The 2016 CRM Market Leaders: Business Intelligence

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After a shakeup in this category last year, the big names are back on top this time around, largely off the strength of high scores in depth of functionality. Nevertheless, five-year cost proved to be a pain point for many vendors, indicating that customers are looking for better pricing when it comes to gaining insight from their data.


After receiving a 4.2 in depth of functionality last year, Oracle had another strong showing in that area, earning a 4.1. However, the company once again struggled in terms of price, scoring a 2.6 in five-year cost. The company earned a 3.2 in company direction—a dip from last year’s 3.9—and a 3.5 in customer satisfaction. Leslie Ament, senior vice president of research and principal analyst at Hypatia Research Group, says that “for a while, Oracle was doing really well with their analytics layer, and they do tend to integrate that layer into just about every solution from CRM to their business suite and so forth.” However, she notes that “costs are higher due to the professional services required to deploy…and they don’t offer as much flexibility or choices as an IBM or SAS.”

QlikTech followed up strong scores of 4.0 in customer satisfaction and 4.1 in five-year cost last year with a pair of 3.9s. However, the company continues to struggle in depth of functionality—last year, it earned its lowest score (a 3.6) in this area, and that dipped to a 2.9 this year. Nevertheless, Anne Moxie, senior analyst at Nucleus Research, says that QlikTech “offers tools with strong visualizations and is often integrated with other business applications…to help with more accessible data discovery.”

SAP continues to struggle in company direction, earning a 3.0 in that category, indicating that there is still uncertainty about where the company is headed. The company also struggled in customer satisfaction and five-year cost, with scores of 2.7 and 2.5, respectively. Nevertheless, depth of functionality remains decent at 3.6. Moxie notes that though SAP has been in the space for a long time, it continues to build out its analytics solutions, particularly in the cloud and through HANA functionality.

SAS Institute followed up last year’s strong score of 4.3 in depth of functionality with a 4.2 this year. Analysts suggest that its visualization technology is still a great option for customers. Although it struggled in company direction and cost—earning a 3.0 and 2.8, respectively—the company scored a solid 3.5 in customer satisfaction. According to Moxie, SAS Institute “does offer powerful functionality; however, customers have reported that it is difficult to train on and find talent that is familiar in its usage.”


After an eight-year streak, IBM was knocked out of the winner’s spot last year, but it reclaims that position this time around. The company posted strong scores across the board, earning a 4.6 in depth of functionality, a 4.1 in company direction, a 4.2 in customer satisfaction, and a 3.7 in cost. According to Moxie, “IBM continues to lead the market with ongoing investments in the analytics space. It has immense functionality that continues to grow and reach users as it is simultaneously aware of usability needs.” Ament shares a similar view, noting that the company’s acquisitions of Cognos, Netezza, Star Analytics, and SPSS “have been well integrated, so that end users can actually move seamlessly through a business intelligence or advanced analytics solution based on the configurations chosen.”

One to Watch

After rocketing to the top and winning this category last year on the strength of a 4.4 in depth of functionality, Teradata failed to repeat that performance this year. The company had particularly low scores in company direction and five-year cost, scoring a 2.2 and a 2.4, respectively. Nevertheless, Moxie notes that “current Teradata customers will likely remain in order to keep a hold on their Big Data assets.”


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