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BI And The Future
Looking Beyond The Trends

by Lyndsay Wise, President, WiseAnalyticsMonday, December 22, 2008

It is quite common for industry experts and thought leaders to publish yearly trends or to identify how different events within business intelligence will affect the market in the near future.  Although identifying yearly trends is very valuable, the goal of this article is to go one step further and identify how some trends within BI will affect organizations, or alternatively how organizations can take advantage of shifts in vendor positioning and software offerings.

Because the market is so diverse, with new offerings adding to an already saturated market, it becomes more difficult to sift through available options.  Also, because of the marketing initiatives associated with these solutions, identifying the offerings that will best meet the organization’s business and technical requirements is not always easy.

Last year, the focus was mainly on how the various acquisitions and consolidations would affect the market and BI solution offerings.  Now that the market has recovered from those uncertainties, new challenges are arising due to the difficult financial times.  Consequently, whether organizations will choose to increase, continue, or initiate BI projects in the coming year remains to be seen. Organizations may either feel that in order to improve performance it will become essential to invest in some sort of business intelligence or performance management tool, or organizations may choose to desist from new initiatives and make do with what they currently have.

Either way, understanding what is going on in the world of BI might help organizations decide what side of the fence they are on regarding starting new projects or enhancing those already in place.  After all, if the bottom line is what is most important, then finding low-cost alternatives may help organizations lean towards the side of initiating a BI project despite the recent economic downturn.

Although many things happened in 2008, here are some recurring themes that have helped shift BI slightly towards a more diverse marketplace, putting additional power into the hands of end users:

The Expansion Of Data Warehousing Appliances

As organizations become aware of the various components to business intelligence that include the ability to handle large amounts of data, they also look for alternatives to full BI offerings that may not be able to deliver terabytes or pedabytes of storage or that may not deliver analytics at the speed required to meet business service level agreements.  In addition to vendors like Teradata expanding their solution offerings to deliver alternative data warehousing products at lower price points, other vendors have developed more of a service approach such as Kognitio, offering their data warehousing as a service.

With cloud computing on the rise, and offerings such as Cloud9 Analytics increasing the diversity available within the data warehousing market, the use of data warehousing within a software- as-a-service model will continue to increase. On-demand offerings may become more advantageous to organizations as there is little investment required for internal resources regarding installation and maintenance.  Additionally, access to this type of service is based on subscription as opposed to initial purchase and continual maintenance, licensing, etc. The use of data warehousing as a separate entity will continue to grow as organizations move towards operational analytics and look for plug and play alternatives to traditional data warehousing.

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