The BI market for small and medium businesses (SMBs) is relatively immature but is near the market acceleration point. Originally tier 1 organizations presented the greatest opportunities because of their internal resources and large revenues. Today that market is near saturation as many tier 1 organizations have implemented one or more rounds of BI solutions. To continue market growth, BI vendors have shifted their attention and price points toward the needs of SMBs (i.e., with a subset of functionality). Similarly, interest in BI among SMBs has increased because of competitive pressures within their industries. Thus, the potential for BI expansion into this market is great; however, the requirements for organizations within this sector are diverse.

To determine which type of solution is the best fit, organizations should pinpoint their essential requirements, the main BI components needed and the anticipated growth of BI use. Currently, SMB organizations do not have the breadth of choice that tier 1 organizations have due to lack of resources, strong internal support structures, etc. This is one case where it might be better for SMBs to become late adopters of BI solutions because new solutions will emerge as market saturation continues. Additionally, this enables SMBs to benchmark the successes and challenges faced by other organizations. Below is an overview of some options available to SMBs considering solutions today.

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