Where is Business Intelligence Heading?
Everyone keeps talking about how Business Intelligence became mainstream in the last few years and reached a point where it is a must-have asset for both large and mid-sized organizations.
It’s more important now than ever to make data-driven business decisions using the power of BI. This article talks about current and upcoming trends in Business Intelligence and throws light on where BI is heading now!
Plug and Play Business Intelligence:
Now, with the newly emerging tools, Business Intelligence is served in a plater as a SaaS-based unified solution that can be directly used and consumed by enterprises to bridge their data and analytics gap, it is going to get even easier to adopt the cloud and leveraging the benefits of SaaS-based Business Intelligence solutions. The Demand for Cloud-Based BI is growing significantly, and enterprises started considering it as a must-have. So yes, Plug and Play BI is the way forward and we will see the decline in the usage of old-school, customized, on-premises Business Intelligence solutions.
Cloud BI makes it accessible to consume data from the cloud on any device from any location at any time. SaaS-based BI comes with easy scalability options and brings greater cost efficiency with a lower cost of ownership. It is also easier to administer and manage a cloud BI with simpler hands-off maintenance and upgrade.
Artificial Intelligence will take Business Intelligence ahead of time:
Artificial Intelligence is taking the front seat and is becoming a mundane technology. It is indeed complimenting the world of business intelligence by bringing value in each process, from Augmented Data preparation to auto charted data visualizations, with the accessibility of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning algorithms on a low-code-no-code framework (also coined as Self-Service Data Science), it is becoming much easier to analyze data for all. Business users can build, train, and deploy data models to find outliers, look for different trends, correlations and even predictions to surface useful information for simplified decision making. Auto-ML enables citizen development for users that are not necessarily trained data scientists to use advanced data models for deep analysis and insights generation.
Large organizations started using AI to automate their data analysis process and this trend is certainly going to grow multiple folds. And, with constantly increasing data volume, AI-driven automation will play a significant role in eliminating the manual and monotonous time-consuming data processes that were otherwise performed by humans to speed up and optimize the data workflow.
Unification of Data and Insights
Earlier Business Intelligence was derived using an additional articulation layer of visualization on top of the business data, the data used to recite separately, and we used to consume insights and dashboards on that data using a different tool. However, the today and future look different, now, the data and analytics will start being at the same location as Modern BI tools started combining the Data acquisition, Data Storage, and Data visualization as a unified solution to streamline the entire process for the users. Enterprises will have to take only one unified modern BI solution to cater their complete journey from raw data to actionable insights.
Google-Like-Search approach to finding Insights:
Dashboards are fine and are not getting replaced in the next few years at least. But today, Dashboards are not enough for every critical decision making and mostly they don’t help in answering the counter questions that come up after seeing the KPIs that are being tracked in the dashboard, that is where your actual data dependency starts, and dashboards fall short to meet that ask. However, in the coming time, with AI and NLP being at the helm, it will change for good. Modern BI tools started offering natural language querying engines that support both text and voice to fetch the insights from data by simply asking or typing the question in simple English language. It is breaking the traditional patterns of consuming insights and making instant analytics a real thing. Natural Language processing also bridges the gap between humans and computers which are the most integral part of any business process by eliminating the need for any programming language. With modern BI solutions that are powered by NLP, there is no learning curve for the business users, they can directly ask or type their questions in simple English language as if they talk to their fellow work colleagues. NLP-powered voice search capabilities are reaching the next level by allowing easy integration with smart digital assistants on smartphones and smart speakers to make Data Insights even more easily accessible. As NLP solves strong use cases like, Business Intelligence on the go or Instant analytics for the non-technical user, the usage of NLP is going to grow multiple folds in the analytics space. It will keep empowering business users to make good use of insights with no technical knowledge.
Analytics on the Go!
With new and hybrid work models, business users are not expected to be at their desks, they are operating remotely and are not always in front of their computer screens. So if you are imagining a data scientist, sitting in front of their desktop while looking at the dashboard, probably you are looking at the past and not the future. Today, with the advancements, citizen data scientists are dominating the world of data science, they are everywhere and doing business from home, to restaurants, stores, hotels, etc. Also, companies worldwide are looking to establish data democracy and the only way to provide access to tools to remote workers to make them more productive is to give them the right tools at their fingertip, yes, I mean phone!
We’ll have a significant change in how Analytics and intuitive dashboards will be consumed. Today, everyone has a powerful machine in their pockets, and now, users started using it to optimize their work. We are not away from seeing most business users accessing Business reports and dashboards from any location at any time by using the flick of their thumb on their phone. Mobile BI will place the power of instant insights in the hands of business users wherever they are and wherever they may go! More use of mobile BI will empower faster decision-making, effective internal communications, and shorter workflows. And hence, will become the most suited way to consume actionable insights to make decisions.
Data Governance to Data Intelligence:
We have been hearing a lot lately that in every large enterprise, the biggest priority in their digital transformation is defining their data strategy to reach the end goal of being part of the data-driven culture. And to define a good data strategy, the first thing you need to streamline today is the concept: Data Governance.
Data governance has become necessary and becoming even more crucial with more and more data being created and flowing from different cloud applications in the enterprise. Now, it is critical to find, interpret and trust your data so that your teams, your data, and your analytics can work harmoniously together. Data governance strategies not just simplify the processes for business users to find the data they need but also help them understand its context provides more confidence about its accuracy enable the democratization of data and make it easier to get the right data to the right people at the right time. And, if you try to connect these dots, you will find that Data intelligence is nothing but the mature and logical evolution of the Data governance concept as it works on the key principles of governance i.e., who is allowed to have access to which Data and for what purpose.
To further simplify, the future of data governance is going to overlap with today’s definition of Data intelligence where it will ensure people are following the right procedures of using data for operational effectiveness and critical decision making while acting in line with compliance requirements and at the same time enabling the culture of a clear strategy, vision and goals around data, Business Intelligence, and analytics.
Yes, Business Intelligence is certainly becoming mainstream, and businesses are going to leverage powerful Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning-enabled BI tools to automate their processes around Data-driven Intelligence and shorten the gap from information to insights. Data literacy and Governance will also take the front seat and will become a must-have to protect businesses, their users, and their data. We will also see the uptrend in Business Intelligence tools being used on the go/from mobile phones and access to analytics becomes available to business users anytime anywhere.
The modern next-gen BI tools will unify and host both data and insights at one place for simpler and error-free data analytics and natural language querying will make access to insights even simpler for non-technical users.
Also, enabling Business Intelligence and data-driven culture will become less tedious with the help of modern SaaS-based BI tools that will be available as plug-and-play unified solutions to transform the entire journey from raw data to insights.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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