BI Trends

Blurring the Lines: BI vs. Predictive Analytics

By Sriram Parthasarathy
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A few years ago, there was a very clear distinction between the use cases handled by business intelligence versus predictive analytics vendors. The former have traditionally catered to analysts/end users, while the latter cater to data scientists. Therefore, customers who have both of those requirements have been forced to buy and maintain two products—an expensive proposition.

>> Related: What Is Predictive Analytics? <<

For example, if an organization wanted to explore data on customer churn, they would use a BI product to build their analytics dashboard and then integrate it with a predictive tool to forecast which customers would be likely to leave them.

However, today BI vendors are adding open-source predictive functionality to their products. This gives customers the ability to build and deploy predictive analytics capabilities directly from their BI applications—eliminating the need to buy a second tool.

One Tool to Buy, Fewer Applications to Support

In essence, there is a gradual shift of use cases handled by predictive vendors to the BI domain, and BI vendors are reacting by expanding their support for predictive technologies natively.

There are two main reasons why this change is advantageous to customers:

  1. One tool can solve all their BI and predictive needs and that cuts down on costs plus support and maintenance.
  2. They can integrate actionable predictive analytics directly into their business application, thereby reducing the number of applications they need to support.

This will challenge the status quo and motivate both BI and predictive vendors to innovate and change.

Predictive Vendors Should…

  • Realize that some of their old use cases have permanently moved out of their domain.
  • Refocus their energies on new/traditional predictive use cases that data scientists typically come to them for (as opposed to moving to open source).

BI Vendors Should…

  • Realize that more and more sales cycles will include BI and predictive use cases.
  • Understand that if they are not able to address those new predictive requirements as part of the evolving BI ecosystem, they will likely get eliminated early in the sales cycle.

Opportunity for BI Vendors to Expand Market Segment

BI vendors now have a valuable opportunity to differentiate themselves in the crowded BI ecosystem and expand their addressable market segment. Get ready to witness this evolving change as it disrupts and potentially forces transfer of customers from one BI vendor to another.

For more information on advanced analytic capabilities, view our webinar: The 5 Most Requested Analytics Features.

Originally published February 20, 2018; updated on July 23rd, 2018

About the Author

Sriram Parthasarathy is the Senior Director of Predictive Analytics at Logi Analytics. Prior to working at Logi, Sriram was a practicing data scientist, implementing and advising companies in healthcare and financial services for their use of Predictive Analytics. Prior to that, Sriram was with MicroStrategy for over a decade, where he led and launched several product modules/offerings to the market.