Business Intelligence Software Review – BI Solutions For the Midsize Market

In September 2009, IBM published the results of their survey with 2,600 CIOs from 78 different countries and 19 different industries. 83% of these personally interviewed CIOs selected Business Intelligence and Analytics as their top priority for 2009 and 2010.

In the last 6 months, we tested several business intelligence (BI) solutions like Cognos, iQ4bis, Business Objects, Qlikview, Micro Strategy and BDA. They varied a lot in functionality, pricing, required resources (external and internal), target groups, integration with multiple data sources and more.

In addition to our own research, we interviewed more than 50 companies to get their input about the experience with these BI solutions, their TCO (total cost of ownership) and their future plans with Analytics.

We found that larger enterprises were less price-sensitive and were still investing in external consultancy and adding additional user to their BI system. However the vast majority of the smaller and mid-size companies, (most of them with $50 million to $500 million annual turnover, so called SME or Small and Mid-Size Enterprises) want to reduce their cost for analytics applications and take more ownership by using internal resources to build or expand their data warehouse and analysis applications.

Therefore, we concentrated our efforts in finding and researching BI applications which were inexpensive, feature rich and easy to implement with in-house resources. We found one clear winner, a relatively new business intelligence software, called BDA which stands for Business-Data-Analysis. BDA offers a data warehouse based on Microsoft SQL-Server technology (but works with any kind of data sources like Oracle, IBM DB2, SQL-Server, Access and more), a reporting and analytics front-end and many pre-packaged business solutions like Sales Analysis for JD Edwards, Sage, BPCS, SAP and many more. Two features we liked most was that BDA offers an unlimited amount of front-end users for their reporting and analytics system and the fact that IT departments can take full ownership of BDA to build or expand the application.

BDA also offers a free POC (Proof of Concept) with your own data and the implementation time for a typical business analytics application like sales-analysis is less than one week.