The Death of Business Intelligence

Trends in Business Intelligence and ERP systems for 2015

Posted in Analytics, Business Intelligence by luisaferreiradsp on December 18, 2014

2015 will be a year of consolidation and transformation for Business Intelligence (BI). The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), the integration of cloud and the ever increasing demand for mobility, will shape the way people consume data and shape an established industry that’s worth $89.5 billion this year alone. ERP systems themselves are transforming from a desktop-only model to a device-centric mobile technology.

What are the paradigms that will change? How will this affect the Business Intelligence industry? And most importantly, how are you preparing for the upcoming year? Are you ready for what’s to come? Here at DSPanel we have prepared what we think are the main things you should consider in 2015.

  • Integrate and analyze wherever you are

Integration is one of the top aspects for any big tech trend such as mobile, cloud, Internet of Things, and digital business.
With the ever-increasing need to ‘do more with less’, enterprises will be keen to adopt agile approaches to integration. This will also intertwine business agility with the flexibility to use a variety of services, the scalability to keep pace with business volume, and the efficiency to keep costs to a minimum. Rapid integration leveraging simple interfaces is going to become the standard.

  • Apps

When it comes to simple interfaces, and according to Gartner, apps will play an important role in delivering intelligence. Apps enhance the mobility and versatility side of the software available as they will allow real-time and simplified analysis.

  • Smart analytics start to emerge

Advances in graphical and intuitive modeling will mean a bigger role for data visualization in BI. As self-service analytics become more mainstream, tasks such as forecasting and prediction, will become more common and a lot less painful.

  • Analytics across the organization

In today’s BI landscape, we see a dilution in the roles each person plays within an organization. That is particularly true in the case of data analysis. Today’s data analyst is no longer the BI expert within the department. Data is now being analyzed and generated by your operations manager, supply chain executive or even salesperson. This will have implications on the way BI is utilized in 2015 and on the type of platforms we’ll see appear during the upcoming year.

  • Dominance of Mobile and the intersection with Business Intelligence

More and more companies will invest in mobile solutions and business intelligence software to get more out of their existing ERP systems. Businesses are leveraging mobile ERP not just for reports and dashboards, but for conducting key business processes. Real-time information needs are demanding more agile business applications.
This is an ‘anytime, anywhere’ Era. Allowing access to ERP data from any device, puts users in the driver’s seat and facilitates the interaction with technologies on their own terms while also empowering the occasional user.

  • Convergence of ERP and consumer interfaces

With the proliferation of social media platforms there is a growing need for platforms that offer a user experience close to those user-friendly interfaces that we see on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. However, until now, ERP systems have always maintained a more complex and less consumer-friendly look and feel. A new look at the user interfaces from ERP vendors such as DSPanel’s partner Epicor, all reveal that 2015 may be the year that enterprise software starts to close the usability gap with the social media giants.

  • Different technologies complement one big system and make it simple

When it comes to ERP systems there is an increasing demand for software which complements each other. Companies will create a large puzzle with items of software that suit their needs perfectly. More importantly, the choice of software is becoming crucial. The major software developers like to react quickly to current trends, providing swift interaction, and a wide variety of their products. This means the puzzle is going to get bigger in 2015.

Top 5 BI trends in 2013

Posted in Business Intelligence by TheLondonEconomic on September 6, 2013

There have been a number of changes to the business intelligence (BI) market in the UK in recent times, thanks to the fact that the mass market has displayed more of a demand for the technology. This has led to a number of trends in the ever-evolving sector, but what have been the most significant developments so far this year?

The second wave of Big Data

We have known about Big Data and the potential it has as a business tool for the past few years, but recent developments have meant that it is now seen differently.

While the attitude to Big Data used to simply be that it was there and should be harnessed by firms in some way for consumer and business analysis, BI users are now starting to look at the ways in which it can be used and how this can have an impact in decision making moving forward.

The sophistication of analytics

This is a derivative of people’s changing attitude on how Big Data can be analysed at the moment, with more companies now.

Dr Nabil Abu El Ata, president and chief executive officer of Accretive Technologies said that there will be a movement away from the simple correlation of basic statistics towards highly sophisticated algorithms for the analysing of what-if decisions.

He added that this will mean Big Data becomes a major tool in itself for the minimising of risk and complexity within business decisions.

Simplified Big Data Tools

The simplification of BI and Big Data technologies has become far more commonplace now as providers try to create something that allows for the common user, as opposed to just experts, to harness the power of Big Data.

Changes have focused on making technologies cheaper, more accessible and easier to use without previously obtained skills, with one expert saying this will become an even more common reality in times to come.

Innovation through competition

In 2012, the number of providers in the BI market grew time and again, which meant that the biggest BI firms (SAP Business Objects, IBM Cognos, Oracle OBIEE and MicroStrategy) lost their grip on the market.

However, this is a good thing for the BI market as a whole, as the increased competition and the arrival of more smaller companies has meant that there is a greater incentive for innovation and new advancements from firms looking to reach the top of the pile.

Cloud technology

The emergence of the cloud in recent times has meant that there is now a demand from businesses and end users to have access to technologies at any time and on any device.

This has meant a shift in demand for developers in the BI market, and has made for a dynamic marketplace that is more competitive than ever as firms try to meet the demands of users around the globe.

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.

How to avoid the pitfalls of BI

Posted in Business Intelligence by TheLondonEconomic on August 15, 2013

Business Intelligence (BI) technology has become more and more common in the world of fast-paced business as a way to make sure that owners, managers and other decision makers can carry out the correct course of action at all times by making use of all the data and analysis available to them, ensuring a degree of safety in what they decide to do.

However, while it has become something that is more and more prevalent throughout the world, the complex array of tools and platforms on offer has meant that there are often pitfalls that companies need to make sure they avoid, with some being common problems experienced time and again across the market.

Exercising best practice is always a way to ensure the greatest chance of success, but even the top companies make mistakes from time to time, so what are the most common errors seen in BI?

The assumption of user knowledge

Perhaps the most oft-seen is the failure to take people’s skills and technical nous into consideration when deciding what BI tools to use at a company.

It is often the decision makers, and not the actual users who are at fault in this case because they choose tools that they believe will be most effective without considering the skills of those who will be using them in the end, leading to problems down the line.

One of the easiest ways to sidestep this pitfall is to look at bringing a non-technical person into the tool selection committee, where they can give their views and air their concerns about the skill and time required to utilise certain technology, which will be valuable input in the time ahead.

Over reliance on a data warehouse

According to IT News Africa, one of the most common failings can be to assume that data warehouses will solve all problems that come to the fore in the field of BI.

It said that issues arise when it is assumed the data warehouse can iron out all of the creases that arrive, as well as believing that the availability of them will drive customers towards the required information.

In fact, many solutions do not need data warehouses, and can rely on integration and portal technology that allows data to sit where it is and be brought up as and when it is needed. Using data warehouses without actually taking time to find out if they are needed can add an extra expense without anything having actually been solved along the way.

Choosing tools which have no specific need

Another issue that can rear its head in the process of selecting tools is that some can be chosen almost for the sake of it, rather than with any specific need or use in mind.

Without a solid strategy and a mapped out list of requirements, the purchase of certain parts of BI software can represent one of the biggest expenditures businesses will face, as well as the lowest level of return on investment (ROI).

While companies will often recognise the fact that BI can have a positive effect on business, a failure to actually set out what they want from it before they start can end up leaving them spending a lot of money and actually receiving very little in return.