Business Intelligence Trends For 2016

We look at how the BI market will change in the next 12 months


Instilling a data-driven culture has become one of the key goals for many firms. A company’s major decision makers require any data they need to be delivered when and where they need it. Executives are busy people, so any information must be clearly visualized and easily used.

Business Intelligence has evolved tremendously in recent years, with advances in analytics tools revolutionizing the discipline. This year will see a number of new challenges and advancements for BI leaders to deal with.

Competition Among Major Tech Companies Increases

Gartner has reported a drop of over 20% in net new licenses for traditional operational BI vendors, with organizations preferring to spend their money on self-service BI and data discovery tools, such as those from Tableau Software, which saw incredible growth of 77.7%.

Amazon's QuickSight and IBM's Watson Analytics Service entered the BI market in 2015, so we should expect market stalwarts Oracle and SAP to hit back with new BI offerings. Many also expect Google to introduce a major update for its BigQuery BI platform.

Advanced BI Tools Become Available To The Masses

Monthly, user-based BI tools are now available for just $10, opening up an array of more sophisticated BI tools to smaller firms who had previously been reliant on basic spreadsheets.

Built In Security Tools

The reliance on distributed desktop BI tools created a number of issues around security, creating data silos and forcing IT to add layers of control on top of software. New in-built security features will increasingly be designed into BI tools, which should go some way to correcting the weaknesses in company’s systems.

Multiple devices

Customers now want their data to be able to move rapidly between their many devices, and on the move, so that decisions can be made in real time. Mobile analytics in particular has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and is no longer simply an interface for legacy BI products. Increasingly, we will see BI tools built with a mobile-first experience in mind.

Rise of Analytics Centers of Excellence (COE)

The idea of a Centre of Excellence has taken root in a number of areas of business, particularly finance. Such centers aim to provide all employees - whatever level of understanding of a discipline they may have - with the skill set and understanding that ensures those who need knowledge have it. This year, we are set to see more organizations create a Centre of Excellence for self-service analytics, which will give all staff the knowledge of data they need to incorporate analytics into their decision making.

Analytics Goes Through Hadoop

The rise of new SQL query engines like Spark will enable companies to use Hadoop’s tremendous capabilities as a data storage system to run analytics directly. The partnership between BI giant Tableau and startup AtScale should also accelerate BI on Hadoop, with AtScale introducing the industry's first ‘BI on Hadoop’ accelerator with a special program for Tableau customers. This will improve both performance and enterprise-grade security, without needing to move, transform or sample data.

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