Self Service BI state of the 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.

Self Service BI State of the Market

What you can see is that Tableau are the clear leaders 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 around 468 (rolling 3m avg) implying a year on year market growth of around 40%.

Next up if we look at market share rather than sheer numbers, we see something interesting. Tableau has consistently held about 80% of the market. Naturally at the start of 2014, when Power BI was in its infancy, Qlik held the balance. However post the public release of Power BI that share has been declining rapidly - Qlik now holds about 11% of the market and Power BI about 7% and growing fast. This seems to be a result of Qlik having fairly static volumes and Power BI consuming a greater proportion of the growth.

What does the future hold?

Based on trends to date I would make the following headline predictions for self service BI in 2016:

  • The Self Service market is set for continued high growth, with Tableau taking the lions share
  • Power BI will experience strong growth and will consume more market share
  • Qlikview may well be looking at a decline in not just market share but also volume

If you would like to know more, why not attend one of our Self Service BI workshops where we compare the tools. Check here for upcoming events:


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".