Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing Trends: 11 for 2011

January 5, 2011
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What industry trends will affect our industry this year and beyond?  See my predictions below.  Please note that my predictions are not product pitches nor are they all positive — differentiating them from many you’ll read in the coming days and weeks.

What industry trends will affect our industry this year and beyond?  See my predictions below.  Please note that my predictions are not product pitches nor are they all positive — differentiating them from many you’ll read in the coming days and weeks.

Crystallball_11 There are two underlying themes across all these trends:

First, BI & data integration investments will be driven by value. Companies are approaching investment cautiously. Yes, they still invested in BI and data integration through the recession, but it was at a reduced pace. Like consumers, companies are looking for value (or an outright sale).

Many vendors will be pitching total cost of ownership (TCO) as one of their strengths. TCO, however, is not merely license costs. It also covers how much time, resources, skills and change is necessary to implement a trend. Budget costs are often trivial in the overall TCO calculation. Trends that lower the TCO for BI, data integration and performance management will accelerate their adoption.

Second, enterprises move slower than analysts or vendors predictions. Any new trend, no matter how valuable, takes time for companies to recognize, understand and adopt.

They will move especially slowly if the new trend replaces something that is already working, even if it’s not working well. There often isn’t enough time, resources and business value for companies to replace those systems immediately.

Remember, in business there is a concept of opportunity cost. Oftentimes a business group is looking for new business analytics and insights to increase growth.  Those new insights are delayed if IT replaces one system with another that does the same thing only at a lower cost.

These new trends tend to be evolutionary rather than a revolutionary. Enterprises generally leverage a trend in new application areas to generate new analytics and insights. And it often gets lost on the technologists, but enterprises are in the business of selling product and services, not building IT systems. These systems are support functions only.  No matter how cool the new tool is, it is only useful if it helps the business sell more or increase profits.

The business intelligence and data warehousing trends for 2011 (and the Led Zeppelin songs they bring to mind):

Business Intelligence/Data Warehousing Trend
Led Zeppelin Song
1. “Good enough” continues to trump “best in class”Good Times Bad Times
2. “Good enough” results in many ill-advised investments and shoddy designsWhat Is And What Should Never Be
3. Replacing data shadow systems (or spread marts) drives successful BIYour Time Is Gonna Come
4. Predictive analytics expandsOver The Hills And Far Away
5. Skilled labor shortages constrain pervasive business intelligence and enterprise data integrationCommunication Breakdown
6. Master Data Management (MDM) hits the wallHeartbreaker
7. SMB companies discover ETLWhen The Levee Breaks
8. Data integration sophistication and usage thrives in top-tier companiesRamble On
9. Business finds data governance religionCelebration Day
10. In-memory analytics (and data integration) breaks outIn The Light
11. Business intelligence and data integration infiltrates business operations and enterprise applicationsThe Battle Of Evermore

I’ll expand on these trends in the coming months. Stay tuned.