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Business Intelligence Software

The current recession is creating a newfound curiosity in business intelligence tools, which enable companies to evaluate the information they gather for new cost-cutting or sales opportunities.

Smart data analysis

Business intelligence tools, or BI tools, are able to collect data from unrelated segments of the company, allowing companies to conduct evaluations, create reports and perform forecasts as indicated. Some BI software products enable companies to incorporate outside data into their analysis. By integrating information like the cost of gasoline or the jobless rate in particular areas, companies gain a more thorough understanding of how economic patterns or fluctuations in the marketplace impact the actions of consumers as well as the company itself.

A high priority

Based on a recent Gartner survey of over 1,500 CIOs around the world, BI tools at the top of the list for company spending on technology. This high prioritization did not suffer despite survey predictions that IT budgets would remain unchanged. Market investigator Forrester Research (FORR) forecasts the creation of over $12 billion in profits in 2014 versus $8.5 billion for 2008 from the BI market. 


Unless companies are diligent about making sure this sophisticated data software is working correctly, they run the risk of drawing conclusions from insufficient or incorrect information. And these tools do not come cheap; businesses may spend from as little as a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars for this technology. According to Boris Evelson, a principal analyst at Forrester, the cost of a large project with a large merchant is in the range of $150,000 to $300,000 for a business visualization software package. This covers only the software licenses and the initial year of maintenance. Evelson states that implementing additional necessary services means the company spends more for BI than for other kinds of software. Each dollar spent on business intelligence tools leads to an expenditure of five to seven times that on services.

Profit potential

Companies that institute these visualization tools throughout the organization in a reliable way can expect to reap gains, mainly due to the capacity of obtaining superior data and reacting more rapidly. Additionally, business intelligence tools enable companies to perform data mining operations on consumers to generate future sales of new services or merchandise.