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The 5 BI Trends for 2012


According to research company, Gartner, the 5 BI Trends in 2012 are:

  1. Mobile BI – natively provided in Cloud BI
  2. Cloud BI – only option to keep up with data storage and processing demands
  3. Simple, Self Service BI – Cloud configuration needs to meet 70% customer needs
  4. Operational BI – LOB BI demands are not being met, more likely to seek external point solutions
  5. Big Data BI – our future vision

1. Mobile Business Intelligence and Accessibility

It is claimed that by 2013 one-third of all BI usage will be on a mobile device, such as a smart-phone or tablet. However, I believe this figure to be grossly inflated. The value of mobile BI is limited to those in field service, sales and executives on the move. The mobile environment is limited to a status update only, and not suited to indepth analysis. With analytics fast becoming a valued part of business insight – these 'lean in' type activities demand the processing power and large screen of desktop devices.

So in spite of a recent survey conducted by the Business Application Research Center, claiming that current adoption of about 8%, will grow in the next 12 months to 30% [Gartner claim 40% CAGR] I believe these estimates to be over-estimated and fail to take into account the limited activity capable using a small screen device, with limits on in-cache memory processing.

Mobile is ideal for providing on-the-go workers with access to KPIs, and for on-the-floor operational BI alerts and updates, but anything further – go to the desktop.

2. Cloud Hosted Business Intelligence Solutions

Cloud has opened the door to many BI users that would otherwise struggle with lack of infrastructure or inhouse capability to support BI processing.

According to a June 2011 survey by the BI Leadership Forum, more than one-third of organizations have a cloud-based BI tool. Add to that, 65% of those organizations are planning to increase their use of Cloud BI in the next 12 months. The increased adoption of cloud-based BI solutions seems set.
Throughout 2012, adoption of cloud BI tools is being driven by:

  • Ease and convenience of deployment
  • Elastic scalability
  • Improving security measures
  • Native Mobile BI capability

3. Simplicity and Self-Serve Business Intelligence

BI users are continuing to be frustrated by inadequate BI resources to deliver reports and dashboard. Self-serve business intelligence (BI) is projected to increase throughout 2012 — enabling end-users the ability to build and publish dashboards without IT support. More BI vendors are working on putting non-technical users in the driver's seat of their BI dashboards. Whether this goal is attainable or not is irrelevant; the end result will be BI tools that are more user-friendly.

4. Operational or Tactical Business Intelligence

According to Gartner, operational or tactical business intelligence (BI) is growing at a rate of 13% CAGR. Compared with analytical or traditional BI tools growing at a rate of 9% CAGR, this is a good indication that BI is becoming more pervasive throughout the organisation. Agile BI tools such as Cloud BI and mobile BI are encouraging individuals to access their KPI dashboards more often. Daily performance metrics are more actionable, and therefore more relevant to users than strategic management dashboards updated weekly or monthly.

Operational dashboards allow users to make continuous minor adjustments to performance, supporting tactical decisions based on current performance.

5. Pervasive Business Intelligence and Data Democracy

Currently, in most organisations, only 25% of employees in those businesses had access to BI tools. Cloud and mobile BI will drive that adoption to the remaining 75%.

Overall, BI is becoming simpler and more accessible. Higher adoption rates will lead to the development of fact-driven decision processes, completing the missing link in delivering true value from BI.

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