The Next Generation BI Professional – Things Will Be Very Different

December 14, 2011
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The next generation business intelligence professional is not one who has experienced complex deployments, lengthy project time frames and unpredictable results dealing with a big stack of software with more bells and whistles than they really cared about. Nope, the next generation business intelligence is going to be very different in many ways. Let’s explore.

The next generation business intelligence professional is not one who has experienced complex deployments, lengthy project time frames and unpredictable results dealing with a big stack of software with more bells and whistles than they really cared about. Nope, the next generation business intelligence is going to be very different in many ways. Let’s explore.

Reports are no longer something that you get from a printer. The tablet or mobile device is the printer. Your reports are available anytime, anywhere and not on a piece of paper pulled from a LaserJet printer down the hall.

The new BI kids in town will likely have been deeply exposed to search technologies. They grew up using Google, Bing and Yahoo and other search technologies to quickly find and discover information. It’s simply a natural part of growing up in a search driven society and you can almost be assured of the fact that a highly dynamic search box will show up in the business intelligence solution they build. They expect that their business user will demand search-driven business intelligence.

They will be well versed in the value of unstructured data for their business consumers. These new BI professionals understand that unstructured data contains critical business information that can have a significant impact on the business. After all, these BI professionals frequently participate in online social forums, use Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media. Why wouldn’t the business want to garner insight from these and other forms of unstructured data.

Agile Development and Deployment is how they learned to build and deploy high valued business intelligence software in short bursts of time. They think in terms of frequent and fast iterations and short cycles of meeting the business intelligence goals of their internal customers without them having to wait months and years for a successful solution.

Open Source or Commercial?  They really won’t care. They will simply use the best solution at hand that helps them rapidly meet their objective of getting high value business intelligence and analytic application to their users that deliver WOW.

Security Savvy. These future BI professionals will know a great deal about information security. They recognize that information is the new competitive advantage and that they must ensure the integrity and security of the businesses information assets.

Understands “Big Data”. The future BI professional will clearly have a handle on big data. It would not be unusual for them to have experience with technologies including Hadoop, Map/Reduce and Columnar Databases. However, they will also recognize that business users want information at the speed of a click and that these users will likely be using highly relevant data marts that support their business unit rather than the overall enterprise data warehouse that houses petabytes of information. They will frequently be called data scientists and possibly even have a degree in Data Sciences. 

Balancing the use of Eye Candy. Although these business intelligence professionals value good visualization capabilities in their BI solutions of choice, they also recognize that their needs to be a balance. They get this from being overwhelmed for years with eye candy on the web, why would they want to pepper their end users visualizations that may end up getting in their way.

It won’t be unusual for these business intelligence professionals to be deploying voice driven SIRI like interfaces on mobile devices. They will likely see their users talking into their iPhones saying “What is the current revenue for my east coast sales team as of today?” No more looking at the screen. 

Driven To Enable Collaboration In The Context Of Business Intelligence. These new BI pros believe that the power of the individual is only surpassed by the power of the team when it comes to gaining further insights into business analytics. They will expect that future business intelligence solutions for their end users will have built-in collaborative capabilities for enabling shared insight and analysis.

Thin continues to be IN with these new BI professionals. Fat clients are a thing of the past. The browser is everything and they wouldn’t think for a minute to use anything but the browser to get at key business metrics and deep analytics.

We are in for exciting times when it comes to the next wave of business intelligence and analytics. While the software industry moves faster and faster on the innovation front, a new wave of BI professional will be there to take advantage of these innovations in order build the next generation of business intelligence and analytic applications that satisfy their end user desire for better insight and analysis of their business and business units.