Top 13 Business Intelligence trends for 2011 (part two)

Finally! You can stop perching on the edge of your seat in anticipation. Today, we complete the puzzle. In part one of our blog post – Top 13 Business Intelligence trends for 2011 (part one)  – we identified the first six major trends that we believe will shape the Business Intelligence (BI) landscape in 2011. Now, let’s take a look at the other seven.

7. Self-service Business Intelligence

Companies will continue to pursue self-service BI in 2011 as a mechanism to maximize their return on investment for BI solutions, by enabling more business users to make better data-based decisions in shorter timeframes, through highly intuitive web-based applications.

Self-service BI empowers business users to build reports and analyze the data within those reports independently.

According to a recent Aberdeen Group report, 67 percent of “best in class” companies have adopted some form of self-service BI. And, as Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus told Computerworld in a recent interview, the popularity of self-service BI tools will accelerated throughout 2011 because they "take the burden off IT and speed up the development of reports to a considerable degree."

The crucial benefits of self-service BI include:

  • Widespread end-user adoption: Achieved by removing the constraints and complexities associated with traditional BI tools.
  • Faster fact-based decision-making leading to competitive advantage: Enabled by streamlining the reporting process, removing the need for business users to rely on IT support to create reports, or gain access to the actionable information within data analysis.
  • Reduced burden on IT personnel: Removing many of the basic routine support needs of business users allows the IT team to concentrate on larger technical projects.

8. Hadoop

Interest in Hadoop – a free open-source Java-based framework from the Apache Software Foundation that supports the distribution and running of applications on clusters of servers with thousands of nodes and petabytes of data – will grow. Hadoop enables the analysis of expansive and increasingly complex data, as well social media analytics and text-mining applications, and allows businesses to analyze much larger volumes of data than they would be able to through traditional database systems.

Follow this link for more information on Hadoop.

9. Real-time analytics

With the continued advancement of communications technologies and internet-ready mobile devices, the transfer of corporate information has become constant and virtually instant. The demand for reporting and analytics to match this up-to-the-minute capability will continue to increase throughout 2011. Therefore, aside from Mobile BI, the importance of two technological features will also increase:

  • The ability to perform Federated Queries: The ability to conduct Federated Queries enables users to combine data from two or more separate data sources to create a single report without having to build a data warehouse (DW).  Federated Queries reduce the time and complexity associated with analyzing multiple data sources simultaneously.
  • The ability to generate reports from an in-memory database: In-memory analytics enable faster analysis, rapid insights and ad-hoc reporting with minimal IT involvement. In-memory analytics eliminates the need to store pre-calculated data in the form of OLAP cubes or aggregate tables, as it uses main memory for data storage. In-memory analytics allows users to perform analysis faster than standard database systems that use disk storage, as they don’t have to perform disk I/O to update or query data. It offers business users faster analysis, and access to analysis of large data sets, with minimal data management requirements. In-memory analytics removes some of the need for ETL and DWs, leading to substantially faster development and query performance compared to traditional database-resident storage models.

10. Concentration on people and process over technology: user adoption

Organizations may finally realize that much of their efforts need to be spent on creating a supportive environment and culture for the introduction and successful uptake of BI technologies within the organization.

A recent Gartner report – From Business Intelligence to Intelligent Business – stated that CIOs must ensure that BI programs are treated as a cultural transformation of the business, instead of just another IT project.

The best technology can only deliver the best results if organizations and individual users follow best usage practices.

11. The continued growth of the mega vendors

Intensified competition between the big players in the BI space has seen many independent BI products squeezed out of the market or snapped up by mega vendors. With mega vendors dominating Gartner’s 2010 BI Magic Quadrant and SAP, Oracles, SAS Institute, IBM and Microsoft accounting for around 75 percent of the market, this trend will most likely continue in 2011.

12. Emergence of industry specific Business Intelligence solutions

With the mega vendors growing in size and dominating market share, smaller vendors are continuing to customize their services, creating niche products that offer industry specific solutions such as healthcare or higher education analytics.

13. Increased Business Intelligence uptake by SMBs

BI solutions are becoming easier to use and less expensive to own and maintain. This reduction in the total cost of ownership is allowing many small to midsized businesses (SMBs) to enter the BI marketplace for the first time. As the global BI market continues to experience double-digit growth, vendors will be able to offer lower cost BI to SMBs, and compete for this small-scale emergent market segment.

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