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Business Intelligence on the Rise Among SMB's


More SMBs (small and medium businesses, or companies with up to 999 employees) in the United States are seriously considering using BI (business intelligence) software tools to help them better understand market drivers for sales and forecasting, and for increasing their profit margins. There are about 6.3 million SMBs in the U.S., with about 98 percent of them being SBs (small businesses, or companies with up to 99 staff).

These findings emerge from a recent survey on US SB & MB IT assessment trends by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc. Companies go through a large volume of consumer data and BI helps make sense to data-mine that information to drive sales and better position marketing and messaging.

“PC-enabled Small Businesses in the U.S. are interested in running BI on their consumer data to drive and monitor performance against the competition,” says Nichelle McKenzie, New York-based Research Analyst at AMI-Partners. “The payoff is rapid innovation, new marketing ads, and new channels to boost their profit margins. Almost 80 percent of Small Businesses try to understand TCO (total cost of ownership) before purchasing BI products/services. That’s because they want these purchases to be a part of their overall IT strategy.”

One factor driving Small Businesses to adopt BI is the feeling that the existing software is no longer adequate. The chart below highlights the current brand usage for BI software applications among SMBs in the U.S. BI usage among brands is low but BI is a growing area for vendor investment in 2009. There is no dominant market leader in the BI space, so the opportunity to make a mark is huge.



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