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January 2013

As BI sector grows, different technologies gain popularity

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After several down years, the market for business intelligence (BI) tools has bounced back dramatically – and that comeback is expected to continue in 2013.

At the same time, many different types of BI are continuing to rise in popularity. A recent Technology Spectator report made several predictions about how business intelligence will fare in the new year, including:

Cloud-based BI will continue to grow. These tools have become especially popular for their low initial costs, which make them more available to organizations of all sizes. 

Mobile BI could explode in 2013. Enterprise mobility may be a predominant theme in the near future, so making BI solutions available via mobile devices will likely be a priority for many companies.

Big data analytics will reign supreme. Improved data analysis capabilities is what drove a significant amount of business intelligence growth in 2012, and that should continue as business analytics tools become more advanced.

Rapid big data adoption underway
Awareness regarding the capabilities of big data grew substantially over the past year, and the majority companies responded by adopting analysis tools. A recent Infochimps survey found that nearly 60 percent of companies have begun big data-related projects, while more than 80 percent consider it to be a top-five priority. 

However, the study also revealed that many companies are struggling to implement the technology. According to Jim Kaskade, CEO of Infochimps, 55 percent of these projects are not working or incomplete, largely because of issues of inaccuracy or limited accessibility. As a result, Kaskade believes that these organizations need to take on a new approach. 

“Companies need to start with the business problem first to properly scope their projects,” Kaskade said. “Unless they understand specific use-cases first, many will find such an approach falls short.”

A survey by Robert Half Technology revealed that many IT departments are lacking the proper personnel. John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, suggested looking outside the company to fill this gap.

“Hiring employees to collect and fully leverage customer data can be costly, but the information can be extremely useful to organizations,” Reed said. “This type of information gives firms an opportunity to create more personalized online experiences for customers, develop highly targeted marketing campaigns and optimize business practices.”

As the technology gains popularity, the number of BI and big data specialists is expected to grow, too. The Robert Half Technology report listed business intelligence experts, data architects and warehouse analysts as three of the must-have IT professionals.

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