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Gartner: Business intelligence software market grew 13% in 2007

Gartner says the worldwide business intelligence software market grew substantially in 2007 despite a slowdown in the U.S. Meanwhile, the so-called mega-vendors improved their market share dramatically through acquisitions.

Spending in emerging markets and in Western Europe helped the worldwide business intelligence (BI) software market grow to $5.1 billion last year, an increase of 13% from 2006, according to Gartner Inc.

But BI spending in the U.S. slowed "drastically" to 5% in 2007, thanks in part to a looming recession and a weak dollar, according to the Stamford, Conn.-based analyst firm. U.S. spending grew a healthy 16% in 2006, before the subprime mortgage crisis put a drag on the U.S. economy.

The biggest winners were the so-called mega-vendors – SAP, IBM, Oracle and Microsoft – which together increased their market share from 20% in 2006 to 66% in 2007, mainly through acquisitions. SAP and IBM completed acquisitions of Business Objects and Cognos, respectively, in January of this year. MeanwhileOracle bought Hyperion in March 2007.

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Combined, SAP and Business Objects controlled 26.3% of the global BI platform market in 2007, nearly double their nearest competitors. IBM and Cognos held 14.7% market share, followed by the SAS Institute at 14.5%. Gartner ranked SAP and Business Objects, and IBM and Cognos, separately because the acquisitions weren't finalized until 2008.

A combined Oracle and Hyperion tied Microsoft for 4th overall, each with 10.6% market share. Still, Gartner predicts that independent BI vendors will play an important role going forward. "Others" controlled over a quarter of the BI market in 2007.

The BI market has undergone "a pendulum shift from a market driven by best-of-breeds to one dominated by mega-vendors," said Dan Sommer, senior research analyst at Gartner, in a statement. "However, many smaller independent BI vendors grew faster than the market, and we expect continued innovation and new vendors to enter the market."

Worldwide BI platform revenue estimates for 2007 (Millions of U.S. Dollars)

Company 2007 revenue 2007 market share (%) 2006 revenue 2006 market share '06-'07 growth (%)
Business Objects 939.6 18.2 870.6 19.0 7.9
SAS Institute 752.3 14.5 665.8 14.4 13.0
Cognos 710 13.7 621.5 13.6 14.2
Microsoft 547 10.6 455.2 9.9 20.2
Oracle 484.5 9.4 236.4 5.2 105
SAP 408.5 7.9 306.5 6.7 33.3
Others 1,332.6 25.8 1,420.4 31 -6.2
Total 5,141.7 100 4,576.3 100 13.1

Source: Gartner (May 2008)

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