Gartner’s 2015 Tech Trends Lead To Pervasive BI

Rado Kotorov's picture
 By | January 16, 2015
in Advanced Analytics, Business Intelligence, data management, Data Quality
January 16, 2015

UPDATED JANUARY 16, 2015.

I recently participated in a webcast on the BrightTALK channel with analyst Rick van Der Lans on this topic. We had a great discussion on everything from the Internet of Things to data warehousing. You can watch it on demand here: Ten 2015 Tech Trends That Will Lead to Pervasive Data Analytics.

Gartner Inc. recently released its Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015, signaling enterprises to be mindful of what Gartner considers imperatives in the year ahead.

Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to the business, end users or IT, and the need for a major investment or the risk of being late to adopt.

What the firm’s Top 10 tech trends reflect is a rapidly evolving technology world in which greater volumes of data and demand for analytics are becoming increasingly pervasive not only in the workforce but also in machines. Business intelligence is not only for everyone but also in everything.

 Each trend contributes to the making of a consistent storyline, but here I’ll focus on the relationships of these in particular: 

"Computing everywhere" and the "Internet of things" create a unique environment for "advanced, pervasive, invisible analytics" embedded in “context rich systems” and “smart machines” that draw power from scalable “cloud architecture”.

This is an important message to today's executives as it demands a culture of analytics to be able to stay competitive. These trends also are positive news for those who have been advocating making BI and analytics pervasive in business—because everyone is a decision maker.

Today BI has less than 30 percent adoption rate in the enterprise. Unfortunately, it is still the domain of professional analysts who use complex tools and spend most of their time analyzing data. Often, the remainder of professional and operational employees still does not have direct access to information to help them make better decisions.

Gartner also points that one of the keys to achieving pervasiveness is a new way of delivering this intelligence -- through apps. Making the analytics invisible by embedding them in an easy to use app is the right approach to encourage pervasive BI and analytics. For example, at Information Builders, we have already embarked on this approach with our InfoApps, which allow enterprises to build scalable, interactive, custom apps for making decisions that are used by hundreds, thousands – even millions of users – without the need for specialized training.

The advantage of the InfoApps approach is that the decision maker can access information in seconds with just a few clicks, meaning the ability to make more accurate and faster decisions. For the organization, the benefit of pervasive BI and analytics is a cultural transformation where strategy and operations are completely aligned through a common system of fact-based decision-making.

Another interesting aspect of this interconnected world is the importance of integration and real-time data processing and analysis. As more emphasis is put on context-based systems, the depth and breadth of the context is critically contingent on the data collection, data quality, and data integration from multiple systems. Any gaps in those processes make the picture incomplete or fuzzy, thus reducing the value of the context for decision-making. These gaps can also prevent the automation of decision support, which is crucial for intelligent machines.

Organizations are realizing that the enablers for pervasive intelligence and analytics are data integration and data quality. At Information Builders, we call it the 3i’s– intelligence, integration, and integrity. While many enterprises today practice the 3i’s as separate disciplines, the emerging world of real-time invisible analytics will force the unification of those disciplines into a single practice for information management. A unified platform that supports the 3 I’s gives enterprises faster time to market for building robust and responsive apps.

Finally, the Top 10 tech trends as predicted by Gartner pose some serious questions for every executive.

  • How can the organization leverage its BI and analytics platform to build apps to bring information access to more users? Today's BI tools provide robust intelligence capabilities, but can those be rendered “invisible” in custom apps or propagated to other systems easily and cost effectively?
  • Is the current BI and analytics platform in the organization built for the analysts or for pervasive BI?
  • What skill level does the organization need to reach to build apps fostering pervasive BI and analytics and offer them in an app store-like experience to their stakeholders?

Only when these questions are asked can organizations begin to plan for the growing data problem, and formulate a strategy to implement BI and analytics to tackle the trends of tomorrow.