The evidence mounts

The annual IDC business intelligence report shows a reassuring 11% rise in overall BI tool revenues in 2006. Regular readers of my blog know that a couple of my long-term viewpoints are that: (a) Microsoft is the vendor with the long-term best position due to its ownership of Excel, which is still the BI front-end that end-users actually want and (b) that specialist BI tools will never, contrary to many BI vendor projections, have a place on every desktop, due to the rather dull reason that most people do not need one.

Is there any evidence for these hypotheses? Well, Microsoft’s BI revenues grew 28%, while the major specialist BI vendors grew by 7% (Business Objects) and 9.8% (Cognos). As IDC analyst Dan Vesset notes, “IDC does not yet see a substantial impact on the market from the strategy and marketing messages of most BI vendors seeking to reach a broader use base”. Nor will it ever, in my opinion.

Also of note is the formidable performance of Qliktech, which grew by a little matter of 97% to USD 43.6 million revenue. Its offering to the mid-market offering based on in-memory search technology continues to get considerable customer traction. I have a soft spot for this company, having been asked to look at it for a venture capital firm as an investment when it was still a tiny company; I am very relieved that I recommended that they invest – otherwise I imagine that they would be hunting me down like a dog right now.