The Death of Business Intelligence

From specialist capability to mass-market take ups: The world of BI

Posted in Business Intelligence by TheLondonEconomic on September 6, 2013

The market for businesses intelligence (BI) software has gone through something of a seismic shift in recent times, as it moves from being something of a niche or specialist tool only used by those with the skills to harness it, to a mass market behemoth capable of playing a massive part in the decision making of companies across the globe.

In the beginning, only those with requisite skills could harness the data analysing powers of BI thanks not only to the complicated nature of the concept, but also the prohibitive costs, and the failure of various firms to include non technical people in their decision making with regards to their take up.

So now, with barriers in the sector being broken down repeatedly, just how has BI managed to become more inclined towards the mass market it once evaded?

The changing BI concept

The major barrier to use of BI software in the mass market was simple – the technology was too complicated for the average user. However, three areas of focus are now helping to break through this hurdle as BI providers put more of a focus on the technology’s end users.

These, known as “super trends” have tended towards the non expert, with an emphasis now being placed on the technology user.

Firstly, there is now much more of a realisation of the value of the Big Data analysed. Second comes the realisation that technology development is now not all about being faster and stronger and is about being usable and accessible to all who need it, even if they are not clued up. Lastly is the emergence of a blurred line between professional and personal technology use, which has made for more of a consumerisation in BI, and led to a more business-led concept.

Business-led BI

According to Computer Weekly, the concept of business-led BI is one which can be summed up in three simple points; cheaper, faster and easier.

In order to advance, then, companies have had to adopt the following strategies in order to make sure that BI software barriers are a thing of the past.

Low cost – This was the main barrier to BI, and it is now generally believed that it should be easy to acquire the essential tool to at least a basic level for a relatively low initial cost.

Self serving – Users should be able to make use of the technology without having to have an extensive IT network behind them.

Universality – There should be a uniform style to technology in the sector to make sure that it can be used by experts and novices alike.

Accessibility – The software needs to be able to be used on any device in any place. This has been helped by the emergence of the cloud as a driver for BI growth.

Visuals – Interfaces should be easy to use and simple to navigate. While tech experts may favour command based prompts, for example, those without the skills will not be able to use this.

With these changes being made across the board then, the traditional barriers that were in place for the BI market are being broken down to allow the technology to become more accessible and on a wider scale than ever before.

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