Top 10 Business Intelligence predictions for 2011

January 14, 2011
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Are you ok?  Perhaps you should sit down.  The Business Intelligence (BI) industry developed at a frenetic take-your-breath-away pace during 2010.  In 2011 the tempo will be dialed up a few beats per minute, with a continuation of trends centered around the ease-of-use, access to, and speed of reporting and analytics.

As we shuffle, moonwalk and jive like a turkey into the New Year, here are 10 toe-tapping predictions for the 2011 BI marketplace (appearing in no particular order):

Are you ok?  Perhaps you should sit down.  The Business Intelligence (BI) industry developed at a frenetic take-your-breath-away pace during 2010.  In 2011 the tempo will be dialed up a few beats per minute, with a continuation of trends centered around the ease-of-use, access to, and speed of reporting and analytics.

As we shuffle, moonwalk and jive like a turkey into the New Year, here are 10 toe-tapping predictions for the 2011 BI marketplace (appearing in no particular order):

1. Stimulating user adoption will take precedence over technological development

Organizations will spend more time and energy creating an environment to support high levels of user adoption as they continue to realize its importance for achieving ROI and competitive advantage.

Recent Gartner research – From Business Intelligence to Intelligent Business – said CIOs should treat BI programs as a cultural transformation to ensure project success.

The best technology can only deliver the best results if organizations and individual users follow best usage practices.

Forrester Research’s 2010 global BI maturity survey found that only 35 percent of organizations are currently employing pervasive BI (Forrester defines pervasiveness as the ability of most strategic and operational decision-makers to access the BI application).  Organizations will look to remedy this situation in 2011.

2. Self-service Business Intelligence

Companies will continue to pursue self-service BI in 2011 as a mechanism to maximize their return on investment for BI solutions, by enabling more business users to make better data-based decisions in shorter timeframes, through highly intuitive web-based applications.

Self-service BI empowers business users to build reports and analyze the data within those reports independently.

According to a recent Aberdeen Group report, 67 percent of “best in class” companies have adopted some form of self-service BI. And, as Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus told Computerworld in a recent interview, the popularity of self-service BI tools will accelerated throughout 2011 because they “take the burden off IT and speed up the development of reports to a considerable degree.”

3. Intuitive data visualizations

As user adoption increases, and more business people from less technical backgrounds attempt to harness the power of data analysis, the visual representations of that data analysis will become increasingly intuitive to ensure that crucial information is interpreted accurately.

4. Location Intelligence

Demand for Location Intelligence – the ability to understand the geographical significance of data – will continue to rise in 2011. Why? Because more than 80 percent of the data collected by organizations has a spatial element and vendors are finally starting to offer integrated mapping with their BI platforms.

5. The iPad will shape the Mobile Business Intelligence market

The unprecedented popularity of Apple’s iPad is having a profound effect on the Mobile BI sector.

Gartner predicts that worldwide tablet sales (nearly all of them iPads) will grow from 19.5 million in 2010, to 54.8 million units in 2011, reaching 208 million by 2014. 

An increasingly tech savvy and geographically dispersed workforce will expect to be able to access their corporate data anywhere, anytime via mobile devices such as the iPad. Mobile BI will be another stepping stone in the march towards pervasive BI.

6. Social and Collaborative Business Intelligence

Organizations will take to Social and Collaborative BI like tweens to Glee, as the potential for collaborative decision-making (CDM) modules to facilitate better, faster information sharing and decision-making is fully realized.  Worldwide CDM software revenues are forecast to reach $US 769.2 million in 2011, up 15.7 percent from 2010.

7. Social media analytics

Organizations will gather more data from social media platforms as they strive to better understand target market needs, wants, behaviors and attitudes towards its own brand, and that of competitors.

The conversational environment of social media also means the insight gathered from such interaction is likely to be some of the most honest customer service data you’ve ever collected.

Essentially, dissecting data generated by social media interactions will enable immediate access to powerful and actionable insights into consumer sentiment.

8. Continued growth of the mighty and emergence of the niche

Mega vendors dominated Gartner’s 2010 BI Magic Quadrant and will continue to grow in size and market share throughout 2011, with SAP, Oracles, SAS Institute, IBM and Microsoft accounting for around 75 percent of the market.

In an effort to compete, smaller vendors will continue to customize their services, providing niche industry specific solutions such as healthcare or higher education analytics.

9. Business Intelligence as SaaS deployment and increased uptake by SMBs

The scalability, flexibility and reduced cost of SaaS will see BI SaaS deployments grow in popularity in 2011 as many small to midsized businesses (SMBs), which previously lacked the resources to access the benefits of reporting and analytics, undertake BI projects for the first time.

IDC research indicates that the SaaS BI market will experience triple the growth of the overall market, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 22.4 percent through to 2013.

Research by the Aberdeen Group – Fast, Affordable, Agile: The Case for SaaS BI – has revealed that the primary motivations for utilizing BI as a SaaS deployment are to:

  • Reduce capital expenditure
  • Reduce ongoing costs
  • Enhance technical capabilities
  • Increase employee access to reporting and analytics with minimal IT involvement and support/maintenance requirements

10. Real-time analytics

With the continued advancement of communications technologies and internet-ready mobile devices, the transfer of corporate information has become constant and virtually instant. The demand for reporting and analytics to match this up-to-the-minute capability will continue to increase throughout 2011. Therefore, aside from Mobile BI, the importance of two technological features will also increase:

  • The ability to perform Federated Queries
  • The ability to generate reports from an in-memory database