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BI and analytics market grows 11% in MEA region

But shift within market prevents it from reaching full potential, cautions Gartner

BI and analytics market grows 11% in MEA region
Gartner said that confusion still reigns around how to best leverage analytics on big data

The Business intelligence (BI) and analytics software market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) reached $217m in 2013, an 11% increase from 2012's revenue of $196m, according to Gartner.

Despite the growth, however, Gartner noted a shift within the market, and cautioned that the segment had not yet reached peak potential in the region.

"At the same time, paradoxically, we're at the cusp of a series of tipping points which will facilitate unprecedented interest and adoption of analytics," said Dan Sommer, research director at Gartner.

The BI market in MENA slowed from a growth of 23% in 2012 due to a number of factors, Gartner said. Firstly, the research house noted "challenging" macro conditions - the MEA region grew only marginally faster than the worldwide growth rate of 8%, Gartner said.

This breaks the strategic assumption that many of the large vendors have held for years, Gartner explained - that emerging markets are growing at a much faster rate.

Secondly, Gartner said that confusion still reigns around how to best leverage analytics on big data. Much big data is investment is happening outside traditional BI in experimental silos, infrastructure and services, the research house explained. Finally, Gartner noted that growth in IT budgets is flat and IT-led traditional BI tools are over-bought.

In terms of market share, leading the MEA market was SAP, which continued to have significant higher revenue than any vendor at $59m, garnering it 27.2% of the market, Gartner said. SAS Institute experienced the highest growth among the top five vendors in 2013, with revenue rising 17.8% compared with 2012 to reach $27.1m.

"Globally, the top five vendors lost share to smaller, nimbler players. But the situation was the opposite in the Middle East and Africa. This shows how important feet on the street, critical mass of skills, references and long-term commitment is to the region," said Sommer.

"Right now we're in a trend of proliferating information sources, applications and buying. Analytics is moving beyond just being a singular tool to become more omnipresent, embedded in various other applications and infrastructures. These trends, paradoxically to the single-digit growth, cement analytics as a top priority and will eventually tip it to touch a much broader base."

According to Gartner's definition, the BI and analytics market consists of BI platforms, corporate performance management (CPM) suites, analytic applications and advanced analytics.

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