Business Intelligence Software BuyerView 2014 Highlights

As a business intelligence software provider, Silvon is always looking for research that helps us better understand the BI market (where it’s been and where it’s headed) as well as what our customers are looking for in a BI solution. We recently read the 2014 BI Software BuyerView report from Software Advice, who researches BI intelligence tools, and found some really interesting highlights regarding the state of the industry.

Here are three key findings from their report:

More than 60% of prospective BI software buyers are not IT professionals

Instead, they are financial officers, operations managers or marketing executives; namely, the people who USE the data that BI software collects and organizes to better their day-to-day performance and NOT those who setup the BI system.

As Gartner reported (and found in their own research), 2014 is “ a critical year in which the task of making ‘hard types of analysis easy’ for an expanded set of users… will continue to dominate BI market requirements.” Basically, the question of who owns BI has come to the forefront. And from the numbers it seems like IT departments might be responsible for setting up business intelligence systems, but non-technical departments are the ones that really want to get their hands dirty and turn that data into actionable insights.

Maybe it’s a co-ownership situation when asking “who owns BI?,” with each department taking ownership of the data they need to make the decisions they need. The non IT-managers know they need that information so they are the ones pushing for adoption. IT teams ensure adoption goes smoothly and the new system integrates well with the existing technology.

Almost half of all prospective buyers are looking for BI software in order to better visualize their data

Similarly, the most-requested BI tools among buyers are dashboards and scorecards. Better data visualization was the #1 reason why buyers were considering moving to a new BI system, according to Software Advice.  Among both integrated suite and best-of-breed buyers, dashboards and scorecards (especially customizable dashboards) were the most sought-after BI tools.

As we’ve discussed before, an effective dashboard offers drill-down paths that help maximize business information by presenting data from highly summarized to more granular levels. Traditional dashboards were designed to provide “snapshots” of (mainly static) information. While that information is still useful for basic reporting, the use of drill-down dashboards helps build true self-service or “agile” business intelligence systems with the end goal of giving users the power to understand more real-time data on their own.BI Software

All but a small fraction of prospective BI software buyers want integrated suites

Ninety-five% of the prospective BI software buyers the report questioned were only interested in evaluating an integrated suite, a single BI system that houses multiple tools (e.g., a data warehouse, analytical templates, dashboards, scorecards, and ad-hoc reporting) all in one place.

The 2014 Business Intelligence Software BuyerView report is chock full of great insights that other BI software sellers need to be aware of. The changing landscape means we as software providers need to change the way we approach our customers AND the way we develop software down the line.

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