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The Future of Business Intelligence

The business intelligence dashboard used to be limited to senior managers, but now is being embraced throughout businesses across all departments. The public sector, which often lags behind the private sector with technology, is racing to catch up as they’re under increasing pressure and they’ve seen the real benefits that business intelligence can deliver. Big Data used to be an infrequently used phrase that few understood, but now it has become a mainstream term. But where is business intelligence going and what is future of business intelligence software? Looking back over the last twelve months, many organisations, including Gartner and Forrester, are now making predictions about business intelligence in 2014 and beyond.

Self Service BI

A common prediction is that everyone will become data scientists and that specialists will become a thing of the past. Some of the more complex business intelligence solutions require a lengthy configuration and installation process, as well as a fair degree of technical knowledge to construct queries to analyse the data. In the future, as familiarity with business intelligence tools become the norm, and BI dashboards become more self service orientated, users will be able to make modifications without involving IT stakeholders.

End users need to be able to quickly make changes and adapt to developments in the market, or response to customers, in a timely fashion. Submitting a change request to IT stakeholders and then waiting for it to be fulfilled is not feasible, but with a higher level of technical knowledge, end users will be able to make changes without any delay.

BI in the Cloud

Several organisations have predicted that in the near future dashboard reporting software will be commonly delivered via the cloud. Companies don’t want the extra cost and worry of buying and maintaining hardware in a secure location, hosting and backing up their data, and having a disaster recovery plan in place. They want BI delivered as a service that is convenient and can be accessed 24x7x365. They want to get up and running quickly, for their data to be secure and scalable, without shouldering the hosting and maintenance costs.

Big data is expected to have an even greater impact going forward as businesses utilise the rich information often sat at their fingertips, but previously not presented in a way that makes it suitable for analysis. Start-up firms and not-for-profit organisations, like the Open Data Institute, have shown that widespread economic, social and environmental change can be achieved with open data. Businesses are now trying to imitate large scale changes, and give themselves a competitive edge, with big data.

In order to facilitate this use of big data and create internal optimisation, businesses will need to move away from a silo mentality which often exists within organisations. Regardless of specific predictions, all organisations agree that worldwide spending on business intelligence is only going to increase in the future as it becomes a more integrated and vital component of day to day business.

Written by Ken

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