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Business analytics software revenue up in 2012

Revenues earned by companies producing business analytics services along with additional IT tools reached $13.1 billion in 2012, the latest data from Gartner Business Intelligence has revealed.

Worldwide business intelligence, corporate performance management and big data analytics have become increasingly important for firms in recent years – and the financial data reflects this growing use.

Gartner analysts found the software revenues experienced a 6.8 percent increase from 2011 last year. However, tough trading conditions meant that market growth was muted compared to previous periods.

The findings also pointed to five key market dynamics affecting business intelligence expenditure in 2012, with the first being term confusion around "big data" and "analytics", while the rise of software as a service was cited as a driving force.

Commenting on the data, Dan Sommer – principal research analyst at Gartner – said although there was a drop in revenues last year compared to previous research periods, the figures were in line with company expectations.

He added: "Data discovery became a mainstream architecture in 2012 and the vendors built on this paradigm gained market share, while most semantically layered business intelligence platforms grew in the single digits, at best.

"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."

Researchers noted that the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific were the key drivers of revenue growth, with each region displaying double-digit advances in this area.

Last month, Gartner released data pointing to a rise in the use of data analytics solutions by chief financial officers in 2013.

Research carried out by the group in association with the Financial Executives Research Foundation found there are 19 business processes that have been identified by finance leaders as being able to be improved by enhanced technology support.