In today’s digital world, there’s no shortage of data. In fact, businesses and customers are generating new data around the clock. But data by itself holds no value—it’s what you do with it that matters. That’s where business intelligence (BI) solutions come into play.
BI strategies and technologies are built on continually-improving analysis of business and customer data. Consistently digging deeper and gaining better insights into an organization’s resources and projects is inherent to the equation, which is why BI solutions are constantly evolving and improving.
To shine a light on what BI can do for your organization and where the technologies are evolving, we’ve identified some important trends. Here’s where BI is heading and what you will be able to do with new insights and support.
#1: Proactive Data Inquiries
With today’s BI processes, employees often have to do the work of collecting and sorting data manually on an as-needed basis. But more and more BI tools are moving towards automated approaches that analyze data as it’s generated, working behind the scenes to provide proactive business support.
For example, a BI solution might make suggestions regarding important changes that would affect a company’s resources and projects. Or it might suggest creating new projects in response to specific triggering actions. With BI insights continually being generated in the background, managers have data at the ready and can also discover new insights they might otherwise miss.
#2: Increased Infrastructure Needs
A broader trend that shows no sign of slowing down is the amount of data being generated each year. As processes, workflows, and business interactions are increasingly done through online or digital platforms, there’s more and more data for BI solutions to analyze. That means every BI solution will require a larger, stronger infrastructure to manage such vast quantities of information.
Luckily, BI solutions are shifting toward the cloud with many SaaS offerings available. This means you don’t need massive hardware storage, and allows you and your clients to rely on the BI solution to both hold and analyze all that data.
#3: The Need for Data Governance
When you’re new to BI, you might be tempted to try and use ALL the data that’s available to you. After all, the more data you feed into your BI solution, the better the insights you’ll get, right? Well, not necessarily. With such massive quantities of data being generated and mission-critical decisions driven by BI insights, data governance is more important than ever.
Data governance procedures help to prevent incorrect, outdated, or irrelevant data from being analyzed, increasing the trustworthiness of generated insights. Looking forward, BI solutions that both store and clean up data for analysis will really stand out in the increasingly competitive market.
#4: Individual Insights
While BI is primarily used for company-wide understanding and improvement, it can also work on a person-by-person basis. Rather than holding statistics such as general or team productivity rates over a specific person, you can give individuals access to their own unique analytics. Your resources can review their own work history, current workloads, and expected success rates, and make adjustments as they see fit.
Plus, personal analytics can bring a degree of self-awareness and self-improvement you might not get when each team member only has a vague understanding of their own contribution to projects or departments. BI insights make it tangible—and you can only fix what you can measure.
#5: DIY Access
BI solutions have come a long way from the days of third-party consultants doling out information monthly. Today, organizations can access this data through easy-to-use dashboards and customized reports tailored to specific needs. And this simplicity and accessibility will continue to increase in the coming years.
The self-service BI model, where users with limited understanding of how to analyze data can pull reports and insights from SaaS solutions with just a few clicks, is getting closer and closer to a reality. As both the importance of BI and the number of professionals who are aware of and using these solutions increases, so will ease of use and customizable access.
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