Gartner Reports Popularity of Cloud Based Business Intelligence

This year’s Gartner report on Hype Cycle of Business Intelligence in comparison with last year’s cycle has led to the conclusion about the progressive development of trends in Cloud based Business Intelligence (BI). This hype cycle had added Mobile BI along with the data management architecture and information capabilities framework. However, both the new hype cycles included in the report, mirrored the same struggle of businesses with analytics and BI. The conflict lay in the effective management of data and in creating consistency across the enterprise.

We are still in the early stage of implementing Cloud based BI and analytics. A survey by Saugatuck Technology indicated that both Cloud based BI and analytics will be two of the fastest growing business management solutions in the coming years.  The reason for this pervasive growth is that BI helps in providing data driven clarity and predictions of market trends. Both BI and analytics are cumbersome, formidable and expensive, limiting its implementation to a select few businesses. The report’s author, Brian Dooley stated that Cloud had opened opportunities enabling these solutions within organizations.  Cloud based BI successfully manages complexities like assembling of analytical components, data normalization through ETL (Extract, Transform, Load), data source management and designing of the analytical solution.

Andreas Bitterer, Research Vice President and Lead Analyst for this year’s Business Intelligence hype cycle, detected the growing interest amidst various businesses in the information capabilities framework concept. Most businesses have realized the importance of BI, however, they have failed to develop an infrastructure that can deal with the semantics. Most of these companies failed to define even simple attributes like “customer,” “product,” and “supplier,” making it difficult for the measurement and reporting of the financial metrics.

He continued to comment on the difficulties faced by organizations in understanding how data is beneficial to them. There also exists the underlying pressure of consistency, relevancy and governance. There is a need for clarity, to be able to define the terms that relate to the BI platform. Most businesses are not aware of where to start especially when the problem is unsolvable with just throwing technology at it. To this, organizations need governance that also has the possibility of bringing forth resistance among independent departments who prefer working in a particular way.

Trends in BI

Gartner has identified information, social, mobile and Cloud to be the four most important trends of this year. These are not a fresh concept, but for most experts, the biggest challenge is in facing with the regularity issues. Another factor that has significantly challenged is the rate at which the BI and analytics terrain is evolving.

For example, information has been the constant component of the BI and analytical programs. However, the information has ceased to be just informational assets on transaction, sales, or products. It now also refers to the new sources of information garnered from seismic, sensor and meteorological data. To sum up, as Bitterer said, the data is now not only about the database, but also about other data.

Numbers are still low on those who deploy both social and Cloud technologies. Businesses are still vary of the Cloud based BI because of factors like trust, legal and technological issues. There are still others who question the “sentiment analysis” on social media.

Vendors are rolling out software with “mobile first” initiative. These mobile devices have been providing dashboards that provide the necessary information at accurate time and place.

Dooley predicts that all Cloud-based software will experience substantial popularity in the near future. While the pace of growth of the early leaders, like the CRM, customer service and collaboration has been considerably slowing due to its increased adoption rates, BI and analytics will only accelerate. Cloud based BI has some definite advantages like low upfront costs, rapid deployment, cheap scalability options, storage, and seamless accessibility, etc. There are also specific benefits of Cloud-BI that are unavailable in the BI applications, like support of wider initiatives, which includes one-time analyses, broadened usage base, agile deployment, etc. The only downside remains the security issues.

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