The Evolution of Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence

In the coming year, it’s predicted we’ll see a lot more Big Data analytics, a rise in self-service business intelligence (BI) solutions, and a trend toward the use of real-time data. With the continuous innovation of areas such as cloud services, Big Data, and predictive analytics, the role of business intelligence services is ever adapted and refined. 2015 saw many organizations making use of self-service analytics data, and Research Vice President at Gartner, Rita Sallam, predicts business intelligence transitions toward improved data governance, stating, “2016 is the year of modern BI and analytics (BI&A) platform. The BI&A market is in the final stages of a multiyear shift from IT-led, system-of-record reporting to pervasive, business-led, self-service analytics. Organizations will continue to transition to easy-to-use, fast, agile, and trusted modern BI&A platforms deployed across the enterprise to create business value from deeper insights into diverse data sources.”

Analyst Predictions

Dan Vesset of the IDC believes we will see a rapid growth of cloud-based BI technology, surpassing growth of spending for on-premises services by four and a half times. Sallam agrees, and also foresees data, analytics tools, and algorithms playing a core role in the improvement of deployment times and data insights that will compensate for the current dearth of data science skills.

Raju Vegesna, Chief Evangelist at Zoho, envisions affordable BI for SMBs and is certain that Big Data analytics will help determine how various business departments’ function, specifically sales and marketing. He says, “With monthly, user-based BI pricing getting as low as $10, more SMBs will start using sophisticated BI tools instead of just relying on spreadsheets.”

Paul Weiskopf, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Domo, highlights the high worth of data and considers it likely we will start to see ‘wars’ over its access and usage rights. “The Internet of Things [IoT] will create new opportunities for data visualization and real-time analysis,” says James Phillips, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Business Applications, Platform, and Intelligence (BAPI). Phillips remarks that the use of BI tools utilizing the data collected by connected devices will flourish, and sees a broader group of individuals gaining access to the field of Machine Learning.

Business Intelligence Through Visualization

Visualization is also going to play a role, with data visualization helping organizations more quickly uncover insights and share information. Visual analytics could be the common language that empowers both data experts and laypersons to communicate and collaborate meaningfully. Chuck Vigeant, President at Clearify, suggests we’ll see more advanced and customizable visualizations with an emphasis on more advanced cloud authoring capabilities. And Qlik’s Business Analytic Strategist, James Richardson, believes that BI and visualization solutions will have to allow users to switch speedily between devices to deliver optimum user-desired experiences. He also points to the relevance of correct and governed data, noting, “Since everyone is using the same information, more efficient, accurate and timely decisions will be made.”

As the many new BI technologies are released, organizations will continue to move away from solo solutions and further adopt open and flexible stacks that include these new technologies. We can expect to see NoSQL data integration, Hadoop accelerators, IoT data integration, and improved social media interaction in 2016, assisting companies both large and small.

By Jennifer Klostermann

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