The last few years have seen a sea of changes in business intelligence (BI). The proliferation of data and advances in technologies are pushing the pace of innovation. Here are 10 BI trends to watch for in the months ahead.
  1. Big data gets even bigger
  2. Self-reliance is the new self-service
  3. The “Consumerization of Enterprise Software” accelerates
  4. Mobile BI goes mainstream
  5. Some companies start to get comfortable with social BI
  6. Companies explore the BI cloud
  7. Most jobs will require analytical skills… leading to talent shortages
  8. BI projects flourish under aligned IT & business
  9. Interactive data visualization becomes a requirement
  10. Hadoop gathers momentum – unstructured data isn’t going anywhere
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The sunset of Big BI. One of the significant trends that's underway, almost silently, is the evolution of Business Intelligence away from the sole province of monolithic, enterprise-scale cathedral building based in comprehensive data warehouses and large scale "BI platforms".

The emerging form of BI is the human-oriented approach wherein data analysis is conducted wherever data resides by people equipped with the tools, like Tableau (especially Tableau), that foster an intimate connection between business data and the people who need to understand it.

Big BI had its heyday; dominated the mindscape of business intelligence for nearly two decades. Things are changing for the better.

Chris, I agree. And that's one I think that's been happening for awhile now. Will 2012 finally bring some major momentum to the trend? Perhaps. But even if not, the sunset of big BI is a major impact on our industry and one we'll recall as a game-changer in the years to come.

Momentum is building. It's fascinating the watch the multiple facets that are being publicized and promoted.

The BI/IT media increasingly recognizes the groundswell of local BI even as the conservative establishment continues to emphasize the embrace of "new", "bigger", and ever more complex data into the BI universe. All of which requires the extension of the Big BI platforms to handle all the new stuff.

There are multiple areas that are ripe and fertile grounds for growth. Examples include the personal, local data-exploration segment where Tableau is the clear leader, and it's only just begun to be tapped. The larger scale enterprise space is begging for solutions that bring the benefits of accelerated and continuous delivery and the highest quality to the table.

In the first case Tableau continues to reduce the friction in data analysis, minimizing the barriers between people and their data.

In the second case, there's an inherent tension in the enterprise between the innovators and the establishment.
Tableau's a classic disruptive technology; as such there are multiple avenues and opportunities for increasing its areas of relevance within the enterprise.
Version 7's Data Server, where organizations can be assured of consistent, vetted data used for analysis, is a huge step.

One of things I've been able to do is leverage Tableau in classic enterprise BI environments to provide dramatic improvements in the delivery of business value and cost reductions.
I've written some of this up; it's available here:
A concrete example of how Tableau can be introduced into the heart of enterprise BI is available in these maps:
The first is a typical enterprise BI project map:
The second is the same project with Tableau brought to bear wherever it adds value:

The future is wide open.

How about the rise of vertically-focused BI solutions like Healthcare BI/analytics? There is also the increased use of operational BI (vs. analytical), which is one of the main drivers behind mobile BI. Finally there are plans for increased Usability and Workflow improvement (increased focus on dashboards, visual cues and drill-down capabilities)

My organization published an article recently on the 5 big trends in enterprise software and BI in particular for 2012, based research and client feedback - A potential complement to the information you've presented here.

Great list.

With reference to point no.7 most businesses have an analytical skill shortage now. Few fail to comprehend what analytical skills are. Thanks to the marketing spin at SAS many businesses think extracting data through SAS is analytics.

The best analytical skill is common sense :)

P.S. I sincerely hope no.8 comes true!!!

As a local school director, I not only make use of Tableau for visualizing and gaining insights from the mountain of data that school boards get, but I also marvel at the relative ease that could be provided by Tableau in supporting basic analytical skill development. I fully agree with #7 on the list and would happily promote the use of Tableau in schools as a basic tool for introducing students to the tools of analysis and critical thinking. Thanks for sharing these great thoughts.

Getting cost effective BI into the medium and small business markets, especially the service sector would be a goal

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