Top 5 Business Intelligence Trends for 2015

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It’s a new year! Now that all the eggnog has been finished, all the presents opened, and the ball has dropped in Times Square, let’s see what this year will bring for us in the BI space.

1. Conversations around interactive data

You walk into a meeting, bright and early. Imagine an engaging conversation around a flexible and insightful dashboard such as this:

SQL Reporting Service with JReportInstead of the same old spreadsheet where one person drones on for ten minutes and you’re still not entirely sure what they’re getting at.


Let’s be honest, most of us would prefer the former. Instead of just telling and reporting on data, you can discover and experiment with it together. This dashboard allows users to quickly analyze data, mash it up with other data, and redesign it on the fly to create a new perspective and tell a story.  Real time interactive dashboards can turn your next meeting into a productive think tank, instead of a possible snooze-a-thon. See how interactive dashboards can help you create an engaging meeting.

2. Increasing self-service analytics

Self-serve analytics involve tools such as reports and dashboards that allow business users to gather information from multiple sources, analyze and share it with others, without having to know the full underlying technical details. This means that any user can perform their own analysis and create their own dashboards and visualization. Often times, accessing and visualizing data was too complicated for the everyday business person. With self-serve BI, report developers enable non-technical users to be able to create visual reports and dashboards. A user does not need to be an expert to do the on demand BI work they need to have done. See more about self-serve analytics and BI technologies that are inherently easy to learn.

3. Rise of embedded BI

In addition to self-serve analytics, there is an increasing availability of easier tools to enable embedding of new applications into an existing ecosystem or infrastructure. With the fast development of BI technologies in the past year, companies are finding themselves with multiple processes and applications to keep track of in their quest to manage data. The upcoming year should see increased integration of applications into a larger ecosystem, and combining existing relational infrastructure with new big data platforms. The simplified embedding of BI technologies into an existing BI environment will ensure people throughout the organization will be more likely to execute new processes. Less complicated and easily accessible applications will see more user-ship and adoption rates among business people.

4. Simplified dashboards and visualizations

Flash back to that morning meeting again. How many people were typing away on their laptops, or discreetly using their phones under the table? Chances are, most people. As of 2013, the attention span of an average person has dropped to 8 seconds, which is shorter than a goldfish’s.  With the shrinking attention span of humans and wide availability of information, every dashboard and analyses must be designed with the Goldfish Effect in mind. Dashboards and visualizations need to be simplified to deliver the most important information in the fastest way possible for each person. General presentations for multiple personas will no longer work. Data visualizations must be designed for each specific persona and display only the most critical KPIs.

5. IoT (Internet of Things) technology challenges and usage

IoTThings, in the IoT, can refer to any object that can be assigned an IP address and provided with the ability to transfer data over a network. Any device with an on/off switch can connect online. These things include a farm animal with a biochip transponder, heart monitoring implants, and smart thermostat systems. According to Gartner, there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020. The rise of IoT brings on new challenges, which can be good as they will bring about new safeguards that make IoT more secure and connected. Analytics and visualizations are becoming tightly coupled with the embedded devices at the edge of the network. Being able to monitor, visualize, and use the data that comes from the Internet of Things will be a challenge. Ultimately, using data gathered from these smart devices will tell us when things needed replacing, fixing or updating in a greatly lower cost and lower waste manner. Want to learn more about the IoT? Register for an upcoming IoT webinar.

What other business intelligence trends do you see for the upcoming year? Let us know!

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