In this ever changing economy we see the Business Intelligence (BI) landscape rapidly transforming. The increased focus of the market on cost reduction and customer profitability has forced IT to return to its core while business is driving future developments. This transformation is further fueled by technology innovations. This impacts the trends in BI as never before.
Fixing the basics
The business is demanding more and more from their IT department. In their thirst for extending Business Intelligence and Analytical support it is essential to build a strong information foundation to fund future use. Key elements are Master Data Management (with Customer Master Data as the obvious first), Data Quality improvements and robust BI platforms. With a Return-On-Intelligence (ROI) in mind, this requires a highly industrialized and efficient approach to BI services.
Big data gets bigger and bigger
The rise in volume (amount of data), velocity (speed of data) and variety (range of data) gives way to new architectures that no longer only collect and store but actually use data. The challenge however is that Big data, as opposed to its name, is really many amounts of small data ranging from tweets, sales reports to mail messages. Therefore performance is key word. Look for technology solutions like datawarehouse appliances, in memory analytics, columnar storage and smart software solutions.
Need for speed
Even though the size of data is increasing the BI user is expecting faster answers from their BI environment. Whether it is standard reports or navigating trough (source) data. In memory technology (as opposed to separate disk storage) will allow for new business usage. In order to store, process and gain insight from Big data, on-demand or real-time BI architectures will replaces traditional datawarehouses.
Up in the cloud
Cloud or As A Service models are in increased demand for both temporary as well as permanent usage. It’s all about services (like reporting or analytics) provided from a managed environment based on a (new) business model (often pay per use). In other words: making BI (hardware, software, intelligence) available via the internet.
Agility is the new normal
Historically BI has been IT controlled data collection, integration and distribution of historical data. However BI has evolved into being part of the ongoing daily (operational, tactic and strategic) business processes to plan, monitor and improve on organizational goals. Next generation BI is therefore by nature more agile in its development (BI lifecycle) and requires (real- or righttime) insights into increasingly complex questions.
Do IT yourself
BI once was the field of a limited number of expert users but has come a long way since. Trough the democratization of information, placing BI in the hand of many but still as a separate process. BI now has become part of our daily work. With this comes the increased need to create insight on the fly instead of trough standard IT (governance) processes. More and more BI users are taking over tasks that traditionally were the field of the IT developers.
Social Media are hot
Social media like Twitter and Facebook are no longer a hype or a trend but part of the everyday life from a personal as well from business perspective. They can supply organizations with essential information about their customers opinions. Combined with the actual customer behavior as captured in transactional systems this proves to be a wealth of information.
Google fast, Apple easy
Just like at home, business users are expecting an engine that searches all available data (structured and unstructured, internal and external) to quickly find answers. Navigating through the results to find patterns, trends could be improved with advanced visualizations. The result is a consumerization of enterprise BI. The corporate BI App Store is (virtually) just around the corner.
Business & IT in therapy
BI users are struggling to get faster access to more data. For this the need to build, maintain and organize BI solutions increases. IT therefore is in an unique position to enable the BI business user. However it often seems like business comes from Mars and IT from Venus. Aligning both parties (for example in a BI competence center) is a first step.
Let’s go mobile
BI users want to access their data anytime and anywhere. This puts a demand on both the backend of any BI solution (like datawarehouse appliances) but also on the frontend where information access and visualization must be possible. The increased use of tables and smartphones has already become mainstream in many business environment.