dim4ik69 - Fotolia

SMEs still a target for BI channel specialists

There was plenty of talk last year about the BI opportunity in the SME space and the demand has continued into 2016

Among all the talk of cloud, mega mergers with Dell and EMC and growth in popularity of the phrase ‘digital transformation’, one of the areas that interested resellers was business intelligence.

As the demand from SMEs for real time data analytics increased so did the opportunities for the channel and the number of vendors shouting about this area.

Although the new year might have started without too much noise on the business intelligence front the market is continuing to grow and the demand from customers is strong.

Firms of all sizes have grasped the benefits that getting real-time insights into their operations can provide as they recognise the time saving it presents on previous data collection methods as well as providing a chance to talk about what is happening right now, rather than weeks before.

Along with demanding real-time information the other feature high on the wish list has been for easy to understand visual dashboards.

Tony Bray, director of Intuitive Business Intelligence, said that demand from SMEs was stronger than ever as they looked to get a better handle on their activities.

“Users can spend weeks getting information and producing diagrams and charts for people to then make decisions on, but the information they are looking at can be five or six weeks out of date,” he said.

Bray argued that the channel was now looking for embedded analytics that could be added to managed service offerings and often be part of a wider solution.

“We are seeing a strong growth from partners and many are looking to embed analytics in the application. Everyone [at the customer] is demanding to be able to look at the information and partners need to be able to enable that easily,” he added.

As a result of the buoyant market conditions Bray added that Intuitive Business Intelligence, which had always been a channel focused operation running a single tier model communicating with partners, was looking to expand its reseller base to gain more market coverage.

Research player MarketsandMarkets has pointed to the growth in the general adoption of cloud as helping drive the demand in SMEs for business intelligence and analytics.

The firm forecasts that the global Business Intelligence and Analytics Software Market is expected to grow from $17.90bn last year to $26.78bn by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.4%.

The slight concern voiced by MarketsandMarkets, which again should favour the channel, is that there is a shortage of skilled staff able to exploit the latest BI technology.​

Read more on Business Intelligence Tools and Services