Despite BI confusion Analytics is critical for Business Reinvention

As critical as Business intelligence is to Businesses, in 2012 there was ample confusion over the terminology and this actually led to a decline in the growth of the BI market. Information age citing a Gartner report says “Confusion about the meaning of the terms “business intelligence”, “analytics” and “big data” contributed to a steep decline in the growth of the BI market last year. The analyst company found that the global BI market grew 7% to $13.1 billion in 2012, compared to 17% growth in 2011. Gartner identified two factors that slowed down the market during the year – “challenging macro economics and term confusion around ‘analytics’, ‘big data’ and ‘BI'”.

Gartner is also saying that Business Analytics Will Be Central for Business Reinvention this year.

IT must continue to lay the foundations for a world in which business intelligence (BI) and analytics will play an increasingly important role in reinventing business models, according to Gartner. Up until now, analytics has largely been about IT projects, however, as digital technologies – what Gartner refers to as the Nexus of Forces – dominate CIO technology priorities, the influence of analytics is set increase dramatically.
Gartner analysts are examining the key issues facing the BI market during the Gartner Business Intelligence and Information Management Summit, which is taking place tommorow 10 – 11th June 2013 in Mumbai, India.

“We are rapidly heading towards a world of analytics everywhere,” said Dan Sommer principal research analyst at Gartner. “Gartner predicts that analytics will reach 50 percent of potential users by 2014. By 2020, that figure will be 75 percent, and we will be in a world where systems of record, systems of differentiation and systems of innovation are enabling IT, business and individuals to analyze data in a much denser fashion than before. Post 2020 we’ll be heading toward 100 percent of potential users and into the realms of the Internet of Everything.”

There are three factors that can discourage the sustained adoption of BI and analytics by its intended users – ease of use, performance and relevance. Many disruptive technologies – Facebook and web browsers being just two examples – have displayed significant improvements in those factors. Now, there is a vast array of new technologies addressing ease of use, performance and relevance that unlocks new opportunities for business users.  “One segment that is really pushing usability to new levels is what we call interactive visualization or data discovery. These are tools with appealing user interfaces, where you can mash data up, often into memory,” said Mr. Sommer.

“This segment grows three times faster than traditional BI front-ends, and is expected to reach $1 billion in value by the end of next year. The vendors that dominate this segment are newer vendors, such as QlikTech, Spotfire and Tableau. However, MicroStrategy, IBM, Microsoft and SAS have all launched rivaling products in the past year, propelling that entire segment into a newer, much more competitive phase. What this means is that data discovery has arrived as a mainstream architecture.” Another area that is really evolving the area of relevance, or context, is the shift from build, to buy. There are now many more tools to address the specific needs of businesses, such as workforce analytics for the HR manager, or fraud analytics for the risk manager, or churn, for the telecommunications company.

This is increasing adoption to a new set of users, previously not accustomed to BI.

Gartner predicts that despite ongoing consolidation and acquisitions by the megavendors, new categories of analytic applications will continue to emerge, as the innovation keeps coming from small vendors in the fringes, resulting in more, not less, market fragmentation. Existing categories of analytic applications are certainly consolidating and changes are occurring within each category, as vendors are acquired or merge, and certain categories are disappearing as they are superseded or integrated into other categories. However, the variety of data, channels and business issues that are open to analysis is also continuing to grow, resulting in continual fragmentation of the market.

These trends will be accentuated further beyond 2014, with cloud, social, mobile and information/big data as new channels for bringing analytics to new audiences.