Interesting Points from The Forrester Wave for Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms 2013

Jake Freivald's picture
 By | January 09, 2014
in analytics, bi platform, Business Intelligence, forrester
January 09, 2014
Boris Evelson is a superb BI analyst, so I was waiting to see his Forrester Wave for Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms 2013 with great anticipation. I'm happy to say that we were ranked as a leader. 
Here are a few other things I found interesting.
1. Key takeaway: Factors other than BI functionality often lead BI platform selection choices. Download the report to get the whole thought, but for me this highlights the difference between the glamorous-but-limited data discovery tools and the "fast platform" approach to BI. 
No business user wants to get mired down by IT, and many traditional BI tools have a reputation for requiring too much IT involvement. As a result, people sometimes turn to tools that seem to get them off the ground more quickly.
But to do data discovery, analytics, and business intelligence responsibly, you need to have trusted data, useable by all businesspeople (analysts are critical, but not the only users), and rapid extensibility. Those are platform capabilities.
With WebFOCUS, we provide a platform that can be installed very rapidly and get immediate results, but can also expand well beyond what data discovery tools are capable of. Businesspeople like it because it very quickly gives them InfoApps and analytics they can use; IT likes it because they can quickly incorporate it into their current infrastructure and extend it for additional projects.
2. Key takeaway: A single enterprise BI platform may be a vision but is seldom a practical reality. It's good to see this. I remember when analysts used to tell enterprises that they should consolidate on a single BI platform. We vendors were even told that we needed to be the enterprise standard in companies or we would go under.
It's just not the case. To be successful with BI, you have to show value, and to show value, you have to adapt to a lot of changing circumstances and heterogenous environments. Adaptability, not just capability, is key. You have to be good corporate citizens, playing nicely in the same sandbox with a host of vendors: ERP, mainframe, cloud, and so on.
We've been around for a long time, and have seen a lot of technologies come and go. One thing that has kept us on top, innovating and thriving where other companies have gone by the wayside, is our focus on working in any enterprise environment. 
This is true with respect to BI tools, too. If you have an ERP system with a BI tool in it -- and several other vendors in the Wave provide BI tools -- we can enhance the value of the ERP system and, often, even enhance the value of the BI tool that you're currently using. 
3. Quote: Information Builders can step in at any time with a platform to support all BI needs. Boris's paragraph about us specifically is a superb validation of what we do and how we do it. He calls WebFOCUS a "top choice" for a variety of common-but-challenging BI and analytics situations. But lest it seem like I'm bragging, I'll let you download the report to see for yourself.
After you read the report, I'd be interested to see your thoughts on it in the comments.