There just might be another 800-lb gorilla in the Business Intelligence market. In a year.

The popular cult book “Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy” by Douglas Adams defines space as “. . . big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. . .” There are no better words to describe the size and the opportunity of the business intelligence market. Not only is it “mind-bogglingly big,” but over the last few decades we’ve only scratched the surface. Recent Forrester research shows that only 12% of global enterprise business and technology decision-makers are sure of their ability to transform and use information for better insights and decision making, and over half still have BI and analytics content sitting in siloed desktop-based shadow IT applications that are mostly based on spreadsheets.

The opportunity has provided fertile feeding ground to more than 50 vendors, including: full-stack software vendors like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP, each with $1 billion-plus BI portfolios; SAS Institute, a multibillion BI and analytics specialist; popular BI vendors Actuate, Information Builders, MicroStrategy, Qlik, Tableau Software, and Tibco Software, each with hundreds of millions in BI revenues; as well as dozens of vendors ranging from early to late stage startups.

These are the dynamics of the market that salesforce.com entered on October 13, 2014 with Wave, the Salesforce Analytics Cloud — a BI platform based on technology it acquired from EdgeSpring over a year ago. Out of the box, the newly announced Wave product boasts Agile Analytics directed at business users (with minimal support from technology pros), native, modern cloud architecture, clean intuitive built for mobile user interface, seamless integration with salesforce.com CRM data, agile NoSQL DBMS, MPP architecture for big data scalability, and other 21st century features.

But while we feel that Wave is a cool product for specific use cases (mostly salesforce.com data source, no other BI vendor already doing the job, etc), there's lots of room for improvement before Wave can take its place among general purpose large enterprise BI platforms.

For more details, read the latest Forrester report (availble for purchase here) where we peel the layers of the onion and reveal details behind the product strengths and cautions.

Originally published by Forrester Research. 

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