Close this search box.

Faster Is Not Always Better – but in BI and Analytics It Is

BARC publishes The BI & Analytics Survey 21

The BI & Analytics Survey is published today. BARC’s flagship annual research study analyzes feedback from a survey of 2,591 users and consultants on their selection and use of BI and analytics software and their views on market trends.

The fastest projects deliver the greatest business benefits

While decent benefits are obtained by BI and analytics projects with the longest implementation times, there is clear evidence that the fastest projects achieve the highest level of business benefits – and this gap has widened in the last twelve months.

“This shows that timely results are crucial when implementing your analytics and BI solutions,” said Robert Tischler, Senior BARC Analyst and author of The BI & Analytics Survey 21. “Quick reaction to changing requirements driven by developments inside or outside a company straightforwardly impact the benefits and insights gleaned. Cutting requirements into slices to deliver benefits to users as quickly as possible is a fruitful approach as the evidence clearly shows.”

Höhe des erreichten Geschäftsnutzens, nach Implementierungszeit, 2020 (n=1.708) vs. 2019 (n=2.055)
Level of business benefits achieved, by implementation time, 2020 (n=1,708) vs. 2019 (n=2,055)

Today’s projects finish faster

The median implementation time for BI and analytics projects is currently just over four months. However, the proportion of projects completed within three months is significantly higher for projects that started less than two years ago (54 percent) compared to older projects (43 percent). This shows that changes in technology as well as project methodology enable customers to deliver solutions quicker and yield benefits faster.

BI and analytics are like wine – they improve with age

On average, BI and analytics implementations in place for more than two years generate greater benefits than their more recent counterparts.

“Do not expect all benefits to materialize immediately,” advised Tischler. “Analytics and BI is not a one-time project but an ongoing effort that constantly delivers value for businesses. Similarly, buyers should not expect to cover the full scope of solutions that have existed and matured over 20 years in 20 weeks as too much is baked into these established systems.”

Höhe des erzielten Geschäftsnutzens, nach der Dauer der Implementierung (n=1.682)
Level of business benefits achieved, by age of implementation (n=1,682)

BI and analytics are increasingly embedded in business applications

Embedding BI and analytics is currently a hot topic with many vendors focused on delivering polished content through OEM. The proportion of users working with embedded BI and analytics solutions has steadily increased in recent years but there is still room for growth.

“While several large vendors embed their own analytics products in their business applications portfolio, a number of smaller specialists are providing their solutions as OEM embedded in third-party business applications,” said Tischler. “This approach is increasingly being pursued as sophisticated BI functions are expected in most business applications today. For OEM-heavy vendors, packaging a solution with prebuilt content is a possible route to landing at important accounts and expanding beyond the initial scope of the solution.”

About The Survey

The BI & Analytics Survey 21 (formerly known as The BI Survey) is the 19th edition of BARC’s major annual study into the selection and use of analytics and business intelligence tools. The findings are based on a worldwide survey of 2,591 software users, consultants and vendors, which was conducted from late February to early June 2020. It features current data on market trends as well as detailed analysis and comparison of 33 leading software products from 28 different vendors based on user feedback. The survey was renamed to “The BI & Analytics Survey 21” this year to reflect the stronger overall role that data and analytics now plays.

For more information, visit

About BARC

BARC is a leading analyst firm for data & analytics and enterprise software with a reputation for unbiased and trusted advice. Our expert analysts deliver a wide range of research, events and advisory services for the data & analytics community. Our innovative research evaluates software and vendors rigorously and highlights market trends, delivering insights that enable our customers to innovate with data, analytics and AI. BARC’s 25 years of experience with data strategy & culture, data architecture, organization and software selection help clients transform into truly data-driven organizations.


Axel Bange

Axel Bange

+49 931 880 651 0
Check out the world´s most comprehensive guide to the Power BI ecosystem.