The global market for business analytics software was worth $30 billion in 2011, according to market watchers IDC, up 14% from 2010.
IDC estimates that the market will grow by an average of 9.8% year-on-year to 2016, when it will be worth $50 billion. In contrast, a recent report from Gartner found that the IT market as a whole will only grow by 3% in 2012.
IDC’s Dan Vesset said that business analytics had "crossed the chasm into the mainstream mass market."
"The demand for business analytics solutions is exposing the previously minor issue of the shortage of highly skilled IT and analytics staff," he said.
Within the business analytics software market, data warehouse analytics software sales grew the fastest in 2011, at a rate of 15.2% from 2010. Applications analytics and business intelligence tools both grew at about 13%.
Oracle remained the top business analytics software vendor by revenue, selling $6.1 billion worth in 2011 and holding 19.3% of the market.
SAP places second in the vendor table, with $4.6 billion of sales, and IBM were close behind with $4.4 billion. Microsoft and SAS held about half that market share, with about $3.3 billion of sales each, and roughly 7% of the market.