BI Trends

Year in Review: The Biggest BI Stories of 2015

By Mark Lockwood
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It’s hard to believe that 2016 is right around the corner. It’s around this time that companies begin to reflect on the year that was, and make their predictions for what is coming in the year ahead (which we’ll be discussing in a future post).

2015 was definitely a banner year for the BI and analytics industry. Self-service BI became the phrase of choice, as organizations looked to become more data-driven. Big data analytics dominated conversations from the largest of enterprises to the smallest of businesses. UI and UX also became a clear focus – where what a BI tool looked like was just as important as its capabilities.

Here is a look at a few of the biggest BI stories from 2015.

Good Bye Traditional BI, Hello Bimodal
It’s been on everyone’s radar for some time, but 2015 was finally the year that traditional BI was kicked to the curb. Analyst firms, like Gartner, have noted that extensive IT-led, centralized deployments have shifted towards more modern and agile business-led initiatives.

This has also brought about the idea of bimodal BI. Bimodal BI was the keynote subject of Gartner’s BI & Analytics summit this year and continues to gain traction as more and more companies try to rationalize their traditional data warehouse and BI stacks with growing data discovery adoption and departmental independence.

On the one hand, organizations today want centralized data – for governance and security reasons. At the same time, organizations want a decentralized mode of operation for data discovery as well as to find new insights in a self-service fashion without increasing the workload of the reporting team.

The challenge that needs to be tackled in the coming year, however, is in being able to achieve this within a single BI environment.

(Big) Data Evolution
Big data used to seem like such an abstract concept – and one that only the largest of enterprises could tackle. However, in 2015 we saw adoption of big data skyrocket across all sizes of businesses.

And it’s not just the IT teams that are looking to take advantage of all of this vast structured and unstructured data. Business users want access to these data sets as well.

At Logi we conduct an annual survey of over 800 BI users to get their perspective, to learn why companies invest in self-service, to discover what their challenges are, and to determine the trends for self-service. This year we found that the data landscape is indeed evolving.

According the report, emerging big data sources — such as analytic / columnar data stores, NoSQL, and Hadoop data repositories — expect to each more than double their rate of adoption and eventually exceed well over 40 percent availability in self-service tools within 2 years. In last year’s survey, adoption of these big data sources were expected to exceed just more than 30 percent over the same future period.

Not So Advanced Analytics
Advanced analytics has been called the “next big thing” for quite a while now. In December 2014, you saw many predicting that 2015 would finally be the year that advanced analytics went mainstream. Not so much.

It still seems Advanced Analytics is the domain of analysts or the largest enterprises. There is a lot that still needs to be done in order for Advanced Analytics to become operationalized.

That’s not to say we didn’t see additional momentum in the advanced analytics space this year.  In 2015, Microsoft made a concerted bet in the Advanced Analytics arena by purchasing Revolution Analytics – a leading provider of software and service for R, the world’s most widely used programming language for statistical computing and predictive analytics. Furthermore, Gartner split off Advanced Analytics as its own magic quadrant – another indication that these capabilities are increasingly in demand.

Will it happen in 2016? Only time will tell.

These are just a few of the big stories from this year. Looking for more? Join us for our Year in Review webinar, where we’ll take a look back at the most compelling and widely shared BI developments in 2015.


Originally published December 15, 2015; updated on August 9th, 2017

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.