October 13, 2011 – The BI Survey 10, The Business Application Research Center’s annual business intelligence end user survey report, reveals that company politics is the most frequent problem encountered in BI projects, with 20 percent of BI buyers citing it, followed by issues of poor data quality (16 percent) and administrative problems (15 percent).

The BI Survey 10 gleaned 3,000 responses to 50 questions, with nearly 2,300 responses from tool users and the rest from vendors and consultants. This year, BARC saw an increased interest from respondents in more complicated analysis. Barney Finucane, lead author of The BI Survey 10, says it is because there’s more data. “We know the biggest projects are getting bigger and bigger, but median projects are not growing that quickly. A typical project’s data volume growth is not as dramatic, but it seems to be enough that people are seeking new analysis tools. This is an indication the market is maturing,” he says.

This year also marked a big rise in attention to the issue of in-memory performance. “In-memory tools are in fashion,” says Finucane. “Projects that don’t focus on performance lead to loss of interest in users in the future of the project.”

Mobile hype outweighs usage, says Finucane, because the heaviest consumers of BI are usually deskbound, and prime candidates for mobile BI usage, such as high-level executives, are often too busy to run reports when on the go. Only 8 percent of companies are currently accessing BI reports on mobile devices, but 22 percent of respondents indicated that they are planning to implement mobile BI in the next twelve months, and 27 percent are planning to do so in the long run.

Finucane notes that cloud, too, has not really panned out in terms of widespread usage. “We’ve had a policy of asking about new trends, and it often turns out they’re a bit overhyped – we saw this with cloud and mobile,” he says.

Finucane says that within the survey findings it is noticeable that specialized analysis projects tend to be most successful. “They also tend to be smaller projects. Small departmental solutions products work really well – so the ideal way to carry out BI is in departmental solutions.” To increase the likelihood of success, Finucane emphasizes the importance of getting BI users involved in the decision-making process. “The clear finding was that when you get them involved you get a better result,” he says.

This year’s report analyzes 26 products from vendors against each other based on how well projects turn our compared to what the products do. Some of the big name vendors included IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, SAS, MicroStrategy and QlikTech.