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Working under the weight of sluggish adoption rates, business intelligence is gravitating toward more users and access through a mixed bag of new and old solutions, according to the latest annual BI survey from Dresner Advisory Services.
The “2013 Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study” assessed questions of 1,182 respondents across industry verticals and covering fellow researchers, enterprise IT leaders, business executives, BICC heads and vendors’ customer communities. Fifty-nine percent of respondents in 2013 came from North America, and 25 percent stemmed from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with the rest originating in the Asia/Pacific region or Latin America.
Penetration rates for BI are about flat from last year, according to the survey and Howard Dresner, the chief research officer at the research and advisory firm. Approximately one-third of businesses reported that BI solutions were in use by less than 10 percent of employees, according to the survey. And approximately half of those surveyed for that same question reported that BI use dipped even lower. Conversely, another 18 percent of respondents stated that BI solutions were in regular use across four-fifths or more of their organization. Success rates, too, are stagnant from last year’s survey: approximately 40 percent “completely agree” their BI implementation has been a success, with about that same amount who “somewhat agree” on its success.
Rather than come up with a series of complicated lies involving terms like “power user” and “steam punk” to explain my dated personal phone, I decided to reach out for perspective on business mobile uses. I used my office landline to call Howard Dresner recently, a solid voice of reason in our space, who’s about to release his big annual BI trends survey. Dresner says we’re already seeing a contraction on the number of mobile BI vendors, as some strike out, take buyouts or are made irrelevant by similar features from larger end-to-end providers. And while there has been a “tremendous” improvement on BI, visualization and content functionality on phones even in the last 12 months, the bulk of the enterprise mobile market is dogged by limitations and platform constraints from its inception, Dresner said.
“Today, you should be able to feel reasonably comfortable that for any business intelligence solution, there will be a workable, usable mobile component to that,” Dresner told me. “But who wants to look at a dashboard with 100 metrics on it on a phone screen? The fact of the matter is, when you’re talking about mobile BI, the lion’s share of the devices are phones, and you’re talking about a 4 or 5-inch screen … and that’s limited real estate. Most folks are not using a 9 or 10-inch tab. You’ve got to design the app with that in mind. Even though, technologically, you can author something once and publish it to multiple places, practically you can’t.”
The cloud–based Business Intelligence juggernaut is picking up speed. The financial reports of vendors plus a new survey by Dresner Advisory Services make it clear that a majority of enterprise applications decision makers is getting more comfortable with the security and control issues of cloud-based BI.
Howard Dresner, among the first to use the phrase business intelligence, gave me an advance preview of the upcoming “Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Research” report based on a survey he conducted earlier this year.
This year’s report includes responses from almost 1,200 respondents from around the world. Roughly one third of the respondents were from IT, the rest from management or various functional areas, such as finance, marketing, sales and R&D.
Regarding the Wisdom of Crowds® and Gartner
1. One key advantage of the Wisdom of Crowds BI Market Study over the Gartner Magic Quadrant is the reliance on crowd-sourced, vendor-neutral data. Can you briefly describe the benefits of your approach?
A: Gartner and others provide a certain perspective and insight into the market. This perspective is certainly valuable, but is only one way to look at the market. In contrast, we cast a “wide net” using crowd sourcing (hence the name Wisdom of Crowds) and invite as many BI users into the process as possible to get a more complete and representative understanding of the market. In addition to the significant amount of user trending analysis (e.g., adoption rates, objectives, success with BI, tech priorities), we rate vendors using a 33-dimension model and radar charts – plotting 99 points for each vendor (vendor scores, peer average and overall sample average). By exposing all of these values, our readers develop a more complete understanding of each vendor’s strengths and weaknesses. Oh, and the report is free to any qualified survey respondent! Data collection ends next week and the survey can be accessed at www.wisdomsurvey.com
Genealogy website Ancestry.com, an Internet veteran that traces its own roots back to 1997, has accumulated 11 billion records (and counting) to date, including birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, immigration documents, and millions of family trees. That translates into 4 PB of data — a lot of it unstructured.
Scott SorensenScott Sorensen
If the volume and variety of the Provo, Utah-based company’s data doesn’t meet the threshold for big data, there’s no doubt its newest venture will: Genealogy by autosomal DNA test. The service, which launched in May 2012 and has received mixed reviews online, offers to help subscribers discover their “cultural roots” by comparing their genome sequence against other sequences and genetic information to determine ethnicity and find potential matches.
For Howard Dresner, president and founder of the consultancy Dresner Advisory Services and a former Gartner analyst, the combination of Hadoop and a SQL Server-based data warehouse is more proof that big data technologies still can’t replace traditional systems — at least, not yet. “We still need to do the basic blocking and tackling of data warehousing and BI [business intelligence] to some degree,” he said. “At least, at this point.”