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The 8 biggest Business Intelligence developments of 2010 (Part 2)
20 Oct, 2010 - Lachlan James

Yesterday in our blog – The 8 biggest Business Intelligence developments of 2010 – we revealed the first four trends. Today, you guessed it; we give you the other four!

Let’s resume.


Data visualization and Location Intelligence

Rich graphical representations are essential for explaining complex information, and in 2010, the range of graphs and charts has never been bigger or prettier.

Utilizing appropriate visual aids in crucial reports and presentations can enhance productivity, efficiency, knowledge sharing and enable management to reach steadfast and timely conclusion based on that data analysis.

Visual learning through Business Intelligence (BI) data visualization tools helps to:
  • Make complex information and abstract ideas more understandable and tangible
  • Connect existing knowledge with new ideas
  • Improve information absorption and retention
  • Provide a framework from which future analysis, planning, reporting and discussion can be made
  • Focus discussion leading to better understanding and information interpretation as trends, relationships and patterns are more recognizable

Demand for Location Intelligence, the ability to map and visualize geographically significant data, has grown rapidly throughout 2010 and is expected to climb.

International strategy consultancy PTOLEMUS Consulting Group’s European Location Study 2010 found the European location technologies market will double over the next four years, with general positioning technology sales reaching €I.5 billion by 2014.

Ventana Research from 2008 signalled the emerging importance of Location Intelligence and forecasted its current significance in the BI sector. The study – Location Intelligence: Geographic Context Spurs Innovation – found that in 2008:
  • Over half (57 percent) of the survey respondents were using Google to gain an understanding of their business from a geographical perspective;
  • Seventy-eight percent said they had a desire to use mapping viewers for business purposes;
  • And a mere 31 percent said they felt that consumer mapping technologies alone could satisfy business requirements

With map visualization, organizations can free themselves of the usual constraints of traditional charts and table concepts and explore geographically significant data, such as sales per region, based on spatial elements.


Collaborative BI

Collaborative technologies are changing the way an organization’s personnel can interact with company data assets and share knowledge garnered from data analysis. Successful collaborative solutions allow communities of people to interact and document that interaction. This can be achieved by allowing user communities to annotate, comment on, and discuss data analysis, and distribute the results of that collaboration to relevant parties.

Collaborative BI is improving organization knowledge sharing by allowing teams to work together to effectively analyze crucial organizational information and support cross-departmental cohesion, strategy alignment, as well as fast and accurate decision-making.


Agile BI

We’ve all heard the term “Agile BI” echoing through cyberspace, boardrooms and tech meetings. But there has been some confusion over definition.

Agile BI is a combination of:
  • Technology: New easy-to-use and deploy BI applications with the capability and capacity to underpin agile development
  • Culture: Creating a supportive environment for the introduction of a BI solution
  • Process: The way in which BI is employed/deployed should be agile to meet the specific needs of any given industry or organization

For more detail on Agile BI, check out our blogs on defining Agile BI Part 1 and Part 2.

The remaining question is whether Agile BI is a new way of operation, implementation and innovation for the BI industry, or wether it’s merely a new catch cry.


Pervasive BI

It is becoming increasingly accepted that to achieve organizational agility and superior ROI on BI rollouts, widespread end-user adoption is a necessity.

It’s simple. The more employees who have access to the benefits of quality BI, the better equipped any organization will be to respond to, and take advantage of, opportunities and shifts in their business environment.

And the more barriers that are removed to widespread end-user adoption, the more able an organization will be to incorporate and ingrain a BI application into its business culture.

According to a study by The Data Warehousing Institute in 2008, only 24 percent of the potential BI users were using BI solutions. In 2010, BI vendors are moving to capitalize on those figures.

Creating pervasive BI can be split into two equally important spheres:

Data access
  • Report relevance
  • Exception-based reporting
  • Timeliness of data delivery
  • Data quality
  • Training

Platform capability
  • Ease of use
  • Interactivity
  • Speed of report delivery
  • Security
  • Mobile access
  • Report scheduling


Conclusion: So what’s it all mean?

The BI space in 2010 has undergone more rapid-fire development than a Tommy gun toting 1930s New York gangster in a shootout or Sylvester Stallone in one of his forgettable C-grade ’classics’.

One common theme throughout all this frenetic progression and change is clearly evident. BI users are demanding more from their BI deployments in contracted timeframes – more flexibility, more agility, more ROI, more end-user adoption and more analysis with less effort and fewer demands on technical personnel. We are witnessing a shift towards consumer BI tools.

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