2Humanization of IT
For a while now, we’ve been talking about the consumerization of IT. However, we’ve moved into the next phase of the technology evolution: the humanization of IT. Advances in technology—think touch, voice, mobile and maybe wearable—are allowing users to reconsider how they interact with technology and demand that it’s a more natural, human experience. As such, BI solutions need to promote this type of experience and eliminate nonintuitive, unnatural approaches to analysis because these discourage usage.
3Big Data Analysis
Many companies view big data as completely daunting. But it’s a reality, and companies need to figure out how to use it. BI platforms need to adapt to this growth of omnipresent data and develop solutions that can aggregate diverse data from multiple sources for analysis. Why? Because this means more context for decisions beyond the internal data myopia of most BI deployments.
The management of data processes throughout an enterprise has become increasingly essential. We’ve known for a long time that good quality data governance sets up processes to handle information that can be utilized by the entire organization while eliminating inaccuracies. Enterprises need to get serious about it because if they don’t, their competitors will.
5Power to the People
With a user-centric solution, everyone from executives to sales teams can use BI to create a richer model of their business, identify trends they might not have otherwise identified and discover enterprise-specific insights that can help them gain a competitive edge. The emphasis shouldn’t be on delivering the same old reports and KPIs, but on supplying the right people with the right insights, right now.
6It’s About More Than Access
2013 was the year of big data, but what about the right data? Simply having access to data does not necessarily instill confidence. Better access does not equal better decisions. More frequent, iterative, exploratory interaction with data does help make better business decisions. The right decisions are made when businesses are able to easily discover the data that is most important to them through unfettered interaction with data.
7Used Data Business
In the spirit of recycling more in the new year, what about repurposing data through another lens? Businesses often have a wealth of information at their fingertips in the form of “used” data, which could be recycled and analyzed to solve issues in different areas of the company. For example, a retail store could use sales trends data to determine new marketing campaigns.
8Support the Mobile Workforce
9Open Data for Better Insights
10Natural Decision Making
The next generation of BI will focus on better, more instinctual decision making. Visualization is one part of that, but not all thinking is visually driven and not all data exploration is best done through charts, however pretty. The focus will shift from seeking answers to questions to seeking better questions to ask. BI solutions must complement the brain’s higher level thinking, not replace it with the power of technology.
11Don’t Forget the Small Data
As we established, big data will continue to play an integral role for BI in the coming year. However, this doesn’t mean that we should forget other data sources. Any data can be analyzed and used. BI platforms need to be capable of uncovering insights from a range of data sources, no matter if they are big, small or anywhere in between. The reality: Most firms aren’t anywhere near getting full value from analysis of their “small” data yet.