RESEARCH & RESOURCES

Data Warehousing Tools Market Surges

Oracle is tops in the overall data warehousing market, but Microsoft has officially arrived as a data warehousing superstar.

The data warehousing tools segment is as healthy as ever, growing at a double-digit clip and generating enormous annual revenues.

That’s the upshot of new research from International Data Corp. (IDC), which broke the overall data warehouse market down into three discrete segments: data warehouse generation, data warehouse management, and data warehouse access. The former is the most lucrative market, IDC found, generating 46.2 percent of all revenues, followed by data warehouse management (with 41.5 percent) and data warehouse access (with 12.3 percent). Across all segments, the data warehousing tools market grew by 11.3 percent and generated $9.6 billion in worldwide sales last year, IDC reports.

Oracle is tops in the overall data warehousing market, generating nearly 20 percent of all revenues. Oracle’s share was down slightly in 2005, at least compared to 2006 (19.3 percent and 19.6 percent, respectively), but that still leaves it comfortably out in front of the number two data warehousing player, IBM Corp., with 12.7 percent of the market. It’s been a tough streak of sorts for Big Blue, which—having once controlled 13.6 percent of the market (in 2003)—suffered sequential downturns in both 2004 and 2005.

Oracle derives most of its revenue from the data warehouse management segment, IDC says, where it controls nearly 40 percent (39.8 percent) of the market. "Its top position in the relational database management system … market and focus on data warehousing and business intelligence are the drivers of its revenue stream in this market," writes IDC analyst Dan Vesset.

As for IBM, Vesset says, its approach to data warehousing differs from those of its two RDBMS competitors, at least when it comes to end-user query tools. To a degree, this could account for its contrary market fortunes: "IBM has made an explicit choice not to enter the query, reporting, and analysis market focused on business end users. The company has placed primary emphasis on its BI, data warehousing, and data integration platform. However, it’s not inconceivable that IBM will follow its database competitors and enter the business end-user market with either BI tools or packaged analytic applications."

If Big Blue does choose to do so, Vesset speculates, it will probably acquire an existing vendor (e.g., its acquisition more than two years ago of the former AlphaBlox) instead of developing such technology on its own.

SAS Institute Inc. was the number three data warehouse tooling vendor, holding its share at 10.7 percent—just as it did in 2003 and 2004. (While SAS’ market share remained steady, it nevertheless grew its revenues by 11.7 and 10.7 percent in 2004 and 2005, IDC notes.)

If nothing else, the new IDC report confirms the arrival of Microsoft Corp. as a data warehousing superstar. Microsoft—which generated 10.3 percent of data warehouse tooling revenues last year—grew its revenues by more than 20 percent in both 2004 (27.3. percent) and 2005 (22.8 percent). The software giant now generates nearly $1 billion annually from sales of its data warehouse generation, management, and access tools.

That isn’t chump change, Vesset notes. "The company is increasingly a key player in data warehouse access through its embedded … and standalone BI … tools," he writes, alluding to Microsoft’s Analysis Services and acquisition of best-of-breed BI vendor ProClarity Corp. "Not only has the company come out with new product releases that improve on the functionality of previous versions, it has also realigned its sales force to focus on business intelligence, which is driving the sales of SQL Server within this market."

Nor does Microsoft’s momentum show any sign of abating. Vesset notes that Microsoft’s "tactics for aggressive market entry are consistent with several other examples where it enters a given software market segment after it has reached a certain level of maturity and size," Vesset indicates. "Microsoft is likely to continue to show strong growth rates in the data warehousing tools market in the foreseeable future."

Business Objects SA rounds out the top five, according to IDC. Data Integrator—an ETL tool it acquired from the former Acta—remains its bread-and-butter product, but Business Objects recently acquired both enterprise information integration (EII) and data quality technologies, too.

Teradata (a division of NCR Corp.), Cognos Inc. (which acquired former ETL specialist Decision Stream several years ago), Hyperion Solutions Corp., and Informatica (the only standalone ETL vendor in the group) round out the top 10. Even though Informatica finished last among this group, it’s by no means without heft of its own, Vesset concludes.

"Informatica was the fastest-growing data warehousing tools vendor in 2005, with 25.8 percent growth and $211.6 million in revenue," he writes. "Informatica’s focus on the broader data integration market, including non-datawarehouse-related data integration projects … has clearly benefited the company overall. [It] now holds 18 percent of the data warehouse generation market."

About the Author


Stephen Swoyer is a technology writer with 20 years of experience. His writing has focused on business intelligence, data warehousing, and analytics for almost 15 years. Swoyer has an abiding interest in tech, but he’s particularly intrigued by the thorny people and process problems technology vendors never, ever want to talk about. You can contact him at evets@alwaysbedisrupting.com.

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