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January 2013

As analytics gain popularity, BI solutions need to support bigger amounts of data

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Data analysis appears to be the way of the future for the business intelligence (BI) sector, but if a recent Gartner study is accurate, vendors and companies need to do a better job scaling up BI solutions to meet the growth of information. 

“New business insights and improved decision making with greater finesse are the key benefits achievable from turning more data into actionable insights, whether that data is from an increasing array of data sources from within or outside of the organization,” said Daniel Yuen, research director at Gartner.

One of the factors sparking this change is that companies are beginning to collect information from different forces. Traditionally, organizations have only leveraged structured data, but more often they are using information that is produced externally. As a result, companies will need to adopt BI solutions that can handle these unprecedented amounts of information. 

In a recent blog for Wired, Brian Gentile, CEO of Jaspersoft, suggested that the future of the BI sector will likely be driven by data analysis. He wrote that business apps should be data centric, with their focus tied “into the fabric of the business system or process.” 

As Gentile noted, BI solutions have the ability to monitor processes for potentially problematic trends and forecasting. The key aspect to the technology, however, is that it delivers this information at the right moment. 

The benefits of analytics
According to Rita Sallam, research vice president at Gartner, organizations are increasingly using unstructured data produced from sources like emails, texts, social media and video feeds, among other platforms. The benefits, she suggested, have been numerous so far.

“Correlating, analyzing, presenting and embedding insights from structured and unstructured information together enables organizations to better personalize the customer experience and exploit new opportunities for growth, efficiencies, differentiation, innovation and even new business models,” Sallam said.

A recent CRN slideshow highlighted several revolutionary effects big data analytics will have on the future, including:

Customized advertising: Through these programs, companies can develop customized profiles of each individual – based primarily on their recent purchases – search history and Facebook interests, among other factors. As a result, organizations are developing advertisements catered to each person.

Improved customer service: Big data‘s forecasting ability could be essential when it comes to improving the customer experience. These tools provide companies with a better understanding about consumers, both individually and collectively. 

Every day roles: From the commuter rail to healthcare, many organizations will likely employ big data to improve these daily processes. 

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