Oct 3

BI trends and predictions roundup - 2016


Since the year 2015 neared its end and 2016 began, several maestros of the tech world announced prophecies for their expectations with Business Intelligence (BI) this year.

As expected organizations all around the world are realizing the potential of BI initiatives. Not only has BI played a crucial role in letting businesses make lightning-fast preemptive and strategic decisions for the much needed competitive edge, it has collectively made ambiguous and overhyped data to come to the brink of sense. In the wake of the current scenario, it is safe to say that BI has truly enriched the value of time, data, and people assets.

More than half of 2016 has already passed, where are we now? What did we make of the predictions that were laid before us at the beginning of this year? Inspired by several of our industrial experiences from diverse verticals, here’s a roundup of predicted BI trends 2016.

Consolidation Is in the air

According to a Forrester Research, close to 80% of companies use three or more BI products. The more tools involved, the more complex technical environments get. To overcome the array of multiple tools there came the concept of Consolidation. BI consolidation is designing, enabling and deploying leaner BI infrastructures to condense the manifoldness.

Backed by the expertise from engagements with our diverse customer forte, we can definitely say that customers are inclined towards a centralized solution. Majority of businesses prefer a single platform strategy but, putting a comparative analysis in perspective, it is impossible to attain successful BI outcomes with a single tool provider.

We have been hearing a great deal about acquisitions of smaller players by larger giants and leading players expanding their capabilities to be at par with the needs of customers, who are evolving with the precision of knowledge, of what they need.

Data preparation has received the necessary attention

With the rise of sophisticated Data preparation tools such as Alteryx, Birst, Paxata etc., data preparation hasn’t only exploded in popularity but has also highlighted the amplified quality of Analytics. Handling data has transitioned from technical to business orientation, and these tools are a perfect complement to data discovery tools such as Tableau that reduce time to analyze data.

Business users have always wanted simplified Analytics, and data preparation has fulfilled that efficiently. Organizations that adopted BI in earlier stages are enjoying the simplicity data preparation has brought and the ones catching up are making their first moves with Data preparation. The importance of data preparation in Analytics is eminent and the world has just discovered this enormous source of opportunity.

Self-Service tools are in the spotlight

Self-service BI came into existence with an idea of enabling business users to work with insights and analytics with minimal dependency on the IT department. Gartner predicted that by 2017, most business users and analysts in organizations will have access to self-service tools to prepare data for analysis, and there’s never been a more noticeable adoption across the world with any technology, as much as self-service BI.

Be it data preparation, integration or presenting analytics, organizations are incorporating self-service tools into their infrastructure. There’s also been a significant rise in the number of companies offering services as solutions to help organizations migrate and adapt to a self-service BI ecosystem. The sole reason for this popularity is credited to self-service BI letting businesses deploy their own applications, generate quicker reports, make crucial business decisions however they want, whenever they want.

Prettier is better

Long gone are the days when technology was devoid of colors and creativity. The acceptance of visualization is growing phenomenally and it has definitely contributed to significant business growth for thousands of organizations across the world. Although Tableau continues to rule BI in terms of visualizations, it is true that better presentation is winning and it is here to stay.

More businesses are using visual dashboards to present analytics and it has revolutionized the way business users address crucial decisions. Visualizing data to explore questions and uncover insights has offered better storytelling for non-technical business masses, that undoubtedly increases the scope of data. Visual analytics are empowering us by providing faster, more presentable insights, a common language for business and technical users and making the data community grow bigger and stronger.

Scalability is changing to Accessibility

The increasing need for data storage and handling gave birth to scalability as a service. Lately, cloud analytics have been a great driving force behind the success and growth of businesses by enabling faster data computation while saving cost and time assets. Self-service data preparation and visualization tools needed a similar model to sustain so that effective analytics could be rolled out broadly.

Tools like Tableau server and Tableau Online are making that possible. There’s been a significant rise in the promotion of sharing insights across various departments in an organization so that everyone can use data to enhance profitability and productivity. Since mid-2015, scalability has made its way from being data centric, to analytics and people centric and that will continue being popular and contributing to business growth significantly.

Agility is winning

Agility continues to enable BI to bring existing business gaps closer. The most effective best practices involve incorporating agility to BI ecosystem and this has caught on this year. Several BI services providers are helping businesses be flexible and upgrade their BI environment to be able to respond to changes quickly. In the light of the writhing competition, agility in BI solutions is spreading like a forest fire.

On one hand, self-service tools are upgrading and improving at a rapid rate in terms of features, on the other hand, organizations are rushing to adoption to gain values from these evolving systems faster to keep up with the competition. Agility in BI has also given birth to several newer technology roles to address précised needs, making projects more efficient, independent, reliable for iterations and highly progressive.


About the author: This post is brought to you by a USEReady #HappyDataGeek. Learn more about USEReady. Also, check out Analytics Weekly.


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