Worldwide BI market reaching tipping point: Gartner

For the second year running, the worldwide business intelligence and analytics software market only achieved single digit growth in 2013. But several factors are coming together which should see “unprecedented interest and adoption of analytics”, according to Gartner.

The market, which consists of BI platforms, corporate performance management suites, analytic applications and advanced analytics, totalled $14.4 billion in 2013, an 8 per cent increase from 2012 revenue of $13.3 billion.

Dan Sommer, research director at Gartner, said, “Overall, just like last year, the market is shifting gears, which is keeping growth in the single digits. At the same time, paradoxically, we’re at the cusp of a series of tipping points which will facilitate unprecedented interest and adoption of analytics.”

There were several factors slowing the market in 2013.

A challenging macro environment continued to have an impact, with no region in the world growing faster than 12 per cent, disproving assumptions that emerging markets are growing at a faster rate.

According to Gartner, confusion also still reigns around how to best leverage analytics on big data, with much investment happening outside traditional BI in experimental silos, infrastructure and services.

Finally, growth in IT budgets is flat and IT-led traditional BI tools are over-bought, so vendors targeting these players showed sub-market growth.

“As the market shifts gear, we see a series of tipping points in 2014 that will accelerate adoption, but it may come from a different place,” said Sommer. “These tipping points are that half of BI and analytics spend will be business driven, half of new license spend will be driven by data discovery environments, and half of organisations will consider deploying BI in the cloud, at least tactically.”

“Right now we’re in a trend of proliferating information sources, applications and buying. Those vendors, mainly outside the top five, that aligned themselves with this caught disproportionally higher interest and growth relative of market share for net new buying, albeit from smaller market footprints. To counter, the big vendors are expected to dramatically improve their stories around becoming more nimble with data discovery and cloud this year and the next. Finally analytics is also moving beyond just being a singular tool to become more omnipresent, embedded in various other applications and infrastructures. All of these trends, paradoxically to the single-digit growth, cement analytics as a top priority and will tip it to touch a much broader base, down to the personal analytics level,” Sommer said.

In terms of market share, SAP had significantly higher revenue than any other vendor at $3.1 billion with 21.3 per cent of the market, up 5.3 per cent from 2012. Microsoft enjoyed the highest growth of the top five vendors in 2013 (ahead of SAP, Oracle, IBM and SAS Institute), with revenue rising by 15.9 per cent compared with 2012 to reach $1.4 billion.

At the segment level, data discovery requirements drove growth of 8.8 per cent in BI platforms, showing a slow but steady shift in emphasis from reporting-centric to analysis-centric tools. Advanced analytics grew 12.5 per cent between 2012 and 2013, showing the increasing focus organisations give to predictive and prescriptive analytics.