BARC Score BI 2018 chart

Press Release: BARC Presents Two New Editions of the BARC Score

PRESS RELEASE – Würzburg, March 31st, 2022

The 2022 editions of BARC Score Integrated Planning & Analytics and BARC Score Financial Performance Management are now available.

  • – BARC Scores provide an at-a-glance classification of relevant providers in the market.
  • – The market for integrated planning and analytics tools is converging.
  • – Providers of financial performance management software have expanded their portfolio capabilities since last year.

The analyst firm BARC has published two new BARC Scores. BARC Score Integrated Planning & Analytics assesses 14 vendors this year, while BARC Score Financial Performance Management compares 15 providers. There are two versions of each BARC Score: one that looks at the global market and one that focuses purely on the DACH region. All are available to BARC Access clients or for purchase here.

“Making well-founded decisions based on current forecasts and data analytics has become massively more important. Companies want to evaluate potential future developments more efficiently in scenarios and simulations, and the automation of processes is also in vogue. This requires the right software tool,” said Dr. Christian Fuchs, Senior Analyst Data & Analytics at BARC. “However, the search for a new and, above all, requirements-oriented software solution is not straightforward. Market dynamics and competition are increasing rapidly, which is causing problems for many organizations.”

“The aim of BARC Scores is to support companies in their software selection. Relevant software providers can be assessed at a glance,” explained Dr. Fuchs. “BARC Score Integrated Planning & Analytics is aimed at organizations that are looking for integrated solutions for planning, budgeting and forecasting, but also business intelligence (BI) and analytics capabilities. If a company is striving to increase its financial performance and efficiency, it should consult BARC Score Financial Performance Management. This report provides an overview of integrated solutions for financial planning, group consolidation and financial reporting.

The complete BARC Score documents contain a graphic overview of the market as well as detailed descriptions of the providers and their solution portfolios. A strengths/weaknesses analysis is also included, which companies can use to compare with their own requirements in order to make an informed decision.

BARC Score Integrated Planning & Analytics 2022 chart

BARC Score Integrated Planning & Analytics shows that the globally active providers are converging. The market continues to grow and demand from users is high. “We are also seeing that some providers are expanding their functions for analytics and BI while others are increasingly focusing on functions for operational application scenarios and planning processes,” said Dr. Fuchs.

This year’s editions of BARC Score Integrated Planning & Analytics include the following vendors:

Vendor BARC Score IP&A Global BARC Score IP&A DACH
Anaplan
Board International
Corporate Planning
IBM
Infor
insightsoftware
Jedox
OneStream
Oracle
Planful
Prophix
SAP
Serviceware
Unit4
Wolters Kluwer
Workday

For more information and the full software evaluation, visit:
https://barc-research.com/barc-score/barc-score-planning-analytics/

The software market for financial performance management tools is also highly competitive, with a wide range of offerings.

BARC Score Financial Performance Management 2022 chart

In the market analysis, most of the providers examined are positioned in the “Challengers” segment, while four have established themselves as “Market Leaders” and offer a comprehensive portfolio for financial performance management. “This year, many providers have expanded their portfolio capabilities for financial performance management. Others have strengthened by acquiring solutions. Some vendors have grown significantly in the past year, which is reflected in a strong gain of new customers as well as significant revenue increases,” confirmed Dr. Fuchs.

The following providers are included in the 2022 editions of BARC Score Financial Performance Management:

Vendor BARC Score FPM Global BARC Score FPM DACH
Anaplan
Board International
Corporate Planning
IBM
Infor
insightsoftware
Jedox
LucaNet
OneStream
Oracle
Planful
Prophix
SAP
Serviceware
Unit4
Wolters Kluwer
Workday

For more information and the full software evaluation, visit:
https://barc-research.com/barc-score/barc-score-financial-performance-management/

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

For all enquiries, please contact:

Regina Schmidt
Communications Manager
Tel: +49 (0) 931 880651-47
Mobile: + 49 (0) 1520 431 82 39
Email: rschmidt@barc.de

Strategies for Driving Adoption and Usage with BI and Analytics

Press Release: New Study Identifies Drivers of BI and Analytics Adoption in Companies Today

PRESS RELEASE – BOSTON/WÜRZBURG, March 30th, 2022

BARC (Business Application Research Center) and Eckerson Group today published the results of the new topical survey Strategies for Driving Adoption and Usage with BI and Analytics. Based on a user survey of 214 companies, the study focuses specifically on the adoption, usage, and value of business intelligence (BI) and analytics tools, and generally on the effectiveness of data & analytics programs. The study is available for download free of charge thanks to sponsorship by insightsoftware, Logi Analytics, MicroStrategy, Tableau and Toucan Toco.

  • – Key Finding #1: The percentage of employees actively using BI/analytics tools is currently 25% on average, reflecting minimal growth in the past seven years we’ve been tracking this metric.
  • – Key Finding #2: At the same time, 50% of data & analytics leaders say BI/analytics usage has “increased a lot.”
  • – Key Finding #3: The primary technical drivers of increased usage are “self-service authoring tools” (73%), data preparation tools (48%), and “embedded BI/analytics” (38%).
  • – Key Finding #4: Key business drivers of increased usage are “change in data culture” (51%), “new data-driven executives” (50%), “digital transformation or other strategic initiatives” (50%).

According to a new survey conducted by BARC and Eckerson Group, usage of BI/analytics tools is increasing while adoption rates remain stuck. “We’re puzzled by the persistently low adoption rates of BI/analytics tools,” said Wayne Eckerson, founder of Eckerson Group and co-author of the study. “On one hand, today’s organizations are hungry for data to fuel digital transformations, modernize supply chains, and create 360-degree views of customers. And the cloud has made BI and analytics tools easier to use, install, and maintain. Yet, the average adoption rate of tools designed to help business users query, visualize, and analyze data and share insights has been stuck around 20% for many years.”

Good news: Usage of BI/analytics output is growing, fueled by several trends

The picture gets rosier when we ask data & analytics professionals to describe trends in BI/analytics usage rather than count the number of employees and licensed users, which is how we calculate adoption rates. Almost all (92%) of respondents said usage of their BI/analytics tools has increased in the past five years, with a whopping 50% saying it has “increased a lot.” Clearly more users are using BI/analytics output, such as charts, tables, and dashboards, if not BI/analytics tools themselves (see Figure 1).

Has the usage of BI/analytics tools increased or decreased in the past five years?

Figure 1: Has the usage of BI/analytics tools increased or decreased in the past five years? (n=211)
© BARC and Eckerson Group

 

“Usage growth is primarily fueled by “off-license” usage from front-line workers using BI/analytics output embedded in operational applications as well as external users (e.g., customers and suppliers) using external-facing reports and dashboards,” said Dr. Carsten Bange, founder and managing director of BARC and co-author of the study.

North American companies adopt new technologies faster than their European counterparts

When we asked respondents to explain the growth in usage, a few clear winners rose to the surface. Self-service capabilities took the two top spots. Almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents cited “self-service authoring tools for reports and dashboards”, while almost a majority (48%) mentioned “data preparation features.” This was closely followed by “embedded BI/analytics capabilities” selected by 38% of respondents. Other choices included “semantic layers” (21%), “data catalogs and business glossaries” (21%), “natural language queries” (14%), and augmented BI features (13%) (see Figure 2).

Which technical features have contributed to an increase in usage and adoption of BI/analytics tools?

Figure 2: Which technical features have contributed to an increase in usage and adoption of BI/analytics tools? (n=213)
© BARC and Eckerson Group

 

North American and European respondents registered similar scores for all technical features except one: embedded BI/analytics. Here, 51% of North American respondents said embedded BI/analytics has increased usage compared to just 32% of Europeans. North Americans are much more likely to have a majority of their employees (i.e., between 51% and 75% of all employees) viewing embedded charts and tables than Europeans by a ratio of 23% to 15%. Many more European respondents said zero employees at their organizations used embedded BI/analytics output than North Americans (12% to 3%). We see other notable differences when we compare the usage of technical features of North American to European companies. For data catalogs, the usage ratio between North American and European companies is 29% to 17%; for natural language queries, 20% to 13%; and for augmented intelligence, 20% to 10%. These results reinforce the notion that North American companies adopt new technologies faster than their European counterparts.

About the survey

“Strategies for Driving Adoption and Usage with BI and Analytics” is a topical survey conducted by BARC and Eckerson Group, examining technical and organizational drivers of BI and analytics adoption as well as barriers to adoption. The report is based on a global survey of 214 data & analytics leaders. In the final section of the report, the authors use the survey as a springboard to generalize about the drivers and challenges of successful data & analytics programs using their combined 60+ years of experience in the field. The authors of the study are Dr. Carsten Bange, founder and managing director of BARC and Wayne Eckerson, founder of Eckerson Group.

Click here to find out more and download the full study.

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

About Eckerson Group

Eckerson Group is a global research, consulting, and advisory firm that helps organizations get more value from data. Our experts think critically, write clearly, and present persuasively about data analytics. They specialize in data strategy, data architecture, self-service analytics, master data management, data governance, and data science. Organizations rely on us to demystify data and analytics and develop business-driven strategies that harness the power of data. Learn what Eckerson Group can do for you!

Contact

For all enquiries and further information, please contact:

Regina Schmidt
Communications Manager
Tel: +49 (0) 931 880651-47
Mobile: + 49 (0) 1520 431 82 39
Email: rschmidt@barc.de

BARC COVID Survey 21

Press Release: BARC COVID Survey 21: Changed Priorities in Pandemic Times

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, November 30th, 2021

BARC publishes its second COVID-19 study on the impact of the current crisis on data and analytics.

  • #1: The analyst firm BARC surveyed around 950 respondents in a global survey: the results of the study highlight the main issues of importance in the area of data and analytics during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
  • #2: The study reveals that business intelligence (BI) initiatives have increased at the companies of 45% of respondents over the past 12 months.
  • #3: COVID-19 is proving to be an inadvertent driver of digitalization: in the post-pandemic period, companies expect the level of data-driven decision-making to increase by 24% on average.

BARC publishes the BARC COVID Survey 21, for which some 950 professionals were surveyed for the second time during the pandemic between March and May 2021 about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the development of data and analytics in their companies. The results of the study show, among other things, that the crisis and the challenges it poses for companies means that topics that had previously been given lower priority have made a comeback. The study is available to download free of charge.

BI and cloud: the top topics in pandemic times

In the last twelve months, most investment has flowed into business intelligence initiatives. Dr. Carsten Bange, Founder and Managing Director of BARC and author of the study feels that the new importance of BI can be easily explained: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, the need for transparency has clearly been at the forefront. That’s because the world has faced, and continues to face, an unprecedented situation. At every turn, companies need to find out where they currently stand – what’s happening with supply chains, customers and employees.”

According to respondents, the need for BI will not abate in the next twelve months: 76% said they would like to further expand BI initiatives in their company.

Second in the list of investment priorities is the introduction of cloud applications. “That is less surprising,” said Bange. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are being encouraged to work from home: The need to access data from anywhere has grown significantly as a result.”

Development of a “new normal”

The study also shows that the impact on business of the coronavirus crisis has not been entirely negative. Data-based decision-making in companies has been – and will be – significantly strengthened in the future. Survey participants have already seen an increase of 12% toward more data-driven decisions. After the pandemic, the projected figure is 24%. This makes the pandemic an inadvertent driver of digitalization.

Respondents indicated that measures to improve data quality would have been particularly helpful in dealing with the coronavirus crisis. This proves that there is a growing understanding of the importance of a solid data foundation and the need for investment in data management and data quality.

Related links

More information and to download the full report

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For all enquiries and further information, please contact:

Regina Schmidt
Communications Manager
Tel: +49 (0) 931 880651-47
Mobile: + 49 (0) 1520 431 82 39
Email: rschmidt@barc.de

BARC Data, BI & Analytics Trend Monitor 2022

Press Release: Quality, Culture and Governance – The Data Trends Users Really Care About

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, November 16th, 2021

The analyst firm BARC publishes the Data, BI & Analytics Trend Monitor 2022, providing a comprehensive overview of the hottest trends in the market for data management, BI and analytics. The full report is available as a free download.

Key findings:

  • #1: Establishing a data-driven culture has continued to grow in importance and now ranks as the second most important trend.
  • #2: Master data and data quality management remains the most important trend, a position it has held for the last five years.
  • #3: Companies are focusing on the basics of using and managing their data rather than shifting their priorities to more advanced methods.

The new edition of the Data, BI & Analytics Trend Monitor is available for free. © BARC

Top five trends build the foundation for organizations to manage their own data

Data quality and master data management has been ranked as the most important trend for five years in a row now, while the second most important trend, establishing a data-driven culture, has steadily increased in importance.

Many companies are still adapting to changed requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the situation now seems less acute and more long-term changes toward a ‘new normal’ are on the horizon, day-to-day business is far from settled. A look at this year’s data, BI and analytics trends reveals that companies are still working to position themselves well for the long term and are working on the foundation of their data usage.

“The overall picture indicates that companies are concentrating on the basics of using and managing their data before they shift their priorities on to advanced methods,” said Dr. Carsten Bange, CEO and founder of BARC. “Like 2020, 2021 is not a year of hype trends. Instead, companies are addressing the root causes of their challenges such as data quality, as well as working to build a holistic data-driven culture.”

Comparison of rankings in the 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 editions (n=2,770/2,679/2,865/2,259/2,396) © BARC

 

Get ready for a data-driven culture

Since its introduction to the Trend Monitor in 2019, data-driven culture has always ranked among the top five trends and is constantly gaining in prominence. “This can be explained by the rising awareness that fostering a data-driven culture is vital to companies looking to realize their full data potential,” explained Bange.

Data-driven culture is considered important across all industries and geographical regions. Best-in-class companies have had this topic on their agendas for some time and presumably also provide the necessary resources for implementation. But there are also encouraging signs that laggards are now more interested in establishing a data-driven culture than before.

“Establishing a data-driven culture requires the encouragement of critical thinking as well as being willing to hand responsibility for data to business users. Organizations have to be aware that an in-depth cultural change is time-consuming and will probably face resistance,” said Bange.

The trends in the BARC Data, BI & Analytics Trend Monitor 2022 (n=2,396) © BARC

 

About the Data, BI & Analytics Trend Monitor 2022

With 2,396 participants, BARC’s Data, BI & Analytics Trend Monitor 2022 is the largest global trend survey on analytics, business intelligence and data management. It offers a detailed evaluation and weighting of 20 individual trends by region, industry and self-assessment of the participating companies (“Best-in-Class” vs. “Laggards”). The complete study is available free of charge thanks to sponsorship by InfoZoom, Logi Analytics, MicroStrategy and TARGIT.

Related links

More information and to download the full report

Infographic showing key findings from the report

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For all enquiries and further information, please contact:

Regina Schmidt
Communications Manager
Tel: +49 (0) 931 880651-47
Mobile: + 49 (0) 1520 431 82 39
Email: rschmidt@barc.de

Press Release: Data Culture Eats Data Strategy for Breakfast

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, November 9th, 2021

BARC (Business Application Research Center) today published the results of its topical survey “BARC Data Culture Survey 22 – How To Shape the Culture of a Data-Driven Organization”. Based on a user survey of 434 companies, the study examines the benefits companies are striving for when implementing a data culture as well as initiatives that prove to be valuable steps on the way to a data-driven company. The study is available for download free of charge thanks to sponsorship by Alation, Board, Collibra, Crate.io, Five1, Snowflake and Tableau.

Key findings:

  • #1: Compared to data from 2014, the share of businesses with partially or purely data-driven decision has risen from 14 percent to 34 percent in 2021.
  • #2: Improved decision-making, process improvements and cost reduction are the most tangible benefits of data culture.
  • #3: Companies have identified a range of data leadership measures that are helpful in order to implement data culture successfully.

According to the new BARC survey, data-driven decision-making is on the rise: Compared to data from 2014, decisions based on data are more common now (rise from 14 percent to 34 percent). Conversely, the proportion of companies making decisions purely or predominantly based on experience or gut feeling declined from 58 percent in 2014 to now 19 percent. In addition to the growing importance of data for decision-making, the survey records a high emphasis on data as an asset and as a general enabler for improved processes as well as revenue and cost-saving efforts.

The Return on Investment of Data Culture

Respondents to this survey are striving for common goals, such as cost reduction, revenue growth and competitive advantage. But can these goals be achieved with an improved data culture? For many organizations, this is certainly true. A good proportion of the companies surveyed have improved their decision-making, reduced costs and improved their processes with the help of data. (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Which positive effects of a data culture are your striving for? vs. achieved (n=433) © BARC

“Data-driven culture is essentially part of modern corporate culture in the 21st century. It is not only fundamental to the success of companies’ data & analytics strategies. Also, do not underestimate the value of an innovative workplace. Fewer bottlenecks, resulting from better processes, and comprehensible, fact-based decisions can increase motivation.”, said Dr. Carsten Bange, BARC founder and co-author of the study. “Also, young talent is often itching to apply newly-learned data skills. The motto here is – in an all-too-real sense – “use it or lose it”.”

Helpful Measures to Implement a Data Culture

But what helps companies to transition from a culture of gut feeling to a data culture? The study highlights a range of measures and valuable steps companies can take. Especially, measures from the field of data leadership were examined (see Figure 2). In particular, leading by example and adopting a data-driven meeting culture are measures that can be applied immediately and with no grander strategizing required. Measures such as clear communication and competence development require more effort and planning. They are no less important but are likely to have a greater impact when thoroughly considered and carefully planned.

Figure 2: Which data leadership measures do you consider to be particularly successful/helpful? (n=417) © BARC

 

About The Survey

“BARC Data Culture Survey 22 – How To Shape the Culture of a Data-Driven Organization” is a topical BARC survey assessing the benefits of a data culture that companies are striving for or have already achieved as well as data culture measures they assess as helpful. The study is based on a worldwide survey of 434 companies of various sizes and industry sectors. The authors of the study are Dr. Carsten Bange, BARC founder and Nina Lorenz, Analyst for Data & Analytics at BARC.

Click here to view the infographic and download the full study from the sponsor’s website.

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For all enquiries and further information, please contact:

Regina Schmidt
Communications Manager
Tel: +49 (0) 931 880651-47
Mobile: + 49 (0) 1520 431 82 39
Email: rschmidt@barc.de

BARC Response logo

Prophix to Acquire Sigma Conso

Prophix today announced its acquisition of Sigma Conso, a Belgian-based CPM software and service provider, from Fortino Capital Partners

Authors: Dr. Christian Fuchs and Larissa Baier

Published: 27 October 2021

Today, Prophix, the Canadian CPM software vendor announced it will be acquiring Sigma Conso, the Belgian financial performance management (FPM) specialist. Prophix itself was acquired by Hg, one of the largest specialist tech investors in Europe in January 2021, valuing the company at around $500-$600m. Hg is now accelerating and scaling Prophix’s growth through the acquisition of Sigma Conso, which itself only received a growth investment from Fortino Capital Partners in June 2020. This is the first instance of inorganic growth in Prophix’s corporate history.

From a use case perspective, Prophix and Sigma Conso’s offerings fit together nicely. Whereas Prophix is strongly focused on CPM use cases such as planning, budgeting and forecasting, reporting and analysis, Sigma Conso has its strengths in FPM, offering software for financial consolidation and close, management reporting, intercompany reconciliation as well as specialty solutions for IFRS 16 and iXBRL. Sigma Conso is a cloud-native product that matches Prophix’s future cloud strategy.

The acquisition adds 70 employees and 600 customers to Prophix’s workforce and customer base. With its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, and local offices in Europe and Asia, Sigma Conso has customers in 20 countries. Its main presence, however, is currently across Europe with the majority of customers in the Benelux region and France, but also in Italy, Spain and other countries.

With the addition of Sigma Conso’s technology and resources, Prophix strengthens its capabilities for consolidation and close, while also extending its global reach with key geographic access to sell Prophix into Europe and Asia. Moreover, Sigma Conso’s solutions could be a valuable addition for Prophix’s existing customer base of over 1,600 active customers of all company sizes and industries in more than 100 countries, mainly in North America. Sigma Conso’s existing customers may also find Prophix to be a valuable extension for CPM, which until now has been addressed with a partner product (Unit4 FP&A).

Overall, we believe the acquisition makes sense and creates various market opportunities for Prophix (new regions, new use cases, etc.), but also potential benefits for Sigma Conso’s customers. By broadening its portfolio, Prophix is closing the gap on competitors such as Board, Jedox, Unit4 and Workday, who also offer integrated financial consolidation and close solutions in their CPM portfolios.

BARC will continue to observe with interest Sigma Conso’s integration into Prophix. At first glance, the two company cultures, company sizes and technological approaches seem to fit very well together for further expansion.

Further Reading

Prophix press release announcing the acquisition of Sigma Conso

BI & Analytics Survey 22 cover page

Press Release: Top Priorities for BI & Analytics Solutions Buyers Should Be Data-Driven

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, October 26th, 2021

The BI & Analytics Survey 22 is published today. The 20th edition of BARC’s flagship annual research study analyzes feedback from a survey of 2,478 users and consultants on their selection and use of business intelligence (BI) and analytics software. It uses empirical evidence and patterns in the survey data to update readers on today’s leading market trends and best practice in software selection.

Key findings:

  • #1: Top priorities for BI & analytics solutions buyers should be data-driven
  • #2: Surge in cloud analytics and BI over last 12 months
  • #3: Multi-product competitive evaluations are the best approach to product selection for sustainable success

Not all reasons for purchase are created equal

When comparing the reasons why software was chosen with the level of benefits achieved, it is clear that buyers need to focus more on data-related considerations.

Those who prioritized ‘large data handling capacity’ when evaluating tools yielded the highest business benefits but this criterion was not among the top five buying priorities reported. The picture is similar with ‘query performance’. This is ranked second in terms of benefits delivered, demonstrating a strong correlation with project success, but is also outside the top five priorities of survey respondents. Slow query performance was also highlighted as a major problem by 15%, making it the most common cause for complaint by end users. Another area that deserves greater attention from buyers is the weight they give to proof of concept evaluations.

Reasons why an analytics and BI product was bought vs. business benefits achieved, top 15

Figure 1: Reasons why an analytics and BI product was bought vs. business benefits achieved, top 15 (n=1,647) © BARC

On the flipside, there are also criteria that have less influence on future success but are prioritized highly. The number one priority (‘ease of use for report recipients’) is more sought after than ‘ease of use for report designers’  but is less likely to generate concrete benefits. Another example is ‘price-performance ratio’, which was cited as the number three buying criterion by respondents.

“Buyers looking for software for smaller deployments are especially price-sensitive, but they would be well advised to focus on product-related criteria rather than on cost aspects to secure future benefits,” said Robert Tischler, Senior Analyst Data & Analytics at BARC and author of The BI & Analytics Survey 22. “We have also noticed in the last two years that companies tend to take various technical aspects for granted such as large data handling capacity, fast query performance and the ability to support a substantial number of users. They reduce the focus on them, even if they should not do so. Furthermore, they increasingly rely on good vendor or product reputation, which is one of the least beneficial reasons to buy, instead of valuing a faster or better proof of concept.”

Surge in cloud analytics and BI over last 12 months

Many vendors claim that nearly all new buyers are opting for the cloud over on-premises but The BI & Analytics Survey data tells a slightly different story. Today, the share of new analytics and BI customers opting for the cloud (48%) is higher than for customers with implementations more than two years old (27%). This is leading to a steady increase in the overall use of cloud analytics and BI. In 2012, only 5% of customers were using it. Nine years later, that number has grown to 30%, with a huge increase coming in the last year.

Use of cloud analytics and BI over time

Figure 2: Use of cloud analytics and BI over time (n=changing basis) © BARC

 

“Most existing customers stick with their on-premises solutions unless serious problems begin to surface,” said Tischler. “However, vendors are continuing to become more cloud-centric and diversify their offerings. We expect many customers, even those who say they do not require the cloud today, to be drawn to cloud solutions.”

Finding the right evaluation method for sustainable success

Did your organization conduct a formal product evaluation before purchasing your analytics and BI product?

Figure 3: Did your organization conduct a formal product evaluation before purchasing your analytics and BI product? (n=1,561) © BARC

The ratio of formal versus informal software evaluations conducted by analytics and business intelligence buyers has remained stable over time at around 4:1, indicating that while the technology changes, the fundamental approach to starting the analytics and BI endeavor has not altered to the same extent.

Competitive evaluations are clearly best practice (64%) at around three times the incidence of informal evaluations (21%) and four times that of single-product evaluations (15%).

Level of business benefits by evaluation method

Figure 4: Level of business benefits by evaluation method (on a scale from -2 (not achieved) to 10 (high)) (n=1,380) © BARC

“Finding the right software is arguably one of the most important steps a company must take to effectively use their data assets,” said Tischler.

“However, many companies fail to vet and test multiple products thoroughly. Formally and competitively evaluated products deliver the best results for buyers. The difference in business benefits gained is obvious. A competitive evaluation is vital when selecting new software in a dynamic and competitive market.”

About The BI & Analytics Survey

The BI & Analytics Survey 22 (formerly known as The BI Survey) is the 20th edition of BARC’s major annual study into the selection and use of analytics and business intelligence tools. Current data on market trends and issues ranging from the purchase cycle right through to deployment is supplemented by detailed analysis and comparison of customer feedback from users of 30 leading software products. The findings are based on a worldwide survey of 2,478 software users, consultants and vendors, which was conducted from late February to early June 2021.

Useful links

For more information about The BI & Analytics Survey 22, visit:
https://bi-survey.com/bi-survey-about

For aggregated product-related results and an online product comparison tool, visit:
https://bi-survey.com/business-intelligence-software-comparison

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Regina Schmidt
Communications Manager
Tel: +49 (0) 931 880651-47
Mobile: + 49 (0) 1520 431 82 39
Email: rschmidt@barc.de

The Future of Planning

Press Release: What It Takes to Make Planning and Forecasting Fit for the Future

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, September 29th, 2021

BARC (Business Application Research Center) today published the results of its topical survey “The Future of Planning – Tackling Changed Requirements with Comprehensive Modernization”. Based on a user survey of 401 companies, the study examines the biggest challenges in forecasting and planning today as well as improvements and modernizations that can help organizations to deal with increasing complexity and dynamics. The study is available for download free of charge thanks to sponsorship by Board, Corporate Planning, Jedox, OneStream Software and Unit4.

Key findings:

  • #1: 89 percent of companies think that the predictability of global events with an impact on their business is low to zero
  • #2: Lack of efficiency and excessive bureaucracy are the biggest criticisms of corporate planning today
  • #3: Companies are investing in more detailed planning, simulations and rolling forecasts to tackle increasing challenges

According to a new BARC survey, 89 percent of companies think that predicting global events and future developments with sufficient reliability is not possible. Major global developments such as the pandemic are difficult to foresee and thus even more drastic for many organizations. To be able to face future events and developments in dynamic environments, suitable strategies and measures are needed. While planning and forecasting require substantial modernization in many companies, some have to address more mundane challenges first.

Challenges in planning and forecasting exist in almost every company

“Planning and forecasting are viewed with suspicion in many organizations. They take too long, tie up too many resources, produce high costs and the quality of the results does not reflect the effort involved,” said Robert Tischler, Senior Analyst Data & Analytics at BARC and co-author of the study. The survey results confirm many of these criticisms. Only 5 percent of the companies surveyed state that they currently have no challenges in this area. The key issues relate primarily to the efficiency (40 percent), duration (35 percent) and transparency (33 percent) of planning processes and results (see Figure 1).

Chart: What are your biggest challenges in corporate planning and forecasting at the moment?

Figure 1: What are your biggest challenges in corporate planning and forecasting at the moment? (n=389) © BARC

But what are the root causes of these challenges? The time-consuming consolidation of data from various source systems demands lots of effort, but also delays the provision of vital information. 50 percent of companies state that merging data from many source systems is very time consuming. The need to leverage data from many sources is by far the top cause for many of the challenges companies are currently facing.

“In dynamic business environments, time is money. If organizations make the right decisions based on relevant data faster than their competitors, they can exploit market potential faster than others,” said Tischler. “Fast-changing buying patterns and short-lived trends require companies to continuously forecast and adjust the trajectory of their business. What used to be inconveniences, such as inefficient planning and forecasting and outdated results, are becoming questions of surviving or thriving amid ever fiercer competition. Fast and reliable forecasts help to determine future courses of action. Today, companies require sound automated projections, which in turn require high quality data from a growing number of sources. Not being capable to handle data efficiently and effectively often means not being able to satisfy customers better than competitors.”

Companies are extending the reach of planning and enhancing simulations and forecasts

As most companies are facing severe challenges, they are investing in measures to modernize and enhance their planning and forecasting to tackle changing requirements (see Figure 2).

Chart; In which methodological measures and approaches have you invested?

Figure 2: In which methodological measures and approaches have you invested? (n=165) © BARC

 

The number one measure, pursued by 41 percent of survey respondents, is to extend the scope of planning and forecasting beyond finance by integrating operational sub-plans. Furthermore, investing in more frequent simulations and scenarios was another important measure taken by 40 percent.

“Simulations are essential for understanding alternative courses of action. Done correctly, they provide invaluable information for decision-makers,” said Dr. Christian Fuchs, Senior Analyst Data & Analytics at BARC and co-author of the study. “Increasing dynamics and the associated uncertainty raise the value of simulations for corporate management. They help companies to thoroughly assess and compare potential developments. Many organizations have recognized the benefits of simulations and scenario analyses and have stepped up their use.”

Moreover, the survey results show that 37 percent of companies are investing in switching their year-end forecasts to rolling forecasts. Rolling forecasts provide greater value for management in turbulent times and consume fewer resources than lengthy annual planning. This measure allows companies to cope with increasing dynamics by updating their planning and forecasting more frequently. However, this needs to be flanked by substantial automation and better data management to reach that goal.

About the survey

“The Future of Planning – Tackling Changed Requirements with Comprehensive Modernization” is a topical BARC survey assessing the challenges companies currently face in planning and forecasting due to increased complexity and dynamics and how to overcome them. The study is based on a worldwide survey of 401 companies of various sizes and industry sectors. The focus of the study is to assess what improvements are needed and how it can be ensured that they meet current requirements and move companies forward. The authors of the study are Dr. Christian Fuchs and Robert Tischler, Senior Analysts for Data & Analytics at BARC.

Useful links

Further information about “The Future of Planning” + download links
Infographic

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Regina Schmidt
Communications Manager
Tel: +49 (0) 931 880651-47
Mobile: + 49 (0) 1520 431 82 39
Email: rschmidt@barc.de

The Data Management Survey 22

Press Release: BARC Survey Finds Business User Enablement Is Driving Investment in Data Management

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, September 23rd, 2021

The analyst firm BARC published The Data Management Survey 22 today. The third edition of this annual study analyzes feedback from a survey of 1,101 professionals on the selection and use of data management software.

Key trends driving investment

The trends currently driving the most investment in data management initiatives relate to the enablement of business users. These include self-service, the fostering of a data-driven culture, empowerment of business users and data democratization.

Which trends are having the most impact on your data management investments

Figure 1: Which trends are having the most impact on your data management investments (n=1,048)

 

Self-service in particular was highlighted by 60% of respondents and has also been among the top trends over the years in many BARC surveys, such as the Data, BI & Analytics Trend Monitor.

47% of respondents confirmed that the establishment of a data-driven culture is having a significant impact on their investments.

The concept of data democratization – in other words, allowing data access to as many employees as possible – has also been an important factor behind investments in data management for around one in four companies.

“The transformation of data management from pure IT discipline to a collaboration between business and IT is in full swing,” said Timm Grosser, Senior Analyst Data & Analytics at BARC and author of The Data Management Survey 22. “Our survey clearly shows the relevance of business user enablement on investments in data management. In our opinion, this influence will continue to grow in the future as companies increasingly democratize their data and adopt new technological solutions. For this to happen, there has to be a common ground and understanding of data. Closely linked to business user enablement, data governance will therefore also play an essential role, as the survey also indicates.”

Top investment measure is to modernize data and analytics architecture

52% of companies are investing in modernizing their data and analytics architecture.

“The drivers for this are complex,” said Grosser. “Examples include the operationalization of advanced analytics models that require the integration of different systems and processes for optimal operation, or new use cases that require uniform data access to the distributed system landscape. This leads to concepts such as data lakes, data lakehouses and data fabrics that help to provide data from different systems as efficiently as possible. The fact that so many companies are making such investments could be an indication that their historically grown systems no longer meet current needs for flexibility and agility as well as speed.”

What specific data management measures are being invested in

Figure 2: What specific data management measures are being invested in (n=1,035)

 

Extended scope of The Data Management Survey 22

The Data Management Survey 22 has significantly expanded in scope this year. From analyzing user feedback about 12 data management tools last year, the new edition covers 20 software products from a diverse range of vendors. These include industry giants AWS (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL); global business software generalists Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) and SAP (NYSE: SAP); specialists such as Alation, Snowflake (NYSE: SNOW) and TimeXtender; and regional European players including 2150, Dataspot and Synabi.

About the study

The Data Management Survey 22 is the third edition of BARC’s annual study of the data management software market. The study is based on a worldwide survey of 1,101 data management professionals, which addressed questions about their software selection, implementation and usage. Detailed feedback on 20 established data management products is analyzed and compared.

For more information, visit:
https://bi-survey.com/data-management-survey-about

For aggregated product-related results and an online product comparison tool, visit:
https://bi-survey.com/data-management-software-comparison

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Regina Schmidt
Communications Manager
Tel: +49 (0) 931 880651-47
Mobile: + 49 (0) 1520 431 82 39
E-Mail: rschmidt@barc.de

Data Black Holes: A BARC Study

Press Release: Dissolving Data Silos: Companies Need To Define a Common Data Language

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, June 22nd, 2021

BARC (Business Application Research Center) today published the results of its topical survey “Data Black Holes – Are Data Silos Undermining Digital Transformation?”. In the study, BARC analysts Jacqueline Bloemen and Timm Grosser take a close look at the implications of data silos for the data-driven enterprise and offer insights into the main challenges companies are currently facing due to data silos. The study is available for download free of charge thanks to sponsorship by Ab Initio, Collibra, Dataiku and Denodo.

Key findings:

  • #1: Central data provisioning is not the one and only key to success when it comes to dissolving data silos
  • #2: Having uniform business terminology helps companies to step up their game when it comes to coping with data silos
  • #3: Organizational silos have to be taken as seriously as data silos and need to be addressed by management

Raising awareness of existing data silos and their consequences

According to a new BARC survey, many companies are struggling with the consequences of their current data landscape. When asked about the biggest challenge in the use of data, there is a clear message from participants. 41 percent agree that having key personas tied up with elementary data problems instead of working on the digital future of the company is the most pressing issue. This leads companies to the conclusion that action is required: 27 percent are already working on raising awareness of existing data silos and their consequences. A further 33 percent are planning to take this measure.

Centralized provisioning of data does not necessarily ensure simple and efficient data use

The study results show that investments in defining uniform business terminology pay off. Companies that have not implemented such terminology have significantly more problems in using their data to address new questions. This includes companies with a central data warehouse that is undermined by individually created data sets. But even a common data language is not the sole remedy. Companies that have implemented uniform terminology in a decentralized data landscape clearly have fewer problems using their data than those without common terminology, but not as few as companies with a centralized data landscape.

“In the future, it will become even more difficult to manage data in a centralized manner. The data landscape of the digital enterprise is highly distributed. In other words, we must live with data silos. Solution concepts must integrate data silos instead of fighting them,” said Jacqueline Bloemen, Senior Analyst Data & Analytics at BARC and co-author of this study.

This is reflected in the approaches that companies are taking to deal with their challenges (see Figure 1).

 

Data Black Holes press release figure 1

Figure 1: Top 5 selection from “Which of these approaches is your company taking to deal with the challenges caused by data silos?”
(n=318) © BARC

 

Knowledge about data, but not the data itself, should be provided centrally. The most frequently chosen approach to this is to create transparency about existing knowledge of data and foster collaboration (49 percent). This goes hand in hand with establishing a platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange, which 34 percent have chosen to do. Another 30 percent state that they are creating a central directory for finding and understanding data sources. These approaches are mostly implemented with the help of data catalog technologies. 31 percent of companies are working to liberalize access to data and improve self-service support. This is in line with other measures to facilitate ad hoc access to data. For example, 36 percent plan to create a central platform for data shopping. Among best-in-class companies, this approach is even more common (45 percent). One building block for this is to make physically distributed data accessible without having to copy it. This plays a greater role especially for companies with distributed data provisioning (27 percent compared to 23 percent on average). However, with the named approaches taken to deal with the challenges caused by data silos, a new set of challenges arises.

Business and cultural challenges are obstructing efforts to address data silos

In principle, all companies strive for digital transformation. However, they face several business and cultural challenges in this process (see Figure 2).

 

Data Black Holes press release figure 2

Figure 2: Top 8 selection from “What business and culture-related challenges have you experienced in implementing approaches to deal with the issues caused by data silos?”
(n=312) © BARC

 

The highest rated concern, lack of communication (56 percent), is in stark contrast to another study finding with companies reporting that data and information is shared extensively between departments. The fact that this apparently does not really work in practice is also underpinned by the second-highest rated problem: a lack of motivation to share knowledge with others (42 percent). Further challenges include a lack of clear strategic goals and a lack of understanding of what these mean in practice.

“Some learning processes can be supported bottom-up. However, when it comes to strategy and goals as well as the behavior of people in the company, it is clearly the managers who are called upon,” said Timm Grosser, Senior Analyst Data & Analytics at BARC and co-author of this study.

A lack of management support was ranked as the third most important challenge in the implementation of strategic measures at 38 percent. For companies with decentralized (42 percent) and hybrid (43 percent) data landscapes, as well as for laggards (58 percent), this applies even more frequently.

About the survey

Data Black Holes – Are Data Silos Undermining Digital Transformation? is a topical BARC survey assessing the challenges companies currently face due to data silos and how to overcome them. The study is based on a worldwide survey of 318 companies of various sizes and industry sectors. The focus of the study is to assess the implications of data silos for the data-driven enterprise. It also examines approaches taken by companies to break down the barriers of these data and knowledge silos. The authors of the study are Jacqueline Bloemen and Timm Grosser, Senior Analysts for Data & Analytics at BARC.

Useful links

Further information about “Data Black Holes” + download links
Infographic

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Regina Schmidt
Communications Manager
Tel: +49 (0) 931 880651-47
Mobile: + 49 (0) 1520 431 82 39
Email: rschmidt@barc.de