The foundation of success in every business is the concept of being prepared for the future and staying ahead of your competition. Business Intelligence, as a whole, gives you the ability to use your data to help prepare your business for future demand and conditions. It is therefore crucial that you stay on top of Business Intelligence trends to make sure your business continues to enjoy the advantages of BI.
Here are four key Business Intelligence trends to watch out for in 2014, according to industry experts:
1. Expansion of Mobile BI offerings
As business users increasingly demand to do their analytics / forecasting as they go about their day, without being tied to their desks, mobile BI will be a priority project for many businesses. Additionally, mobile-optimised BI tools bring about several advantages such as accelerated critical decision-making, increased user satisfaction and competitive advantage.
Therefore, this year, mobile will no longer become the back-up device. Instead, it will be the primary device for business intelligence for leading organisations, according to a whitepaper on BI trends in 2014. It is projected that more business intelligence providers will expand their offering to include mobile solutions this year.
2. The rise of social media analytics
Social media is no longer just a channel for businesses to put forward content and self-promotion. More and more businesses are recognising the importance of social listening – monitoring social media activity to understand your audience’s predisposition toward your product or company.
Kay Somers of Dell Global Alliances, in Dell’s article on 2014 BI trends states, “In 2014, more organisations will be mining social data for insights and integrating social media data into advanced modeling, predictive analysis and organisational decision making.” It is also predicted that businesses will go above and beyond understanding the consumer through social networks and more into using social data to build models that predict future conditions. There will be a shift from simply analysing current data, past performance and social media data in favour of predictive analytics and forecasting.
3. Increasing need for agility through self-service BI
Agility is one of the most crucial features that businesses need in their quest for success during unstable economic conditions. Business leaders’ need for agility is moving beyond mobile-optimised applications to agile business intelligence. BI applications are now expected to deliver on three elements of agility: access via mobile devices; cloud-based on-demand model; and self-service capabilities.
According to Tableau Software, “Self-service BI becomes the norm at fast-moving companies.” Gone are the days when business leaders depend on IT to generate reports and draw insight from data. Businesses are beginning to demand self-service BI features so that they can access data, create reports, queries and analytics with minimal IT intervention. Through self-service BI, they will have more control over their data.
4. Enhanced data visualisation
Data that is not presented clearly will not have any value, for readers will not be able to understand or draw insight from it. Businesses have acknowledged the need for clear and compelling data visualisation and we have seen an increase in the use of visualisation techniques such as graphs, charts and infographics over the past few years. This year, we will see the downfall of the column and row report and more robust infographics which “connect data points and assertions from multiple sources into a cohesive narrative”, according to Dell’s article on BI trends in 2014.
Tableau Software echoes this, stating that storytelling is on the rise. Moving forward, businesses will find a way to compile their overwhelming mass of big and disparate data into a story that will communicate ideas and insights in a memorable and compelling manner, to help people gain meaning from the data.
The world of BI will continue to evolve this year, bringing advancements that can truly help businesses leverage their data and make better strategic decisions.
To learn more about how you can leverage BI further in 2014, refer to our article on building a strong 2014 growth strategy. Alternatively, download our free ebook on visual data discovery: