2014 will surely see a dramatic change in the business intelligence landscape. With that in mind, we look at some of the major factors that may influence your BI strategy for the coming year.
In this changing BI world, brought about primarily by developments in technology, it has become increasingly important to have a solid business intelligence strategy in place. This strategy consists of three stages: the intelligence you wish to gather, the process by which you do this, and, most importantly, how you use it.
Every stage of this strategy has seen drastic changes over recent years. First, businesses have become increasingly demanding as to the type and complexity of management information they wish to acquire. The way in which this information is collected has also changed, with a vast range of business intelligence software tools simplifying the process considerably. Finally, improvements in data visualisation and reporting have meant intelligence projects create more actionable results.
This all serves to highlight the importance of ensuring your BI strategy is flexible enough to account for constant changes.
Many of the major changes predicted to occur in 2014 can be categorised into three areas – Cloud computing, analytics and mobile business intelligence.
Changes in Cloud computing
Cloud computing is by no means a new technology. With 60% of small to medium-sized businesses currently using some form of Cloud service1, it is clear that Cloud computing has become an established component of many firms’ business intelligence strategy. These high adoption rates highlight the trust that businesses have placed in this technology. This is set to rise even further in the coming year.
SAP Cloud’s Tim Minahan argues in Forbes that the adoption of Cloud technology is no longer driven purely on ‘blind faith in the promise of lower IT costs’. Instead he predicts that businesses will move to the Cloud for different reasons in 2014, using the technology primarily as a platform for increased innovation.
The architecture of Cloud technology is also predicted to change with the rise of ‘Hybrid Clouds’ which aim to combine the ‘security of private Clouds with the powerful, scalable and cost effective benefits of public Clouds’. This will aim to appease individuals who still have underlying concerns surrounding the security of Cloud business intelligence – and will no doubt see further increases in its adoption.
The rise of analytics
The increasing importance of business analytics is highlighted by Gartner’s prediction that analytics is expected to reach 50% of its potential users by 2014.
Dan Sommer, principal research analyst at Gartner suggests that one of the major factors driving this growth is the range of improvements that have been made to the interactive visualisation features of many BI tools.
This increased focus on visual analytics is also recognised by David Smith in his 14 Analytics Predictions for 2014. He argues that visual analytics will continue to grow in importance throughout the year – but that users will require much more than they are getting already.
The visual aspect of analytics is an important component of business intelligence strategy as it allows users to extract greater value from the data.
Mobile business intelligence
@FierceFred1 states that a study by Gartner found that mobile BI is the fastest growing business Intelligence capability, with take-up rising by 42% in 2013. And the trend is set to continue into the New Year. The developments that have been made to smartphones and tablets over recent years have meant that business intelligence is now available anywhere, and at any time.
However, the growth in mobile BI has not been without its setbacks – and there are still some major concerns over its effectiveness. Midsize Insider’s Doug Bonderud states that these concerns include security, screen size and the ease with which data can be inputted or manipulated via these devices.
Yet, even with these flaws, it is clear that that mobile BI will become an increasingly important component of business intelligence strategy in 2014.
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