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January 2013

Self-service BI, social enterprise among sector’s top trends for 2013

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Although the business intelligence (BI) sector exploded in 2012, it wasn’t traditional BI solutions that gained popularity. Instead, many organizations adopted advanced analytics tools to forecast trends, identify issues in real time and boost their fraud prevention. 

With full-scale BI adoption underway, the next step will likely be making the technology more accessible and easier to use for a wider range of employees. 

“Once you deliver a basic set of data and reports to business, you get caught up in a cycle of maintaining the status quo,” said Cindi Howson, founder of BI Scorecard, according to Information Management. “Data quality has gradually improved over time, where flexibility has not.”

In a recent blog for InformationWeek, Howson highlighted what she believes will be the sector’s top trends in 2013, including:

Mobile BI adoption: As employees continue to use personal laptops, tablets and smartphones for work, they increasingly accept access to company networks and applications. The same will likely hold true for business intelligence programs, which could propel organizations to adopt mobile BI solutions. A recent BI Scorecard survey found that while mobile BI is currently the least successful business intelligence sector, 47 percent of respondents expect this to improve in 2013. Only dashboards – cited by 52 percent of respondents – ranked higher on the list. 

Rise of the social enterprise: Howson projected that the social enterprise will continue to grow over the next 12 months, although she suggested that collaboration will extend beyond just social networking sites. She wrote that BI collaboration “has the potential to bring the best data to the best analysts,” yet not many vendors have tapped into these capabilities. Howson also noted that Panorama is currently one of the best software companies with regard to collaborative business intelligence.

Self-service BI: As cloud-based, social and mobile BI continue growing, the technology becomes available to a wider range of employees – especially business executives and other workers outside IT departments. Howson suggested that 2013 will mark the year that self-service business intelligence finally turns into a reality. 

The BI Scorecard found that, at the moment, 44 percent of BI teams do not possess enough time, personnel or resources to meet their companies’ demands. However, with 47 percent of respondents claiming they expect improved self-service BI capabilities in 2013 – tied with mobile BI and behind just dashboards – the use of business intelligence may very well become commonplace outside of IT departments. 

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