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Gartner says BI software spending to hit over $17 billion by 2016

According to new analysis reported recently by Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT), the world-wide market for Business Intelligence (BI) software will hit $13.8 billion in 2013, but the pace of growth will be slower than in prior years.  Total spending will rise to $17.1 billion by 2016, the report adds.  Compared with 2011 growth of 16 percent, 2013 and the coming years are expected to be slower, with growth in the high single digits.

“BI and analytics have grown to become the fourth-largest application software segment as end users continue to prioritize BI and information-centric projects and spending to improve decision making and analysis,” said Dan Sommer, principal research analyst at Gartner. “As more and more information is generated, business models need reinvention, and it’s increasingly clear that mastering analytics on big data will be a key driver for the next economic cycle.”

BI spending will continue to increase because of other factors, such as the desire for department-specific and personal BI tools, according to the analyst firm.

But BI market growth will likely remain in the high single digits in coming years, due to “sluggish” macroeconomic indicators as well as “slowing sales cycles of multimillion-dollar end-to-end BI deals,” Gartner said.

“Although this is a mature market and has been a top CIO priority for years, there is still a lot of unmet demand. Every company has numerous subject areas — such as HR, marketing, social and so on — that have yet to even start with BI and analytics,” said Kurt Schlegel, research vice president at Gartner. “The descriptive analytics have largely been completed for most large companies in traditional subject areas, such as finance and sales, but there is still a lot of growth expected for diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive deployments. Since many midsize enterprises have yet to even start their BI and analytic initiatives, we expect the market for BI and analytics platforms will remain one of the fastest-growing software markets.”

The BI market could also see a new era of expansion thanks to a trend Gartner calls data-as-a-service. Rather than buy traditional software tools to build analytic applications, “organizations increasingly will subscribe to industry-specific data services that bundle a narrow set of data with BI and analytic capabilities embedded,” Gartner said.

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