Dresner: Business Intelligence in transformational state (P2)

Highlights from the Howard Dresner Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study 2011 Webcast (Part Two)

For those of you who didn’t read part one of this two-part blog series – Dresner: Business Intelligence in transformational state (P1) – (you should) here’s the go:  Howard Dresner officially launched the 2011 Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study in a live Webcast on June 15. The Webcast, sponsored by InformationWeek, discussed the results of the survey.

For a high level overview of the wisdom of crowds report, check out our blog Dawning of a new era in Business Intelligence: 2011 Wisdom of Crowds.

The full Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Survey can be downloaded here.

Part one of this blog series presented highlights from Dresner’s official wisdom of crowds Webcast focusing on Business Intelligence (BI) industry trends. Part two presents highlights centered on the perception of, and satisfaction with, BI vendors’ products and services from the perspective of the study’s 630 respondents (all with first-hand experience with vendor products and services).

Now let’s pick up where we left off.

Rating vendor products and services

Feedback suggests new-age ‘emerging’ vendors catering best for the trend towards intuitive business-user oriented BI

The report places vendors into four market categories:

  • Titans: Largest BI vendors
  • Established: Typically been in business for 15 or more years
  • Emerging: Younger companies with innovative products, business models and services
  • Open Source: Vendors with an open source approach to BI

Three of the four top average scores were awarded to vendors from the ‘emerging’ category – new-age vendors whose products are more heavily focused on self-service BI for business users. All five vendors in the emergent category also managed an overall score of four or more out of five. Of the remaining 11 vendors outside the emergent category, only three managed an average score above four. Additionally, only three vendors were recommended by 100 percent of survey participants – all were from the emerging vendor category.

These results are significant, suggesting that emerging BI vendors are better catering for, and addressing the needs and wants, of modern BI deployments and users. While the emerging vendor category outperformed other vendor categories and vendor averages across all study metrics, it performed particularly strongly on usability related criteria, including online training, ease of administration, overall usability, ease of installation and third party integration, as well as ease of upgrade/migration.

But why is this significant?

It’s significant because recent research has revealed that ease-of-use is now the most important aspect of a BI solution. Both current and prospective BI users rate product usability as the most important factor for the ongoing success of their BI implementations, and, when selecting a BI solution. For more details, check out our blogs Ease-of-use key to successful Business Intelligence deployments and Dawning of a new era in Business Intelligence: 2011 Wisdom of Crowds.

Sales and acquisition: Product knowledge good, contractual terms bad

"Sales and acquisition experience is measured across eight categories. In general, the scores are very good,” said Howard Dresner, report author, former Gartner Research Fellow and Founder of Dresner Advisory Services (DAS).

"You can see at the top, customers have ranked product knowledge as the highest ranked competency within the industry [45.4 percent of respondents ranked product knowledge as ‘excellent’ and 35.3 percent said it was ‘very good’].

“Down the bottom, you can see that people were not as happy with things like contractual terms [33.5 percent rated contractual terms as ‘adequate’ and 5.4 percent said they were ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’].

“[However] you can see that the ’poor’ scores are only [comparatively poor] by a very small percentage. So in general, the sale acquisitions experience is good, but there’s room for improvement on the terms and conditions and after sales follow-up.”
 

Perceived value for money improves from 2010 to 2011
"The value for price paid has actually improved from 2010 to 2011,” said Dresner.

He attributed the rise in user satisfaction to the maturity in implementations deployed during 2010, and the ability of organizations to now start realizing “value from the solution that they’ve invested in”.


User perception of quality and usefulness of vendor product and services

"Now, we move onto the product scores," said Dresner. "If we look at the top, in general the customers are pretty happy with the robustness and sophistication of the technology [34.4 percent of respondents rated it as ‘excellent’ and 44.2 percent as ‘very good’], the scalability [34.5 percent of respondents rated it as ‘excellent’ and 41.3 percent as ‘very good’], overall usability [34 percent of respondents rated it as ‘excellent’ and 42.8 percent as ‘very good’] and reliability [32.2 percent of respondents rated it as ‘excellent’ and 43.7 percent as ‘very good’].

"The integration of components internal to the product was also rated highly [31.5 percent of respondents rated it as ‘excellent’ and 40.1 percent as ‘very good’].

“However, many respondents were not happy with third party integration technology [34.6 percent of respondents rated it as only ‘adequate’ and 6.6 percent as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’]. So integration outside the technology [needs some improvement].

“A lot of vendors have still not managed to move the training and the documentation online. So online forums and documentation are not quite where it ought to be from an industry perspective [32.8 percent of respondents rated it as only ‘adequate’ and 7.7 percent as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’].

"Also ranking lowly was customization [32.6 percent of respondents rated it as only ‘adequate’ and 4.1 percent as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’] and ease of upgrade [26.5 percent of respondents rated it as only ‘adequate’ and 7.9 percent as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’] – that’s an area that a lot of folks have complained about across the board,” said Dresner.

Technical Support
"In general tech support is quite good. Some of the beef that people have is that it takes time to resolve problems [27.6 percent of respondents rated it as only ‘adequate’ and 7.0 percent as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’], and continuity of personnel [22.7 percent of respondents rated it as only ‘adequate’ and 5.8 percent as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’]," said Dresner.

Consulting Services
"Product knowledge [40.5 percent of respondents rated it as ‘excellent’ and 39.9 percent as ‘very good’] and professionalism [36.7 percent of respondents rated it as ‘excellent’ and 41 percent as ‘very good’] were both rated highly, whilst value [26.4 percent of respondents rated it as only ‘adequate’ and 5.8 percent as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’], and once again, continuity of personnel [24.4 percent of respondents rated it as only ‘adequate’ and 4.7 percent as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’] are issues across the board,” said Dresner.

Recommend: 2010 vs. 2011
"Once again we saw an improvement in customer recommendations this year," said Dresner. "Last year [2010], well only got 91 percent recommendation across the entire industry. So this time, it’s improved four percentage points across the entire sample, so that’s really very good. This suggests that customers are, in generally, happier with their solution providers this year versus last year.

"The industry is clearly functioning pretty well. But there’s always room for improvement, we can always do better. But the industry is even doing better than last year, so that’s a good direction to be headed in.”


Conclusions: Users are in control as the consumerization of Business intelligence sees the industry expand

"Users [as opposed to IT] are in the ’driver’s seat’,” concluded Dresner. “BI is [also] expanding, [and] the increasing number of deployments by business users was impressive.

"We think the trend is going to continue in the direction of user-based deployment. A lot of that is driven by things like the consumerization of IT and a lot of work getting done on the other side of the firewall.”

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