I.B.M. took a big step to expand its fast-growing stable of data analysis offerings by agreeing on Tuesday to pay $1.2 billion to buy SPSS Inc., a maker of software used in statistical analysis and predictive modeling.
Other independent analytics software makers may well become takeover targets, said Mr. Evelson of Forrester. Among the candidates, he said, are Accelrys, Applied Predictive Technologies, Genalytics, InforSense, KXEN and ThinkAnalytics.
The broad consolidation wave in business intelligence software, analysts say, will bring increasing price pressure on some segments of the industry as major companies seek to increase their share of the market. And the open-source programming language for data analysis, R, is another source of price pressure on software suppliers.
"None of the consolidation purchases we've seen in the business intelligence industry have been fire sales," said Jim Davis, senior vice president of the SAS Institute, a private company based in Cary, N.C., that is the largest supplier of business intelligence and predictive analytics software.