Gartner’s recent report on Cloud computing concludes that the fastest growing segment in Cloud computing is Business Intelligence (BI). They predict that the BI market will reach 13.8 billion in revenue during 2013. This is a 7% jump over the previous year. They estimate that the market for BI will be 17 billion by 2016.

Analyzing the factors influencing the growth of this market, Gartner points out that CIOs prioritize on BI and information centric projects to help improve business decision-making and counter the forces of economic recession. Traditional data intensive companies dealing with finance and sales or growing sectors like healthcare or law are giving a serious look at BI in the Cloud. According to the report, “increasingly, Gartner sees more organizations building diagnostic analytics that leverage critical capabilities, such as interactive visualization, to enable users to drill more easily into the data to discover new insights.”

After discussing the contributions of Microsoft, IBM and other established BI software vendors, Gartner mentions three BI Newcomers into the Cloud market with approval—Brist, GoodData and Bitam. They acknowledge the open source BI players Pentaho and Jaspersoft and zoom in on Tableau Public. Diehard IBM-users will be supported, with Cognos BI 10 in their BI efforts. Other companies that find a place in the list are Microstrategy, SAP, Panorama, Tibco Spotfire and Alteryx.

All these companies chart the route to the Cloud starting at the corporate data center with an emphasis on the ease on provisioning. This seems to make a lot of sense as BI is largely an on premise activity and using appliances with Cloud options is the way to go. Further, it removes barriers to installation, configuration and optimization.

Interestingly, Garnter argues that Cloud based BI also seems to be obsessed with Big Data; and over time, Data Warehouses may integrate with big data innovatively. In this context, Cloud BI vendors are integrating their software with Hadoop or R or offering No SQL options for databases. Data warehouse software may well make the Enterprise Big Data ready.

The conclusion of the Gartner prediction is that most BI aspirants will be focused on economics, risks, opportunities, and innovations in 2013; and CIOs will drive the next generation of business-IT in unprecedented ways. They will balance the social, mobile, Cloud and information world, and prepare their organizations for integration of Big Data in the Data Warehouse equation.