 2010 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms).
In Australia, IBM’s Cognos TM1 has aided well-known companies like Australian Geographic, Goodman Property, HSBC, and Skins retail, with an integrated performance reporting approach. While Oracle’s OBIEE is a force, Aussies have supported options like MicroStrategy, SAP Business Objects, SAS, and Hyperion that points to a more open marketplace.
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