15 Brilliant Business Intelligence Statistics

Updated · May 20, 2023

Science says your average Joe makes about 35,000 decisions every day. This number includes simple things that you probably don’t give much thought to, like whether to go to the restroom now or in ten minutes, or what to have for lunch.

Companies make lots of decisions, too. Many of them might seem trivial at first but, in reality, they are all important. Each one plays a part in shaping the business little by little.

Our compilation of business intelligence statistics will show you why each and every decision matters—and how to ensure you’re making the right one.

Business Intelligence Stats to Stop All Guessing Games (Editor’s Choice)

  • Global revenue from business intelligence is expected to reach $25 billion in 2022.
  • Business intelligence has been around since at least the 1960s.
  • Three-quarters of employees say working with data can feel overwhelming.
  • 54% of businesses believe BI to be of critical importance for present and future activities.
  • CEOs who rely on business intelligence are up to 77% more likely to achieve their business goals.
  • The US economy loses $3.1 trillion every year due to poor data quality.
  • Business intelligence is by far the most popular in manufacturing, with a 58% adoption rate.

The Meaning of Business Intelligence in a Modern World

Remember those 35,000 decisions we mentioned earlier?

That’s about 36 choices we have to make every waking minute.

Understandably, it’d be awfully onerous to think about each of them in detail, which is why we often end up acting on impulse or intuition.

Business intelligence strives to change that by automating the information analysis process and letting us see the objective data extracted from it.

But before we get into business intelligence usage, let’s see how this trend came into our lives in the first place.

1. The term “business intelligence” first appeared in 1865.

(Source: Dataversity)

You didn’t misread, and we didn’t mistype.

A man by the name of Richard Millar Devens coined the phrase in his Cyclopædia of Commercial and Business Anecdotes, published in 1865.

He wrote about a banker, one Sir Henry Furnese, who held an edge over his rivals by collecting information and making informed decisions based on it before the competition.

2. Modern-day “business intelligence” was born in 1958.

(Source: Association for Computing Machinery)

So, what are business intelligence tools, and how do they work?

Well, it all started when a computer scientist from IBM called Hans Peter Luhn wrote a seminal paper entitled “A business intelligence system” back in 1958.

He described this system as an automated way of abstracting, encoding, and processing information for the benefit of any “industrial, scientific, or government organization”.

In short, he meant for this “automatic system” to be a tool that intelligently recognizes who needs to know what data and when they need to know it, thus facilitating decision-making.

3. Business intelligence became mainstream in the 1990s.

(Source: CIO)

Business intelligence statistics show that, although the concept of BI is a century-and-a-half old, it was not until the 1990s that this practice really took off.

This, of course, has its explanation.

When Luhn published his paper, computers weren’t exactly commonplace. Tech companies developed the first true business intelligence systems until the 1970s. But it wasn’t until the 1980s (with the emergence of data warehouses) that BI tools finally came close to Luhn’s original idea of an “automated system”.

Starting from the 1990s, they became a staple of company governance in the West.

4. As of 2020, there is a shortage of 250,000 data analysts.

(Source: QuantHub)

The size of the business intelligence market is undoubtedly large—and expanding—but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Companies need comprehensive software for data analysis, but they also need workers to operate this software.

As of 2020, the US alone has a shortage of a quarter of a million data analysts. Job postings exceed searches by a factor of three-to-one and have grown 37% year-on-year. Companies have raised salaries by an average of 14% and are hiring 67% more.

Alas, data science remains the second hardest field to find skilled employees, right after cybersecurity.

The Business Intelligence Market: Who Buys and Who Sells?

As the availability of copious amounts of information allows modern companies to make better business decisions, competitors find themselves at a disadvantage—unless, of course, they invest in business intelligence, too.

Now that we know just how prosperous the business intelligence industry is, we need the specifics: Who are the main players on the market? Who offers BI solutions and who uses them the most?

You can find the answers to all of that (and more) below.

5. The big data and business analytics market is projected to reach $684 billion by 2030.

(Source: Cision PR Newswire)

Big data is called “big” mainly because it’s… well, literally big. That said, it could be big in terms of volume, velocity, or variety. Put simply, if a dataset is too complex in one way or another for a traditional data-processing software to deal with, it’s big data.

Naturally, this type of data necessitates better software, capable of analyzing it within a reasonable time span so as to provide value. And, each year, more and more companies are coming to appreciate it.

So, is business intelligence a growing field?

It sure is. The market was valued at $122 billion in 2015. By 2020, it had already grown 62% to $198 billion. Projections suggest it will burgeon to more than thrice its present size over the next decade.

6. The global business intelligence market size is to exceed $18 billion by 2025.

(Source: Statista)

This number refers strictly to the market size of business intelligence software applications, which is a subset of the bigger market.

This segment was worth $15.7 billion in 2021, and projections place its growth at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 3.5% over the next few years. If forecasts are accurate, this means it will surpass the $18 billion mark in just three years’ time. 

7. Business intelligence software vendors reported $24 billion in revenue in 2018.

(Source: Statista)

Microsoft stands at the top of the list with an annual revenue of over $2.5 billion derived solely from BI-related tools and apps.

Other top business intelligence companies include SAP ($2 billion), IBM ($1.8 billion), SAS ($1.5 billion), Oracle ($1.3 billion), and Tableau ($1.1 billion), as well as other big players that you’re likely well-acquainted with, such as Qlik, Palantir, and Mathworks.

Moreover, nearly half of the global revenue in the sector comes from smaller companies, which account for a combined $11.3 billion.

Fun fact: Microsoft’s total revenue in 2021 was $168 billion, which means that—even if it holds a significant share of the market—BI is really just a blip in the tech giant’s radar.

8. What percentage of companies use business intelligence?

(Source: Finances Online)

The exact percentage varies considerably depending on the industry concerned, but it’d be safe to say around half of companies do.

In manufacturing, for instance, studies suggest up to 58% have adopted business intelligence tools; software companies have an adoption rate of 52%; and financial organizations, 50%.

9. Big companies are big fans of business intelligence.

(Source: Oracle Netsuite)

Business intelligence is information—and when you’re running a business trying to maximize profits, information is absolutely essential.

Examples of companies that use business intelligence include Walmart, Starbucks, Chipotle, Coca-Cola, Netflix, Tesla, Twitter, American Express, Delta Airlines, and pretty much any large business you can think of.

How exactly do they use it?

Well, Starbucks tracks your behavior in its mobile app to predict what you might like to purchase next and offer you discounts.

Netflix does something similar with film adverts.

Tesla’s vehicles are wirelessly connected to the company’s offices and constantly send data on usage patterns—this is how Tesla cars can self-diagnose and suggest what repairs they might need and when.

Importance of Business Intelligence: Issues and Advantages

Depending on the industry, companies need different resources to keep their enterprise afloat, though some are pretty much standard across the business world: bookkeeping software, cloud storage, collaboration tools, and (of course) business intelligence.

Here, we’ll look at key use cases as well as at some common issues firms experience with BI tools.

10. Two-thirds of senior managers trust gut feeling over data.

(Source: Accenture)

As it turns out, there are several far-reaching problems with business intelligence that have emerged in companies implementing BI tools.

Firstly, around half of all employees prefer to make decisions based on gut feeling rather than data. When it comes to senior managers and directors, two-thirds trust themselves over business intelligence.

Secondly, most people don’t don’t like working with data. For instance, if given a task that has to do with processing data in some way, a third of employees would try to weasel their way out of it and do the task without using business intelligence tools, whereas 14% would refuse to do the job altogether.

In other words, business intelligence statistics show that simply throwing fancy software applications at data-processing amateurs won’t do.

11. The US economy loses $3.1 trillion every year due to poor data quality.

(Source: Anodot)

If the information a firm needs to conduct its business is of bad quality—i.e. it’s out of date, incomplete, or simply erroneous—employees will waste valuable time trying to correct it and put it in order instead of engaging in more profitable activities.

Not to mention that bad marketing business intelligence can also lead to unfortunate blunders and public embarrassment in B2C operations. Remember when video game company EA sent out brass knuckles as a promotional gift to players… only to later realize that they are illegal in half of the country and had to recall all packages?

Yep—that was costly.

12. Vendors consider Cloud BI to be imperative in today’s day and age.

(Source: Bi-Survey)

Unsurprisingly, users don’t care much for BI tools—at least not as much as business intelligence companies think they do.

40% of BI vendors said they believe Cloud BI functionality is crucial for users, but only 19% of consumers agree. A similar discrepancy is apparent when it comes to Embedded BI (43% vs 25%) and Mobile BI (51% vs 30%).

The most esteemed Business Intelligence tools among consumers are actually Visual Analysis and Self-Service BI.

With the advent of online business and ecommerce, collecting and selling data has become easier than ever. It’s also become crucial for a business's success.

Let’s see what the future holds for BI.

(Source: Statista)

Revenue from business intelligence software is projected to reach $25 billion globally in 2022. Interestingly enough, about half of that ($12 billion) comes from the US.

While the future trends in business intelligence appear to point at remarkable growth as a whole, a large chunk of the market is currently concentrated in the States, and this is unlikely to change soon.

The second-best place for business intelligence activities is Germany, though the country only generated $1.25 billion in 2021—that’s a tenth of the revenue in the US.

The other countries in the top 5 are the UK, Japan, and China, who trail closely after Germany for an expected $1.2 billion of revenue in 2022 in each.

14. 98.8% of large corporations are investing in big data.

(Source: Business Wire)

A look at key business analytics trends shows that investments in big data are now reaching saturation, with virtually all Fortune 1000 corporations investing significant resources in it.

However, it’s worth mentioning that the pace of investment is slowing down, with only about half of firms investing more than they did the year before. For comparison, as recently as in 2019, 91.6% of companies were increasing their investments in business intelligence.

15. Only 26.8% of companies are successful at creating a data culture environment.

(Source: Business Wire)

Business intelligence stats indicate that, despite the vast resources corporations are pooling into big data initiatives, only a quarter of them succeed in fostering a “data culture”.

Although it’s not all bad—after all, 37.8% of organizations claim some measure of success, having been able to convert their workflow into a “data-driven” one—the overwhelming majority (73.8%) admit they still struggle with the adoption of big data technology.

Fun fact: 75% of employees report feeling overwhelmed when working with data.

Wrap Up

If there’s one thing that surprised us while gathering this collection of business intelligence stats, it was the revelation that a majority of people dislike working with data.

Acting emotionally and taking impulsive decisions in your personal life is probably not too smart, but understandably hard to avoid. Completely disregarding hard data because it’s a chore to go through it in a business setting, though, is wholly unwise.

So, we hope our collection of business intelligence statistics convinced you of the importance of collecting and using data for decision-making.

After all, we at Web Tribunal did our best to ensure the information presented here is trustworthy, lest we commit a mortifying blunder à la every-tech-company-in-the-last-decade.

Jordan T. Prodanoff
Jordan T. Prodanoff

A wayfarer by heart, Jordan fancies journeying into foreign lands with a camera in hand almost as much as he enjoys roving the online world. He spends his time poking at letters and pixels, trying to transmogrify them into something cool.