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Top Business Intelligence predictions for 2012 (Part Three)
29 Feb, 2012 - Lachlan James

And we’re back. Parts one and two of this three-part blog series discussed six of the significant, and largely continuing, trends that will shape Business Intelligence (BI) product development and purchase decisions throughout 2012. And, in the words of iconic English rock band Queen, The Show Must Go On. Although, the final chapter of this BI predications piece doesn’t contain nearly as much Innuendo…


7. The consumerization of BI drives greater adoption and BI ROI

The continued consumerization of BI – the inclusion and development of user-friendly features and functionality making reporting and analytics accessible to a wider array of users – will generate more widespread user adoption and better BI Return on Investment (ROI). Gartner’s June 2011 report – The Consumerization of BI Drives Greater Adoption – stated that the consumerization of BI had resulted in a new bread of end-user focused BI solutions, capable of delivering faster, more relevant results to business people of all backgrounds, and a better ROI. The report also suggested that this trend marks “arguably the biggest shift in BI adoption since the rise of enterprise-class BI platforms in the late 1990s”.

Studies from the TDWI and BeyeNetwork have also demonstrated the link between pervasive BI and superior ROI for BI initiatives. The TDWI research report – How Pervasive BI is Good for Your Business and How to Get There – states that the number of active users is one of the best performance indicators for any BI implementation. The study concludes by suggesting that BI adoption and usage rates remain low because most BI products are still geared towards analysts and power users. It’s now utterly undeniable – the consumerization of BI, the widespread deployments and high levels of user adoption that follow, have considerable positive business impacts. BI projects and technology that target the report consumer – is “good for your business”. The BeyeNetwork’s research report, Ease of Use and Interface Appeal in Business Intelligence Tools, also directly links BI adoption to ease-of-use and BI ROI.


8. More pervasive BI leads to changes in BI governance and usership

We know that business users are having a greater say when purchasing a BI solution, but how are usership figures changing in accordance? As evidence that BI is becoming more pervasive and end-user oriented, Gartner’s latest BI Magic Quadrant survey and Dresner Advisory Services’ (DAS) 2011 Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study demonstrated an increasing percentage of business (non IT) people utilizing BI software. Of the 1,364 respondents to Gartner’s 2012 BI Magic Quadrant survey, only 38.9 percent identified themselves as pure “IT”, with 20.8 percent listing themselves as a “business user”, while 40.3 percent said they had “blended business and IT responsibilities”. DAS’ 2011 Wisdom of Crowds survey also noted that business users are increasingly dominating BI adoption and usage. IT users comprised 50 percent of the overall survey sample, compared to 61 percent in 2010.

“Business users appear to be increasingly driving BI adoption. We believe that the trend towards business-dominated BI is a global trend, with other geographies lagging behind North America by several years,” wrote report author and former Gartner research fellow, Howard Dresner.

Evocative Forrester Research blogger, Boris Evelson, wrote in a recent blog post that “More BI will move into the hands of end users” and that “IT will learn not to fight it or risk becoming irrelevant. It’s all about getting things done.”

In further evidence that BI governance, as well as usership, is increasingly moving into the hands of business (non IT) departments, Gartner predicts up to 35 percent of enterprise IT expenditures will be managed outside of the IT department’s budget by 2015.

“The defined role of IT is changing from a mission of guarding the data to one of preparing the data for actionable business decisions. In 2012, this trend will continue and accelerate,” noted Gartner analyst Daryl Plummer.


This great infographic, detailing some of these key changes, has been compiled by Domo


9. “Enterprises are going to have to ‘live with’ multiple BI tools”

As indicated by Gartner’s 2012 BI Magic Quadrant survey and Dresner’s Wisdom of Crowds study results, enterprises are going to have to deal with a multitude of BI solutions. This multiple solution environment is a product of business user demand for easy-to-use “flexible products that put analytic power into their own hands”, and IT’s demand for deep analytical functionality – of course we believe that Yellowfin satisfies both criteria.

“This has further accentuated the need for IT organizations to back away from a single-minded pursuit of standardization on one vendor to a more pragmatic portfolio approach,” wrote Gartner Magic Quadrant report authors, John Hagerty, Rita L. Sallam and James Richardson.

The 2012 BI platform Magic Quardrant survey showed that “ease of use” has carried over from 2011 as the new number one priority for business users when selecting a BI product (52%). However, respondents identifying themselves as IT ranked “functionality” as their number one purchase criteria.

“’Data discovery’ [or end-user oriented] alternatives to enterprise BI platforms offer highly interactive and graphical user interfaces built on in-memory architectures to address business users’ unmet ease-of-use and rapid deployment needs,” stated the report. “Sales results for vendors in this sector have been stellar and well above the market average.”

The drive for ‘data discovery’ tools by business users will see enterprises harbor an increasing number of BI solutions.


10. The rise of independent information gatherers

2012 will see the rise of the independent information gatherer. Business users wont just be able to access part of a BI tool’s functionality by themselves. In 2012, they will be able to create, modify reports and interpret that intelligence independently. This trend represents more than simply finding the answers via self-service BI – It represents true independent data exploration.


11. An analytics talent shortage

As reporting and analytics is applied to many more business functions, an increasing number of job types will require a working knowledge of analytics, which in turn, will lead to a skills shortfall. A 2011 research report by McKinsey Global Institute predicted that by 2018, the US job market would experience a shortage of around “1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.”


12. In-memory capabilities will grow in importance

Demand for real-time insights, shrinking business timeliness and an increasingly competitive global marketplace is placing increasing pressure on acceptable query speeds. As such, in-memory capabilities will grow in importance as organizations demand answers to critical business questions at Google-like speed.


13. Collaborative BI will experience notable marketplace penetration

Collaborative or Social BI – the integration of information sharing features and functionality of popular Web 2.0 technologies and social media platforms within a BI platform – will experience steady uptake and significant interest in 2012. Interest and uptake will intensify as organizations realize the ability of in-built collaborative decision-making (CDM) modules to bridge the gap between insight and action – producing better, faster decisions and stronger ROI for BI projects.

Gartner predicts that by 2013, 15 percent of BI deployments will combine traditional BI and collaboration components in a singular decision-making environment.


14. More software solution providers will take advantage of embedded BI

BI is a rapidly growing industry. Organizations from all backgrounds are turning to BI to streamline operational efficiencies and increase competitive advantage by placing better, faster fact-based information in the hands of more decision-makers. The proliferation of BI means that clients of a wide range of enterprise software solutions now expect reporting and analytics functionality as a standard checklist item in their existing enterprise software package.

For more on the benefits of an embedded reporting solution, check out this SlideShare presentation: http://www.yellowfinbi.com/YFCommunityNews-Why-you-need-to-embed-BI-into-your-software-application-102102

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