CEO of Crux Intelligence and four-time founder/board member. Putting AI in the hands of every business user.
Establishing a data-driven culture is top of mind for CEOs as they plan their growth strategies for the year. More businesses are expected to lean into AI solutions to revolutionize their analytics strategy in 2022, making it easier for more business stakeholders to act in real time.
There will be major shifts from how enterprise wants to receive business intelligence (BI) in 2022 and beyond, and here are four to keep in mind.
1. Not Just What But Why
Much of the modern business intelligence landscape is focused on what happened in the past. The system takes data from the last quarter, past year or whenever, and it will tell you what happened. Past-tense analysis can be useful, but it is no longer enough. Forward-thinking companies need BI systems that can answer why something happened, make suggestions about what to do and predict what may happen in the future.
If you are going to benefit from these types of insights, you need BI systems that can do more than just crunch numbers. This is one of the reasons why experts from Gartner and elsewhere think so many businesses are looking to augmented analytics as a solution for business intelligence. BI platforms that use augmented analytics can take data from several sources, identify trends and connect the dots to reveal causation. Many of them even employ technologies like predictive and prescriptive analytics to forecast future events and deliver solutions.
2. Individualized, Curated Insights
Another common problem with many BI tools is that they offer a one-size-fits-all experience. These tools can still offer value, but we all know that different users have different needs. If a business is going to leverage data to its full potential, it will need BI tools that are flexible enough to offer individualized experiences for different users.
Having the right BI tools will be part of keeping up with this trend. You will need to look for platforms that not only have the ability to curate insights based on the needs of the user but ones that are designed to be used by people with different levels of technical skill.
But it isn’t even just about the tools. Leaders will also need to take steps to encourage the adoption of advanced analytics. That means making sure employees know how to use the available BI tools and that they understand the ways these tools can improve their output. It’s good to have the right tools, but you won’t get the full benefit of BI if people are not using them.
3. Increased Accessibility And Empowerment
Under conventional methods for BI, people would send queries to the analytics team, and they would create reports and provide feedback. You might have a standard dashboard that provides some relevant data, but you had to run it through the analytics team if you needed anything beyond that. This would create bottlenecks and make it so the insights were less accessible to the average user.
One of the biggest shifts in BI is to address this issue by bringing the average user closer to the insights. One of the ways BI systems are now starting to deploy Natural Language Processing to make the insights more accessible. With NLP, users can query the system by asking questions in natural language. This is almost like using a search engine for your data. These BI tools can even generate reports without the need for an analytics professional.
This is another example where having the right tools is only a good start. Business leaders need to show users how beneficial the tools can be and how easy they are to use. When users see they can search data with keywords or ask simple questions without the need for any expertise, they will be excited to adopt a tool that will provide the insights they need without having to go to someone else to get the answers.
4. Mobile BI Brings Ubiquity
BI users no longer need to be stuck to a desk when they need insights. Every user at your company uses a mobile phone and they might do business from when they are away from the office. In the modern business environment, you might even have users that do some or all of their work away from the office.
This is where mobile BI tools come in to meet the demands of today’s businesses, a market that is expected to register a CAGR of 22.43% between 2021 to 2026, according to Mordor Intelligence. With the right tools, users can pull up dashboards and get reports on their phones. If an employee is about to go to a meeting and needs a specific data point or insight, it can be ready to access in an app. Regardless, if they are at the office, working from home or on the road, employees will always be able to get the insights and analysis they need.
In many ways, mobile BI is a solution to so many of the issues modern businesses will face when it comes to business analytics. It can make insights more accessible while offering an experience that is more convenient and efficient. But it is not as simple as finding a mobile BI solution and telling people to install it. You will need to determine whether you want to issue company phones for people who will use the app, set mobile phone policies for using the devices and develop security protocols for the phones.
All of these trends are ground-breaking, and we are still, on some level, in the nascent days of the progression in this space. Approach the implementation of enhanced AI-driven BI with careful planning and preparation. AI-driven BI tools won’t be replacing critical roles in an organization. Augmented AI will empower individuals to focus on more high-level thinking and strategic work.
Organizations that embrace the use of AI-driven BI tools will be best poised to capitalize on their increasing in-house datasets and expand remote workforces to grow in this dynamic business environment.