The Death of Business Intelligence

BI 2013: How did the market fare?

Posted in Analytics, Business, Business Intelligence, IT, Microsoft, SAP by neilwilson1984 on January 22, 2014

Business intelligence (BI) is a term that has been on the lips of many businesses and their owners the last year, with companies looking to find solutions that make decisions that little bit easier. It has seemed that uptake of the strategy and software has been picking up pace throughout the year, but just how did 2013 treat the BI industry?

Overview

In general, the BI market last year was relatively strong without setting the heather on fire. Growth might not have reached peak levels, but they have been far better than at other times and other sectors across this year.

According to one expert, it has been very middling, with the chief executive officer saying: “I’ve seen better, I’ve seen worse.”

Uptake in general has been good, but it has failed to reach the 40 per cent growth levels that were experienced back in the mid-90s. However, it is important to note that at this time the market was still new and exciting and it was being brought into firms for the first time.

On the other hand, though, the market has not hit its lowest ebb either. This was experienced in 2008, when growth levels were hammered by the worldwide recession. Companies paring back what they offered meant that growth sat at just two per cent throughout that year.

This is no bad thing though. While other sectors across the globe have seen revenues dropping and have had to make cutbacks, the fact that BI has continued to grow can only be seen as being a good thing for the sector overall, leaving good prospects on the cards for 2014 and beyond.

A tale of two sizes

In 2014, it has been about different types of BI, and growth in the two can be compared on one simple scale – size. While large companies have continued to grow throughout the year, it has been those smaller firms that have enjoyed the best levels of improvement in 2013.

Large BI providers such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP have enjoyed a growth level that has sat at just single-digit improvements in terms of revenue, but it has been a different story further down the ladder.

According to Condi Howson at Information Week, some smaller firms have performed so strongly that many even nearly doubled their revenues throughout the year.

One such company was Tableau, which saw its revenue figures jump by 75 per cent throughout the year 2013. Other companies that enjoyed revenue leaps far in excess of larger competitors included TIBCO Spotfire (30 per cent) and QlikTech (23 per cent).

Why?

So why are smaller BI companies performing well? The answer is simple – they are much more malleable and ready to adapt.

Most small and medium firms cannot afford the very largest BI solutions, so they look towards those that can provide just what they need – self service and bespoke software that just ticks all of the right boxes.

Of course, they cannot get these from the larger companies around the globe, which means they will increasingly turn to smaller BI firms, giving these a boost throughout 2014.

Predictive analysis spending soars on demand for business intelligence

Posted in Analytics, Business Intelligence, IT, Microsoft, SAP by neilwilson1984 on December 12, 2013

A desire for better business intelligence is driving demand for predictive analysis software, according to a new set of figures. According to the study by Transparency Market Research, the market for predictive analytics software will be worth over $6.5 billion by 2019.

The growth is being driven by increased demand for customer intelligence, as well as fraud and security intelligence software. In addition, cloud hosted predictive analytics software solutions are seen as an emerging market that will drive growth in the near future.

Banking and finance services, insurance, government, pharmaceuticals, telecom and IT, and retail, are seen as key demand drivers during the forecast period, which will see the market more than triple in value from a base of just over $2 billion.

But the biggest growth will be in retail and manufacturing, largely due to fast growing consumer driven digital data and the subsequent need to extract strategically critical information from this data.

The study authors say a rise in incidences of frauds, payment defaults, over or under stock inventory levels, and regulations regarding governance, risk, and compliance, have pushed companies to adopt predictive analytical models.

“Demand for industry specific software solutions has caused customer intelligence, fraud and security intelligence, and campaign management to emerge as leading segments,” they say. These segments together accounted for approximately 50 per cent of market revenue in 2012.

The US and Canada will continue to lead the way as business intelligence demands drive uptake of solutions capable of analyzing big data.

“North America, which has been at the forefront of generating big data in large quantities, is expected to remain the largest market for predictiveanalytics software solutions,” the authors say.

“This is due to demand for advanced business intelligence being directly affected by need to analyze big data. Growth of predictive analytics aspect of business intelligence has seen a revival ever since big data gained popularity and has been growing exponentially.”

All this is good for companies, with competition increasing as big data vendors – SAP, SAS, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft – now entering the market for predictive analytics.

Analytics ‘key driver’ for mobile adoption

Posted in Analytics, Business Intelligence, IT, Mobile, Mobile BI, Mobile Business Intelligence by neilwilson1984 on December 10, 2013

Speed and better analytics are proving the key drivers for global mobile adoption. That’s according to an IBM study showing 90 per cent oforganizations around the world are willing to sustain or increase investment in mobile technology over the next year to 18 months.

A key reason for upping spend on this sector is the measurable impact on speed and productivity. Half of the respondents in the poll, for example, reported a ten per cent gain in employee productivity as a result of mobile efforts.

The survey looked at the business advantages of using mobile technologies for business intelligence, including the way it “fundamentally” changes how organizations interact with customers, and develop and deliver innovative products and services to market. In particular it identified so-called mobile strategy leaders who have a clear direction for their efforts in this sector.

Data and analytics was a key difference between this subset and others. Seventy per cent or more of leaders surveyed describe themselves as effective in areas such as addressing structured and unstructured mobile data, handling large volumes of data, analyzing mobile data and taking action based on that data. Under 37 per cent of non-leaders said they are equipped to deal with these issues.

Integration is another area where there is a clear difference. Again around seven in ten of mobile leaders indicate they have been successful in ensuring interoperability with other systems, leveraging APIs for external or cloud-provided data services, and providing service-oriented architecture and sharing information among systems/devices. On the other hand, only around 40 per cent of non-leaders report being successful with these tasks.

“Today, mobile is quickly emerging as a transformational game changer in business that will drive new levels of innovation and interactions,” said Kevin Custis, social business and mobile practices leader at IBM. “It is far too limiting to define mobility simply as a device or a channel for transactions. The organizations that come out ahead will be the ones that prioritize mobile and redefine its use to drive a new set of business expectations and user experiences.”

IBM takes predictive analysis to IT

Posted in Analytics, Business Intelligence, IT by neilwilson1984 on December 3, 2013

IBM is bringing predictive analysis to IT operations to help system administrators better find and solve potential problems.

The firm says its new software will enable clients to apply foundational elements of cognitive intelligence throughout their IT infrastructure. The aim is to help workers gain insights from big data, rather than being focused on how to cope with its sheer volume. Such insights, says IBM, can help predict and prevent IT downtime, improve productivity and generate cost savings.

Increasingly organisations are dealing with complex IT systems of servers, networks and applications. Combined with mobile and cloud, these systems can generate more than 1.3 terabytes of data per day, including log files, software error alerts, IT service tickets and network configuration updates.

This can lead to up to one million system alerts per day, some of which are critical to performance and others that are irrelevant. Sifting through all of these and making sense of it all is where the new software comes in.

IBM SmartCloud Analytics – Predictive Insights enables employees to wade through terabytes of IT operations data in real time, spotting only the trends that are critical to IT network performance. The software’s “cognitive computing capabilities” can learn, reason and sense an organization’s IT systems.

The software adapts as business and performance conditions change, updating settings and eliminating costly errors caused by poor system configuration. This new technology will run on the SoftLayer infrastructure, which is the foundation of IBM’s cloud portfolio.

“As the value of data continues to grow, the differentiator for clients will be around predicting what could happen to help transform their business with speed and conviction,” said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, software and systems at IBM. “IBM’s latest set of solutions allow clients to help predict customer behavior and outcomes with speed and ease, all delivered from the cloud.”

Consolidated Communications is one company working with IBM’s new predictive software. It expects to save $300,000 annually in reactive costs alone by analyzing IT operations data.

IBM commits $1bn for big data

Posted in Business Intelligence by neilwilson1984 on September 24, 2013

IBM is committing $1 billion to help clients capitalize on big data and cloud computing with modern systems built to handle the new wave of applications coming to the data center in the post-PC era. The company is putting the money into Linux and open source technologies for IBM’s Power Systems servers.

As part of the investment, the tech giant announced two new developments, the first of which is a new IBM Power Systems Linux Center for developers, clients and partners in Montpellier, France. The new center is among a growing network of facilities around the world where software developers  can build and deploy new applications for big data, cloud, mobile and social business computing using Linux and the latest IBM POWER7+ processor technology.  Similar centers have already opened in Beijing, New York and Austin, Texas.

Meanwhile, to serve the growing number of developers, business partners and clients interested in running Linux on Power Systems, IBM is expanding its Power Systems cloud for development.  The no-charge cloud service is ramping up its infrastructure to provide more businesses the ability to prototype, build, port, and test Linux applications on the Power platform as well as applications built for AIX and IBM i. 

IBM fellow and vice president of power development Brad McCredie revealed the new investment in front of more than 1,400 delegates at the Linux Foundation’s LinuxCon conference in New Orleans.

He explained the investment will go into product research, design, development, ecosystem skills, and go-to-market programs for clients, developers, business partners, entrepreneurs, academics, and students. 

For McCredie the requirement for first class business intelligence is vital for firms operating in a fast-changing technological landscape.

“Many companies are struggling to manage big data and cloud computing using commodity servers based on decades-old, PC era technology. These servers are quickly overrun by data which triggers the purchase of more servers, creating un-sustainable server sprawl,” he explained.  “The era of big data calls for a new approach to IT systems; one that is open, customizable, and designed from the ground up to handle big data and cloud workloads.” 

Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation commented: “The last time IBM committed $1 billion to Linux, it helped start a flurry of innovation that has never slowed.”

Meanwhile, IBM is introducing new cloud and mobile-enabled social business software and service capabilities which will allow executives to quickly move their business processes into the cloud to drive better decision making and increase productivity.

IBM SmartCloud Connections features File Synch and Share, which lets employees access the cloud and share files securely and in the way that works best for them, online or offline, on their smartphone or tablet, desktop application or browser.

For example, an executive can update a customer presentation on their iPad in real-time, incorporating feedback from a meeting that just ended. They can then synch the newest version into the cloud to ensure the entire team has access to the latest document. 

Pamela Webb from SafeGuard World International, which provides globally managed payroll services, has already seen an increase in productivity and benefits for clients.

She explained: “The ability to actively engage and have real-time visibility to project progress in a secure environment really gives our clients confidence in both the implementation process and our organization.”

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