BI Trends

Top BI Trends for 2015 – Part 2

By Mark Lockwood
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In part one of our Top BI Trends series, we discussed how a variety of socioeconomic, technology, and macro-level shifts are signaling a fundamental change in the BI industry.

The consolidation of the BI industry, the investment in Big Data, SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud) convergence, and a growing millennial workforce are setting the backdrop for the future of BI.

As a reminder, our first three BI trends for 2015 included:

1. BI Meets UI / UX
2. Analytics for the Mere Mortal
3. Social Curation

Here are four additional BI trends we expect to see in 2015:

#4 Big Data is Data

There has been a lot of hype around big data the past few years — companies just had to have it, but most people did not what it was, why it was important, or how it could help them.

We are at the point where there are common design patterns and reference architectures for utilizing the various big data type of emerging data repositories. Deployment of such technologies is also much easier, especially through the cloud. But now we are in a different place. In the Gartner hype cycle, we are coming out of the trough of disillusionment and headed into the productivity phase. More than ever, enterprises are focused on business problems and using data to solve them.

At the end of the day, big data is becoming… well, just data. The concept of big data will shift into the background from the end-user perspective. It will par for the course. Technologists will continue the best tools available to them to tackle real business problems.

#5 BI outside the Four Walls

The days of the “self-contained” business are over. The inputs and outputs of BI are no longer limited to information generated within a company’s four walls. Social media, smartphones and digitized business processes have fundamentally redefined the way companies interact with customers, suppliers and distribution partners. These geographically distributed but digitally integrated stakeholders are collectively termed the “Extended Enterprise.”

Since the value of a BI solution is tied to its ability to access relevant data, wherever it resides, companies are increasingly expanding their BI capabilities across the Extended Enterprise to collaborate with external stakeholders through innovative Web portals and custom applications.

#6 Embedded Everywhere

BI today must be everywhere you are, not just accessible on the devices you use every day, not just inside the applications you use every day. But most importantly inside the application workflows themselves.

When we talk about embedding BI everywhere, insights must be intertwined with the transactional functionality of an application where users live and breathe. It is this deep integration of BI within applications and web portals that improves the user experience and raises adoption of BI. And for commercial software and SaaS providers, infusing analytics with the product is key to differentiating yourself from the competition and enabling you to monetize data you are already have.

#7 The Disruptive Information Economy

The idea of monetizing data is moving to even the most traditional industries. In fact, in many cases data is becoming the primary product for customers. There are many business models where the information surrounding the transactions has become worth more than the transactions themselves.

For example of Monsanto, a large player in perhaps the most traditional of all industries – agriculture, has not only entered into the business of selling seeds, chemicals, and tools, but is also using data to be able to tell an individual farmer what to plant, when to plant it, how much to water it, and when to harvest it to maximize yield.

As we see the proliferation of the Internet of Things and all products become more digitally oriented and connected, the intrinsic value of data will continue to increase accordingly.

All companies, not just “high tech” companies now are looking at data and figuring how they can disrupt their industry and create new business models based on data. The Internet of Things will be an enabler of this transformation. Business intelligence now becomes a core part of driving new opportunities for us all.

We see these seven trends driving BI towards a new normal. Concepts that you should either be embracing or look to embrace as you develop your business strategies for this year, and beyond. From the Logi Analytics standpoint, these are things that shape the way we work and develop our products.

For more information, visit our Resource Center for informational downloads on these topics and much more.

Originally published January 16, 2015; updated on December 29th, 2016

About the Author

Mark is the Director of Customer Account Management at Logi Analytics, where he is responsible for customer success, market development, sales enablement and thought leadership. Prior to joining Logi, Mark was a Lead Strategy Associate at the management consulting firm Booz & Company, where he helped create the firm’s first Big Data service offering. Mark earned a dual degree in Industrial Engineering and Economics from Northwestern University and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.