Gartner Urges Caution When Considering Vertical Offerings from Best of Breed BI Vendors


ccording to Gartner, there is a general and significant trend where many of the primarily pure-play business intelligence (BI) vendors now sell and support industry-specific analytic applications and corporate performance management (CPM) tools, especially in banking and financial services, where many have sold horizontal applications. 


Findings From the ‘Business Intelligence and Performance Management’ Research Meeting: Ensure That Industry Analytic Applications Are Not ‘Industry Generic’. Vendors need deep experience with a wide variety of environments (in this case, bank branches) to produce tools that accurately measure the correct factors for determining performance in a particular situation. “Cookie-cutter templates” are rarely the optimal solution, and accepting even a skilled and trusted nonstakeholder’s view of what is important may lead to dangerously suboptimal performance. 


Organizations seeking highly specialized industry-specific performance management and analytic applications should be wary of newly launched products that are given an “industry-specific” label. Conduct due diligence to ensure that a particular solution touted as industry specific is suited for your segment of a given industry. This is particularly important when reviewing analytic and CPM tools targeted at broad industry categories. Industry designations such as “banking” or “retail” are often generalizations, are too broad to be of particular use and usually omit specific needs arising from the market subsegment, geography, and regulatory and cultural needs that are invisible not only to outsiders, but to many insiders who are not intimately involved with them on a daily basis.  Labeling a product “industry specific” does not mean that it meets comprehensive, specific requirements for every aspect of an industry. Consider the unique segment in which your company operates, and use your requirements to select the best solution.