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A look at BI for the SMB in 2011

by Lyndsay Wise, President, WiseAnalyticsTuesday, December 14, 2010

The business intelligence market is very dynamic.  Within the mid-market specifically, organizations have the opportunity to take advantage of many technologies and offerings that are targeted specifically to small and mid-sized companies.  Whether this is cloud computing, Software as a Service (SaaS), data warehouse appliances, and the like, SMBs can sometimes be more dynamic based on their lack of mature BI infrastructure.  In addition, within smaller environments there is generally more attraction to hosted solutions due to the lack of internal resources to manage large-scale implementations.

When looking at trends specifically, some interesting developments within the mid-market BI are:

  • Cloud based deployments: Many SMBs are comfortable with having solutions hosted externally.  And in some cases this expands to being comfortable with moving data to the cloud without the traditional stumbling blocks or concerns about security, etc. 
  • Data warehouse appliances: SMBs are looking towards appliances in lieu of traditional data warehouse implementations because of the quicker time to implement and in some cases, less maintenance required in the long term. In addition, appliances seem to be optimized for performance as well as getting analytics up and running without the same amount of development time as their traditional data warehousing counterparts.
  • Targeted solutions: Earlier this year, Pivotlink developed a set of targeted solutions delivered within a SaaS model, and earlier this week, SAP announced their first targeted business solution with integrated analytics for specific business functions.  These types of solutions are bound to become more popular as mid-sized companies adopt BI and develop business focused integrated analytics solutions.
  • Self-service BI: Many solution providers are delivering solutions that are targeting towards business users.  As more BI projects are driven by business units and not IT, the ability to deploy solutions targeted to these business groups enables broader usage of BI in general, whether as an operational BI initiative or a more traditional application.

These are just some of the trends that are emerging within the mid-market.  In addition, it will be interesting to see how broader analytics, mobile, and integrated analytics will affect the mid-market in relation to the options available and how BI will be applied within these organizations in the future.

About the Author

Lyndsay Wise is an industry analyst for business intelligence. For over seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay is the channel expert for BI for the Mid-Market at B-eye-Network and conducts research of leading technologies, products and vendors in business intelligence, marketing performance management, master data management, and unstructured data. She can be reached at lwise@wiseanalytics.com. And please visit Lyndsay's blog at myblog.wiseanalytics.com.


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