This year, businesses will be striving to keep pace with the digital revolution while maintaining focus on their core business.
The biggest business intelligence trends of 2018 are those that let companies solve problems at the lowest level, work wherever the market takes them, and pivot to meet new opportunities as they arise.
Shift to Self-Service BI
Under self service BI, a company’s existing employees conduct business intelligence activities instead of hiring trained analysts.
This used to be a very chancy strategy, but it’s becoming more feasible as BI software designed for non-analysts grows in popularity.
Self-service BI products give non-data scientists a way to usefully prepare and interpret data without going through IT.
Executives can pull data on their schedule instead of waiting on an IT help ticket. This both lightens the IT workload and increases agility.
It cuts through confusion, too. Users can specify exactly what they need and know whether the results are helpful or not.
As an added bonus the convenience of this approach gives a significant boost to technology adoption rates.
The trend is gaining momentum worldwide. The global self-service BI market is predicted to reach $7.31 billion by 2021.
Some innovative tools are leading the charge in 2018:
- Augmented data preparation allows business users controlled access to company data for testing theories. These users can clean, reformat, and adjust data as needed using intuitive tools.
- Smart data discovery tools can query data without formal programming languages, making information widely accessible. The software is generally “drag and drop” based to reduce the learning curve.
- Embedded analytics provide quick, easy-to-view analysis of commonly used KPI. They were big in 2017, but in 2018 they’ll get smarter and more user-friendly.
Emphasis on Data Visualization
Data visualization is the art and science of translating data into a visual format.
It goes beyond making pretty charts for meetings; often the same data can be interpreted different ways depending on how it’s displayed.
Visual-based data sees much more use than text. It’s easier to understand and absorb, reveals patterns that aren’t visible in raw data, and highlights outliers.
More importantly, it holds viewers’ attention and starts conversations.
Infographics are among the most shared types of enterprise media.
In the past visualization was mainly static (like printable charts and graphs). This year will see a rise in the dynamic visualization of streaming analytics.
Rise in Mobile BI
Enterprise apps make up a growing portion of mobile usage, and a majority of high-level companies are adopting BYOD (bring your own device) policies.
People are already using their phones for both work and play, so it was only a matter of time until BI also made the jump to mobile.
Executives don’t spend all their time at desks anymore. They’re frequently in motion, moving around the company or going out to get eyes on critical processes.
Mobile analytics tools put data where executives need it, when they need it.
Modern smartphones generally have plenty of power and memory available to run enterprise apps, too.
Utilizing that power keeps technology costs down while simultaneously being more convenient for employees.
2018 will bring more mobile-specific analytics solutions, not just interfaces for existing software.
Developers will focus on customizable dashboards and visualizations that make the most of smaller screens.
Growth of Multi-Cloud Solutions
Multi-cloud strategy refers to the practice of incorporating more than one cloud service (like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or the Google Cloud Platform) into software architecture.
A distributed architecture like this has advantages over the single-cloud structure.
- Cost: Developers can choose the most cost-effective solution for each component.
- Security: Multi-cloud solutions offer more transparency, and it’s easier to oversee the environment as a whole.
- Agility: It’s easier to upgrade to newer and better technologies as they mature.
85% of companies operating in the cloud favor multi-cloud solutions, using 8 different clouds on average.
Look for this number to rise through 2018 as more companies refine their cloud strategies.
Is your BI strategy ready for 2018? Concepta can streamline your business intelligence strategy and create dynamic visualizations to make your data more accessible. Contact us for a free consultation!