Business Intelligence Software Growth Shows Dramatic Drop In U.S.

Gartner blames the drop in BI spending growth on a weak U.S. economy.



The worldwide market for business intelligence software grew a healthy 13% in 2007, as the world's four largest software vendors moved in to dominate the market. Sales growth of BI software in the United States, however, sputtered to just 5%.

Revenue for BI software exceeded $5.1 billion worldwide last year, Gartner said in a report released Thursday. Oracle, SAP, IBM, and Microsoft, meanwhile, have gone from making up just one-fifth of the market to owning two-thirds of it in a year, Gartner noted. That's largely because Oracle acquired Hyperion, SAP nabbed Business Objects, and IBM acquired Cognos. Microsoft continues to grow in BI primarily from in-house developed software plus a few important smaller acquisitions, such as ProClarity.

Among the big companies, Oracle had the strongest growth, with its BI platform revenues jumping 105% to $484.5 million in 2007. Market-leader Business Objects' revenue was considerably more modest, growing just 7.9% to $939.6 million, while Cognos grew 14.2% to $710 million, and SAS Institute grew 13% to $752.3 million. The revenue figures for Business Objects and Cognos are separate from SAP and IBM, since those acquisitions weren't completed until earlier this year.

BI revenue growth in North America slowed drastically to 5% from 16% growth between 2005 and 2006, but was offset by strong spending in the rest of the world. Gartner says the weakening dollar and economy will likely impact U.S. BI spending in future months, too.

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