Research firm IDC estimates that core analytics applications will generate $8.7 billion worldwide in 2008, and predictive analytics $3 billion in the same year. IDC valued the combined international analytics market at $8 billion in 2003.
IDC defines "core" analytics as those used to define or analyze a current or past state, carried out by applications that compute frequencies, cross-tabs, query and reporting cubes. "Predictive" analytics include more mathematically complex tools used to determine the probable future outcomes of events or likelihood of certain states.
In explaining the growth forecasts, IDC cited companies' growing need to produce and distribute analytic results "beyond the traditional centralized technical team," so that technical and non-technical staff can access and benefit from computations.
"Core and predictive analytics will continue to grow in importance as companies seek to democratize and standardize their decision-making," IDC said in a statement attributed to Robert Blumstein, research director for CRM analytics and marketing automation.
The firm predicts that companies will adopt analytics technologies on an as-needed basis, to tackle both specific problems such as corporate planning and broader issues like optimized pricing.