Marcus Borba’s Business Intelligence Predictions for 2011

Marcus Borba 1 photo (business intelligence)This is a guest blog post by Marcus Borba (@marcusborba), the founder of Borba Consulting, a Business Intelligence and Performance Management consultancy located in Brazil.

Marcus Borba 1 photo (business intelligence)This is a guest blog post by Marcus Borba (@marcusborba), the founder of Borba Consulting, a Business Intelligence and Performance Management consultancy located in Brazil. Marcus  has over 10 years of experience providing consulting services to designing and implementing business intelligence and performance.  He also writes a blog called Business Intelligence News.

At the beginning of each year, people make predictions about the future and also comment on trends. Making Information Technology predictions is not easy and history shows us many examples where the predictions have  failed.  As Niels Bohr said: “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

Having said that, based on the latest Business Intelligence trends, here are my 2011 predictions:


It’s easy to say that Mobile BI will grow faster in 2011. The evolution of smartphones and the launch of the iPad last year will increasingly provide the development of better mobile BI applications. The iPad is a great information consumption device not only for BI but also for several other enterprise applications, and with the release of other tablets will further strengthen the BI mobile market. An example of the quick mobile evolution is the Mobile BI Study which Howard Dresner is leading.  In just in a couple of months, he noted the need to upgrade the interviews used in the study, due the rapid change in the mobile landscape.

–  The use of in-memory computing technology will grow this year due to real-time enterprises  recognizing the increasing importance of the need for high-performance analytics applications.  To learn more about in-memory business intelligence, click here.

–  The Ownership of Business Intelligence is shifting from IT to business, and the concept of self-service BI is solidifying. The business users want to build their own reports, dashboards and scorecards and need tools that are sophisticated, but at the same time, intuitive and easy to use. In the recent released report,  Self-Service BI: Empowering the Line-of-Business Manager, written by Michael Lock, Aberdeen Group found that top performers were able to drive higher adoption of their BI tools by eliminating or reducing IT involvement, and developing their top managers into analytically inclined decision makers.  Aberdeen’s research shows that “Best-in-Class companies have a comprehensive strategy to develop their non-technical LoB managers into analytically inclined decision makers, spread business intelligence (BI) capability to more organizational functions, and drive significant internal and external business efficiencies as a result.”

The marriage between social media and business intelligence will become increasingly strong, making BI  more collaborative. BI tools with embedded collaboration capabilities will become more and more common. The trend is clear, toward Social BI. To keep up, we—users, solution providers, and industry watchers—need to understand the type and extent of adoption, as well as the recent, current, and likely future market directions. To that end, a study, Social Media and the Enterprise , BI-Analytics Connection, was conducted through TechTarget’s BeyeNETWORK in July-September 2010. This study is must reading!


The need to mine unstructured data and integrate with BI initiatives will make the use of Text Mining, search and Sentiment Analysis grow considerably this year. For more information,  the Smart Data Collection interview with Seth Grimes, text analytics guru, is recommended reading.

Open-source BI is growing year after year, becoming a mainstream option in the BI area. The Open-source BI will provide more complete and sophisticated tools. Jim Ericson, in Information Management, provided a thumbnail of how two companies use commercial open source products and ended with some reflections on their experience.

SaaS will increasingly cause a shift in the BI balance.  SaaS BI tools will allow BI at lower costs and faster implementation. This, in turn,  will  boost the use of BI – thus providing a larger reach. As Shawn Rogers concludes in Dashboard Insight, “ When you combine significant operational and capital savings with growing adoption from both enterprise and SMB markets, elastic and flexible platforms and a growing need to provide business intelligence to a wider and more diverse work force it seems clear that SaaS BI is in fact…. hot.”

Remember to subscribe to this blog to stay informed about data analytics and BI  in 2011.