June 7, 2013 – A refined view of global business intelligence spending put the market at a slightly slower spending pace due to economic conditions and uncertainty over trendy terms, like big data, but still led by some familiar vendor names.

BI, CPM and analytic applications/PM software revenue reached $13.1 billion last year, a 6.8 percent bump from 2011, according to a report released this week from Gartner Research. Market growth was propelled by SaaS adoption and data discovery adoption and enhancements, but took a hit from general economic malaise and “confusion around ‘analytics,’ ‘big data’ and ‘BI,’” according to report authors.

The figures for 2012 released this week by Gartner represent a slight trimming from previous estimates for the BI market – down approximately $700 million – though it remains the fourth-largest overall enterprise IT segment. Earlier this year, Gartner forecasted the BI market to grow by nearly 24 percent between 2012 and 2017, reaching $17.1 billion.

In 2011, the BI market registered some of its largest gains, with a 17 percent boost in year-over-year spending based on improved economic conditions and the strength of emerging markets, like Brazil and India. Gartner Research VP Dan Sommer, in a release on the BI market findings, wrote that the appearance of a “dramatic drop” in segment spending between 2011 and 2012 was still in line with forecasts, which hint at ongoing maturity and evolution.

"On the positive side, data discovery became a mainstream architecture in 2012 and the vendors built on this paradigm gained market share, while most semantically layered BI platforms grew in the single digits, at best,” Sommer wrote. “Cloud-based buying is also starting to make an imprint on the radar, showing substantial growth, although cloud still accounts for a smaller portion of the BI market compared with other application markets."

Of the top BI vendors, the five biggest sellers remained the same and consisted of approximately 70 percent of the market share. SAP ranked as the top BI vendor in terms of revenue, with $2.9 billion, a small increase from 2011 but taking up 22.1 percent of the market share, according to Gartner. Oracle remained number two between 2011 and 2012, with $1.95 billion in BI revenue last year. IBM registered $1.62 billion in BI revenue in 2012, which put it ahead of SAS for third in comparison with 2011 financial rankings by Gartner. Microsoft was fifth with $1.18 billion, and all other vendors consisted of $3.86 billion, or 29.3 percent of the BI market share, Gartner reported.

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