Five BI and Analytics Takeaways from Gartner Summit 2013

April 4, 2013
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The Gartner Summit in Grapevine, TX, this year was pretty fantastic, and Domo had a big presence there. But rather than just tooting our own horn, I wanted to write about the (unbranded, non-promotional) takeaways I gleaned from three days of BI and analytics:

business intelligence1. Old assumptions no longer apply to new information

The Gartner Summit in Grapevine, TX, this year was pretty fantastic, and Domo had a big presence there. But rather than just tooting our own horn, I wanted to write about the (unbranded, non-promotional) takeaways I gleaned from three days of BI and analytics:

business intelligence1. Old assumptions no longer apply to new information

Not very long ago, we ran things on assumptions, axioms, and conventional wisdom. But now that we have data on virtually every part of our business, old assumptions no longer apply. We have new information to guide every decision.

But something you’ll hear regularly in this blog post is that having the data is not enough. We have to gather, interpret, and then use the data we have at our fingertips in order to survive.

2. Data is becoming your core differentiator

The real differences between companies in a given industry are becoming blurred. For example, the major reasons for using an iPhone or an Android phone come down to culture, not features. All of us are in industries that are being radically disrupted by changing economics and an increasingly connected user base. Companies across the board are scrambling to carve out a niche for themselves.

The core differentiator for almost any company is its use of data. Data is where you find core competencies, areas for innovation, and your five-year strategies. As an executive, you need to have access to critical information. And that brings up to the third takeaway.

3. Mobile BI is important…and we’re waiting for someone to step up

Mobile BI and analytics are critical. So why is it that so very few mobile apps can give you what you’re looking for? Creating a dashboard that syncs perfectly—and beautifully—between a desktop and a tablet is, admittedly, quite difficult.

But that doesn’t mean that such tools don’t exist. Mobile applications for your BI and analytics are on the rise, so we should expect a ridiculously high level of functionality from these tools. Solution providers know that there is a high demand, so we as business users don’t have to put up with something sub-par.

4. It’s time to be experimental

Being experimental does not mean that we have to do something dangerous. But it’s time to do things with our data that we haven’t done before.

Some of this unchartered territory is what we call “data democracy.” The walls between departments are crumbling (or should be), and we all depend on each other’s data. Sometimes it’s painful to be so open with other execs where our data is concerned, but the consequences of not having open data are being demonstrated by failures and slip ups every day—even by the big dogs.

5. Information and analytics will power revenue growth

Though most companies have the data they need to make decisions, that data isn’t in a useable format. And executives know that; it’s why IT typically handles BI reporting. But executives can never make the kinds of decisions they need if they always have to stand in line to ask for a new report from someone else in the company. It’s a slower business model that bleeds revenue opportunities.

Executives need to get their data on their own terms and not on someone else’s timeline. It’s easier said than done, of course, but the revenue that comes from it is worth the effort.

A Parting Word

It’s all perfectly doable. Any company could implement these five takeaways from the Gartner conference in under a year and see clear growth from it. The biggest challenge facing us will be to simply take the first step. Once you get started and make the investment, the numbers start falling into place from there.

How are you implementing better BI and data analytics? Let’s talk in the comments.