State of the Self Service BI market January 2017

This is an update of a post I wrote approximately a year ago - State of the Self Service BI Market November 2015

Trying to get actual usage figures of any self service BI tool is pretty difficult - none of the big vendors will willingly release figures - and if they did they'd probably be suspect.

But in analytics sometimes there are useful proxies which, while not as accurate as hard numbers, can give a useful perspective. In this case, we will use our friend, google trends.

A quick note on methodology - I'm only looking for Qlikview, Tableau and Power BI. Unfortunately IBM Watson and its variants throw up too much noise because it's part of a broader platform. Also I restricted the search to the US because Tableau is also French for "Table" so a worldwide search gets noise from that as well.

State of the Self Service BI Market

What you can see is that Tableau appears to still be the clear leader in the self service field, with Qlik and Power BI trailing quite far behind. But from this data we can get a bit more insight. First of all in the last two years the market has gone from about 262 searches per month to a peak of 518 (rolling 3m avg) during 2016, so the overall market is still growing significantly.

Next up if we look at market share rather than sheer numbers, we see something interesting. Last year Tableau held about 80% of the market, which has now dropped slightly to 77%. More interestingly Qlik's share has fallen to about 9% of the market (compared to 14% last year) but Power BI's share has grown to about 13% (compared to 6% last year). The fall for Qlik is based on declining search volumes despite the growing overall market.

What does the future hold?

Based on trends to date I would make the following headline predictions for the self service BI market in 2017:

  • The Self Service BI market is set for continued high growth, with Tableau taking the lions share, but this is now under threat
  • Power BI will continue to experience strong growth and will consume more market share
  • Qlikview will continue to decline in not just market share but also volume

If I would make a grand call it is this: Qlik is dead. It's not as rich in capability as Tableau, and it can't compete against Power BI's pricing. It's squeezed between the two with no compelling reason to be chosen.

My last years predictions have pretty much held true, but as Yogi Berra famously said, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future".

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Topics: Blog, Power BI, Qlikview, Self-service BI, Tableau

James Beresford

James is an experienced BI Professional who has been delivering solutions for clients for over a decade. He is an expert in Microsoft Business Intelligence, having written two books, presented at TechEd twice and runs a popular blog "BI Monkey".