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IBM's SPSS Deal May Spark BI Market Consolidation

SAP will likely acquire a company specializing in predictive analytics within the next year, Forrester Research predicts.
Oracle, which was also part of the consolidation wave two years ago (it acquired Hyperion for $3.3 billion), offers Oracle Data Mining within its 11g database for advanced analytics, plus some technology in that area acquired from Sigma Dynamics a few years ago. Oracle might try to integrate these offerings in its traditional BI suite, or acquire a third product or company in the advanced analytics area, the report says.

Customers' business needs will drive the software industry's focus on predictive analytics in coming months, according to Forrester. Reporting, querying, dashboards, and OLAP just don't provide enough predictive insight for today's market needs, and make it difficult to find anticipated patterns.

In addition, having separate systems for traditional BI and predictive analytics creates problems for customers. When products come from different vendors or are poorly integrated, some metadata has to be entered and maintained in different places, and data frequently must be moved from one database to another.

Of course, ownership of BI tools and predictive analytics by one company due to an acquisition or merger won't bring instant relief to these problems. "IBM will have its hands full integrating SPSS's solutions and professional service capabilities completely with its own diversified BI, data warehousing, and other analytics offerings," the report notes.


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