The Business Intelligence Industry Continues Its Ongoing Empowerment of Business Users

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, October 18th, 2017
According to The BI Survey 17, published this week by The Business Application Research Center (BARC), the trend for self-service and the empowerment of non-technical users continues its rise. The BI Survey is the world’s largest annual survey of business intelligence (BI) software users. It measures trends and provides a detailed comparison of over 40 of the leading products on the market. For more information, visit

Empowerment of business users

Data discovery and self-service BI tools, which are both aimed at non-technical business users, continue to be the dominant user trends this year. 2017 also witnessed a sharp upturn in the adoption of collaborative functionality, which is currently the fastest growing trend in BI.

“The widespread use of social networks and instant messaging in personal computing has played its part here”, said Carsten Bange, founder and CEO of BARC. “It has led the way in showing how effectively people can collaborate on these platforms, as well as directly influencing the development of collaborative BI functionality. The proportion of employees using BI products in organizations has also been steadily rising in recent years, which makes effective collaboration all the more important”

BI trends 2011 to 2017

Figure 1: Use of BI Trends (Timeline)

Vendor trends vs. user trends

 The BI Survey compares the current level of usage of several trending BI use cases with what the software vendors believe to be the present level of adoption. Vendors believe trends such as mobile BI, cloud BI, embedded BI and location analysis are far more prevalent than current usage statistics indicate. Conversely, data preparation is a “user led” trend: vendors are unaware of the full extent to which it has been adopted by users.

BI trends in 2017, vendors vs users

Figure 2: What vendors say their customers do with their BI products vs. what companies say they do with them

Qlik, Tableau and Microsoft: the most frequently evaluated vendors

 When organizations choose their BI solutions, Qlik, Tableau and Microsoft are the three most frequently evaluated vendors. The BI pure plays Qlik and Tableau have been strong in the market for a while but Microsoft’s appearance in the top three represents something of a resurgence over the last two years. This coincides with the 2015 introduction of its new generation of the Power BI product line.

Low recommendation rate for BI solutions

Only 52% of BI users say they would definitely recommend their solution to others. This is a rather sad reflection on the BI market at the moment, especially on some of the large multinational, generalist vendors for whom recommendation rates are especially low. Although they may be viewed as a safer investment, it seems users are readier to recommend products from smaller, specialist vendors.

 About The BI Survey

 The BI Survey is BARC’s annual survey-based study into the BI software market. It is based on user opinion about software selection, implementation and usage from over 3,000 BI professionals worldwide. Detailed feedback on 42 BI products is analyzed and compared. Visit to perform interactive, high-level product comparisons.

The BI Survey 17 is written by analysts from BARC and Eckerson Group.

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 Analytics/Business Intelligence (BI), 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 further information, please visit, or (in German).

For further information or media enquiries, please contact:

Nikolai Janoschek
Research Analyst
Phone: +49 (0) 931 880651-0

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