IDC Reports on BI Sales: Which Vendors Are Hot? - InformationWeek

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IDC Reports on BI Sales: Which Vendors Are Hot?

Business intelligence software sales are growing at a double-digit pace, according to a new IDC report, and rising demand lifted sales for nearly every vendor. Microsoft and SAS led the way among the top-five vendors while one up-and-coming company racked up a near triple-digit sales gain. Despite all the "BI for everyone" marketing hype, IDC says the technology is still out of reach for mainstream business users.

The BI market grew 11.5 percent in 2006 to reach $6.25 billion in worldwide software revenue. That's healthy growth, but there's little evidence that BI is spreading to a broader base of business users. These are just two of the headline conclusions of IDC's Worldwide Business Intelligence Tools 2006 Vendor Share report, released June 29.

IDC's study examines the BI tools market from 2004 to 2006, and it includes revenue, marketshare and sales growth figures for more than 20 leading vendors. The top-five vendors in BI tools revenue in 2006 were, in order,
Business Objects ($894 million), SAS ($679 million), Cognos ($622 million), Hyperion/Oracle ($529 million, combining their revenue) and Microsoft ($480 million). The growth leader among these players was Microsoft, which had a 28.1-percent revenue increase in 2006. The second-fastest-growing company among the top five was SAS, with a 16.6 percent revenue increase. See chart at right.

IDC breaks the BI tools market into two segments: query, reporting and analysis (QRA) tools, and advanced analytics. QRA software covers ad hoc query and multidimensional analysis as well as dashboards and reporting tools. The top-five vendors in QRA, as measured by 2006 revenue, were Business Objects, Cognos, Microsoft, Hyperion and SAS. Among these top-five vendors, Microsoft and SAS again had the fastest growth rates, at 27.7 percent and 23.0 percent, respectively.

Advanced analytics software includes data mining and statistical software, and the top-five vendors, by 2006 revenue, were SAS, SPSS, Visual Numerics, Oracle and Teradata. Microsoft and SPSS had the highest growth rates in this group, at 40.0 percent and 14.8 percent, respectively. SAS dominates the advanced analytics category with more than twice the revenue of its nearest rival (at $382 million versus $174 million for SPSS).

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