Top 10 Business Intelligence Trends for 2013

A new generation of business intelligence emerges as the expectation for user-friendly analytics and the expertise to ask and answer questions with data continues to grow. The wave of innovation is far from over. This paper highlights the top trends in business intelligence for 2013, including:

  • Proliferation of data stores.
  • Hadoop is real.
  • Self-reliance is the new self-service.
  • The value of text and other unstructured data is (finally!) recognized.
  • Cloud BI grows up.

We've also pulled out the first several pages of the whitepaper for you to read. Download the PDF on the right to read the rest.

It’s Going to be a BIG (Business Intelligence Growth) Year

What a year 2012 was for business intelligence! The staid old world of databases is developing faster and faster, with startups addressing new data problems and established companies innovating on their platforms. Web-based analytics tools are connecting to web-based data. And everything’s mobile.

With all the attention organizations are placing on innovating around data, the rate of change will only increase. So what should you expect to see?

1. Proliferation of data stores.

Once upon a time, an organization had different types of data:
CRM, point of sale, email, and more. The rulers of that organization worked very hard and eventually got all their data into one fast data warehouse…

2013 is the year we will recognize this story as a fairy tale. The organization that has all its data in one place does not exist. Moreover, why would you want to do it? Big data could be in places like Teradata and Hadoop. Transactional data might be in Oracle or SQL Server. The right data stores for the right data and workload will be seen as one of the hallmarks of a great IT organization, not a problem to be fixed.

2. Hadoop is real

Back in 2008 and 2009 Hadoop was a science project. By 2010 and 2011 some forward-thinking organizations started doing proof-of-concepts with Hadoop. In 2012, we saw the emergence of many production-scale Hadoop implementations, as well as a crop of companies trying to address pain points in working with Hadoop. In 2013, Hadoop will finally break into the mainstream for working with large or unstructured data. It is also becoming more “right-time” for a faster analytics experience.

3. Self-reliance is the new self-service.

Self-service BI is the idea that any business user can analyze the data they need to make a better decision. Self-reliance is the coming of age of that concept: it means business users have access to the right data, that the data is in a place and format that they can use, and that they have the solutions that enable self-service analytics. When all this happens, people become self-reliant with their business questions and IT can focus on providing the secure data and solutions to get them there.

4. The value of text and other unstructured data is (finally!) recognized.

One of the subplots of the rise of Hadoop has been the rise of unstructured data. Emails, documents, web analytics and customer feedback have existed for years, but most organizations struggled enough to understand their structured data that unstructured data was left alone. In 2011 and 2012 we saw more techniques emerge to help people deal with unstructured data, not least of which is a place to put it (Hadoop). With the explosion of social data like Twitter and Facebook posts, text analysis becomes even more important. Expect to see a lot of it in 2013.

5. Cloud BI grows up.

Cloud business intelligence as your primary BI? No way! Not in 2012, at least. There are cloud BI services, but with important limitations that have made it difficult to use the cloud as your primary analytics solution. In 2013 we expect to see the maturation of cloud BI, so that people can collaborate with data in the cloud, just like they collaborate on their Salesforce CRM or help desk data.

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