Last week I attended the Boulder BI Brain Trust’s (BBBT) Incubator session with presentations from both Predixion Software and StatsMix. Predixion provides predictive analytics within a Microsoft Excel framework and StatsMix combines data consolidation with high-level dashboards/metrics management. Although different solutions with disparate end goals, their overall purpose is quite similar – both aim to disrupt or change the way offerings are provided to customers. By bringing easy access to targeted analytics and data, each solution provider would like to open the playing field to a broader set of users. Targeted to the small and mid-sized organization, the reality is that each set of technology actually focuses on answering business questions through increased visibility and data insight as opposed to a specific market.
When looking at this on a deeper level, it becomes obvious that BI requires an overhaul. Why? Because even though technology and the diversity of delivery have lessened the barriers to entry, the way in which companies apply BI remains the same. For instance, the reason predictive analytics built-in to Microsoft Excel can be a disruptive technology is because its use expands the type of user that can access predictive models. Predixion users can apply predictive analytics even though they may not have the statistical background to create their own algorithms or data models. Although a potential risk to the way information is rationalized, the reality is that until BI becomes mainstream and accessed by anyone that makes day-to-day decisions, its use is limited.
Due to the importance of integrating valid data and making informed decisions regularly, leaving BI in the hands of a few, or limiting analytics due to complexity will keep BI applicability on the sidelines. Solutions like StatsMix and Predixion are slowly enabling one company at a time broader access to data and analytics that will lead to actual BI results. Unfortunately, the ROI of BI within many companies is still relegated to time and cost savings. Until organizations can tie their BI use to increases in performance, more profit, and better competitive advantage, new entrants with niche BI applications will have ample opportunity to change the way BI is used within companies.
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 email@example.com. And please visit Lyndsay's blog at myblog.wiseanalytics.com.
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