The Death of Business Intelligence

Do businesses need a better focus for big data conversations?

Posted in Business Intelligence by TheLondonEconomic on August 15, 2013

Big data is a concept that has come more and more into the business sector in the last few years, growing at an average rate of ten per cent per year, which is twice as fast as the software market in general.

However, while this advance has become priceless to firms over a number of years as it becomes more and more widespread, an expert has questioned whether the way that the concept itself is talked about is having a detrimental effect on the impact it has on business intelligence (BI).

Speaking on a podcast with another independent BI analyst, chief executive officer of Yellowfin, a BI analytics firm, Glen Rabie, said that while the concept itself is fantastic, some of the rhetoric that has become commonplace has proved a hindrance to the use of big data as a technological advance.

He said that the concept represented a backward step in the way consumers are able to engage with their customers because of the way it is put across in conversations, which the expert claimed had become very technically complex, and thus far too confusing for many users and normal customers to understand.

Promotion of the use of big data should be about showing companies what business intelligence firms will do with data, why they use it in this way, as well as how BI companies can help them to address the situation, but Mr Rabie said it has changed now and become all about “selling the virtues of the technology.”

Customers, he added, need to know what to use in terms of big data and when they need to do so, but because of the way conversations work at the current time it has become the case that many consumers feel a degree of trepidation and big data paralysis because they don’t have the vital information that they need surrounding the technology.

This was a theory that was backed up by Gartner, which said that BI companies need to do more to ensure that there is an understanding of the technology rather than just throwing largely irrelevant information at potential customers.

It said that there is often a lot of confusion between terms such as ‘big data’, ‘BI’, ‘blunting BI spend’ and ‘analytics,’ an issue that needs to be addressed presently to help boost the market in big data technology.

Mr Rabie concluded: “And no vendor is actually helping in that space. No one is saying this is when you use my technology, this is the most appropriate time, or this is the most appropriate use case,” adding that there is a tendency to move away from teaching people about the best practice for how to use big data, instead turning towards sales pitches that inform people that they need to use it rather than where, when and why.


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