BI must shrug off ERP past: Ovum

Business intelligence solutions must be smarter and faster, but invisible, or risk redundancy, according to analyst firm Ovum.

“User interfaces and experiences that are reminiscent of the enterprise resource planning era will not survive the next five years,” said Mukherjee.

Ovum has named named IBM, Oracle, SAP and SAS as market leaders in business intelligence (BI), according to its latest Decision Matrix: Selecting a Business Intelligence Solution.

With most vendors featured in the Decision Matrix reporting double-digit annual growth figures, new license revenues rather than maintenance and services are driving the growth in this competitive market.

With enterprises shifting the basis of differentiation to focus on smarter and more efficient use of data, the ability to extract, integrate, analyse, and interpret data related to the business in a timely, proactive way should be the number one priority for BI vendors.

“BI vendors today cannot be choosy about the data they analyse. Unstructured and semi-structured data is more relevant for BI today than ever before, and so is invaluable customer and pipeline data sitting idle in CRM systems. Vendors that fail to see the forest for the trees (curated data) will lose business and hinder growth for their customers,” said Surya Mukherjee, senior analyst at Ovum.

The uptake of visual data discovery solutions, according to Ovum, has been one of the most noteworthy developments in the BI market during the last couple of years. The adoption of these tools can be attributed to the ease with which users can source, mash up, analyse, and visualise well-defined data with intuitive and visually driven solutions, often with little to no help from IT.

“Data creation, preparation, and consumption are now merging into one activity. Enterprises expect vendors to automate data mapping to the extent that data created or updated in one system should reflect immediately in others. This requires a greater focus on data management technologies, but without the encumbrances of long, drawn-out, IT-driven deployments. Business should be the driving force for data,” said Mukherjee.

Ovum believes that nearly half of BI and analytic applications built and run in 2014 will integrate to some degree text and data analysis and modeling, complex business rules, and predictive analytics. These additional capabilities will help enterprises crunch more data and run more sophisticated analytics, driving a demand for more processing power to maintain acceptable response times.