The Future of Business Intelligence

Over the last few years, the Business Intelligence industry has emerged as a booming business.  New technology, the development of SaaS, web-based reporting, and the ability of Business Intelligence to inform literally every aspect of operations has changed the way we do business.  Clearly, Business Intelligence is here to stay.  But, what should we expect for the future? 

Data visualization is going to be one of the key changes in the next five years.  By 2015, it is predicted that up to 100 million people will use data visualization in doing their jobs.  These people are not just on executive committees, either.  In the future, workers will have their own dashboards to help them to make adjustments in their workflow, see outcomes and progress in projects and processes, and see overall company statistics on a daily basis.

With more and more people using data visualization, there will also be more frequent reporting in the future.  In the past, many companies have focused on quarterly, monthly or weekly reporting.  The future will bring daily reporting that resembles the one or two clicks we use on the Internet to get information.  Company statistics will have the ability to be displayed much like stock quotes, with running current and predictive analytics available to those who need them.  Because these reports will become so key, the future of the data visualization industry is certain.  In fact, the development of data visualization industry may grow to a whopping $1 billion per year in size.

Predictive analysis is another area for growth in the future.  With organizations using more and more sophisticated tools to evaluate their business, knowing what the possibilities are for the future are even more critical.  Based on past and current reporting, Business Intelligence technology will develop ways to give organizations a view of how their current actions effect their future opportunities.  This predictive analysis will allow organizations to better plan and set achievable, meaningful goals, having a positive effect on the bottom line.

Another area of future development is in data certification.  Look for reputable companies to offer “data certification” as a way for third party data to be evaluated based on quality before purchase or even well before it is used by a company as an analytic.  Industry-wide standards, such as a published criteria and certification tests, may be coming sometime in the future as a way to guarantee quality so that customers will know ahead of time what level of expertise a company can offer.

In the future, data warehousing will continue to be a hot topic.  For companies, dealing with all of the data that they collect is a continuing problem.  The Business Intelligence industry will develop ways to deal with terabytes of data in a sensible way, getting rid of inefficiencies and inaccuracies that currently hamper accurate reporting and predictive analysis.  As the data becomes more and more accurate, it will have an increased value to every company.  Because of this critical value, there will also be a focus on protection of data assets, particularly for SaaS, where data is stored off-site.  Protection of these assets will become a key component offering for Business Intelligence assets.

Finally, in the future, Business Intelligence will begin to inform more and more marketing decisions, saving companies a predicted $200 billion in wasted advertising and direct mail.  With accurate data and increased predictive abilities, marketing will take on a highly targeted nature, with results being accessible in a much shorter time frame.

The future for Business Intelligence technology includes continued development of data solutions, instant reporting and the ability for virtually everyone to have access to data visualization.  Security and certification standards will help to define the leaders in the industry going forward.