The realm of Business Intelligence (BI) is dynamically evolving, serving as a pivotal force for organizations aiming to leverage the potential of data for gaining insights, streamlining processes, and fostering growth. With the surge in the volume and diversity of data sources, BI professionals and users encounter both challenges and opportunities. Let’s delve into the paramount BI trends anticipated for 2024 and beyond, shedding light on their distinctive attributes and the advantages they bring in fostering informed decisions and actionable insights.
1. Augmented Analytics
Augmented analytics is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate and enhance data analysis and insight generation. It enables users to interact with data in natural language, get personalized recommendations, and discover hidden patterns and anomalies. According to Gartner, by 2024, 75% of organizations will shift from piloting to operationalizing AI, driving a 5x increase in streaming data and analytics infrastructures 1.
2. Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics
While predictive analytics uses historical data and statistical models to forecast future outcomes and trends, prescriptive analytics goes a step further and suggests the best course of action to achieve a desired goal or optimize a situation. With Predictive and prescriptive analytics, organizations can anticipate customer behavior, demand, risks, and opportunities, and make informed decisions backed up by data.
3. Collaborative BI
Collaborative BI is the integration of BI tools with social media and collaboration platforms to facilitate data sharing and communication among users. Collaborative BI helps teams work together more effectively, exchange feedback, and leverage collective intelligence. It further enables users to embed data visualizations and reports into web pages, blogs, and applications, creating engaging and interactive content. According to a survey by Dresner Advisory Services, 60% of respondents indicated that collaborative BI is either critical or very important to their organization 3.
4. Data Governance and Data Security:
Data governance and security are essential for ensuring the quality, reliability, and trustworthiness of data in business intelligence (BI). Data governance involves managing and enforcing policies, standards, and procedures for data management and usage, while data security involves protecting data from unauthorized access, use, modification, disclosure, or destruction. Integrating data governance and security with BI requires collaboration, coordination, and communication among various stakeholders, as well as choosing and deploying the appropriate tools and technologies. As data continues to grow, and with evolving laws, the importance of solid data governance and security becomes even more critical to safeguard against data breaches.
5. Self-service BI
Self-service BI enables users to create and customize their own reports, dashboards, and visualizations, without requiring technical assistance or coding. Such business intelligence tools are designed to be user-friendly, intuitive, and flexible, allowing users to connect to various data sources, perform data transformations, and apply analytical functions. Self-service analytics can help users gain faster and deeper insights, while reducing the workload and costs of IT and data teams.
6. Data Literacy
Data literacy is the ability to read, work with, analyze, and communicate with data. Its a crucial skill for anyone who wants to leverage data for business or personal purposes. It not only involves technical competencies, such as data visualization and manipulation, but also critical thinking, problem-solving, and storytelling. Data literacy also requires an understanding of data governance, ethics, and quality. According to a report by Qlik, only 24% of the global workforce is confident in their data literacy skills, and only 38% of organizations provide data literacy training to their employees 6.
7. Emerging Technologies
Emerging technologies are new or developing technologies that have the potential to disrupt or transform the BI landscape. Some of the emerging technologies that are influencing BI are:
Natural Language Processing (NLP): It is the ability of machines to understand and generate natural language, such as speech and text. NLP or natural language processing enables users to query data using conversational language, and get insights in the form of narratives or summaries.
Emotional intelligence in BI: Emotional intelligence in BI is the ability of machines to recognize and respond to human emotions. Analyzing customer sentiment through social media, reviews, and even facial expressions will allow businesses to go beyond traditional metrics and understand the emotional drivers of behavior. This can inform targeted marketing campaigns, improve customer service, and personalize the entire customer journey.
Sustainability-focused BI: It is the use of business intelligence to measure and improve the environmental, social, and economic impact of organizations. It helps organizations align their strategies with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and report on their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance.
Blockchain-powered BI: Blockchain-powered BI is the use of blockchain technology to enhance the security, transparency, and trustworthiness of data and analytics. This latest BI trend allows users to verify the provenance, quality, and integrity of data, and share data across a distributed network without intermediaries
Biometric BI: The latest happening in the world of business intelligence is the use of biometric data, such as fingerprints, facial recognition, and voice recognition, to identify and authenticate users, and provide personalized and secure data access and insights.
AR/VR-powered BI: AR/VR-powered BI is a take on modern BI where augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies is used to create immersive and interactive data experiences. This enables users to visualize and explore data in three-dimensional and realistic environments, and collaborate with others in real time.
8. Edge Computing and Data in Motion
Edge computing is the practice of processing data at or near the source of data generation, rather than in centralized servers or clouds. Edge computing reduces the latency, bandwidth, and cost of data transmission, and enables real-time and offline data analysis.
Data in motion is the data that is being transferred or streamed from one location to another, such as from edge devices to clouds or data centres. It requires special BI tools and techniques to capture, process, and analyze data while it is in transit, and to ensure its quality, security, and compliance. According to the report, the global edge computing market size was valued at USD 11.24 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.9% from 2023 to 2030
9. Embedded Analytics
Embedded analytics is the integration of analytics capabilities and content within business applications, such as CRM, ERP, or e-commerce platforms. Embedded analytics allows users to access and interact with data and insights within their existing workflows, without switching to separate BI tools. It also enhances the value proposition and user experience of business applications, by providing relevant, contextual, and actionable information.
In addition to the above-mentioned trends, there are some other developments and innovations that are shaping the future of Business Intelligence, such as:
Cloud-native BI: Cloud-native BI is the design and delivery of BI solutions that are optimized for cloud environments, leveraging cloud services, architectures, and technologies. This enables faster, scalable, and cost-effective BI deployments, and supports hybrid and multi-cloud scenarios.
DataOps: DataOps is a set of practices and tools that aim to improve the quality, speed, and reliability of data pipelines, from data ingestion and integration to data delivery and consumption. DataOps applies the principles of agile development, DevOps, and lean manufacturing to data management and analytics.
Data storytelling: It is the art and science of communicating data insights to a specific audience, using a combination of data, visuals, and narratives. Data storytelling helps users understand, remember, and act on data, by appealing to their emotions, logic, and curiosity.
Explainable AI: Explainable AI is the ability of AI systems to provide transparent and understandable explanations of how they work, why they make certain decisions, and what their limitations are. Explainable AI helps users trust, monitor, and control AI outputs, and comply with ethical and regulatory standards.
Business Intelligence is a dynamic and evolving field that offers many opportunities and challenges for organizations in 2024 and beyond. By adopting the latest BI trends and emerging technologies businesses can gain a competitive edge, improve decision making, enhance customer experience, drive innovation and enhance their Business Intelligence services
However, to fully leverage the potential of these trends, businesses also need to address the issues of data quality, security, governance, ethics, and integration. Moreover, they need to foster a data-driven culture that empowers all employees to access, analyze, and communicate with data effectively.