Tonight, I attended my local chapter of the Association of IT Professionals. This is a swell bunch of men and women who meet once a month to network and attend a dinner talk. This month's topic was Business Intelligence presented by Rick Styll from SAS. He is the product manager for the SAS BI portfolio. Rick covered a broad introduction to BI, the parts that struck me were the market convergence and some of his thoughts on what is coming over the horizon. As far as the convergence, he mentioned that Gartner had warned SAS a while back that there was going to be a consolidation in the market but that he had been surprised by how rapidly it had occurred. He stratified the players into four tiers:
Mega players - SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM
Pure plays - SAS
Niche plays - Actuate
Some of the future trends.
Web2.0 - SAS is building a release that uses Ajax and they think a flash inerface is coming over the horizon for them.
Mobile BI - Rick says customers like the idea of a dashboard on thier Blackberry, but he does not see the use cases. In his experience, most people using SAS BI are operations types using desktops.
Visualization GUIs - new graphical formats and use of motion to present BI results.