In the world of Business Intelligence (BI), trends are not limited to a year timespan. Trends will evolve overtime as new technologies come to fruition. The past year has been a big year for BI and the upcoming year will likely be no different. The major focuses rolling over into the New Year are data security, storytelling and data engagement.
Since its introduction into popular terminology in 2014, governed data discovery has become more of an essential piece in BI practices. Today, a company’s data can be spread out over multiple sources. BI tools allow users to combine the data into one location in order find important trends and draw necessary conclusions to push the company forward. It is no longer necessary to rely on others to gather the findings; BI tools can give insights in a matter of a few clicks. The governance comes into play by ensuring the data is accurate, safe to use and limited to the right parties’ hands only. Now, with governance becoming more of public topic, the focus can be returned to asking why trends are occurring and less on whether the data is safe to use and accurate.
Engagement in data is growing as well, as data is becoming easier to find and consume. Analysis is not limited to general business data; the increasing ease of collecting and analyzing data now allows users to focus on the topics they are more interested in, in both a data and visual manner. Data visualization is a new opportunity for self-expression. Users are able to use data as their medium, expressing their viewpoints with concrete facts. The data is pulled from multiple locations, both internally and externally. Users can add demographic and locational data easily to lessen decision risks. This can speed up decision making processes, as all data is easily to view and understand. Due to the greater ease in finding data, using the data effectively will become more of a focus. Users will have the resources to draw the conclusions from their business questions. Next, will be a better understanding of using the data effectively. This comes from continued use and practice with data insights.
With the ease in utilizing in sharing data, comes the heightened data storytelling. Throughout the year, more companies have delved into the concept of data storytelling. In 2015, during proposal processes, 86 percent of users surveyed showcased, through data, what happened previously and 80 percent projected possible outcomes. Storytelling captures a proposal in a more memorable way; it is no longer about separate data sets and charts, but creating flow and looking at the insights as a series. When insight is included, actions seem more concrete, rather than a “what if” statement. Decisions can be made quicker with data storytelling, as facts and figures are present from the start. The end goal is to not only entertain with strong insights, educate on the facts surrounding a decision and excite the audience on the possibilities to come.
Just as trends will be growing and continuing into the New Year, other newer trends are peaking. The two major trends to look out for are moving past the excitement of big data and the fluidity of accessing data.
Big data has been a major trend in BI for some time now. As the hype of big data subsides, the focus will return to practicality. New data sources are no longer a novelty, it is instead creating a richer landscape to make decisions. The strongest decisions will be made from the melding of all data sources. As the focus on big data begins to subside to normality, mobility is building. A recent survey found that 85 percent of respondents will work on multiple devices simultaneously in order to complete a project. That is the new normal. BI tools must become more responsive, allowing users to find their answers quickly on whatever device they choose. The tools that don’t deliver an ease in moving from device to device will need to quickly adjust, working parallel to other business technologies.
The future for BI is bright. As more companies jump on board to integrating real-time data into their daily decisions, the opportunities to better integrate the data will grow. With growth, will come greater ease of use and more outlets to find and utilize the data and insights.