The data analytics industry has undergone rapid evolution over the past few years. Analytics used to be highly manual and tedious when done via spreadsheets, and brought with it significant risks around security and accuracy.

The existence of CRMs and ERP systems helped organisations integrate reporting with sales systems. In-house analytics programs were also common at one point, mainly due to the ability to tailor it precisely according to the organisation’s needs. Then came Business Intelligence tools.

As one of the most recent members of the sales analytics field, Business Intelligence has established its unique selling point (USP). Its abilities to generate real-time reports and customise results according to a user’s need have catapulted it to the top of the analytics industry.

evolution of Business Intelligence in 2014Despite this, Business Intelligence doesn’t stop evolving. In this blog, we outline three ways Business Intelligence will evolve during the course of the next financial year:

1. Mobile Data

Mobility has changed the way people and organisations operate. The very existence of mobile-based Business Intelligence tools has enabled key business users and executives to generate reports, analyse data and draw insights on the go. This also means that decisions are no longer made within the four walls of a boardroom.

Mobile BI will give rise to specialised applications for key requirements of the business, such as managing a supply chain. It will also bring about better dashboards and visualisation options that are optimised for mobile devices. Most importantly, mobile BI will have the ability to integrate with various social technologies. This will not only facilitate collaboration amongst an organisation’s executives, it will also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of company-wide decision making.

2. Self-Service Business Intelligence

Granted, Business Intelligence was developed to enable key business users and strategic decision-makers understand their data without needing an IT officer by their side at all times. However, this hasn’t always been the case. Business Intelligence has simplified reporting and analytics, removed most of the manual work, and given organisations the ability to retrieve the most accurate data as possible, but there has still been a need for IT.

Whilst BI will never be able to eliminate completely the need for IT, new BI features will seek to diminish it greatly. Self-service BI is a concept that is geared towards user-empowerment, helping key business users access data and create reports, queries and analytics on their own. Self-service BI will give users easy access to source data for reporting and analysis, intuitive interface, easy access to support resources, fast reporting, scalability and easy to consume results. Ultimately, this will let managers become more efficient in making decisions.

3. Predictive Analytics

Having data is one thing, but using it to work out how you can be the market leader is another. Predictive analytics is the means by which organisations can use existing data to make estimations about the future and leverage the data to their advantage. It may sound simple, but predictive analytics is complex and risky.

The key to navigating through this is a simple-to-use BI system that can generate real-time data. After all, your forecasts are only as good as the data you have to predict the trends. Predictive analytics that is based on timely, accurate, comprehensive and clear data can make all the difference in an organisation’s performance in the future. More and more organisations will begin to go into predictive analytics and forecasting. It will help executives make proactive rather than reactive decisions, and therefore stay ahead in the market.

The evolution of BI will continue. The success of organisations when tapping into the new features of BI will depend on the quality of the Business Intelligence tool the organisation uses. The ideal tool must be able to stay true to the core of BI: providing businesses with intelligent data that help them make strategic decisions.

To learn more about Business Intelligence, download our guide by clicking the image below

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Tags: Trends

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