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IBM Business Intelligence ranks highly... But here's what matters most

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Business Analytics Client Success, IBM

The most recent BARC Score Report from the Business Application Research Center makes an observation about the state of the business intelligence (BI) industry that’s worth quoting at length:

"A modern enterprise BI and analytics platform is able to span traditional and explorative BI and analytics requirements both for standalone data and information applications but also when embedded in operational applications […] a modern enterprise BI platform is an indispensable backbone of any enterprise that wants to succeed in adapting to the digitalization of markets."

Modern. Able to span. Indispensable. In other words, you can’t succeed without a good BI platform. This BARC report evaluates and ranks BI vendors, and it’s easy to get caught up in the rankings and obsess over where a particular vendor placed (spoiler alert: IBM placed very highly). But the rankings aren’t the only, or even the most important, factor. Because as the BARC authors also note:

"Besides buying a modern enterprise BI and analytics platform, organizations should have a proper BI strategy that goes well beyond an architecture blueprint to include non-technical and emerging business user-oriented requirements, alignment with corporate strategy, organizational models, outcome-based priority settings and a proper roadmap."

BARC researchers themselves are saying that BI success depends on more than just selecting the right tools — you need to have an effective strategy and a vendor with a strategic vision. Fortunately, IBM Business Analytics offers more than just a strong enterprise BI portfolio; we offer an analytics vision, unmatched analytics services, data expertise and global reach to help with virtually any implementation or use case.

A strong portfolio is great. We’re glad BARC has recognized ours, and I bet most other vendors on that chart wish they could change places with IBM. But that’s not everything.

Unless a strong BI platform is backed by strategic wisdom, it’s not going to fulfill its potential. Unlike many other BI vendors, IBM can offer both great software products and decades of experience — a deep-seated wisdom that’s built into our products and available through our people. That level of institutional wisdom is tough to rank, but it’s vital to the success of “modern” BI and analytics. 

Excellence in context

So to return to the rankings with deep industry knowledge in mind: on top of our institutional expertise, IBM can now point to a BI portfolio that’s garnering praise for all the right reasons. This third edition of the BARC Score report “analyzes the strengths and challenges of the leading vendors that offer beneficial value to customers wanting to implement a ‘modern’ enterprise BI platform.” And in it, the IBM Analytics Enterprise BI platform¹ was awarded the highest market execution score of all the vendor platforms evaluated. This top ranking in market execution is based on factors such as customer satisfaction and product strategy. Furthermore, IBM was also rated as having one of the most functionally rich and capable BI portfolios in the industry — ahead of competitors such as SAP, Qlik, Microsoft and Tableau. Those two ratings together put IBM squarely in the “Market Leaders” segment. 

The strengths of the portfolio — the reason for the highest ranking in “market execution” and the high ranking in “portfolio capabilities” — include:

  • Extensive product portfolio
  • Broad capabilities for data mining and advanced analytics
  • Visual business user-oriented data discovery and cognitive BI
  • Multiple deployment options — cloud, on-premises and hybrid
  • Continued investment and innovation in BI, advanced analytics and data management
  • Established and expansive partner community

Technical excellence, backed by decades of strategic wisdom. That’s the unique value of the IBM enterprise BI platform.

Read the full BARC report to learn more about the BI rankings and for strengths and weaknesses of each of the 20 ranked vendors.

Visit us online to learn more about IBM Business Analytics. 

¹ "Platform" includes IBM Watson Analytics, IBM Cognos Analytics, IBM Planning Analytics, IBM SPSS and IBM Data Science Experience.