Business Intelligence


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Over the last few years, data has become the lifeblood of organizations. Those that harnessed the power of this data by empowering business users found competitive advantage and were able to innovate faster. This change caused tension in organizations between the old way and the new modern approach to BI. Tension grew between control and agility, self-service and governance. IT and the business started partnering together to maximize the impact of their data

Where are things headed next? We’ve gathered the opinions and observations of our experts who serve hundreds of thousands of customers around the world. Here are our predictions.

See our predictions below.

01: Modern BI becomes the new normal

Many organizations have already embraced modern BI, moving the power to perform analytics from the hands of the few to the many. We’ve moved past the tipping point toward modern BI, according to Gartner. And we’ll continue to see organizations of all sizes leverage trusted and scalable platforms to encourage people to uncover insights in their data.

Further Reading from Gartner

02: Collaborative analytics goes from the fringe to the core

Thanks to easy access to governed data, information no longer flows in one direction. Gone are the days of data-sharing via PDFs or static PowerPoints. In 2017, people will share live, interactive workbooks, analysis, and dashboards. They’ll stay connected to their data via data-driven alerts and subscriptions. They’ll share findings, build on each other’s work, and move the business forward by leveraging the creativity and intellectual horsepower of the entire organization.

Further Reading from Datanami

03: All data becomes equal

In 2017, the value of data will no longer be tied to its rank or size. What will count is that people can quickly and easily access the data and explore it alongside other types of data to answer business questions and improve outcomes. Business users won’t have to worry about whether their data is stored in Hadoop, Redshift, or an Excel file. They’ll be able to harness the power of all data, no matter how many disparate data sources they have.

Further Reading from Entrepreneur

04: Self-service extends to data prep

While self-service data discovery has become the standard, data prep has remained in the realm of IT and data experts. This will change in 2017. Common data-prep tasks like data parsing, JSON and HTML imports, and data wrangling will no longer be delegated to specialists. With new innovations in this transforming space, everyone will be able to tackle these tasks as part of their analytics flow.

Further Reading from Datanami

05: Analytics are everywhere, thanks to embedded BI

Analytics works best when it’s a natural part of people’s workflow. In 2017, analytics will be put in context and be embedded into applications people use every day, be it Salesforce or internal portals. This seamless integration will drive visibility and action on these analytics, often by people who’ve never before explored data, like store clerks, call-center workers, and truck drivers.

Further Reading from TechTarget

06: IT becomes the data hero

It’s finally IT’s time to break the cycle and evolve from producer to enabler. IT is at the helm of the transformation to self-service analytics at scale. IT is providing the flexibility and agility the business needs to innovate all while balancing governance, data security, and compliance. And by empowering the organization to make data-driven decisions at the speed of business, IT will emerge as the data hero who helps shape the future of the business.

Further Reading from Gartner

07: People start to work with data in more natural ways

In 2017, the interface to data will start to feel even more natural, thanks in part to improvements in areas like natural language processing and generation. A new addition to the BI toolbox, natural language interfaces can make data, charts, and dashboards even more accessible by letting people interact with data using natural text and language. Though there is healthy skepticism surrounding this new field, it will be an exciting space to watch.

Further Reading from Dataversity

08: The transition to the cloud accelerates

In 2017, data gravity will push businesses to deploy their analytics where their data lives. While many organizations will continue to deploy a hybrid architecture of cloud and on-premises solutions, cloud analytics will increasingly represent a faster and more scalable solution.

Further Reading from Datanami

09: Advanced analytics becomes more accessible

Business users have grown more data-savvy. Advanced analytics has grown more approachable. In 2017, these two phenomena will converge as advanced analytics becomes the standard for non-data scientists. Business users are already leveraging powerful analytics functions like k-means clustering and forecasting. And in 2017, they’ll continue to expand their analytics skill set.

Further Reading from Marketwired

10: Data literacy becomes a fundamental skill of the future

In 2016, LinkedIn listed business intelligence as one of the hottest skills to get you hired. In 2017, data analytics will become a mandatory core competency for professionals of all types. And people will expect intuitive BI platforms to drive decision-making at every level.

Further Reading from IDG