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BI Trends In 2010
Dashboard Insight Asks BI Professionals What We Can Expect To See This Year

by Robert Hunter, Dashboard InsightThursday, February 18, 2010

With February designated as "trends month" here at Dashboard Insight, we thought we'd take a look at what industry analysts are seeing in terms of trends for 2010.  So, as we've done before,  we contacted a number of business professionals and ask them to give us a one-paragraph answer to the question:  "Where do you see BI trends going in 2010?"

The answers are below, listed in random order.  You'll note some get close to the line of "product promotion," but they don't cross it!  So to get more information, we've also provided links.  Please check them out.

Where do you see BI trends going in 2010?

The futurist Thornton May believes BI is at an inflection point – that there will be a rapid escalation in applying analytics of all flavors, such as segmentation and correlation analysis.  I agree.  Of course there are the obvious hyped trends such as cloud computing, visualization and near-real-time reporting.  But the trends that will make a difference will be business analytics, text analytics, customer management, risk management, fraud detection, data integration, and performance management methods (such as strategy maps, scorecards, customer profitability analysis, and rule-based decisions).  Why analytics, especially predictive analytics, will increase in interest is because volatility is now the new normal.  Long-term planning and annual budgets are out of favor.  Things change too quickly.  Unexpected events like H1N1 flu and the credit crisis require agility.  A deeper understanding of customer behavior, pattern recognition, quick reactions - and ideally, proactive decision making - is becoming mission critical.

Gary Cokins
Manager of Worldwide Performance Management Solutions, SAS

Where do you see BI trends going in 2010?

This is the year, and certainly it is the decade, to realize the vision of intelligence as something that is truly woven seamlessly into business applications and processes.  Our recent ride up and down the TSX Composite Index has left us all with a healthy appetite for fact-based, rational decision making.  Our culture and our workforce are much more technically sophisticated than a decade ago, so things like business process optimization will gain traction - as will the broader deployment of advanced analytics (to the mid-market,  generally) - in the service of business effectiveness and performance improvement.  Another important trend will be an increased demand for collaborative decision-support workflows that satisfy an increasingly distributed and flatter, front-line decision-making capacity.  While this demands an approach that balances both the social and the technical complexities, truly “seamless integration” of business intelligence within the enterprise is now also cost-effective for the mid-market.  This will be an exciting year for Canada and it's an Olympian start to a remarkable decade to be working in business intelligence.

Gary Saarenvirta
Chief Executive Officer, Makeplain Corp.

Where do you see BI trends going in 2010?

The BI trend this year is a renewed emphasis on driving KPIs and operational performance throughout the entire organization.  This differs from traditional or analytical BI, where only a limited number of experts per organization shape, model and report on their findings.  That’s important but it’s not the trend.  Instead, the survivors have learned that only a few KPIs really matter for each job; that you need to be aware of them all the time; and that the way to do that "en masse" is with a profoundly simple dashboard or scorecard.  That’s why dashboard vendors with a philosophy towards data visibility grew throughout the recession.  Today’s world is more instrumented, and the industry is trending towards data visibility as the key to capitalizing on data investments and empowering front-line decision makers.  Placing just a few KPIs on every desktop will go a long way towards avoiding the next recession.

Allan Wille
CEO, Klipfolio 

Where do you see BI trends going in 2010?

Business intelligence in 2010 will be all about relevancy.  Collaboration tools will allow users to attach business context to existing intelligence assets, improving the ability of less-experienced users to search, find, understand and apply information relevant to their decisions.  The ease-of-use principles of Web 2.0 will drive improvements that enable meaningful user-generated intelligence content that adapts quickly to changes in the business environment, thus being more relevant for current decisions.  The result will be explosive growth in the size and vibrancy of the intelligence community within enterprises that adopt this blending of BI and collaboration - as users engage in self-organized creation, conversation, modification and re-distribution of information assets.  All these activities will be woven into the searchable metadata on the intelligence assets so that the links between information assets, the uses/usage of assets, and the conversations around assets will together create intelligence value eclipsing that of the isolated asset itself.

Scott Davis
CEO, Lyzasoft, Inc.

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