The future of BI: 5 trends revolutionizing the industry

Business Intelligence trendsOh the irony… we are drowning in data yet we struggle to access insightful information. Extracting real knowledge from data has become mandatory for companies to achieve success. The question is: how are BI vendors responding to this urge to convert data into insights? Here are 5 trends that are shaping the future of the Business Intelligence industry.

1. Self-service

Not long ago we used to rely solely on reports and data specialists to get business answers. The problem was the amount of time we had to wait to get those answers… way too much.

As we became data driven in our personal lives (we trust in ratings to choose movies, schools and restaurants) and got used to have easy access to it with Google, IMDB and so on, we also started demanding the same kind of simplicity and speed from enterprise software.

Today, people want a simple and fast tools that can give them quick answers to daily challenges. Self-service BI tools let end users create reports, dashboards and enter queries without the help of power users or IT guys.

Self-service BI increases productivity. A TDWI survey states that 66% of IT professionals consider that implementing self-service BI was high or very high in a list of potential cost saving measures. The reason is obvious: users make reports and queries by their own and faster, while IT departments gain time to work on more strategic initiatives.

Companies that provide ways and tools for their workers to access relevant data, are the companies of the future. An organization with fully empowered workers, where the BI department includes everyone in the company, from the CEO to the receptionist will fully understand that data is to use not only to store.

2. It’s in the cloud

The Cloud is here to stay, that’s a fact. Gartner forecasts that by 2016, 25% of the new Business Analytics deployments will be in the form of subscriptions to cloud services.
Cloud solutions are cost-effective, scalable and must faster to deploy. Plus, as more companies adopt “bring your own device” policies and with more employees working out of the office, cloud solutions are becoming a necessity for many.

Adopting a Cloud SaaS model can also give permanent access to software, cost-free upgrades, and automatic integration with the in-house systems.

A recent Gartner survey on the future of IT services documented that 80 percent of organizations said that they intend to use cloud services within 12 months.

3. Get Social

Selfies, likes, tweets and posts are part of our daily lives. After all, what’s the point of experience things if we’re not able to share them, right? Allowing users to add comments, see an activity feed and have real time conversations about data is now becoming a reality.

Business Intelligence scenario is finally starting to ride the social media wave. BI Software will have their own social network or they will easily integrate with productivity tools like Evernote, Trello and others.

Users expect BI software to help them more effectively collaborate with others by asking questions to the report authors, share views on results, provide background information, offer tips and suggest improvements.

In any case, the numbers in your data are just the starting point to spark conversations and define your business’s action plan.

4. Real-time answers

How long are you willing to wait for a report? According to an Aberdeen Group, 6.1 days is the average waiting time for a report made using traditional BI tools. This has been a longstanding challenge for BI industry: reduce the time needed to perform analysis.

BI tasks are highly dependent of IT departments and not accessible to business users, so IT guys end up buried in report requests.

When BI tools become easy to use, users can get the answers they need right away without any need to involve IT resources. Therefore the queue for reports will decrease as users will, at any time search for information and perform analytics by themselves.

As decisions across companies are becoming more urgent and it isn’t enough to understand what happened last month or last week but have up-to-the-minute analyzed data, companies will start demanding this kind of capability.

5. Going Mobile

Cellphones are getting bigger. Desks are becoming obsolete. People want tools that fit in their daily lives, not the other way around.

You’ll use analytics when talking to a client about his business’s needs. You´ll get powerful insights from your data when waiting for you double macchiato in your favorite coffee shop. You´ll move and go places and information will go with you.

Mobile BI is critical to share real-time business information to large numbers of people and improve collaboration.

This new way of working is making BI vendors develop strong solutions, with high quality user experience that are changing the old static approach of this market.
As Galileu Galilei once said: “Yet it moves”.

The future of BI

Business Intelligence software are clearly moving from a complex and tool-centric nature towards its simplification and the democratization of data. These trends are driving a significant change within the BI industry and you can finally find vendors fulfilling BI promise: data for everyone.


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