Market Share Technology Report (MSTR): Business Intelligence

February 27, 2020 Charity Heller

Endpoint protection market share technology reportThis Market Share Technology Report (MSTR) from Datanyze examines market share and trends for business intelligence over the prior 12 months. Vendors can use this MSTR report to track technology market share among competitors and learn about the frequency of customer implementations, while software end users can read about the industry leaders and trends that influence popular features in business intelligence. 

It wasn’t so long ago that business intelligence (BI) services modeled future possibilities with proprietary solutions that reported on trends in historical data. But the offerings from today’s top leading business intelligence companies include machine learning, proactive data (information collected before a customer interacts with the product or company), natural language processing, self-service options, and data visualization.

With a few exceptions, top companies dominating the current BI market are all household names with other legacy applications: SAP, Tableau, Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM. Popular business intelligence tools are those that are able to be integrated into a broader business offering, refined to become industry specific - or, more commonly in 2019, acquired.

Business intelligence platforms are used to aggregate and analyze large volumes of data, and provide actionable, data-based insights for businesses to make strategic decisions.

A survey by ZoomInfo1 indicates 14.5% of all companies surveyed (1056 of 7289) have either:

  • completed a business intelligence initiative within the past six months
  • have a business intelligence initiative underway currently
  • plan to start a business intelligence initiative within the next nine months

Perhaps the most striking trend is the rapid growth of this industry. According to information from Datanyze2, installations of business intelligence software overall have increased 15.5% between March 2019 and November 2019 - just nine months.

Installations of business intelligence software overall have increased 15.5% between March 2019 and November 2019 - just nine months.

Fig. 1: Business intelligence technology by unit market share. Source: Datanyze

Market presence

SAP Crystal Reports, marketed to small and medium-sized businesses, is one of the most established business intelligence offerings and the market leader. Together, SAP Crystal Reports and SAP Crystal own 14% of the unit market share of the entire industry. In addition to being one of the most established technologies, SAP Crystal Reports continues to be one of the fastest growing, increasing its market share by 62% in the six months between March and November 2019 - four times greater than the industry average for the same time period.

In second place is Tableau, owning 12% of the market. The data-visualization darling, acquired by Salesforce in June of 2019 for a breathtaking $15 billion, is known for its ease of use and visualization. The unit market share of Tableau has held steady throughout 2019, adding 33% more installations between March and November - double the industry average.

growth in market share in 2019 in business intelligence software tools

Fig. 2: Growth in Market Share, SAP Crystal Reports vs. Tableau, Mar. - Nov. 2019

It is interesting to note that both SAP Crystal Reports and Tableau started began March 2019 with a similar number of installations - 10812 and 10751, respectively - but SAP had 14.5% more installations than Tableau by November of the same year.

The ramifications of this merger remain to be seen, but the $15 billion price tag highlights the importance of a versatile platform that matches the skill level of the user; clearly Salesforce sees business intelligence insights moving beyond analysts and experts, and into the workflow of non-analytical roles: namely, sales, marketing, operations, customer experience, and executive teams.

“Together [Salesforce and Tableau] can transform the way people understand not only their customers, but their whole world—delivering powerful AI-driven insights across all types of data and use cases for people of every skill level," said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff in a press release.

Microsoft products SQL Server Reporting and Power BI own the third- and fourth-largest slice of the market, respectively. SQL Server Reporting increased by 63% between March and November 2019, owning 9% of all BI installations. Power BI controls 6% of market share and has increased 22.2% during the same period.

In fifth place, IBM’s Cognos Enterprise controls 5% of the BI market, but the 108-year-old company’s market share hasn’t increased or decreased during our time frame.

Power BI is often compared favorably to Cognos for its significantly lower cost, ease of use, self-service options, and data visualization capabilities.

To see who's using specific business intelligence tools, check out ZoomInfo's technographic data intelligence

Rising star

FactSet - a niche BI product for investment professionals - stands out among the industry leaders. While the company showed only modest growth (3%) between March and November 2019, it’s remarkable to see an industry-specific BI tool rank a close sixth place overall by market share, right behind IBM’s Cognos.

FactSet offers financial research and investment analytics tools for both the buying and selling sides of the house, so its fortunes are closely tied with investors’. (Recent earnings reports show the company deriving significantly more income from clients who are selling rather than buying.)

In August 2019, FactSet announced a collaboration with DataRobot to create an AI investment workflow, DataRobot on FactSet, which is in line with FactSet CEO Phil Snow’s 2020 rally cry: “To further our winning proposition in the marketplace, we will be accelerating critical investments over the next three years from a position of strength, capitalizing on industry trends and enhancing our core offerings."

QlikView is another rising star in the business intelligence space. This platform analyzes data from disparate sources and provides strategic insights for business decisions. While it holds just 2% of BI market share, it has grown 50% over the nine-month period.

Other rising stars to keep on the radar include Pentaho, which increased installations by 60.8%; Jaspersoft, which increased installations by 73.9%; and Domo, which has a relatively small market share (0.56%) but almost doubled installations during our nine-month period - the largest gain of any BI technology.

BAR GRAPH (fig. 3)

growth in market share fastest-growing business intelligence BI platforms

Fig. 3: Growth in market share among fastest-growing BI platforms, Mar. - Nov. 2019

Buyer trends

Business intelligence has attracted a lot of recent investment. In addition to the $15 billion Salesforce-Tableau acquisition, Google acquired Looker for $2.6 billion, Qlik acquired Attunity for about $560 million, Sisense acquired Periscope Data for an undisclosed amount, and Logi Analytics acquired Zoomdata for an undisclosed amount, for example.

In addition to the acquisitions, BI is attracting a lot of investment at the startup level, according to CBInsights: The second quarter of 2019 alone saw $7.4 billion in funding for startups related to artificial intelligence, a core component of business intelligence.

Where is all that money going? Our survey data points to security-related investments are attracting the most investment.

Security is a priority for business intelligence buyers

The survey in Fig.1 categorized business intelligence into initiatives around BI security, BI cloud, and BI self-service. Among those 14.5% of companies participating in BI:

  • 46.7% are related to security-related initiatives
  • 29.7% are related to self-service initiatives
  • 23.6% are related to cloud-based initiatives

It is noteworthy that nearly half of all planned BI initiatives are related to security: Companies are using business intelligence to responding to breaches in data privacy that have been making headlines for the past several years. SAP BusinessObjects, for example, includes robust security features, rights features for defining permissions, and authentication with external systems.

The popularity of self-service initiatives, representing nearly one-third of all investment, is also noteworthy; this supports the aforementioned trend that business intelligence is growing beyond specialized analytical roles and into broader organizational use.

Company size is a factor in choosing a BI tool

Another noteworthy point from the aforementioned ZoomInfo survey revealed how company size impacts the business intelligence tool selected:

  • Enterprise companies (500 employees and up) prefer SAP Crystal Reports
  • Mid-market (50 to 499 employees) prefer Tableau
  • Small businesses (1 to 49 employees) prefer FactSet

Enterprise companies are much more likely to have in-house data analysts and engineers capable of complex analysis, and have less of a need for a user friendly tool like Tableau. FactSet, a small-business favorite, is primarily a financial analytics tool.

Looking ahead

Business intelligence appears to be following a trend familiar to many tech-related industries: consolidation of tools. Distributed, siloed data, and a different platform for each function, made it more difficult, in some ways, for companies to unify their tech stacks and reporting. In response, businesses are gravitating toward full-service tools that can perform a range tasks, such as ranking reports and metrics, data visualization, what-if analysis, open integrations, user-specific security, and of course, and executive dashboards.

In response to a fragmented, crowded landscape, many BI companies are merging and acquiring competitors, selling assets, and in the case of many smaller vendors, going out of business entirely.

Going into 2020, all eyes are on Salesforce and Tableau. The record-breaking merger - in which each company maintains its own brand, with the benefit of a combined customer base - may be a sign of things to come.

The growth-and-merger trend of this cutting-edge industry is expected to continue beyond 2020. 

ZoomInfo is the parent company of Datanyze.

2 Datanyze tracks unit market share, defined as the number of units (i.e., tech installations) that vendors sell as a percentage of total sales in a market. In March 2019, there were 117,398 BI software instances installed; by November 2019, that number was up to 119,829

About our data collection 

Datanyze collects technographic data by scanning more than 35 million web domains daily, using a combination of web crawling, third party providers, and natural language processing. Most technologies leave behind a footprint or “signature” that helps the crawler identify it from other elements of a website or mobile app. By finding and cataloging these signatures across millions of sites, Datanyze can determine how many companies use a given technology -- and take note of when certain technologies appear or disappear from a company’s site.

For technologies that leave no footprint (such as databases and CRMs), Datanyze uses natural language processing as an alternative method to identify tech deployment. This involves scanning and digesting unstructured data -- text from job postings, social media, press releases, and more -- to infer a relationship between a company and a particular technology. This method involves complex keyword targeting.

Also, ZoomInfo (the parent company of Datanyze) conducts quarterly surveys of a percentage of business professionals within its database, asking them detailed questions about technology purchases and upcoming projects.

About the Author

Charity Heller

Charity Heller is a senior manager of content at ZoomInfo and Datanyze. She is passionate about creating relationships through storytelling, communication, language, and strategy. Charity is a certified project manager with a BA in English literature and professional editing certification from the University of California, Berkeley.

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