Is the Recession Good for the Business Intelligence Software Market?

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Map of the World Financial Crisis
Map of the World Financial Crisis

The business intelligence market seems to be booming despite the recession.  It’s really hard to think: yeah, the recession has been good to our sector.  In fact, pick your favorite daily newspaper,  and chances are there’s been a recent article on the woeful state of the economy.

But, industry analyst report after industry analyst report says the business intelligence market is on the upswing.   The reasons don’t seem to vary much; basically, business intelligence software helps companies to not just identify cost savings, but to also grow profits.

The reports range from shorter snapshots, such as that by Analyst David White of Aberdeen Group, to larger pieces like “The 2009 State of the Market: Mid-Year Insights Report.” The Mid-Year report found that business intelligence software applications will have the highest impact for companies over the next two to five years [see related blog post].

The shorter report, “BI or Bust: Best Practices for Using Business Intelligence During a Recession,” claims to provide “a roadmap to understand how businesses have been able to insulate themselves from the effects of the economic recession using…business intelligence.”  Aberdeen states that three key performance indicators were used to distinguish “Best-in-Class” companies; these were the “change in operating profit since the start of the recession,” the “customer retention rate,” and the “penetration of business intelligence within the company.”

Essentially, it sounds like Aberdeen applied their proprietary methodology to determine these best practices.

Without reading the report, it’s hard to tell what “take aways” companies can get and conclusions they can draw.

What we do know is that business intelligence software has long been a differentiator for competitive companies.  In strong economies, business intelligence just makes companies stronger and more profitable.  And in slower economies, the software provides the path to stay alive and prosper.

But what is a differentiator for one company is different for the next.  So what generalizations can be made about business intelligence successes in this recession?  Perhaps the best way is to look at how it is used.

The range of applications is almost limitless (see the upcoming post on unconventional applications), but some make a bigger impact than others.  These “big impact” business intelligence software applications include:

Kelley Kassa
Spotfire Blogging Team

Image credit: 23prootie on Wikimedia Commons