BI Xmas Wish List – what will companies look for in 2017

We are back to that time of the year when your children and nephews write their letter to Santa listing the gifts they wish to receive. Turns out companies also have wish lists. But let’s skip the most obvious requests like clients, revenue and a better coffee machine. With the help of BARC we managed to put our hands on companies’ wish list for business intelligence.

BARC has been analysing the BI market for more than 15 years. Their Trend Monitor 2017 shares the views of “almost 2,800 users, consultants and vendors on what trends currently drive the BI market from a user perspective”.

Here are the three top trends and the ones voted least important:

Business Intelligence Trends


Data discovery – the gift every kid wants to receive


Gone are those days when users would settle for static reports and charts. They want to interact with their data, charts and dashboards, preferably without IT help. Without surprise visualization and interactive data analysis have become the most important trend in BI.


Self-service – the gift for the cool kids


It has been on companies’ wish lists for a long time. With a wider range of users demanding ad hoc reporting and analysis, it’s only natural that Self-service increases its importance.

Organizations want to enable users with no IT skills to do their own queries, create their own reports and build their own dashboards.


Data quality – Just like chocolate, you can never go wrong with this one


It’s important to have easier ways to analyse data, but is equally relevant to have accurate data. Companies understand that great visualizations are nothing without high quality data, otherwise you would be condemned to make wrong decisions.


Least trending BI features


At the other end of the spectrum are data labs/data science, cloud BI and Hadoop, voted as the least important. Until now BI was IT-led and the focus was on how to store data. Now, organisations seem more focused on enabling their users to get faster insights from their data, than on where to store it.

Mobile BI, Real-time analytics, Predictive Analytics, Big data and Collaboration also made it to the list. The first two decreased in importance since last year, the last three are still increasing.

Surprised? Neither are we.

The novelty here is how Self-service and data discovery capabilities keep increasing in importance. While IT departments struggle to satisfy business users demand for faster answers, companies are looking at self-service BI as a way to keep up with the speed of todays businesses and deal with the ever increasing volume of data. This is an important shift for the BI market and 2017 may help consolidate this change.

Are these your priorities too or do you have other BI trends in mind?



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