Business intelligence is dead; long live analytics!
The Gartner Business Intelligence and Analytics Summit is a major annual event, drawing upwards of 2,000 people every year. Several people from Klipfolio attended the most recent meeting held in Grapevine, Texas, just outside Dallas.
Here are the top lessons and trends you need to know about as the business intelligence market evolves in the face of a massive number of changes.
1. The data has left the building
Data no longer needs to be warehoused; it can live in the cloud. The numbers are in, and more than half of the data being used today in analytic applications is coming from hundreds of cloud applications and data sources.
And that has huge implications for how the data is controlled, used and accessed. And who’s involved in connecting to this data (see citizen data scientists below).
Expect this trend to accelerate, leaving the data in the cloud , with data preparation being done in-line (in many cases transparently) – a process driven by the business user.
2. The business intelligence competency centre is toast
Not too long ago, Gartner argued for the establishment of a business intelligence competency centre (BICC) to develop and focus resources needed to successfully manage business intelligence projects.
But BICCs are not delivering on their promise. In fact, with the rapid adoption of cloud vendors and cloud-based data sources, both of them lower cost options that are truly self-serve and managed in a decentralized fashion, BICCs are being dismantled more quickly than they were set up.
As was reported by Alan Duncan on the Gartner Blog Network in March, “the world of business intelligence has drastically changed. Big data brought a whole new level of science to the process, and a whole new set of technologies, and a whole new set of skills.
“Often, the big data team, because of its different way of working, isn’t even part of the BICC. At the same time, all straightforward BI activities, like dashboards, diagnostic analytics, etc. have gone self-service. This put the traditional, centralized BICC in a squeeze.”
3. The rise of the citizen data scientist
As straightforward BI activities go self-service, we are witnessing the rise of what is being called the citizen data scientist. Suddenly, everyone’s an analyst - for better or for worse.
Just as technology has allowed individuals – most without any formal training – to become publishers of successful blogs as ‘citizen journalists’, threatening the existence of old-school publications, so the decentralization of information and access to new tools is allowing individuals or small firms to start manipulating and analyzing their own data.
4. Keep your eye on the Internet of Things
There are roughly 25 billion devices connected to the Internet today, or about 3.5 for every person on earth. The number is growing astronomically, at a compound annual growth rate (right now) of close to 40%.
Those connected devices collect mountains of data.
It’s safe to say, we have not yet figured out what to do with it all. But it is valuable. And as we figure out what to use it for, and how to analyze and understand it, new trends will emerge.
By 2020, Gartner predicts that more than half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element of the IoT. Analytics are essential to the success of IoT systems
And those trends will surely change once again what is meant by the term ‘business intelligence.’
The Gartner BI Summit in pictures
Sometimes a picture just captures it. We’ve included some visuals that rounded out the conference - including from Guy Kawasaki’s closing keynote.