Business Intelligence.

Trends for 2013.

What's in store for BI in 2013?

Business intelligence is in the midst of a profound change with terms like big data, mobile BI, and cloud BI leading the charge. These terms are getting a lot of attention, and are going to continue to change how we approach business intelligence in 2013 and beyond.

Let's take a closer look at the top 3 business intelligence trends for 2013, and how they will affect your business.

3. Cloud BI

Cloud BI is number three on this list because it faces the most difficult path to widespread adoption. For those of us in the know, cloud-computing is a technology with virtually limitless potential. However, according to a recent study by Citrix, the most significant barrier to cloud adoption is knowledge of how cloud-computing works. For instance, 95% of respondents claimed they had never used the cloud when they had used the cloud for activities like banking, social networking, and shopping. This indicates two things: 1) we need to do more to educate folks about cloud-computing, and 2) people are inherently trusting of the cloud (otherwise, who would do their banking online). It's far from all doom and gloom for the cloud - in fact, a 2012 study by Google found that many leading CFOs view cloud adoption as inevitable and as a value-added proposition.


If you're reading this post, chances are you are already sold on the benefits of cloud BI. As with any new technology, the main challenge to adoption is education. It's apparent that many folks already take the cloud for granted in their personal life, now it's up to us to explain how the cloud can benefit their business.


Cloud BI will overcome many of the barriers noted above and will be poised to go mainstream in 2014.

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2. Big Data

If the term "big data" still has you scratching your head, you're not alone. Big data emerged as one of the hottest business intelligence terms in 2012, and with that heat comes more than a fair share of hype. The problem with hype is that it often confuses what we're talking about. If you consult Wikipedia, you'll find that big data is a term used to describe data sets that are beyond the scope of traditional collection and analysis methods. Basically, every minute of every day your business is generating so much data, you need to rethink how you manage that data. The problem, as Stephen Few points out, is that big data doesn't necessarily translate into "big information".


Stratigent's Bill Bruno recently posted an interesting article that addresses the hype surrounding big data, namely the risk of buying into the hype without actually generating actionable insight. The data you collect may be growing in size, but don't forget that the purpose for that data remains the same.


Big data isn't going anywhere - that much is clear from the amount of attention it is receiving right now. We might be going against the grain here, but we think big data is due for a reality check in 2013 (as Few and Bruno allude). Once big data is brought back to earth, however, expect it to occupy an important place in future BI implementations.

1. Mobile BI

The appetite for mobile BI is clearly growing, and will continue to grow within the business intelligence community in 2013. According to a recent study published by Dresner Advisory Services, many users indicate aggressive plans for adopting mobile BI through 2015. The reason behind this is really quite simple - we live in an increasingly mobile world. Network connectivity is becoming ubiquitous and, according to a recent World Bank study over three-quarters of the world's population has now has access to a mobile phone, and that number is going to continue to grow in the year to come.


Like it's cousin cloud BI, mobile BI faces a few obstacles to widespread adoption (security, implementation). Unlike cloud BI, mobile BI has the advantage of being easily understood within the context of mobile apps and mobile browsing.


Mobile BI will continue to generate momentum and be adopted by more enterprises throughout 2013.

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