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Business Intelligence & Decision Support: User Perceptions & Trends

Organizations are increasingly turning to business intelligence tools to help them operate more efficiently and ultimately become more competitive. These tools allow organizations to analyze their operations and markets in order to locate inefficiencies and uncover market opportunities. Indeed, the organizations that have effectively wielded business intelligence tools have been able to improve their business in any number of ways. Business intelligence tools have also been effectively leveraged to enhance compliance with any number of industry and government regulations, so they are not useful solely for competitive reasons.

The business intelligence market continues to grow, which is perhaps testament to the effectiveness and usefulness of the tools. This growth has had some profound effects on both the market and the suppliers of business intelligence tools and technology: Once the exclusive domain of specialized business intelligence players, the market is now replete with vendors of all kinds, offering the technology either as discrete tools or as part of a larger solution, such as a database. In fact, the capabilities associated with business intelligence are broadening. These changes, which continue to have ripple effects throughout the market, are also having a profound impact on the way customers buy and implement the technology as well as how the technology is developed and packaged.

To examine this market, Heavy Reading conducted a major global survey of customers to look at their attitudes and expectations about business intelligence. The survey drew responses from 197 qualified respondents professionals involved in the selection, purchase, or management of business intelligence products for their organizations. The survey responses shed light on respondents' perceptions about the effectiveness of business intelligence solutions within their organizations; where business intelligence is being applied now, and how it will be used in the future; and what factors are important in product and vendor selection. The report also includes capsule analyses of 17 major business intelligence vendors.

Business Intelligence & Decision Support: User Perceptions & Trends analyzes the factors that influence an organization's acquisition of business intelligence products and provides guidance on the future direction of the business intelligence market. Leveraging our survey results, it provides a comprehensive view of the business intelligence market from the perspective of end-user organizations.


As with any market, there is a lot of hype over certain products and features which are necessary, which will generate strong traction, and so forth. This report is designed to look at the major business intelligence technologies, deployment trends, and vendors without the hype. Essentially, this report is designed to present customer perceptions as to what they consider important, independent of the views, needs, and biases of vendors.


The primary qualifiers for participation in our survey were that respondents not be associated with companies that make or sell business intelligence products and services, and that they be involved in the selection, purchase, or management of business intelligence products for their organizations. The plurality (40 percent) of the qualified respondents were managers (other than CIOs or CTOs) in their company's IT organizations. If CIO and CTO positions are also included, then the majority (51 percent) of the respondents were IT management. CEOs, presidents, chairmen, partners, or company owners represented 20 percent.

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The survey attracted significant responses across all company sizes, identified as follows:

Small companies those with fewer than 100 employees and/or less than $50 million in annual revenue.
Medium companies those with 100 to 1,000 employees and/or between $50 million and $500 million in annual revenue.
Large companies those with more than 1,000 employees and/or more than $500 million in annual revenue.

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Report Scope and Structure

Business Intelligence & Decision Support: User Perceptions & Trends is structured as follows:

Section I is an introduction to the report, with complete report key findings.

Section II provides a business intelligence overview, including a brief technology backgrounder, including product classes and product features.

Section III provides key information on the survey respondents. Respondents were not allowed to be affiliated with business intelligence companies, and they had to be involved in the selection and use of their organization's business intelligence products. Other information supplied includes job title or function, the primary operating sector of the respondent's organization, and the size of the organization.

Sections IV provides information on respondent perceptions of business intelligence products and services, the effectiveness of business intelligence in their organizations, the most important product features, their organizational commitment to business intelligence, application areas, and deployment of specific technologies.

Section V analyzes the business intelligence implementation and plans of respondents' organizations, including organizational support and commitment to business intelligence and where business intelligence is being deployed.

Section VI looks at where organizations are currently implementing analytic applications and examines their spending and deployment plans over the next two years.

Section VII examines the current and planned deployments of business intelligence technologies, including organizations' preferences and spending plans.

Section VIII analyzes the factors respondents consider when selecting their business intelligence vendors. It also includes their perceptions of market leaders, both overall and in specific categories including cost effectiveness, service and support, ease of implementation, and ease of use.

Section IX offers capsule analyses of several leading business intelligence vendors. This section looks at each vendor in terms of their revenue (if known), their history and product evolution, and their current strengths relative to the industry.

The report is essential reading for a wide range of industry participants, including the following:

Suppliers of decision support/business intelligence products and technologies: How will the market for business intelligence take shape over the coming months and years? How will enterprise user expectations affect your product positioning? How will internal enterprise politics and policies affect demand for business intelligence? What are the real revenue prospects in this sector? Which suppliers are in the best position to maintain and grow market share?
Enterprise managers: How is the business intelligence sector evolving to meet your needs? How do your organization's approaches and strategies match up to other companies? Which suppliers are taking an approach that fits best with your company's strategy?
Investors: Which companies are emerging as the early winners in this sector, and which ones are likely to struggle for market share? How significant will market growth be to the business intelligence and decision support sectors?

Business Intelligence & Decision Support: User Perceptions & Trends is published in PDF format. Report purchasers also gain access to a searchable database of survey results allowing for detailed breakouts of respondent data, such as by:

Vertical market sector (healthcare, manufacturing, etc.)
Geographic location
Company size
Respondent job title and responsibility

PRICE: $4,995
Analyst at Large, Heavy Reading Enterprise
Schiff is the founder and principal analyst of MAS Strategies, with more than 30 years of industry experience as a developer, user, consultant, vendor, and industry analyst...
Click here for full list of vendors
Full results of an exclusive, worldwide survey of 197 professionals involved in the selection, purchase, or management of business intelligence products, representing more than two dozen vertical market sectors
47 pages of survey analysis, including detailed breakouts of results by key demographic segments
Profiles and analysis for 17 leading business intelligence vendors
Comprehensive taxonomy of business intelligence products and functions
Full access to a searchable online database of survey results for further targeted analysis
PRICE: $4,995
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