Trends Forecast: What to Expect from Business Intelligence in 2017

Which business intelligence (BI) trends are on the rise in 2017?

Interest in BI and data management is constantly in flux, but BARC’s 2017 BI Trend Monitor report has revealed which BI trends are seeing growth – and which aren’t.

For the most part, trends in the business intelligence market have remained stable between 2016 and 2017, according to the report, which asked 2,800 users, consultants and vendors for their opinions. Respondents were asked to rate the importance of BI trends on a scale of 0 (not important at all) to 10 (very important).

The top three trends were:

  1. Data discovery (7.2)
  2. Self-service BI (7.1)
  3. Master data/data quality management (6.9)

Trends on the Rise

Although most trends remained stable with little growth or decline, a handful of trends experienced growth that’s worth paying attention to. Here are the top five:

  1. Data integrity for business users  The growing interest in data integrity indicates an important shift: Data management tasks, primarily in the field of data integration, are being handled more and more by business departments instead of IT. Data integrity for business users goes hand-in-hand with one of the top three 2017 BI trends – self-service BI. Business users want direct access to data without having to wait for an IT middleman. BI vendors are taking notice: Businesses can expect to see more options and interfaces as well as governance frameworks for data integration that will cater to business users.
  1. Predictive analytics  Predictive analytics, including data mining, continue to grow as a driving force in decision making for companies that embrace BI. A major reason behind this growing trend is the large number of possible uses for predictive analytics: Business can forecast income, prices, machine downtime and more. Many companies are now moving beyond the experimental phase and are using predictive analytics on a daily basis, which also accounts for its upward growth. With more companies coming on board, expect to see new products and services for the growing number of use cases.
  1. Big data analytics – Big data has become a core competency for organizations aiming to transform themselves into data-driven businesses, so it’s no surprise that it’s continuing to attract more and more interest. As business processes and models continue to adapt to incorporate big data, vendors and users will explore new ways of tapping into it for more value. According to the report, businesses will be able to increase the value of their data by adding sensor, geolocation, behavior or social media data to their existing analytics.
  1. Collaboration  While collaboration isn’t anything new in the BI sphere, vendors have begun pushing more of it by incorporating collaborative fixtures in their programs like commenting capabilities, chats and threads. However, despite its overall forward momentum, many customers are still reticent to get on board with collaborative BI. Only 13% of employees are BI users, according to the report, which means most are still sharing information through PDF and Excel files, company portals and email. But if vendors continue to push, there may be more employees willing to take on BI collaboration in the future.
  1. Data governance  Organizations that wish to incorporate more BI analytics need a proper data strategy outlining how business strategy will be translated into data and analytics. In other words, they’ll need data governance, which is a driving factor behind its upward trajectory as a trend. Businesses can expect this trend to continue to rise, as establishing data governance is a long-term endeavor.

On the Downward Slope

Although most BI trends experienced a surge in interest in 2017, there were a few that lost importance in the eyes of users and vendors.

Here are the five BI trends that experienced the biggest drops in interest:

  • Agile BI development
  • Visual design standards
  • Real-time analytics
  • MD/DQ management
  • Mobile BI

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