In the ever-changing and evolving landscape of business intelligence it is very hard to predict the future. Unfortunately, we can’t rely on tarot cards, crystal balls, or fortune cookies. Nor can we call upon famous fortune tellers such as Mother Shipton, Cassandra of Troy, or Nostradamas. However, what we can do is make educated estimations on what 2015 has in store for us by looking at current BI industry trends. In a previous article titled, “Top 20 Business Intelligence Predictions for 2015 (Part 1),” I made 10 predictions for the BI industry. In this article (part 2), I will finish by making 10 more predictions. Below are predictions 11 through 20:
11. Storytelling training will be the next hot thing
In 2014, there was a lot of talk about getting value out of big data to help make better business decisions. Many pundits have criticized “big data” and called it a buzz word that has yet to yield the fruitful insights promised to enterprises who invested millions or billions into it. The problem with data is that for something that is considered a science, in business, it’s interpretation can be extremely subjective. It takes a very skilled data scientist to bring out all the “stories” or potential advantages and pitfalls within a large data set. If you have ever presented data to intelligent C-levels, then you know how easy it can be to find holes in data and how difficult it can be for people to see a point of view. Due to this, I predict that companies will provide additional training for their data professionals in the art of “story telling” so that insights do not get lost by failure of explaining it effectively.
12. Focus on small and medium-sized firms
Many small companies believe that they can’t afford BI. They believe that BI is for larger firms with deeper pockets who have more data. Up until this point what they believe has been true, however, the landscape of BI for SMBs is changing because business intelligence solutions providers are developing tools for smaller companies to help them achieve success in today’s business environment. For example, Information Builders partnered with Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions to distribute Information Builder’s WebFOCUS Express to smaller enterprises. It made sense for Information Builders to market to smaller companies due to their focus on self-service BI which aligns with the financial restraints of smaller companies. In 2015, I predict that we will see more BI solution companies entering the SMB market just like Information Builders.
13. More business intelligence and data integration partnerships
Companies are increasingly looking to analyze and make decisions using big data and they are realizing that one of their biggest challenges is that their data is distributed across various states, countries, and continents. This has prompted a need to collected data from multiple distributed sources using data integration tools. This need has been the impetus for business intelligence firms partnering with data integration companies to offer more advanced integration capabilities. With companies such as Logi Analytics (the analytics everywhere company) and Talend (the global big data integration software company) already partnered, I believe that we will see this trend continue in 2015.
14. Business analytics for security breach prevention is top priority
2014 was a wake up call for many enterprises after so many well-established companies were effected by security breaches. You can bet your hat that in 2015, CIOs will have security and risk prevention for their data and analytics platforms on top of their priority list. To paint you a better picture of how badly companies got hit, below are some of the worst security breaches of 2014.
The Home Depot. About 56 million card records were hacked in this attack that is said to revolve around malware that was installed on cash register systems.
Target Corporation. Around 70 million holiday shoppers had their card data compromised late last year in the breach at Target, the incident that kicked off the current wave of big breaches. In the aftermath, the CEO was fired, and breaches became a topic of continuing conversation among financial services executives.
Sony – This was the biggest data bread of the year and could be one of the worst of all time to a corporation. Breachers took documents, movies, emails, social security numbers, and salaries over the period of many months. They then posted this information which has resulted in a public nightmare for the company. In regards to how this attack took place, speculation ranges from an attack launched in a Thailand hotel to an inside job. How they were discovered – On Nov. 22 employee computers received messages threatening public distribution of stolen data and displays of skulls on their screens.
15. The Salesforce Wave builds momentum
In 2014, Salesforce – the world’s largest enterprise cloud computing company unveiled “Wave”, their new enterprise business intelligence solution. This launch would make it the sixth “cloud” in the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. Overall, Salesforce’s move into an already competitive market with leaders such as SAS, Qlik, Tibco, Microsoft, SAP, Information Builders, Microstrategy, and Tableau was well-received by many analyst.
Some believe that this product introduction was a smart vertical move that will position Salesforce into a growing multi-billion dollar market. This positioning allows Salesforce to leverage their enormous existing customer base; a base who will now have the option of handling their business intelligence requirements by the same vendor that takes care of their CRM – implying better system synergies. I predict that Salesforce will build momentum in 2015 and will be positioned in the Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics in 2016.
16. Professional Google Glass impacts business intelligence
I’m going to go out on a limb here because I know that Google Glass did not spread like wild fire in the consumer market upon it’s release as many pundits had predicted. However, I believe that in 2015 Google Glass will effect the business intelligence market because of its growing use by business and technology professionals.
For example, medical professionals can use Google Glass to skim a patient’s summarized medical history without the need to look at multiple charts and diagnosing symptoms faster, a police officer can pull up ID information or criminal history before arresting suspects, or a construction worker can work without ever holding the building’s blue prints. In 2015, I predict that this will have a major effect in BI, as more data will need to be re-formatted for professional Google Glass uses.
17. The Data Scientist’s job description will evolve
In (part 1) of this article, I predicted that 2015 would be the year of self-service BI. As a result, the role of the data scientist will evolve. With self-service BI tools, we will see user-friendly front-end BI and business managers/analysts equipped with the knowledge to use them. We will also see advancements in predictive analytics tools and data scientist taking on the role explaining this complex data to business managers through story telling techniques.
18. Predictive analytics matures
In 2015, as the business intelligence market begins to mature with experienced users, established methodologies and best practices, the new role of the Data Scientist, and companies focusing on unearthing insights from data, we will see a rise in the predictive analytics market. As a result, we will see solutions companies working toward enhancing the functionality of predictive analytics for wide use in enterprises, applications, and in the cloud. I predict that in 2015, we will see many solutions companies creating partnerships to achieve this new evolution of predictive analytics.
19. Data integration and data cleansing tools at the core of BI
In 2014, Data Scientists spent enormous amounts of time doing data integration and data cleansing. This is a necessary evil because it’s extremely important to have high quality data to input and it’s never as simple as moving data from one system to an existing system and expecting it to “plug and play.” With more data expected this year, there will be all types of interfaces and database models to consider. Keeping the data structure and content intact during these changes will present more complexities than most companies comprehend. In 2015, I predict that companies will invest into more data integration and data cleansing technology. Specifically, DI tools that can automate and alleviate these time consuming activities allowing Data Scientists to focus on explaining data to decision makers.
20. Marketing will be the biggest driver for business intelligence
Which line of business (LOB) will be the main driver of business intelligence in 2015? I predict that the LOB to watch will be Marketing because companies will want to learn more about their customers to understand if their programs are targeting the right people, in the right places, with the right pricing etc. Marketing also is made up of an array of complex tools and platforms to handle email, social media, search, SEO, etc., so much that it’s very practical for companies to focus on business intelligence for marketing first and foremost.
Click here to read business intelligence predictions 1 through 10.
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