Technology Advice Report: 2014 Business Intelligence Buying Trends

Technology Advice Report: 2014 Business Intelligence Buying Trends

Technology Advice Report: 2014 Business Intelligence Buying Trends

For nearly every business, the concept of business intelligence is nothing new. Ambitious organizations have been searching for any type of data-driven advantage for some time now – perhaps for as long as they’ve existed. However, the historical use of competitive intelligence pales in comparison to the complex and powerful technologies now sweeping the business world.

Such business intelligence software is being touted as the next must-have technology. But while BI technologies like data analytics and predictive modeling can offer extraordinary business insight, many companies are still in the early stages of adoption due to uncertainty about a number of specifics of the technology. “Data confusion” is a term that’s been used – albeit in sparingly — to describe many potential BI buyer’s comprehension of their product options; though once the buyer market matures, large gains are expected to be made in terms of adoption.

To help alleviate data confusion and provide a more focused view of what BI buyers are looking for, we analyzed data from the past six months of user submissions to our SmartAdvisor – our interactive software recommendation tool – as well as from phone conversations we’ve had with over 1,000 IT professionals in the past 12 months.

Some of our key findings:

  • 61 percent of IT professionals are in the research phase for a business intelligence system
  • The biggest concern for IT professionals with business intelligence systems is monitoring and managing them
  • A majority of potential buyers have an expected user base of anywhere from 50 to less than 10 for their BI software
  • Real time analysis is the most sought after feature in business intelligence software, followed closely by a graphical user interface
  • The most common goal for a business intelligence project was to forecast sales numbers

The Buying Market is Very Distributed

None of the industries in our SmartAdvisor made up more than 10 percent of the overall group. The highest placed industries computers and technology and advertising/media/publishing both accounted for 9 percent. That computers and technology rank highly should be no surprise, since this industry most likely features the required talent to operate advanced data analytics software.

Advertising/Media/Publishing represents a more interesting discovery as this industry is surely looking to dig into data about customer behavior and use the subsequent insights to better target their communications.

The secondary group of industries features automotive, banking/financial/accounting, and healthcare. Of these, healthcare’s high ranking deserves the most examination. While the adoption of information technology in this industry has been rapid over the last decade, implementing business intelligence technologies represents a different dimension.

It seems that healthcare is quickly reaching a point where basic infrastructure technologies like electronic medical records systems are generating enough data that the application of advanced analysis would yield promising insights. Through BI technologies, healthcare will be able to manage entire populations of patients much more effectively. So instead of relying on anecdotal recommendations or suggestions, healthcare providers will now be able to examine treatment patterns across an entire community, identifying casual relationships that may have been unnoticeable through less sophisticated measurements.

The Number of Expected Users Has a Great Range

Over 50 percent of potential buyers expect to have a user base for their BI software of 50 or less. These data could support the idea that SMBs are eager to leverage the data they’re producing to gain a competitive edge, or it could indicate that more types of users are looking to include BI software in their suite of business applications.

As visualization tools become more user friendly, business analysts and other employees with non-IT expertise are beginning to use BI solutions in their departments. This range could also represent a large market with significant variance in BI project sizes.

Forecasting is the Most Common Goal

When asked what they hoped to accomplish with business intelligence software, the majority of buyers said they wanted to forecast sales or marketing numbers. By using business intelligence to more accurately predict incoming revenue or the success of a marketing campaign, companies are hoping to make smarter choices in the present based on predictions of the future. Such predictive analytics can break down a business’s marketing numbers by region or population as well as by purchase period.

bi-buying-trends-graph

This type of information can be invaluable in a number of use cases, including gaining an accurate understanding of where the business’s finances will stand in the not too distant future.

Comparatively, analyzing social media data was the second most pursued application with 19 percent. The need to analyze social media had had a substantial impact on business intelligence technology, as analyzing this type of unstructured data requires the use of natural language processing, otherwise known as text analytics. Social media also represents a revenue neutral medium which provides a significant amount of data for businesses to analyze. Using text analytics to measure the sentiment of their customers, BI buyers could gain a new understanding of how their brand is viewed, not to mention identify new opportunities for improvement.

Real Time Analysis, Graphical User-Interface, and Data Warehousing are the Most Common Features

It was a close run race for the most requested BI feature, but real time analysis edged graphic user interface by a single percentage point. When combined with data warehousing, these three functions make up more than 60 percent of the features that BI buyers are looking for.

The focus on real-time analysis reflects the rising use of in-memory technology. By analyzing events as they happen, without the need to transform the data and load it into a data warehouse, real-time analysis can provide users actionable intelligence that they can apply to make immediate decisions. Investment banks, for instance, transmit stock information within seconds, which allows analysts to react with speed and precision to changes in the market.

A more common practice may be monitoring the behavior of website visitors. Should a visitor surf to a page where a purchase is possible, real-time analytics can inform a business user, who can then make the visitor an offer that could increase their chances of making a purchase.

Over 60 Percent of Respondents are in the Research Phase

In an additional survey of over 1,000 IT professionals, we found that 61 percent are in the research phase for a big data system. While the terms big data system and business intelligence software substantially overlap, it’s worth noting the difference.

Only 14 percent of respondents were in either the implementation or post-implementation phase. Choosing and implementing a BI tool isn’t simple, regardless of the size of the organization, so it makes sound business sense to take the added time to weigh and consider the appropriate options. Start-ups may be more willing to choose a solution faster, but even SMBs may be moving slower with this vertical due to the inherent complexity of the technology, not to mention the human capital considerations of who will oversee and operate the software.

Conclusions

Gartner has reported single digit growth in the BI vertical for 2013, but expects a significant rise in purchasing activity by 2017. With the vast majority of buyers seemingly still in the research phase regarding their next business intelligence tool, the industry holds great promise but will likely mature slowly.

By Zack Watson / TechnologyAdvice.com

Follow

TechnologyAdvice

TechnologyAdvice helps companies find business technology. We’ve researched and reviewed hundreds of products in a variety in order to find the best solutions in a variety of areas, including business intelligence, healthcare IT, and project management software. Users can read product reviews, find the latest industry news, or sort products based on their individual needs. We’ve advised hundreds of businesses, including multiple Fortune 500 companies.
Follow

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.


CloudTweaks Sponsors - Find out more!


Popular

Top Viral Impact

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery  Business downtime can be detrimental without a proper disaster recovery plan in place. Only 6% of businesses that experience downtime without a plan will survive long term. Less than half of all businesses that experience a disaster are likely to reopen their doors. There are many causes of data loss and…

Big Data Analytics Adoption

Big Data Analytics Adoption

Big Data Analytics Adoption Big Data is an emerging phenomenon. Nowadays, many organizations have adopted information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) in business to handle huge amounts of data and gain better insights into their business. Many scholars believe that Business Intelligence (BI), solutions with Analytics capabilities, offer benefits to companies to achieve competitive…

Cloud Infographic – The Power Of Cloud Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic – The Power Of Cloud Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic – The Power Of Cloud Disaster Recovery Preventing a Cloud Disaster is one thing. Recovering from a disaster is a whole other area of concern. Today’s infographic provided by CloudVelox outlines some best practices and safeguards in order to help your business make more informed decisions. About Latest Posts FollowTechnologyAdviceTechnologyAdvice helps companies find…

Cloud Infographic: Most Used Cloud Apps

Cloud Infographic: Most Used Cloud Apps

Cloud app and analytics company, Netskope released its quarterly Cloud Report. The new report reveals that enterprise employees are using an average of 397 different cloud apps (most of which are unsanctioned), when IT estimated they have 40-50 — that’s a tenfold underestimation. Below is an infographic provided courtesy of the group at Netskope which goes into further detail.…

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth The Internet of Things is the latest term to describe the interconnectivity of all our devices and home appliances. The goal of the internet of things is to create universal applications that are connected to all of the lights, TVs, door locks, air conditioning, and…


Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

You can help continue to support our community by social sharing, sponsoring, partnering or contributing to this great educational resource.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021
contact@cloudtweaks.com

Join our newsletter