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An Analyst's Perspective on Recent Market Developments
Reading Between the Lines

by Lyndsay Wise, President, WiseAnalyticsWednesday, July 30, 2008

The recent announcement about Sybase Inc. (NYSE: SY) and QlikTech partnering to combine the best of both worlds – column based analytical data warehousing with front end access to intuitive analytics – is yet another in a long list of recent partnerships of the same sort.  It seems as if there are two camps:

  1. Mega vendors such as Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), IBM (NYSE: IBM), SAP (NYSE: SAP) acquiring large-scale BI players such as Hyperion, Cognos, and Business Objects respectively, and
  2. Niche vendors partnering to provide organizations with an overall suite such as Dataupia with LogiXML and Cognos, ParAccel with Pentaho, and Teradata (NYSE:TDC) with SAS, just to name a few. 

Whether these partnerships are serious or simply on paper, the fact remains that this type of partnership is created to offer organizations a full business intelligence suite by putting together bits and pieces of solution offerings.  Consequently, if done right, these piecemeal solutions may become better overall applications than their overall BI competitors. As acquiring vendors spend their time defining and developing product roadmaps and work on integration, partnering solution providers may have enough time to develop strong full-scale offerings and beat their competition to the curb.

With the expansion of the data warehousing appliance market, the ability to capture and analyze multiple terabytes of data, the choice between column or row-based databases, and the use of data warehousing for both analytical and operational activities, the use of data warehousing is broadened in general.  Add to this the growth in dashboards and predictive analytics, and front end BI begins to offer more to both super users and everyday users as well.

Using Sybase and QlikTech as an example, if done right, this partnership can take the best of both offerings and provide increased benefit to customers. QlikView, with its in-memory set analysis, enables users to perform analytics in multiple layers at once within an easy-to-use user interface.  Combine these features with a column-based analytical data warehouse, and users can access more information faster to enable better links between analytics and decision-making.    

Microsoft’s (NYSE: MSFT) intent to acquire DATAllegro provides another example of the rising importance of data warehousing within business intelligence. Whether or not Microsoft will actually turn the acquisition of DATAllegro into an integrated product within its BI stack remains to be seen. But the action itself speaks volumes as BI vendors on their own are becoming hard pressed to provide the same advantages as their appliance counterparts with respect to data warehousing.

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 a monthly columnist for DMReview 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.

(Copyright 2008 - Dashboard Insight - All rights reserved.)

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