Sunday, October 18, 2009

Trends in Business Intelligence

Five trends in Business Intelligence (BI) are identified and examined in the September 2009 issue of Smarter Technology. There is some overlapping among the five items but it's a good selection to illustrate current developments in BI:
  • Predictive analytics - BI can advance further by adding more advanced statistic analysis tools and models.
  • Agile development - a model with small but continuous improvement is more in line with how other parts of the enterprise works.
  • User-centric BI - providing richer tool sets for different groups of users allows a better use of BI.
  • Visualization improvements - visualizations have developed a lot with Web 2.0. There are many technologies that makes it easy to produce more sophisticated presentations and this can be better implemented in BI.
  • Operationalization of IT - This is an important but a complex trend. There is a need to make the information more accessible and operational in nature. BI should also be better integrated with other kind of information systems - it's fair to assume it will be much tighter integrated with ERP and other business systems.
Two important driving forces behind these trends are the maturity of BI itself and general developments in IT. The current economic climate is also an important factor by focusing attention on providing hands-on and immediately useful information.

Looking ahead - will these trends eventually push BI to merge with other IT systems and thus start to dissolve as a distinct technology? I hope not, such a scenario would have a negative impact on the development in the long term.