Given my last post, I’m not going to talk about ad hoc tools. Rather I’ll cover the true BI suites that also encompass ad hoc tools. Here’s my list of vendors – these are all top vendors and all of them are at the top of the heap:
- Business Objects
Cognos, Business Objects, and Hyperion are clearly best in the reporting and OLAP functions. Oracle and SAP with their strength in the applications markets are able to integrate data more easily, but don’t provide the same level of usability. Cognos specifically has done well to align itself with SAP’s netweaver platform.Business Objects and Hyperion have a lead in data mining capabilities, with Cognos and Oracle slightly behind.
Oracle has a nice play being a database and an application vendor. Their strength lies in the fact that they can mine the database layer with great integration with the application.
The problem with BI today (as companies execute, not as provided by the vendors) is that like enterprise systems, companies often deploy disparate BI tools. Rather than complaining about the technology, it’s really corporate execution that lags. So a company that has SAP for supply chain, Oracle for financials, Siebel for CRM and Peoplesoft for HR might deploy many different tools for Ad Hoc and OLAP. The vision is an integrated BI platform across the entire application suite.