Chapter 17. BI Products and Vendors

For project managers and BI project sponsors planning a new business intelligence initiative, selecting the software to power the environment is one of the biggest choices of the implementation.

The good news is the industry has matured; a host of powerful, capable choices await the application evaluator. There are general-purpose applications, specialty applications, all-in-one packages, and cafeteria-style plans. The software industry has risen to the demand for good BI tools that can dig up those business insights that are (you know the mantra) accurate, timely, high-value, and actionable.

All those choices can be a little overwhelming, so this chapter surveys the current state of the software industry as it relates to business intelligence. That state is always changing, and not always easy to define.


This book is accurate as of the completion of the manuscript. But if the past is any indication, several major acquisitions will take place the moment the book goes to print, and the entire industry landscape will change overnight.

The BI software market is notoriously dynamic. There are niche players who pop into existence and make a name for themselves in one specialty. Pure-play vendors specialize in creating products for a single business purpose—in this case, BI. Then there are the large software vendors who made their mark outside of BI. As they try to get in on the lucrative business intelligence software market, they often buy up ...

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