Business Intelligence, Analytics Continue to Intrigue CIOs: Gartner

While IT authored, system-of-record reporting will not disappear, the report projected it would become a smaller proportion of overall analytics use.

With the benefits of fact-based decision-making clear to business managers in a broad range of disciplines, chief information officers (CIOs) appear set to focus on business intelligence (BI) and analytics through 2017, according to a report from IT research firm Gartner.

The company outlined key predictions for BI and analytics, predicting that by 2015, the majority of BI vendors will make data discovery their prime BI platform offering, shifting BI emphasis from reporting-centric to analysis-centric.

While IT authored, system-of-record reporting will not disappear, the report projected it would become a smaller proportion of overall analytics use. Only 30 percent of business people have direct access to BI and analytics today only, but this is expected to grow as a result of the shift to data discovery, according to Gartner analysts.

"Major changes are imminent to the world of BI and analytics including the dominance of data discovery techniques, wider use of real-time streaming event data and the eventual acceleration in BI and analytics spending when big data finally matures," Roy Schulte, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "As the cost of acquiring, storing and managing data continues to fall, companies are finding it practical to apply BI and analytics in a far wider range of situations."

By 2017, analytic applications offered by software vendors will be indistinguishable from analytic applications offered by service providers, with service providers using packaged applications as an integral part of their customer relationships.

By that same year, more than 50 percent of analytics implementations will make use of event data streams generated from instrumented machines, applications or individuals, the report predicted.

However, while CIO focus on BI continues, the report cautioned big data confusion would likely constrain spending on BI and analytics software to single-digit growth until 2016.

"Nontech businesses leaders should create an inventory of the range of current data collected by their products and services, then consider what additional high-value information could be captured through further instrumentation," Schulte said. "Application and other technology managers should ensure that the data collected from IT systems, applications, devices and users is maximized with equal consideration for performance implications and probable future business relevance."

Recent Gartner surveys show that only 30 percent of organizations have invested in big data, of which only a quarter (eight percent of the total) have made it into production.

"Beyond 2016, when the solution has found the problem, when the discussion has matured from technology to business, and when there will be more off-the-shelf capability available, big data analytics will pervade almost everything that we do, helping push society unequivocally into the digital age," the report concluded.