The world of BI is changing. In recent years, the gap between business and IT has grown smaller. Specialist departments can now apply new solutions to obtain reports without having to first consult their colleagues in IT. And that’s a good thing. It is increasingly vital to respond quickly to the needs of the market. There simply isn’t enough time to wait weeks or months for reports, which in the end may even focus on little more than a few data sets. Organizations want and need to become more intelligent. Analytics solutions allow companies to improve their data analysis and hence to predict customer behavior, risks, resources, attempted fraud and other relevant factors.
Self-service BI and data discovery will dominate the future of the field. Both these factors allow users to operate intuitive interfaces to conduct their own in-depth analyses quickly and simply. Creative data analysis is now accessible to everyone. And it’s fun, too.
This year again, Gartner has also placed its focus on self-service BI and data discovery. The Magic Quadrant for BI & Analytics released by the market research company reflects market movements: Tableau, Qlik and Power-BI populate the leader’s quadrant on their own, replacing traditional vendors like Oracle, IBM and SAP. This has been a dramatic game-changer, and companies would be well advised to check whether they have room to optimize their own BI portfolio.
It is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to set themselves apart from the competition. To do so, they need to introduce more efficient and effective management systems in addition to keeping their fingers firmly on the pulse of the market.
The availability and evaluability of large data sets – externally and internally ¬– allow companies to obtain valuable insight, to identify trends, to discover new patterns and quickly to infer definite calls for action based on the information they obtain. This will require a completely different, non-central approach than IT managed business intelligence. The self-service BI and data discovery tools quickly and easily allow each area of the company to produce their own reports without having to consult the IT department.
Self-service BI and data discovery tools represent high-performance visual analytics solutions that enable their users to review, analyze and visualize their own data. And because these users are more familiar with the data than anyone else, the solutions described above will help them achieve the maximum benefits.
Although self-service BI and data discovery tools are extremely flexible, user friendly, intuitive to operate and interactive, it is nevertheless important to ensure that they are not used in an excessively independent setting. There may be contradictory or incorrect conclusions and decisions if a disproportionately large number of people work on data analysis within one organization. Collaborating with IT in respect to data governance and management remains an essential element within BI.
Business Intelligence, Self-Service BI: Dashboard (example)
New terms and solutions have emerged – among them business analytics and advanced analytics – besides business intelligence itself. Although they are mentioned as independent solutions, they are all sub-disciplines within BI. Business intelligence refers to meaningful information about a company in regard to management, the market or the customer. No matter whether the data refers to the past, the present or the future, the purpose is still to collect information and communicate knowledge. Hence, it is reasonable to perceive BI as an umbrella term comprising a variety of functions that reflect specific wishes and needs.
The different sub-terms depend on the various functions and purposes that the company associates with business intelligence. At a glance, the most important differences are:
A member of the Big Data & Analytics Team, Elnaz Yahyai advises customers on the possibilities and value of BI & Analytics solutions.