Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the right tool in a changing business intelligence landscape

Business intelligence is supposed to provide decision-makers with the insight they need. The growth in data is making it harder for people to gain meaningful insight because they can only track data on a quarterly or yearly basis. Increasingly, business leaders want to make decisions faster and this is putting the IT department under more pressure at a time when they are being asked to do more with less.

IBM (with Cognos), Microsoft, SAP (Business Objects) and Oracle have strong BI offerings. IBM and Microsoft lack ERP products that the other two can offer. But Gartner says so far it’s an open and heterogeneous position and increasing use of services in its value proposition are helping IBM to maintain par as a standard with SAP and Oracle.

However, in Gartner’s report, The Changing Attitudes of Business Intelligence Users, Gartner analyst James Richardson notes that, in 2011, more than 50% of IBM Cognos respondents stated that SAP or Oracle is their primary ERP and these firms will form a key battleground over the next few years for Cognos.

Richardson says: “The biggest loser in the standardisation battle is Microsoft, which has neither the strength in ERP nor IBM’s service provider touch to defend its position, and as such has fallen out of parity with the other three megavendors as a BI standard.”

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