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BI Predictions for 2011

by F. Shan McAdoo, http://www.riverlogic.comTuesday, January 04, 2011

I’ve been thinking about what developments we can expect in the business intelligence (BI) community in 2011. I’ve compiled a list of trends, pay no attention to order, that I believe we’ll see gain traction next year.

IT gets on board. IT departments have considered business intelligence a red-headed step child for far too long. IT managers, with a need to just get things done, will change their opinion about BI this coming year. The technology often considered weird and nonconforming will now seem necessary and cutting-edge. Gartner Research and AMR have reported that it’s no longer about cost savings and efficiency for IT departments.  IT departments are going to have to embrace BI as a way of directly contributing to their business. IT managers will have to seriously consider what business problems their organization is trying to solve and help create a prioritized roadmap for the enterprise, one that is aligned with strategic business goals to deliver measurable results.

Predictive modeling pays dividends.  As business intelligence evolves, models that drive BI solutions are becoming better understood. A better understanding of business modeling in combination with newer financial analysis techniques will result in enhanced models that identify business pains by line of business and what can be done to solve them, as well as how much of a BI strategy exists for an organization.  Businesses no longer want to feel their way to a good decision.  They want tools that will provide a forward-looking view. Also, it’s not going to be the big ERP vendors providing the best practices solutions here.  Their solutions’ business modeling capabilities are functionally light. Companies should look to niche vendors providing integrated solutions with predictive modeling and analysis capabilities.

BI technology yields enterprise solutions. To enhance business performance in 2011, businesses should get serious about replacing error-prone spreadsheets and adding value to existing enterprise business intelligence software through integrated business modeling and analytics. Integrated modeling and analytics capabilities will make it possible to predict future scenarios, allowing managers to organize plans and deploy resources to seize opportunities, neutralize threats, and mitigate risks. Companies can get more ROI out of their BI systems through emerging technologies that are information-centric and collaborative, and IT cost centers can become a new source of revenue.

The Cloud finds its place in BI. Business Intelligence involves lots of highly sensitive data mixed in with knowledge and context. Streaming services into an enterprise as part of a solution will be become more widespread in 2011. This will most likely take shape in the form of hybrid solutions that have proprietary components served internally and with less sensitive data and knowledge coming in as a service. Think of lift calculation data being brought into an Integrated Business Planning solution from an outside provider.  In 2011, the cloud finds its place in the BI space.

New vendors appear in the BI space. Business Intelligence is an interesting blend of IT and process and knowledge consulting.  BI will continue to be a growth frontier and you will see activity by known megavendors and by some new vendors. IDC reported early in 2010 that BI tools were finally entering the mainstream market, now that market will just continue to grow. There will be new technologies which will make BI more automated, pervasive, and unified.

About the Author

F. Shan McAdoo, Vice President of Technical Development Mr. McAdoo has extensive experience in technology project management and coordinates all technology development projects for River Logic. Prior to joining River Logic, Mr. McAdoo held several senior level positions at leading software companies, including Oracle Corporation. Mr. McAdoo earned his Masters of Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts in 1991.

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