“Big data” confusion damaged BI market in 2012, Gartner finds

Confusion about the meaning of the terms "business intelligence", "analytics" and "big data" contributed to a steep decline in the growth of the BI market last year, according to Gartner. 

The analyst company found that the global BI market grew 7% to $13.1 billion in 2012, compared to 17% growth in 2011. 

Gartner identified two factors that slowed down the market during the year – "challenging macro economics and term confusion around 'analytics', 'big data' and 'BI'".

Analyst Dan Sommer commented that "confusion related to emerging technology terms caus[ed] a hold on purse strings" during the year.

Three other factors shaped the BI market during the year. The move of BI spending out of the IT department had a neutral impact on spending, while the move to data discovery tools – which allow users to interrogate data visually – and the move to software-as-a-service (SaaS) BI helped counterbalance the decelerating trend. 

The BI software market is still overwhelmingly dominated by the top five suppliers – SAP, Oracle, IBM, SAS and Microsoft – which together account or 70% of the market. 

SAP was the market share leader by some margin. It captured 22% of the market in 2012, compared to number two supplier Oracle's 15%. 

IBM overtook SAS to become the third largest supplier, with a 12% share, during the year. 

The European BI market showed "subpar" growth due to tough macro conditions and currency headwinds, Gartner noted. 

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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