The market for business intelligence software will grow consistently over the next three years to reach £1.7bn in 2009 from £1.35bn in 2005, according to Gartner. This year it is forecasting growth of 6% in BI, lifting sales to £1.4bn.
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Colleen Graham, principal research analyst at Gartner, told delegates that the use of enterprise software like ERP, CRM and HR was generating "significant volumes" of data that firms were starting to put to better use.
"By investing in BI, companies can further leverage their enterprise application investments and turn the torrent of data into meaningful insight to better measure performance, respond more quickly to market changes and opportunities and comply with an increasingly complex regulatory environment," said Graham.
Gartner's recent global survey of 1,400 CIOs saw better use of BI at the top of their technology priorities this year.
"BI is now part of an organisation's licence to operate, as every enterprise needs to manage information," said Frank Buytendijk, research vice-president and conference chair at Gartner.
"However, BI has not yet achieved the necessary level of strategic importance and is not included as an essential part of corporate planning activities."