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IDC Report Shows Steady Growth for BI, Pent-Up Demand for Analytics

Microsoft, SAS and SPSS lead marketshare gains in 2007. Analyst sees media and academia driving mainstream demand.

Business leaders are gaining influence in BI purchase decisions, the advanced analytics market is showing signs of pent-up demand, and text mining is becoming a core capability. These are three of the most notable conclusions of IDC's latest annual business intelligence software sales report, released late last month. Despite gloomy economic news in recent months, the report forecasts continued growth in BI software sales.

IDC's report, "Worldwide Business Intelligence Tools 2007 Vendor Shares," concludes that the total BI market grew 12.1 percent last year to reach $7.05 billion. The performance marked a third straight year of 12-percent growth, and according to report co-author Dan Vesset, "the biggest point is that BI is starting to get to the mass market."

Pointing to recent IDC qualitative research on "Best Practices in Pervasive BI," the analyst reports increasing line-of-business and corporate executive influence over BI purchase decisions. "One leading indicator of new BI projects these days is executive turnover," Vesset explains. "When new regimes come in, there are usually requests for more information, and for better and faster access to that information." Mainstream demand is also being fueled by a growing body of popular business literature on BI, says Vesset. "Whether it's the "Harvard Business Review" or "The Wall Street Journal" or books, such as Tom Davenport's Competing on Analytics or Ian Ayres' Super Crunchers, there are many sources that are now calling attention to BI."

Worldwide BI Query, Analysis and Reporting Tools Revenue 2007
Worldwide BI Query, Analysis and Reporting Tools Revenue 2007
(click image for larger view)
IDC breaks the total BI market into two segments. The "BI Query, Reporting and Analysis Tools" segment grew 11.9 percent to reach nearly $5.7 billion in sales in 2007, IDC reports. Microsoft and SAS, the fourth- and fifth-largest vendors in this segment, had the fastest growth among the top-five vendors at 15.4 percent and 18.3 percent, respectively (see Worldwide BI Revenue chart at right).

Worldwide Advanced Analytics Tools Revenue 2007
Worldwide Advanced Analytics Tools Revenue 2007
(click image for larger view)
The "Advanced Analytics Tools" segment grew at a slightly faster pace of 13.1 percent to reach nearly $1.4 billion in 2007, according IDC. SAS continued to dominate the segment with 32 percent of the market, but SPSS and Microsoft, the second- and fourth-largest vendors, had the fastest growth among the top-five vendors at 17.8 percent and 20.0 percent, respectively (see Advanced Analytics chart at left).

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