Break Into Business Intelligence, Without the Risk

Jun 13, 2016 | by Peter Shashkin

The promise of big data is, well, big! With terabytes of intelligence at their disposal, organizations can make faster, more accurate decisions, monitor trends, and even predict the future.

The problem is that many of these big data projects will fail to convert to knowledge and business value. In fact, 85% of Fortune 500 organizations will fail to exploit big data for competitive advantage, claims data solutions provider, Informatica, in this infographic.

Generating a return on data requires “the right tools, rigorous processes and smart people who can understand the underlying patterns…” says Informatica.

But Informatica’s research belies the fact that this is not the case in most organizations. Each workday knowledge workers spend 60% of their time attempting to find and manage data while 50% of senior executives find accessing the right data problematic.

One of the main problems is information silos.

Sales data resides in one system, accounts receivable data in another, and so on. Seeing the interdependencies of this siloed data using conventional systems like databases and spreadsheets is impossible. Another problem is the sheer volume of data. What data do you really need? What tools do you need to put in place to access it quickly?

How can budget-conscious organizations break into business intelligence (BI) without overhauling their IT systems? All predictions point to the rise of the democratization of BI for the masses.

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Is BI on the Verge of Democratization?

In its piece, 10 Business Intelligence Trends for 2016, PC Magazine notes a big shift towards self-service analytics. Quoting Gartner, the article notes that 2015 saw a big BI market shift from an “IT-led, system-of-record reporting to pervasive, business-led, self-service analytics. Organizations will continue to transition to easy-to-use, fast, agile, and trusted modern BI&A platforms deployed across the enterprise to create business value from deeper insights into diverse data sources."

Much of this will be made possible thanks an uptick in cloud-based BI.

IDC agrees and projects that 2016 spending on cloud-based BI will grow 4.5x faster than spending on on-premise systems, while self-service and data preparation tools will grow more than twice as fast as traditional “IT-controlled tools.”

The Cloud is Driving the Evolution of Self-Service BI

What difference does the cloud make? While many cloud-based BI tools don’t yet offer the breadth of traditional BI systems, they are a tempting proposition thanks to the low cost (free to $10 per month), quick to deploy with no infrastructure needed, user-friendly visualization tools and interface, rapid feature addition, and more.

Many of the limitations of existing cloud BI tools, such as an inability to integrate cloud reporting to your enterprise portal, the need for large amounts of bandwidth to journey your big data from your location to the cloud, internal dataset size limitations, and limited mapping capabilities for enhanced visualization – will soon be resolved. And for many organizations an out-of-the-box cloud solution can reap immediate benefits, especially if you’re already moving your data infrastructure to the cloud.