BARC is unique among the software industry analyst firms we work with. As an organization with global reach but a European base and perspective, their research into data management and business intelligence (among other things) has a distinctive mentality and flavor. Carsten Bange, who heads up the organization, has had a keen sense of the data and analytics market for decades.
The BARC BI Survey ’19 included responses from about 3,000 individuals – two-thirds were from Europe, and a quarter were from North America – covering 36 products in detail across ten peer groups.
Products could show up in multiple peer groups: For example, Information Builders showed up primarily in “Large International BI Vendors” alongside companies and products like Tableau, Qlik, and Microsoft PowerBI, as well as in “Large Global Enterprise BI Platforms” alongside companies like Microstrategy, IBM Cognos Analytics, and SAP BO BI.
And we had an outstanding showing. (You can download our results. Go ahead, I'll wait.)
In the Large Global Enterprise BI Platforms peer group, we were ranked top in over 62% of the KPIs. Across all peer groups, we achieved 34 top spots and 19 leading positions in the survey.
- Functionality. People always want to know a BI and analytics platform stacks up functionally, and we do: We took the #1 position for Functionality in the Large Global Enterprise BI Platforms and Large International BI Vendors peer groups.
- Mission accomplishment. We took top spots for a variety of business metrics across multiple peer groups, including Business Benefits, Project Success, Business Value, Price-to-Value, Customer Satisfaction, Sales Experience, Vendor Support, and perhaps the most important one, Recommendation. The survey results say that if you need it done, we’re going to get it done and make sure you’re happy with the results.
- Consistency. Across many critical metrics (Project Success, Business Value, Price-to-Value, Recommendation, Vendor Support, Implementer Support, Customer Satisfaction, Flexibility, Sales Experience, Query Performance, and Customer Experience), we’ve held top or leading positions for all five of the years recorded.
- Flexibility. Not only did we garner a top spot for flexibility, but the number of users who chose us for our flexibility is almost 50% higher than the average.
- Scale. Our median deployment reaches ten times the users as the industry average. Our mean deployment reaches three times the industry average. And we do it while achieving the top score for query performance against the second-highest data volumes in the survey. A data-driven business can count on us to drive adoption.
From where I sit, the BARC BI Survey 19 results communicate several important things.
First, they validate our position that we’re an industry leader at data and analytics at scale. For us, scale encompasses more users, more data, and more use cases. The metrics for flexibility and scale above demonstrate that our clients use us to achieve scale in all three of those ways.
Second, they show that getting the job done at scale is a critical component of our clients’ success. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a company like ours – privately held, modest marketing budget, relatively small awareness – does so well against better known, better funded competition. Clients who know what we’re capable of call on us to do high-impact projects, and we get the damned job done.
Third, they convincingly demonstrate that our customers rely on us to be great partners, not just to have great technology. When our customers call on us for a technological solution to a business problem, they’re calling on a team that they’ve come to know and trust because of the great sales, implementation, and support experiences they’ve had already.
The BARC BI Survey 19 research is very pragmatic, rather than being driven by an external market vision.
Though it evaluates market forces such as advanced analytics, it doesn’t force respondents into choosing particular buckets for its survey results. The research allows people to answer questions that fit in for many different peer groups, and then slices the market up after the fact. That allows specialist companies (e.g., in the Embedded Analytics peer group) to be compared correctly to companies in other peer groups that also do Embedded Analytics. That allowed companies like Information Builders and Microstrategy to be compared with Logi Analytics and Zoho Analytics for things like Query Performance.
It also allowed BARC to gain insights such as the relative high need for standard/enterprise reporting (85% of respondents) compared to ad hoc query and reporting (79%) and advanced analysis (47%). They seem to have done a great job at letting the market shape their understanding of it rather than trying to work the other way around.
All in all, I really appreciate the work that BARC has done. It’s not easy to come to grips with a market this diverse, and they’ve done a great job of it. Of course, I’m also really proud of what the BARC BI Survey 19 shows about Information Builders and the clients with whom we partner.
We invite you to download the survey results as they pertain to Information Builders, and we encourage you to engage with Carsten and the gang at BARC as you evaluate your data and analytics software needs.