New BARC Score examines the data discovery software market

Wuerzburg, June 19th, 2017: The Business Application Research Center (BARC) today published the first edition of BARC Score Data Discovery — Data Preparation, Visual Analysis and Guided Advanced Analytics for Business Analysts. The consulting and analyst firm has rated 13 leading, globally represented data discovery software vendors based on an extensive list of criteria, as well as user feedback. The study includes analysis of Datameer, Dundas, IBM, Microsoft, MicroStrategy, Oracle, Qlik, SAP, SAS, Sisense, Tableau, TIBCO and Yellowfin.

Data discovery is currently one of the world’s most influential BI trends*. The demand for flexible, user-friendly tools that can be used to efficiently analyze and research data is rising accordingly. BARC Score Data Discovery provides a market segment overview that clearly shows the strengths and weaknesses, current market position and functional scope of individual providers, and serves as a valuable guide for the selection of software.

Data discovery is based on the three pillars of data preparation, visual analysis and guided advanced analytics. In order to allow an iterative process for pattern recognition, data discovery solutions must support these functionalities in seamlessly integrated solutions. At the moment, the data discovery tools market offers various approaches, but few providers support the full functional scope of data discovery in a well integrated product suitable for specialist users. Despite having different core aspects, integrated products represent a significant improvement over tools that focus only on individual areas such as visual analysis, advanced analytics or data preparation.

BARC Score data discovery chart

Figure 1: Positioning of vendors in the BARC Score Data Discovery, 2017


Providers and tools display different degrees of market maturity

The market is divided into two segments: Some providers have highly mature tools in their portfolio and, as a result of their products’ maturity, have been able to successfully integrate most of the functions required for data discovery into these tools. On the other hand, many vendors have very innovative tools that provide good solutions to isolated problems, but they have not sufficiently integrated their solutions yet or, despite innovative approaches, have not yet reached the functional level of established solutions. Only one tool is rated above average in all three of the key areas in this BARC Score. The large general software developers and BI suite vendors often have difficulty integrating functions into a single tool or have issues with their products’ maturity, resulting in a restricted functional scope. This BARC Score omits many data preparation solution specialists because they fail to provide or integrate visual analysis sufficiently.

“The issue of data discovery will become increasingly important as the digitalization of processes and business models proceeds. User-friendly, flexible tools that ensure the greatest possible autonomy for users are equally high on the agenda for both specialist users and those responsible for IT,” said Robert Tischler, Senior Analyst and Director at BARC Austria. “The market for data discovery software is growing quickly, and there is a lot of competition. This BARC Score shows clearly that there is catch-up work to be done when it comes to integration, even in BI suites. This is an issue that the challengers in particular should make a point of tackling. The market leaders will try very hard to integrate ‘smart’ features into their solutions, which some challengers have already made available, thus increasing efficiency in their search for patterns.”

Provider selection and evaluation criteria

Since 2015, BARC has used its Score methodology to rate and classify business software providers in various market segments and economic regions. The providers included in BARC Score Data Discovery fulfill a number of technical and commercial criteria. The basic condition for inclusion is extensive functionality for data preparation, visual analysis and guided advanced analytics. In addition, providers must achieve an annual revenue from licenses and maintenance of at least 10 million euros in at least two of four markets (EMEA, North America, Latin America, Asia/Pacific).

BARC analysts rate each provider on “portfolio capabilities” and “market execution”. Analysis is based on detailed, weighted sub-criteria. Taken together, these sub-criteria determine the placement of each provider in the BARC Score ranking. In addition to BARC analysts’ opinions, user experience also plays an important role. Results from BARC’s BI Survey, the largest BI user survey in the world, are used to determine the quality of this experience. For a quick overview, all providers are included in the BARC Score graphic, where they are positioned in one of the following five categories: Dominators, Market Leaders, Challengers, Specialists and Entrants. Further information about the BARC Score methodology can be found at

Further information about BARC Score Data Discovery — Data Preparation, Visual Analysis and Guided Advanced Analytics for Business Analysts can be found here.

The complete BARC Score document, including the Score graphic and a comprehensive assessment of all the providers is available from the website of our sponsor Tableau.

*Source: BARC BI Trend Monitor 2016 and 2017

About BARC – Business Application Research Center – a CXP Group Company

The Business Application Research Center (BARC) is an enterprise software analyst and consulting firm with a focus on Business Intelligence (BI)/Analytics and Data Management, Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). For over twenty years, BARC analysts have combined market, product and implementation expertise to advise companies and evaluate BI, Data Management, ECM, CRM and ERP products. A long-running program of market analysis and product comparison studies forms the basis of BARC’s comprehensive knowledge of all the leading software vendors and products, as well as the latest market developments and trends. Along with analysts CXP and PAC, BARC forms part of the CXP Group – the leading European group of analysts for enterprise software and IT services with staff in eight countries. For more information, please visit: and

For further information or queries, please contact:

Robert Tischler
Senior Analyst and Managing Director, BARC Austria
Phone: +43 1 890 12 03-451

Wiebke Lörcher
Communications and Marketing Manager
Phone: +49 (0) 89 232368-25