Ten Business Intelligence Trends For 2013

Big Data will remain the biggest trend in business intelligence for the foreseeable future. While Big Data is still an emerging concept, those using it are exhibiting a growing maturity according to EnterpriseAppsToday. So, what are the trends?

Big Data, Big Claims

Richard Daley, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Pentaho Corporation, said that Big Data has the potential to provide more value to business intelligence users of all sizes than all of the value aggregated over the last 20 years.

Daley said:

The dominant trend for 2013 will, again, be Big Data. It’s growing at astronomical rates in almost all verticals, and people are realizing that it is not just a more affordable, scalable way to do data warehousing and BI, but it’s also the competitive weapon of this decade.

Big Data’s Second Wave

Despite the hype surrounding Big Data, some believe we are only in the early stages of its analytics potential. Awareness has begun to move away from the fact that there is Big Data and that it should be mined, to defining more clearly how it can be harnessed to gain an edge.

Dr. Nabil Abu El Ata, president and CEO of Accretive Technologies said:

In 2012 we saw the first wave of Big Data. Companies are beginning to see that by leveraging these technologies, transformation of their business could be cheaper and faster enabling them to really focus on gaining a competitive advantage in their market vs. keeping just their company running.

More Sophisticated Analytics

As part of this growing connection between Big Data and business value, El Ata foresees developers becoming more sophisticated in their attempts to glean value from vast repositories of unstructured data.

El Ata said:

Instead of analytics derived from basic statistical correlations, Big Data technologies will evolve and leverage highly sophisticated algorithms that enable successful what-if decisions. This will help drive the adoption of these types of algorithmic analytics and enable Big Data to become a major tool for overcoming risk and complexity.

Advanced Analytics Difference

Steven Hillion,  chief data officer for Alpine Data Labs, believes the advent of Big Data has exposed the difference between traditional business intelligence and advanced analytics that dig deeper into data.

Hillion said:

In a sense, traditional BI has become the ‘question generator,’ and analytics is becoming the ‘answer machine. With reports and dashboards now running against larger datasets and increasingly in real time, you are able to get a snapshot of your business and identify where you need to pay attention in sales, support, marketing and finance.

Once you know that sales are down, or customer calls are up, or advertising costs are too high, what do you do about it? You start to ask more questions. Why are sales down in one region but not the other? What are customers telling us? How do we reduce marketing costs without impacting revenue? Hillion responded:

These are the kinds of questions that advanced analytics is capable of answering, and there’s an increasing push for organizations to go beyond simple dashboards and reports.

Simplified Big Data Tools

Hillion thinks we are still in the early stages of determining how to uncover insights with Big Data. Doing so currently requires complex tools working on small samples of data, wielded by expensive consultants or hard-to-hire data scientists. Or you need an army of engineers working at the cutting edge of high-performance computing and analytics such as Hadoop.

Hillion elaborated:

If you went to any of the Hadoop conferences this year, you’d think that Hadoop was ubiquitous and everyone was using beautiful visual tools to mine their big data for hidden gems of insight. But the reality is that most people are struggling to get the full potential out of all the new Big Data technologies. I think 2013 is the year in which Big Data has to reach a level of maturity with applications that give us the depth of insight and performance and ease-of-use that we’ve come to expect from traditional BI running on traditional data sources.

Business intelligence is one of the most performing and innovating sectors, it exposes the latest applications and theories that add value to an organization. It is now possible to find online educational resources like a Master in Business Intelligence which will cover the trend topics of data, information, knowledge, processes and communication technologies.

Read the rest of the trends on this article: Big Data and Beyond: 10 BI Trends for 2013.