Nearly half of all enterprises are using three to five different business intelligence analysis and reporting tools, according to a new survey from Forrester Research. And more than one out of five of the 82 CIOs and IT managers polled by Forrester in August said they are running six or more BI tools.

That's despite BI consolidation efforts that many IT managers have been engaging in for the past several years.
The survey results probably wouldn't surprise Steve Hirsch, chief data officer at NYSE Euronext. "From SAS to Business Objects to Brio, we've got pretty much everything that's been released in the last five-10 years," he said.
One reason is the stock market operator's recent merger and acquisition history. NYSE Euronext was created out of the 216-year-old New York Stock Exchange's merger with electronic-trading pioneer, Archipelago Holdings, in 2005 and Amsterdam-based Euronext in 2006. "We are still in a long process of consolidating," he said.

NYSE Euronext recently adopted analytics-capable data warehousing appliances from Greenplum  and Netezza for internal analysis of trade execution performance. Hirsch hopes to choose a BI tool to standardise on in 2009.

The survey also found BI becoming ubiquitous, with almost 60 percent of respondents saying they were deploying BI, data warehousing or data integration tools across their enterprises.

BI is also evolving beyond reporting only, according to Forrester, though only 27 percent of respondents said they were using it to try to gain a major competitive advantage.

Despite the trend toward self-service BI, three-quarters of respondents said most reports and dashboards are still created by the IT department. And two-thirds said their end-users felt the BI tools were somewhat or very difficult to learn.
More than half of IT managers said their end users often reverted back to individual tools, such as desktop spreadsheets, to get data or reports they couldn't get through the BI applications.