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Wayne Eckerson

Welcome to Wayne's World, my blog that illuminates the latest thinking about how to deliver insights from business data and celebrates out-of-the-box thinkers and doers in the business intelligence (BI), performance management and data warehousing (DW) fields. Tune in here if you want to keep abreast of the latest trends, techniques, and technologies in this dynamic industry.

About the author >

Wayne has been a thought leader in the business intelligence field since the early 1990s. He has conducted numerous research studies and is a noted speaker, blogger, and consultant. He is the author of two widely read books: Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business (2005, 2010) and The Secrets of Analytical Leaders: Insights from Information Insiders (2012).

Wayne is founder and principal consultant at Eckerson Group,a research and consulting company focused on business intelligence, analytics and big data.


Every year, the research firm Business Applications Research Center (BARC) conducts the largest survey of BI tool usage. The survey, which draws responses from more than 3,000 BI professionals worldwide, takes 30 minutes to complete and delivers a treasure-trove of information about the characteristics of BI deployments by vendor product.

Among the many highlights from last year's survey, the research shows that there is a difference in BI success rates and satisfaction between departmental and enterprise BI deployments, small and large BI vendors, and small and large user organizations. The obvious conclusion, to quote the 1960s classic by E.F. Schumacher, is that "small is beautiful."

Here are some highlights from last year's summary that all survey participants receive:

  • Scope. Business benefits are more likely to be achieved if projects go live quickly. There is a steady fall off as initial roll out times rise. The small number of projects that took more than two years to roll out achieved few business benefits.
  • Small Vendors. Customers of small or niche vendors, such Board, Jedox, and Cubeware, had the highest benefit ratio scores.
  • Benefit Keys. Companies wishing to maximize benefits should focus on 1) support quality 2) implementation time 3) query response time and 4) breadth of deployment, in that order.
  • Goal Achievement. Customers of large BI vendors are less likely to achieve project goals than those of small vendors, with the notable exception of IBM TM-1. For example, fewer than three percent of SAP BW/BEx Suite and SAP BusinessObjects WebI users report that their projects had exceeded goals. Microsoft customers reported the highest levels of goal achievement.
  • License Fees. There is little correlation between license fee expenditure and achievement of BI project goals.
  • Product Complaints. SAP BW customers reported the most product complaints, especially with query performance, while Bissantz and IBM Cognos TM1 had the fewest. Qliktech had the fewest complaints about slow queries.
  • Evaluations. Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services and Reporting Services and IBM Cognos were the products most likely to be evaluated. Larger companies evaluate more products from larger vendors.
  • Implementation fees. SAP BW/BEx customers had median implementation fees of $127,000 followed by Oracle Hyperion with $85,000, IBM Cognos with $66,000, and Microstrategy at $53,000.
  • Win Rates. In competitive evaluations, TARGIT had the highest win rate of 82 percent, followed by Pentaho with 77 percent. At the other extreme, Oracle OBIEE had a win rate of 37 percent.
If you are in the market for a BI tool or want to know how your tool stacks up against the rest, then I'd recommend completing this year's BI Survey 10 and getting the summary results, which are free. You can take the survey by clicking HERE.

Posted April 14, 2011 9:07 AM
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