Suppliers of business intelligence software are shifting focus towards offering performance management applications that are linked more closely to business needs than traditional BI tools, according to Gartner.
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Speaking ahead of the analyst firm's BI Summit in London next week, Gartner research vice-president Nigel Rayner said that business intelligence software had to be linked to real business needs, and suppliers would probably focus on this challenge by developing business intelligence applications.
"Over the next two years, Business Objects, Cognos, Hyperion and SAS will shift from traditional business intelligence to business performance management applications," Rayner said.
One reason for the shift is the availability of open source business intelligence tools. Components that users originally paid for as part of their business intelligence package - such as reporting and analytical tools - now exist as open source tools that IT directors can incorporate into their own business intelligence systems.
Another factor is Microsoft's foray into business intelligence applications with the launch later this year of Office Performancepoint Server 2007.
The product combines Microsoft Office Business Scorecard Manager 2005 with recently acquired Proclarity technology to provide a single, integrated performance management application.
According to Microsoft, Performancepoint can be used to improve operational and financial performance. The product, which can be downloaded as part of Microsoft's community technology preview programme, will offer scorecarding, analytics and planning.
Rayner said that the many firms that used Excel to monitor business performance needed to move on.
"Excel is not a suitable tool to do corporate performance management," he said.
The open source option
Birt (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) is an open source Eclipse-based system that integrates Java/J2EE applications to produce reports. Users can add the runtime component to their application server.
There is also a chart designer. Find out more at: www.eclipse.org/birt/phoenix
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