Business intelligence (BI) was first coined in 1958 by IBM researcher Hans Peter Luhn, using Webster’s dictionary definition of intelligence: ‘the ability to apprehend the interrelationships of presented facts in such a way to guide action towards a desired goal’. Simply put business intelligence is the use of raw data to improve business operations.
Almost 60 years later technologies and business strategies have improved tremendously and as such the potential of using the raw data available to develop business operations need to be utilised. Some current global trends in business intelligence show that businesses have not let this opportunities to improve operations pass them by.
The global trends in business intelligence reporting are:
- The usage of business intelligence has exploded. Based on a Computer Weekly poll on major enterprise IT investments for 2013 revealed that 78% of respondents had BI at the top of their priority list. Pringle & Company, a research firm, also approximates that the industry will almost double from $79 billion to $143 billion from 2012 to 2016.
- Access alone to data alone doesn’t help a company perform better. Therefore next generation dashboards are keeping workers focused on the right information. Some key features of these dashboards are in-memory processing, the ability for users to mash together data and even assemble their own KPI’s.
- Another trend now is that the adoption rate is also increasing. People that had negative feelings about business intelligence are finally seeing the benefits of day-to-day fact-based decision making. And new technology is also making the traditional BI tools much easier to understand and so adoption increases.
- Mobile BI is also becoming a must. The move towards mobile BI initiatives is pressurised by the needs of businesses to improve efficiency, increase employee productivity (spend less time looking for information), increase decision-making speed and improve customer satisfaction.
Adam Binnie, global vice president and general manager of the Business Intelligence Solutions division at SAP once said that: ‘While we talk a lot about the data and the impact of that data, at the end of the day … analytics is about giving people information so that those people can have an impact on the success of an organization’. Which is exactly what I would say sums up business intelligence reporting.
Although you could gain even more out of business intelligence reporting by putting the best possible data in front of the finest analysts to make your business one of the best.