2019 Business Intelligence (BI) Trends
Published: January, 2019
Information is Power
Today’s technological advances impact our personal and working lives and affect the way society is shaping our future on the planet. Technology is also empowering data-holding organisations resulting in data being consolidated and controlled by just a few.
So how do we create a more level playing field that decentralises data ownership and empowers the masses? Qlik’s annual trends research, this year titled ‘The Dawn of Postmodern Analytics’, looks at this issue and the top BI trends that will help distribute data, analytics, and insights from the few to the many.
10 Virtues of BI Platforms of the Future
1. Platforms will emerge that are multi-cloud, hybrid, and edge as a continuum rather than separate efforts.
Increasingly data is being migrated to centralised cloud services, but organisations should do so with caution. Too much centralised data with one provider could be problematic in terms of vendor lock-in and inflexibility to react to new regulations like GDPR.
A good way to shift on-premises and legacy data centres is to retain the ability to centrally calibrate and distribute to multiple clouds. Edge computing is also predicted to rise and is often the preferred choice for latency, privacy, and security reasons.
2. Workloads – not just data – will be distributed.
New approaches to application development, such as microservices and Kubernetes, are enabling new ways to scale workloads and support innovation. Analyst prediction by IDC:
‘By 2020, 90% of all new apps will feature microservices architectures that improve the ability to design, debug, update and leverage third-party code; 35% of all production apps will be cloud-native.’
3. Centralised data will be replaced by a single view of all data.
In 2019 the focus will shift from bringing all data together into one place to getting a single view of all data. Two massive trends for the year ahead include different vendors coming together to standardise data models and the emergence of enterprise data catalogues made accessible in a hub. With one view of the entire dataset, users can share and collaborate on data making it more valuable to the business.
4. Analytics embedded in the process will reshape the process.
Users increasingly want analytics in their existing workflows to make insights more actionable and in real time. This is being made possible by machine learning and AI, which provide contextualised insights and suggested actions.
In the next five years, new automated technologies will further automate and re-shape business processes in a more optimal way. For example, when customers place orders for products online, intelligent applications will analyse patterns and transform processes like receiving, fulfilment, and invoicing to be more efficient and more effective.
5. External innovation will outpace internal innovation by a factor of 2X.
Qlik predicts that open BI platforms with ecosystems allowing partners, customers, and users to co-innovate will gradually supersede closed ones. The reason being that with strong and open ecosystems, innovation is unlimited.
Gartner predicts, ‘By 2022, platform business models will create new market leaders in 50% of all industries.’
6. Performance and scalability will re-take centre stage in enterprise selection criteria.
Historically, organisations have been focusing on building visualisations on a flat file that doesn’t take much horsepower. As businesses try to scale to more data, bigger workloads, and more users, many self-service BI solutions start to fall apart. Therefore, Qlik predict that with more businesses implementing hyperscale data centres, performance and scalability will rise in the selection criteria.
7. AI will make analytics more human, not less.
Although there is a concern that the rise of AI could potentially eliminate jobs, it is predicted that more jobs will be created in the near future.
IDC predicts: ‘In 2020, AI becomes a positive net job motivator, creating 2.3 million jobs while only eliminating 1.8 million jobs.’
Two more immediate problems are suggested. First, the potential gap between the data created and the human ability to process and act upon it. Second, the high gap between the availability of today’s analytical tools, and their low adoption within organisations.
Both of these gaps could be closed with help of AI in removing bottlenecks across the information value chain, from gathering the data to preparing it, critically analysing it with less bias, and presenting contextual results.
8. Visualisation, conversation, and presentation technologies will merge.
Further technological advancements will see data storytelling, conversational analytics, and presentation technologies gradually merge to help users at all levels express data and analytics in more persuasive ways. This integrated approach will support more user-friendly ways of telling data stories, where visual elements can augment data findings.
9. Data literacy will become a KPI.
Emerging new methods of measuring and indexing data literacy will enable organisations to develop workers’ skills in a more targeted and comparative way. Further advancements will allow a comparison of a corporate data literacy score with performance across key performance indicators (KPIs) like gross margin, return-on-assets, return-on-equity, and return-on-sales. With data literacy as a KPI, executives can steer performance from the top-down, as a strategic and differentiating initiative whilst raising skills from the bottom up.
10. Platforms will evolve into virtuous systems, feeding off participation.
The overuse of the term “Platform” within the BI market, has lost some of its intended meaning in the process. A true BI platform should be defined as an organic system in which many people with differing roles, skills, and intentions interact in complex ways that add value.
Qlik predict that a postmodern BI system will contain a host of people and non-human participants to exchange and learn from each other to increase the value of the system. It is also predicted that the diversity and complexity of these digital services will grow considerably over the coming years.
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