Gartner's annual London business intelligence summit wrapped up last week with predictions for a continuing healthy market in European markets and some shifts beginning to appear in the vendor landscape. The market research and consulting firm sees the largest two or three vendors dominating growth going forward, pure-play revenues flattening and a still vibrant market for upstart smaller competitors.Not unexpectedly, European BI markets and customer behavior are taking a similar path to that found in the U.S. More enterprises are taking a strategic approach to business intelligence, though projects, tools and ownership still proliferate as they do in the U.S. Drivers are consumerization of information, standardization, modularization and collaboration. Inhibitors are a lack of skills, stability, sponsorship and continued dependence on spreadsheets.

Gartner Research VP Andreas Bitterer tells BI Review that training and education are top priorities for end users and for vendors. "In the end-user company there is a gap between what IT departments are talking about in terms of tools, reporting, dashboards and ETL, while the end user is not in a position to articulate their requirements for access to data. There needs to be some education in terms of the end user being told how to ask and what is actually possible." On the vendor side, sellers of software, hardware and services are trying to find new buying centers in the end user organization as an end around to the typical IT department engagement. The goal is to reach business owners in finance, sales, marketing and address them directly. "They fall into the same trap as IT, they keep talking technology and don't seem to strike the right nerve with the non-IT savvy end user. They're not doing a good job of describing what all these dashboards and tools do in the context of the business."

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