The Death of Business Intelligence

Big Data: Not the creepy entity after all

Posted in Business, Business Intelligence by neilwilson1984 on February 4, 2014

Big Data is a concept that has become more prevalent in recent years, as it has moved more and more into mainstream businesses and their decision-making for targeting customers and analysing sales and buying patterns.

However, the sheer magnitude of what is being analysed by firms has left the sector in a weird position. Many people see BI as being something of a creepy entity – a Big Brother style spying tool that companies use in order to ascertain what we buy and when.

But is it really as weird as it is made out to be? According to one expert, it is not the case. Big Data is essential to the strategies of companies now, allowing them to analyse more information than humans ever could through IT strategies to help them target ads and sales at certain groups of people.

Paddy Nixon, vice chancellor (research) at the University of Tasmania, said it is about even more than this though. He said that there are a number of different factors that show Big Data has big implications – driving economic, social and environmental sustainability.


Mr Nixon said that Big Data allows for a more sustainable level of development in regards to businesses, as it allows the studying of the relationships between different groups. By looking at the different interactions between customers, companies, economies and the government.

He said it allows for companies to look at unknown patterns in the relationship between them and their customers, making for a more targeted and sustained growth of their business model than would have been possible by old strategies, under which they would not have been able to see certain trends and patterns.

How to make Big Data less creepy

One of the biggest factors that makes Big Data seem creepy, according to Mr Nixon, is the fact that people are not able to see how their data is used. All they know is that things they do are being analysed, but not how, why or even if their information is being kept and stored.

This is one thing that they can look at if they are trying to make their operation less creepy. Simply offering a little bit more transparency can let customers feel a little more at ease with regards to how their information is being used by companies.

Another strategy is to look at the way consent is achieved. In many cases, customers will be looking at a situation where they are simply giving consent by buying from a certain business, but this should be eradicated if professionals want Big Data to look less creepy.

It doesn’t take much to allow customers to give consent to having their data used, and it can make a big difference in trust.


BI 2014: Who will be the big players in the new year?

Posted in Business, Business Intelligence, IT by neilwilson1984 on February 3, 2014

In 2013, companies in the BI sector enjoyed a mixed bag of fortunes, with growth being spread across a number of different sizes of firms, but mostly being focussed on the smaller ones which could afford to offer the bespoke sorts of solutions that companies are looking for.

What companies will do well?

In 2014, the buzzword will be for usable BI solutions, and this is shown in the predictions for the company that will be the biggest winner in 2014, according to Information Week.

It said that Tableau, which creates data-visualization software that has a reputation for being easy to use will see a large level of growth in 2014. Six per cent of companies are expecting to use it next year.

On the other hand, companies like Actuate, IBM Cognos, and MicroStrategy, which provide more traditional BI, are expected to experience falls.

BI overview 2014

The sector as a whole will do well in 2014. This might seem like a bold prediction, but there is some firm grounding behind the belief that 2014 can be a good year for the business intelligence sector.

Businesses in general will be looking to grow all across the world as economic uncertainty starts to become a thing of the past, and more and more firms are able to grow.

In the UK, for example, economic growth experienced in 2013, which amounted to 1.4 per cent, is set to be built on. It is predicted that 2014 will see the UK experiencing a level of growth of around 2.4 per cent.

What this will mean is that companies will attempt to grow. To do this, they will need to be able to make important business decisions, and this is something they will need BI for. Even in a growing economy, it is vital to be ahead of the competition, and this will leave those working in business intelligence, as well as their products, in high demand.

Business plans

So looking forward, what should companies in the BI sector be looking to do to make sure that they enjoy a strong 2014?

The answers are quite straightforward actually. It is all about providing something that companies not only need, but what they specifically ask for. Bespoke solutions will be more important than ever in 2014, with businesses looking for things that relate specifically to them and the industry that they are operating in.

In addition to this, it will be about giving power back to firms themselves. Companies will want to use certain aspects of BI, but many will not invest if they feel they are being coerced into taking ownership of a whole strategy, instead preferring to just pick and choose certain elements.

It will be those firms who realise this and allow it to happen that will flourish throughout the year. Self service BI has already become a highly-demanded solution among those in business, and the companies that can provide a “create your own” BI software will be those that do best.

Finally, the age of the non-IT BI specialist is about to descend. Decision makers want to have a hand in BI now more than ever, so companies that provide them with a user friendly option for those without the technical nous will be the ones that perform best.

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