The Business Application Research Center (BARC) is an independent company and guarantees neutrality towards all software vendors.

In their latest report, BARC Score: Integrated Planning & Analytics Portfolios for planning, reporting and analysis, their overall findings are comprised of data collected from their other reports, The Planning SurveyThe BI Survey and numerous analyst interactions. Vendors are rated on a variety of criteria, from capabilities and architecture to sales and marketing strategy, financial performance and customer feedback.

According to BARC, this report “focuses on the planning and analytics market and analyzes the strengths and challenges of all the leading vendors.” Covering small to medium-sized vendors, to large enterprises, the report aims to provide their non-biased findings to prospective customers and existing users of analytics software.

What BARC has to say about IBM

With their findings, BARC concluded that IBM is a Market Leader for its planning and analytics products including: IBM Planning Analytics powered by TM1IBM Cognos AnalyticsIBM Watson Studio, and IBM SPSS.

With a suite of products, IBM offers a comprehensive portfolio of both on-premises and cloud analytics, performance management and advanced analytics solutions.When it comes to specific products, IBM Planning Analytics is a “high-performance, multidimensional in-memory database for planning and analysis with Excel and web front ends.” Another core product is the enterprise business intelligence solution, IBM Cognos Analytics which provides functionality for dashboards, formatted reporting, ad hoc reporting and OLAP analysis in a web-based, integrated user experience. Cognos Analytics offers a continuous release development cycle, which broadens its functionality on a regular basis.

A unique offering

What sets IBM apart from competitors is its scalability, flexibility, and integration. For example, when describing Cognos Analytics, BARC states, “IBM Cognos Analytics is an extensive, scalable and well-integrated product for formatted and ad hoc reporting; OLAP analysis; visual and advanced analysis; and dashboards.” The analyst sees how Cognos can be an asset to any size business and in addition, Cognos provides easy-to-use capabilities for users of all skill levels.

When it comes to Planning Analytics, BARC describes the comprehensive flexibility for business power users to create planning and analytics applications based on a high performance in-memory database. With data analysis comes the need for MS Excel, and Planning Analytics offers comprehensive Excel-based functionality for preparing individual planning and analytics content and publishing it to the web.

One of the greatest capabilities of Planning Analytics and Cognos Analytics is the ability to pull in data from disparate sources and provide AI insights to achieve a better understanding of trends and make more informed business decisions. Both Planning Analytics and Cognos Analytics work together, through an integrated, easy to manage, extensible platform that leverages all available data across the enterprise, breaking down data silos, for planning, reporting, and advanced analytics. In addition to their primary capabilities, both offer AI-infused processes which augment human skills to quickly identify patterns and hidden trends in current and historical data. As an added bonus, both solutions are easily scalable to handle the volume, velocity, concurrent use, and types of data that are critical to your business.

Both solutions ensure confidence and timeliness in operationalizing insights and plans. The overall offering is as flexible as day-to-day business, including being able to easily collaborate on projects with users of all skill levels. Another example of its flexibility is availability of being in the places users want to work – desktop, web, and mobile; all with the ability to deliver scalable, analytical power running on-prem or in the cloud. However, the solutions themselves would be nothing if it weren’t for the people behind them; a vast network of users and a well-established and expansive partner community with global product support and knowledge. There is always growth and the free exchange of knowledge between users and partners.

What’s next

Overall, IBM is a Market Leader in the BARC Score for its innovative approach to data analysis offerings including AI insights, an affordable cloud-based platform, regular system updates, and a wide network of support. The BARC Score is an important analyst report to IBM as it helps set a quality standard and offers an informed insight and recommendation because it helps with the selection process by evaluating the market leaders and most commonly used product sets.

IBM continues to be on the forefront of cutting-edge capabilities with its planning and analysis offerings including a new Cognos Analytics mobile app, Planning Analytics On Demand, a new low price offering so small to medium businesses can transcend the limits of spreadsheet planning, and multi-cloud support with IBM Cloud Pak for Data. The end result is that businesses are able to get their answers and make decisions faster.

To learn more about the BARC Score in more detail, you can access the full report here.

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