Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Business Analytics Market - Ripe for M&A Opportunities?

This is not a recommendation to buy any of the companies I am mentioning here. I am just sharing my opinion on potential M&A opportunity in Business Analytics space. The companies in highlighted rows present could be a target of M&A this year. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Who could buy: HP, IBM and Oracle (or may be Dell) will likely acquire them in 2011.
There may be some mergers between INFA/QLIK or TDC/TBX or TDC/MSTR or MSTR/INFA or INFA/TDC to build a stronger company and to offer complete business analytics solutions. 

Also see my other post on emerging and fast growing companies in Analytics space.

(Disclosure: I don't have any position in any of the companies.)

From the World of Business Analytics - Miscellaneous Posting

Business Analytics landscape is changing - CORDA was acquired
Former Omniture CEO Unveils A-List Investors – Acquires Corda (A dashboard company) http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/05/19/former-omniture-ceo-unveils-a-list-investors/

On Demand Predictive Analytics: In2clouds - http://www.in2clouds.com/

40 BA Vendors We're Watching in 2011 (All eyes on the agile vendors that gained customer traction in the rebound)
http://www.information-management.com/issues/21_2/40-vendors-were-watching-in-2011-10019878-1.html?zkPrintable=true (Source: Information Management Magazine, 03/01/2011)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Upcoming Post - Intelligence On Demand or Analytics On Demand

Here are some of my favs in no particular order -
  1. PivotLink - http://www.pivotlink.com/
  2. SpatialKey - http://www.spatialkey.com/
  3. GoodData - http://www.gooddata.com/
  4. SAP - http://www.ondemand.com/businessintelligence
  5. Birst - http://www.birst.com/
SaaS BI – On demand business intelligence for Sales and Finance Analytics – BirstPivotLinkGoodDataHomeSpatialKey
I will check in later to talk about this segment which no single company has been able to crack (solve) yet. Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Predictive Analytics to the Rescue and Beyond! Predictive Analytics to go pervasive!

This segment of the analytics will explode soon. I have never made a prediction but if I were to make one - this will be it. Predictive Analytics have been the thing of super smart, masters of finance or PHD in statistics and/or mathematicians in an organization, not generally IT. This will soon change just like everything else has changed around us with consumerization of IT. Companies like SAS, SPSS (IBM) and bunch of other smaller niche companies offer predictive solutions to companies to make future decisions by analyzing the patterns in the data (all of the statistics: mean, variance, confidence-intervals, distribution, monte-carlo, seasonality, decision trees etc.)

Here are some anecdotal use-cases from the real would on how predictive is helping companies become smarter and more profitable:

 "Some of the most famous examples of analytics in action come from the world of professional sports, where 'quants' increasingly make the decisions about what players are really worth. Consider these examples from the business world:

--Best Buy was able to determine through analysis of member data that 7% of its customers were responsible for 43% of its sales. The company then segmented its customers into several archetypes and redesigned stores and the in-store experience to reflect the buying habits of particular customer groups.

--Olive Garden uses data to forecast staffing needs and food preparation requirements down to individual menu items and ingredients. The restaurant chain has been able to manage its staff much more efficiently and has cut food waste significantly.

--The U.K.'s Royal Shakespeare Co. used analytics to look at its audience members' names, addresses, performances attended and prices paid for tickets over a period of seven years. The theater company then developed a marketing program that increased regular attendees by more than 70% and its membership by 40%."

Source : Forbes: Why Predictive Analytics Is A Game-Changer?

As always, more on this later.. My approach will be to introduce each topic in the Analytics and then go deeper as the opportunity arise. I want to bring more use-cases in future blogs...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Does your company have a BI implementation plan? Consider this statistics:

  • According to market research firm IDC, annual data generation will reach 35 zettabytes or about 35 million petabytes by 2020. 
  • That is enough data to fill a stack of DVDs reaching halfway to Mars, or 17.5 million times the entire collections of all the academic libraries in the United States. 
  • As a result, business intelligence has become an eight billion dollar industry and continues to increase each year. Global Industry Analysts released a report in July projecting the BI software market will reach $12.4 billion by 2015.
  •  In May, Forrester came out with a report on the state of the BI industry, finding 49 percent of companies are planning a BI project in 2010 or soon after.
I think that the BI market is expected to be bigger than what IDC is projecting based on my own experience, analysis, research trends and continuous work with BI think-tanks. There are lot of other trends like location analytics and predictive which will make BI even more pervasive in next 2-3 years. 

Now, this ties pretty neatly into my earlier blogs on Big Data and huge amount of innovation happening in this space. Keep blogging... (See my blog entry from February 2010)

A crowded Mobile Analytics (Mobile BI) Competitive Landscape - Is the opportunity really that big?

Quite a few challengers in the market. The following list is a just a first stab at the number of companies looking to capture a piece of the action. The Mobile Analytics market is going to be a big opportunity which also nicely ties into the Big Data story and the Enterprise Mobility trend. More on the size of the opportunity and mobile analytics trends later. For now enjoy this graphics I built using the Dresner study -

Also see the magic quadrant from Gartner on BI. Some overlap between the companies on the two graphics indicating that there are new challengers on the market like LogiXML and Bitam. See my earlier blog on HTML 5 on LogiXML - 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fast Emerging, Developing and Developed Trends in Business Intelligence (BI)

  1. Emerging - Social and Collaborative
  2. Developing - Location Analytics (Augmented Reality for Mobile Devices)
  3. Developed - Mobile
- Huge amount of investment in collaborative software to optimize performance
- One obvious one - explosion in Mobile device and heterogeneous devices are accepted in the organization
- Strong desire to tie the analytics to its source, where did the event happen - zero in on the location. 

I get to live, rationalize, strategize, visualize, evangelize and everything else to influence build real BI solutions.
More on this in my follow up blogs, for now, enjoy following excerpts from a Gartner report -
Within two years, 15% of BI deployments will combine collaborative and social decision making-environments.
With the rapid development of handheld functionality and mass adoption rates across enterprises, by 2014 33% of business intelligence will be through mobile devices. 
Source: Gartner Predicts Business Intelligence Will Go Mobile and Social

Some Mobile BI companies are starting to adopt a device agnostic strategy - It is about time, go HTML 5!

Manage The Mayhem Of Mobile BI -- InformationWeek: "In-memory analysis and dashboard software vendor QlikTech did an about face on its mobile business intelligence strategy last month. One of the first BI vendors to natively support iPad and Android devices, QlikTech is now taking a device-agnostic approach, relying instead on browser-based viewing.
QlikTech isn't the only vendor avoiding native apps, it seems. Information Builders and LogiXML, for example, also take browser-oriented approaches. MicroStrategy and specialty vendor RoamBI, in contrast, have native apps for Apple and BlackBerry devices. SAP BusinessObjects has native apps, too, but given that this vendor's dashboards rely on Flash (which Apple does not support), the question for SAP customers is not only which device to choose but also what content needs to go mobile? IBM Cognos uses an app for BlackBerry and the browser for Apple, for now. Actuate uses an app, and Tibco Spotfire has a native iPad app as well."

Full Article here - http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/bi/229403021

Growing Bigger - QlikView Faces Headwinds? One Analysts Thinks That is the Case.

QlikView (Ticker: QLIK)  has been a poster child of BI since 2006 growing at a record double digit pace and becoming the envy of many large BI players (by not direct competing with them but still out-pacing on sales and customer growth). Many executives at large firms (un)proudly speak of QlikView as a strong competitor. Pretty good achievement!
 Take a look at the following graphics below that captures all company vitals - 

As QLIK grows, it faces an interesting challenge as faced by every company standing at the gates on an inflection point - transitioning to a larger company. Here are some of the issues identified by identified by Gartner for QLIK - ( I am pretty confident that QLIK will continue to execute well in near-term but it definitely has to resolve all of these issues mentioned below) 

QlikTech offers limited metadata management. As QlikView grows into larger BI deployments spanning the enterprise, the lack of an enterprise semantic layer becomes a more pressing issue. Filling this gap requires additional cost and effort in the management of metadata to lock down common definitions and calculations, and to conform dimensions for cross-functional analysis across QlikView applications.

QlikTech's focus on analysis and usability for end users delivers significant advantages. However, its lack of a number of broad BI platform capabilities (high volume enterprise reporting, planning/financially oriented OLAP, Microsoft Office integration, scorecarding and predictive modelling) means that it will almost always need to be used alongside another BI platform.

QlikView is increasingly seen as expensive — almost a third of its customers surveyed (31.4% vs. 26.1% in the whole sample) see this as its main barrier to wider use. Its pricing model often does not sit well with larger deployments to more users, nor does the investment in RAM required to support the increasing numbers of concurrent users.

Monday, May 23, 2011

IBM - Analytics is a very serious priority! How serious? $14B serious!

Actions speaks louder than words -  
- IBM has pent $14 billion on 24 business intelligence-related acquisitions over the past 5 years** (See the graphics below)
- It has 8,000 consultants in Analytics and Optimization service trained on BI***
- IBM earmarks $20B for acquisition through 2015 * 

Analytics is a priority at IBM for following reasons: 
- that spending on BI is growing twice as fast as information technology spending overall
- that 80% of CEOs see information as the source of competitive advantage. (Source: IBM and MIT Sloan Management Reviews)

Here is a latest press release that further reinforces the market's belief that IBM machine is not slowing down the big-data front - 

IBM Ups Big Data Bet with New Software, $100 Million in Research

Source: *,**,*** Public Press Release (IBM Accelerates Business Intelligence Acquisitions, Jeff Moad, Managing Automations, IBM Analyst Day, 2010)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Real Time Business Analytics - A new study coinciding with SAP HANA's greater push?

This is a clip from a news article that I just read - 

A recent study by Oxford Economics, "Real-Time Business: Playing to Win in the New Global Marketplace" [PDF], found that 30 percent of the companies surveyed have implemented some kind of real-time IT system, and 65 percent of the remainder have plans to do so in the near future. In addition, early adopters are reporting significant benefits: On average, companies that have implemented such systems are seeing average revenue gains of 21 percent and cost reductions of 19 percent. In fact, among early adopters, 77 percent report revenue gains with even higher revenue gains in certain industries like oil and gas.

It is not a groundbreaking study and definitely a study on this topic has been done before. This is a survey based study and  focuses primarily on the advantages of real time business intelligence using customers' account. Good read. 

The study was sponsored by SAP and its release coincides with SAP's SAPPHIRE NOW event where real-time (In-Memory) business analytics received a disproportionate amount of coverage.  Here is the full press release with seven customer testimonials - 


Monday, May 16, 2011

Business Analytics @ SAP Delivers a Chain of Innovations in Last Six Months!

The 10.0 release of EPM complements these tools by helping organizations ensure that central corporate strategy and an understanding of risk guide all decisions and actions. This enables companies to achieve goals with greater speed and fewer resources. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Big Date Beneficiaries - Sybase, Netezza, Exadata and more!

So my last post was about big data. Let's talk what kind of companies are going to benefit from the data explosion and mind you, the big data opportunity can't be discussed in one single blog. Now, the big data story started in 2010 and there are already few beneficiaries:
  • SAP acquired Sybase;
  • IBM acquired Netezza; and
  • Oracle acquired Exadata.
Going into 2011, the big data story is only going to get bigger. Here is an article that I read earlier (from a series of such articles) that discussed 3 predictions for 2011 based on big data - 3 "Big-Data" Predictions for 2011

Prediction #1: Not all data is created equal. Traditional relational database management systems will be challenged in 2011. (other flavors of repositories including columnar, in-memory, Hadoop/MapReduce, and other NoSQL approaches made popular by Google, Facebook, and other large-scale Internet applications.)
Prediction #2: Cloud architecture deployments will grow, specifically for long-term data storage and retention.
Prediction #3: Enterprises will search for sustainable storage.

data retention and management software will benefit from this trend

Geo-Spatial Intelligence - it will soon go main stream!

Following is an info-graphics created using Tableau Public - the favorite tools of bloggers who like to mash-up data and maps (i.e "Location Analytics")- following was embedded in a news story by NYT.