Posted on 07 Jan 2011
Business intelligence (BI) and analytics leaders need to embrace four trends that are set to challenge traditional assumptions about these technology areas, according to Gartner, Inc.
“The market for BI and analytics is undergoing gradual evolution,” said Neil Chandler, research director at Gartner. “By 2014, the metamorphosis of BI from IT-owned and report-centric will be virtually complete for a large number of organizations. These organizations will change what types of BI and analytics they use. They will change how they procure them and where they procure them from, and they will modify how information feeds decision making. BI and analytics leaders should embrace the technology, market and management trends that will transform this field within a few years.”
As part of its Predicts 2011 body of research, Gartner has identified four key BI predictions to help organizations plan for 2011 and beyond:
1. By 2013, 33 percent of BI functionality will be consumed via handheld devices.
Current adoption rates and the broad availability of current-generation devices, paired with BI vendors’ development and marketing efforts, are promising to quickly generate a strong wave of mobile BI users. At first, mobile BI will largely consist of existing reports and dashboards ported to the mobile device but by 2012, Gartner predicts that organizations and vendors will develop mobile analytic applications for specific tasks or domains. Mobile BI will significantly expand the population of BI users to include a more mainstream audience and this opportunity will attract significant investment.
Gartner advises organizations to work with the marketing department and product management to create customer-facing mobile BI applications, and with the supply chain group for supplier applications. They should recognize that users will want to use mobile devices to access corporate BI data. They also need to ensure that the current BI infrastructure supports these demands while promoting the use of tablets to improve the BI experience of the mobile workforce.
2. By 2014, 30 percent of analytic applications will use in-memory functions to add scale and computational speed.
By 2014, 30 percent of analytic applications will use proactive, predictive and forecasting capabilities. The growing use of sophisticated analytic functions will accelerate the growth of the performance management and analytic application market. Packaged applications will incorporate data and text mining, forecasting and regression, optimization, scoring and simulations using complex business rules and data modeling. As the speed of response and data volumes increase, organizations will look for columnar data repositories and in-memory online analytical processing (OLAP) that is faster and easier to architect.
Organizations should evaluate trade-offs between build and buy approaches to meet a diverse range of use cases and consider making integration a top selection criteria rather than creating a new information silo.
3. By 2014, 40 percent of spending on business analytics will go to system integrators, not software vendors.
raditionally, organizations bought products almost exclusively from software companies and system integrators then helped the buyer to implement them. However, the growth of user-driven initiatives, external information sources and the integration of unstructured content make this traditional approach increasingly risky and potentially uncompetitive. Buyers can now evaluate solutions – for example marketing campaign effectiveness in financial services - as total packages and select a lead provider, often a service provider to deliver it.
Gartner recommends that organizations allow business users to participate in any decision to purchase a software-only or services/software solution.
They need to broaden their evaluations to include service providers, and evaluate them based on industry expertise and best practice in addition to functions and architecture. Finally, they need to consider how solutions will tie into existing investments.
4. By 2013, 15 percent of BI deployments will combine BI, collaboration and social software into decision-making environments.
Organizations are starting to piece together collaboration technology, social software and BI to create collaborative decision making environments. During the next 12 to 18 months, these efforts will continue to grow as organizations start to more proactively manage, capture and optimize decision processes and outcomes to improve performance beyond the decision inputs such as BI. Collaborative decision environments will drive investment in new BI and analytic applications, particularly those that link with collaboration and social networking functions. Gartner has already noticed that a number of vendors are beginning to address this challenge.
Gartner counsels organizations to find a senior executive to sponsor cultural change in support of fact-based, transparent decision making who understands the value of specific collaborative decision-making use cases to the organization. The value of collaborative decision making can then be demonstrated by focusing on departmental, line-of-business or process-specific decisions such as forecasting.
Additional information is available in the Gartner report “Predicts 2011: New Relationships Will Change BI and Analytics." The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=1478114.