The 2016 Logi User Conference has come to an end—and I for one am thrilled with the feedback from all our amazing customers. This was a chance for me to connect with a huge spectrum of Logi users, of all different roles and skill levels. In my conversations at the event, I saw evidence of a few trends for the future of business intelligence.
1. The analytics pendulum continues to swing toward embedded
For years, the focus has been on standalone self-service BI and analytics applications. But those various experiments have proven that these types of apps are just too hard. They’re extraordinarily capable—the tools themselves all work well—but they continue to fail. Why? Because standalone BI apps don’t take into consideration who the people are, what they need, or how it is they do their jobs.
The members of an organization who haven’t embraced standalone self-service tools are, from a broad perspective, moving toward embedded analytics as a better way to make smarter choices because all the information is in context. It’s right where they need it to be to take action.
Throughout the #Logi16 conference, I met with more and more people who are starting to realize this is a highly valuable segment of the BI market. And the people leading this charge are, increasingly, application owners. Whether they’re product managers, part of a development team, an IT director, or an IT product manager, these are the people who are set with the task of achieving business results and turning every application into an analytical application.
2. BI apps need to embrace how people already work
The best way people can use information to make decisions—and take action on those decisions—is to embed analytics in the applications people use every day. It empowers people to be far more effective, more productive, to make better choices, and overall perform better.
But it’s not enough to just embed analytics in the apps people are already using, although that is crucial. It also means supporting the ways your app owners want to work. BI companies need to embrace common standards in the market: using CSS for styling, leveraging commonly used frameworks for creating application shells, using standard ways to connect the data, or supporting all HTML5 so the app is responsive and agnostic to operating systems and form factor size. The reality is people want to be successful by working within the tools they’re already familiar with. They don’t want to be told there’s another way to do the thing they’re doing today.
3. The newest BI challenge: Providing more personalized analytics
Years ago, the biggest challenge for business intelligence applications was providing effective dashboards, reports, and visualizations. But BI tools and technologies have evolved, and the ability to do that is far simpler now than it was 20 years ago.
Today, one of the biggest challenges organizations face is providing more advanced analytic capabilities. As end users get used to using BI, they’re starting to ask for more sophisticated types of activities.
At Logi, we’ve tackled this challenge by giving app owners the ability to match the analytical capabilities to their application so their users will have the outcomes they want. We give them full control to construct, deconstruct, reconstruct, and build an application that’s tailored to those users’ roles and skills.
Ultimately, we care about not just the data visualizations, but also the experience in how people use analytics. And that’s hard: Considering what it looks like, if it works with existing security, if it’s responsive and works with mobile devices—it’s difficult to get it all right. And yet, we see time and time again that the most successful BI applications consist of all these components.
The Shifting World of Analytics
In general, the conversations I had at #Logi16 and the trends I’ve seen in the market overall boil down to this: People have moved away from just wanting dashboards and reports. Of course there will always be a need for standalone tools for some users. But now, the application owner’s role has shifted from providing reports to helping people achieve the outcomes and business requirements they need to do their jobs.
Because of this, app owners are fundamentally approaching the business problem differently—and as they do, the likelihood of success increases significantly. More people will use BI when it’s embedded in an application versus those who use it in a standalone application.
If we want to help organizations create a smarter world by embedding analytics, it takes invisible BI. When users don’t consciously realize they’re using analytics, but they’re actually using them all the time—that’s when we will have achieved our objective.