“If your environment changes faster than you can, you are not long for this world.”

The law of the jungle is that the only constant is change.  Those that don’t change don’t tend to stay around that long.  If this is true, how does one explain the current state of the analytics marketplace?

That is the question after reading Jim Ericson’s blog this week in Information Management.  While the title was “Will IT Set BI Free?” the real headline was buried in the article where Ericson quoted Boris Evelson of Forrester research:

We all know Excel is the number 1 BI tool no matter what anyone tries to do…Business people have known for years that traditional BI will only get them 20 percent of the way and for the other 80 percent they have to make do with Excel."

Evelson is an expert in this topic, having covered BI and analytics for years, and it pretty well summarizes the sorry state of analytics in most organizations.  In a world where all the legacy mega vendors are now fully trend jargon compliant in promoting cloud, mobile, social, real time and in-memory analytics, the reality for the enterprise is spreadsheets and more pivot tables.   The result is a mountain of missed business opportunity, and a lot of unhappy users.

It seems like analytics, especially BI and Excel, need to be completely rethought for the realities of modern business.  The latest market prognostication from Gartner suggests that the analytics market opportunity is $81B by 2014, growing to $136B by 2020.   That’s a stunning amount of spend to handle 20% of the problem.

The real question is, by 2020 will any of the legacy analytics vendors who dominate the market today even be around.   Welcome to the jungle.