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Top 10 BI And Data Visualization Trends For 2010
Part 2

by Lyndsay Wise, President, WiseAnalyticsMonday, February 22, 2010

Part 1 of this article discussed general business intelligence and data visualization trends including the increased focus on end-user-driven solutions, in-memory analytics, operational BI, regulatory compliance, and embedded analytics.  The second part continues the analysis of trends for 2010 by looking at the growth of the data warehousing market, advanced data visualization, the impact of social networking on BI, the increasing use of varied forms of data within BI applications, and the renewed focus on fraud detection and security.

6. Data warehouse/appliance market

As the business intelligence market matures, best-of-breed BI components are starting to expand and become their own market space.  Nowhere is this more prevalent than with data warehousing.  Best-of-breed solutions have been carving their niche in the analytics space by providing appliances and targeted solutions that promise to give companies a greater value proposition than was ever thought possible when looking at a data warehouse.  Within the past year, data warehousing solutions have proven their value because of their high levels of performance, ability to incorporate analytics, their integration within larger BI platforms, and the ability to be applied outside of business intelligence as well as within larger data-management initiatives.

This year will see the continuation of the popularity of data warehousing and the expansion of appliance use.  As space and processing speed become less expensive, vendors can give companies more powerful offerings with lower price points.  This helps expand the use of data warehouses within organizations, both by the number of companies adopting data warehouses and by the types of applications that can be used.  Aside from more partnerships to provide complete BI solutions, the market will see more of a push to data warehouse expansion towards becoming a key support factor for full data management within businesses.

7. Geo-spatial and expansion of data visualization

Data visualization offerings keep expanding.  In addition to the broader usability with newer solution offerings, the inclusion of geo-spatial analysis helps bring analytics to the next level.  For organizations looking at product, geographical or customer data, the ability to identify trends by using maps can help recognize trends more quickly.  Organizations no longer have to deduce what correlations exist based on geography because they can now see it.  However, despite the ability to integrate geo-spatial information within dashboard use, it is only recently that companies have started to integrate this type of functionality within their overall dashboard use.

As dashboards continue to improve their visualization capabilities, the integration of various forms of visualizations – maps, charts, graphs, video, etc. – will become a common use among organizations looking to get a full picture of their supply chain, customer base and overall business operations.  Solution providers will continue to improve their visualization capabilities by taking advantage of interactive features with the goal of improving the end-user experience.

8. Social media for BI

Taking interactivity and advanced visualization one step further, solution providers are slowly integrating social networking functions into their solutions.  Customers are beginning to expect rich interactive experiences that mimic their internet and general computer use.  Because of the ability to create powerful interactions and extend overall ease of use, more solution providers will be focusing on developing solutions that mimic social media and Web 2.0 interactions.  By doing so, the role of business intelligence will become more popular and broadly applied within organizations because of the assumed ease of use.

Some vendors have already started working towards creating solutions that are experience driven and that still provide a high level of analytics and reporting functionality.  This year will continue to see more vendors move towards this model by providing portal-driven applications that include collaboration and a high level of interactivity while still providing essential BI functionality.

9. External and internal data, structured and unstructured

The popularity and use of unstructured data continually ebbs and flows.  Because of a slow economy, many organizations put projects on hold that included the integration of unstructured data within their BI projects.  As business and competitive pressures mount and as organizations are required to get the broadest possible business perspective to identify issues and opportunities in a timely fashion, the integration of varied data sources becomes essential. 

Organizations are starting to integrate multiple forms of information and data sources to get a full operational view.  Whether this is customer sentiment analysis from CRM solutions and online reviews, or competitive analyses, the reality is that in order to stay ahead of competitors, companies will be required to integrate various information sources to get additional value from their data.  Vendors are beginning to develop business-focused applications that take these requirements into account and offer customers ready-made solutions that target business issues being faced by companies within different vertical markets.  The integration of internal and external-based data from both structured and unstructured sources becomes essential to more advanced uses of BI and general analytics.

10. Fraud and security

As with all IT initiatives, the ability to maintain a secure environment cannot be overlooked.  Because of the increasing coverage in the media of fraudulent activities, the ability to detect fraud and to maintain a secure environment is an area constantly at the forefront of IT management.  In addition to compliance and the ability to audit business transactions, organizations are required to make sure that information within the firewall does not become compromised.  As threats against IT security continue to increase, organizations will be more committed to tightly managing their environments and the information within them.  Solution providers have already done a good job ensuring security whether onsite or on demand, however, because of increased risk, organizations and vendors alike will focus more on maintaining high levels of security within their information centers, especially because of all of the new forms of data being integrated into analytics platforms.

Final thoughts

Obviously more trends exist in any given industry; within the business intelligence space, constant improvements in technology means the trends will constantly shift.  Depending upon market and economic factors, organizations may not adopt advanced vendor offerings.  In other cases, early adopters look to BI for inspiration on ways to make their business push ahead of the competition.  Overall, 2009 saw many announcements within back-end databases and front-end visualizations.  Add to this, demands for low-cost solutions with quick implementation times, and solution providers will feel continuous pressure to improve upon their current offerings throughout 2010.

About the Author

Lyndsay Wise is an industry analyst for business intelligence. For over seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay is the channel expert for BI for the Mid-Market at B-eye-Network and conducts research of leading technologies, products and vendors in business intelligence, marketing performance management, master data management, and unstructured data. She can be reached at lwise@wiseanalytics.com. And please visit Lyndsay's blog at myblog.wiseanalytics.com.

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