The Death of Business Intelligence

The evolution of BI: Coming to the mainstream

Posted in Business, Business Intelligence, IT by neilwilson1984 on November 26, 2013

Business Intelligence (BI) software has traditionally been the tool of the rich – seen in many circles as the magic wand for enterprises that they merely need wave in order to get insights into themselves, their customers and the wider market.

But in an ever-changing marketplace that is becoming more and more competitive, are BI software providers having to change their approach?

According to one expert, the tide is indeed starting to turn, with BI starting to become the plaything of midsized companies looking to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.

Rick Robinson, writing for Midsize Insider, said the focus for BI providers has come through the advent of flexibility in the market and the growing need to make software more user freinly and accessible.

Findings from Gartner put sales of BI software in 2012 at some $13.1 billion worldwide, but with the demand starting to grow, how are companies starting to change what they offer to stay competitive?

The age of self service and bespoke packages

The rise of BI into the mainstream is facilitated in many ways by the increasing level of self service available in the sector, under which firms are able to choose what they need from their BI package rather than having to go the whole hog.

This rise of bespoke packages has made it much more affordable for many to get into the BI market, by letting them pick and choose things they want to focus on and discard elements that are really only of use for larger firms.

Input and output

In order to make BI more mainstream, the market has had to focus on the output. Companies using it want to know one thing – insights that will help them make important business decisions.

However, in the past it has been both hard to decipher things for those who are not perhaps IT trained or particularly tech savvy, and difficult to draw out the information required, which is the key area that the providers have had to focus on.

Mr Robinson said there is a need now more than ever to give flexible results pages that update in real time – more akin to Big Data – and that offers businesses the chance to simply pluck out the information they need without having to dig too deeply.


One of the main problems that plagued many smaller and medium sized companies with the advent of BI was the fact that it was simply too expensive for them to implement in their operations.

However, the recent rise of a much more pick-and-choose nature in the sector has meant that it is now entirely possible for companies to choose elements of software to bring into their operation, which makes it not only simpler, but more affordable.

It saves companies from wasting large amounts of money on things they will not need, while still achieving the overall goal, and helps BI software reach a far greater number of users.


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