SOURCE: PivotLink


September 14, 2010 13:10 ET

Analyst Report Shows Advantages of SaaS Business Intelligence, Cites Retailer's Success With PivotLink

Self-Service SaaS BI Shifts Economics and Presents Benefits Over On-Premise Approaches, Study Says

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - September 14, 2010) -  The link between greater analytical freedom for business users and faster decisions, lower IT costs and more pervasive use of business intelligence (BI) is highlighted in new research by analyst firm Aberdeen Group on the rapidly growing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) BI market. Organizations that use SaaS BI solutions are 50% more likely to have self-service BI users than organizations that adopt conventional BI approaches, according to the Benchmark Report, "Fast, Affordable, Agile - The Case for SaaS BI." Aberdeen's report was made possible in part by support from PivotLink and other underwriters.

Aberdeen examined San Francisco-based Timbuk2 (, a retailer of the popular urban messenger bags and accessories. Citing "rudimentary" native reporting in its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, the case study describes how Timbuk2 uses PivotLink's SaaS reports and dashboards to provide business users with self-service insights into inventory, orders and customer preferences across seven sales channels.

Aberdeen's key takeaways:

  • SaaS BI opens up business intelligence to new user populations -- In addition to helping small organizations overcome the initial cost and IT burden of traditional BI approaches, several factors are driving adoption of on-demand BI in large organizations, including: tight budgets, long, resource-intensive deployments for conventional approaches and diverse needs of many workgroups (tied at 38%). Aberdeen adds, "the single biggest factor is that conventional BI tools are simply too complex and hard to use," (58%) which it views as "a clear indication that the relative simplicity of SaaS BI tools presented via a browser is a strong driver of adoption."
  • SaaS changes the economics of BI deployments -- Aberdeen's study notes several economic advantages of SaaS BI over on-premise alternatives, including more flexible pay-as-you-go licenses and subscriptions, faster time to value, eliminating the expense of hardware investments, and availability of pre-packaged key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that "can significantly help in cutting the time and cost involved." 
  • SaaS encourages agile and flexible BI solutions -- Aberdeen concludes, "a number of capabilities that contribute to agility are related to self-service business intelligence -- the ability for business users to find the information they need without repeated trips to the IT department for assistance."

In a press release, Aberdeen's senior research analyst David White added, "SaaS BI fosters self-service in many ways. It provides increased ability to automate the generation and distribution of reports, drill-down capabilities and the creation of automated alerts. It's also clear that Software-as-a-Service is finding favor with new user populations. Smaller organizations that need a step up from the humble spreadsheet and larger organizations that need to provide BI to underserved employees are both driving adoption."

"Aberdeen's study underscores the significant business value enterprises are achieving with SaaS BI and the win-win this approach offers IT and business users," said Rosanne Saccone, chief marketing officer, PivotLink. "Waiting in a long line for custom reports has become a thing of the past for companies of all sizes."

Download a complimentary copy of the report at:

About PivotLink Corporation

PivotLink is the leader in on-demand business intelligence, serving customers such as: REI; Novell; Party City; CamelBak Products; Car Toys; Guardian Home Care Holdings, Inc; Rossignol; Shaklee; Taleo and Zones. PivotLink's platform powers roughly 2,000,000 ad hoc reports and dashboards for more than 15,000 PivotLink users each month. Delivered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, PivotLink's award-winning solutions put affordable, secure and easy-to-use analytic tools into the hands of line of business users, freeing IT to focus on strategic business initiatives. PivotLink is a privately held company backed by Trident Capital, Emergence Capital Partners and StarVest Partners.

Follow PivotLink on Twitter @pivotlink, join the discussion about the New BI at and access free whitepapers and demos at

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that drive decisions. Visit

PivotLink is a trademark of PivotLink Corporation. Other product and company names may be the trademarks of their respective owners. This press release is for informational purposes only and no offer to buy or solicitation of an offer to sell any securities is made hereby. The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to unknown risks and uncertainties and do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Actual results, performance or achievements of the company may differ materially from results, performance or achievements of the company expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

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