Analytical software market is poised for growth

A study by IDC is predicting huge worldwide growth in the analytic application software market, with CRM analytics leading the...

A study by IDC is predicting huge worldwide growth in the analytic application software market, with CRM analytics leading the way.

The report, called the Worldwide Total Analytic Applications Software Forecast and Analysis, 2003-2007, predicts the market will reach $4.8bn in 2007. The market will include CRM analytics, financial business performance management and operations.

CRM analytics were expected to experience the most significant growth at 12.9% annually, followed by financial analytics/business performance management at 10.3% and operations analytics by 7.4% annually.

IDC said the market would grow significantly because chief executive officers are able to justify their return on investment, measurability and accountability of these project installations.

While the study was global in reach, IDC said there were no specific numbers available to determine financial growth rates for individual countries. The data for the report was gathered via large-scale surveys, market trends and discussions between IDC and privately held software companies.

The fact that CRM analytics is expected to flourish over the next five years should come as no surprise, as a large number of companies have spent vast resources to build data warehouses, explained Robert Blumstein, research director for IDC’s CRM analytics and marketing applications.

As organisations move beyond traditional CRM-type of applications and into analytics, they are beginning to understand that new approaches are necessary to drill into corporate data more efficiently.

"Now that they’ve made those investments they have realised that they need analytic software to get the most out of CRM. Otherwise, all they have is a whole lot of data with traditional guesswork applied to it," Blumstein said.

In many cases, this is leading to a melding of CRM analytics and business intelligence applications. As a result, traditional BI and corporate performance management companies (CPM) have started to partner or buy their market presence. For example, Cognos bought privately held CPM outfit Adaytum earlier this year, while CPM firm Comshare has partnered with BI platform supplier Microsoft.

Blumstein noted that BI vendors recognised an opportunity when they realised their customers were selling their software to "build their own analytics out of their tools". He characterised the link between CRM analytics and BI a "natural extension".

Albert Leonardo writes for

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