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July 2013

Breadth of BI adoption set to expand

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Business intelligence holds potential for just about every type of company. Large or small, firms are interested in making better decisions, and this is what BI promises. As the tools involved move out of the IT department and into the hands of business employees, this process will become even more transformative at small companies. Larger firms may be able to field more dedicated IT workers than their small competitors, but the advent of self-service BI tools has shown that analytics operations are not just for experts. Making sure each worker has a helpful dashboard to inform his or her decisions could boost efficiency at a firm of any size.

Analytics market grows
Business 2 Community contributor Brock Clauser recently made a bold prediction about the future of business intelligence technology. He stated that by 2014, small to medium-sized businesses will take their place in the BI revolution. This movement has already seen large companies change the way they analyze their internal information reserves, boosting the value of data in the process. Clauser stated that recent economic instability may have distracted small firms from enhancing their analytics capabilities, but also underscored that they can learn from incoming information in the same manner as larger companies.

The current analytics environment is full of recent developments that could have a serious impact on strategies going forward. For example, the use of big data resources instead of structured information has altered the way information is collected and kept. Clauser suggested that big data and predictive projects could soon be on the table for small firms. This would presumably be a massive boon for these companies, as the additional agility promised by these types of deployments is considerable. Clauser also underlined the fact that firms can form detailed analytical profiles of their clients without delving too deep into personal information, countering a common fear about analytics.

Long time coming
The development of analytics and big data has been ongoing for decades. While the technology's affordability and utility for companies of all types are indeed new, they did not come from nowhere. TechTarget gave a rundown of the technology's history, pointing out that scientist John Mashey laid out several of big data's key traits as early as 1996 and analyst Doug Laney solidified the current understanding of information growth in 2001. With such a history, it is unsurprising that beneficial use of data is close at hand for today's businesses. CIOs simply need to pick the right solutions to embrace it.

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