For others, it’s time to look into the future and make a few predictions for business intelligence in 2012.
I’ll be honest. I fit into the first category. Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst, Boris Evelson (@bevelson), on the other hand, took his crystal ball out of storage recently and came up with his top 10 predictions for BI in 2012.
Let’s take a look at seven of his ten predictions:
- Although standards and a single version of the truth are important, it’s really about getting things done. And that means you need individual BI tools that help you do that.
- Enterprises are going to have to “live with” multiple BI tools.
- More BI will move into the hands of end users. IT will have to go along with that or it could become irrelevant. And IT will also stop fighting spreadmart/spreadsheet wars or risk becoming irrelevant. because, again, the bottom line is getting things done.
- BI platforms that support “managed” end user self-service will become more popular. “It’s like the story of Goldilocks and the three bears,” Evelson says. The lack of management or control is not acceptable, but too much control isn’t the answer, either. Like Goldilocks, it’s important to find just the right combination that combines the flexibility and agility of self-service with behind-the-scenes monitoring and adjusting.
Strom agrees with Evelson that it’s critical to find the right combination of self-service and behind-the-scenes monitoring.
- The use of mobile BI will increase because people need to make decisions wherever they are and whenever they need to be made. Doing it when you get back to the office just isn’t good enough.
Strom says he completely agrees that mobile BI is on an upswing. He says we’re starting to see mobile device management tools combine with some primitive BI-type functionality and we’ll see more of it next year. In addition, as more knowledge workers get iPads and other tablets, they’ll have the necessary screen sizes to do some productive things with these tools, too.
According to Gartner, by 2013, 33% of BI functionality will be consumed via handheld devices.
- Big data will start to move out of silos and into enterprise IT—and that means IT will have to learn how to live with it.
Strom agrees with that prediction as well. His crystal ball tells him that traditional BI tools and the NoSQL/big data/cloud services tools will intersect in some interesting ways. “It will spread from single line-of-business departments that can figure out how to use big data effectively and then finally enter the IT department in many corporations as a corporate standard,” he says.
- Users will demand—and vendors will deliver—BI tools that are integrated with email and collaboration platforms. Just integrating BI with Excel isn’t good enough any longer.
Gartner predicts that by 2013, 15% of BI deployments will combine BI, collaboration and social software into decision-making environments.
While Strom agrees that better email and collaboration integration with BI tools is important, he thinks it will take some time.
“And why email integration is still lacking is just frustrating,” he says. “Just look at all the enterprise-grade collaboration tools that are out there now, and it seems a new one is invented every day. Until this market settles down a bit, the integration will lag.”
Now why not get a head start on one of those New Year’s resolutions and hit the gym before those January crowds?