European organisations are planning a 40 per cent increase in spending on business intelligence (BI) products in 2010 compared to last year, according to IDC's European Software Survey 2010 which was previewed at the analyst's BI conference today.
The analyst firm found that a third of companies will spend more on analytics than they did in 2009, although UK organisations are generally spending more on the basics of BI, rather than more advanced analytics.
Financial services emerged as one of the top spending sectors with 40 per cent of companies planning to increase BI purchases.
"Financial services is a mature industry in terms of BI and understands that spending on BI is a good idea because it can help cut costs and deliver business value by increasing revenue," said Alys Woodward, programme manager for European business analytics and markets at IDC.
"The more mature a business is with BI, the more its hunger increases to do things with it. The companies that do not do much are those that have never really understood the benefits."
Analytics was also a key area for the retail sector which came out top in IDC's spending survey. Half of companies in this sector will increase spending in this specific area of BI.
Telecoms companies came bottom of the list, although Woodward suggested that this was because they do a lot in relation to customer intelligence. Another factor is that these firms may not refer to such practices as 'analytics'.
The biggest employers were found to spend more on BI because they have more information to manage, although companies with 1,000 to 2,499 employees were below average in spending. This could be because these enterprises are not high-growth and may have tighter budgets, said IDC.
However, BI is not the be all and end all, according to Woodward. Other technologies, such as content management, are capable of providing information to help decision making.
Social networking information, which allows companies to see what customers are saying about them, can be a huge management challenge, but is also coming to the fore.
No company is doing everything possible to exploit internal data, according to IDC, and large amounts of external data can add to the burden.
"Businesses should not get hung up on the terminology. Terms start to change and evolve, and vendors and analysts redefine things to give them visibility. The important thing is to focus on what your organisation needs, not technology categories," concluded Woodward.
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