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For most people involved with business intelligence (BI), these are exciting times. Using BI to improve business processes continues to motivate organizations to invest in BI. The focus on BI also empowers business analytics and can be rented in the cloud computing model of accessing software. New technologies are adding dimensions to BI and creating both excitement and confusion for enterprises implementing them. We offer a variety of accomplished research that can help organizations overcome the hype and understand how to use these technologies to improve business decision-making, and we’re planning new research in 2012 on these topics.

Big data continues to be one of hottest topics in the market. Every vendor wants to claim it has a solution for managing it. Multiple approaches exist to tackle the proliferation of huge volumes of data at accelerated paces, which we addressed recently in our Big Data benchmark research. We also see the pace of business forcing organizations to analyze data more frequently; one-fourth of research participants now analyze data hourly or even more often. In 2012 we will continue our research by exploring specific vendor offerings in big-data analytics. We’ll also be conducting new benchmark research into operational intelligence to explore how streaming data and event-based data impact organizations.

The march to add mobile capabilities across smart-phones and tablets to business intelligence is becoming a stampede. Nearly every vendor I cover has added such capabilities or significantly enhanced those it already has. However, questions remain on the best ways to utilize mobile capabilities and which parts of the organization really need them. Our upcoming Next-Generation BI benchmark research will look at how businesses are utilizing mobile BI or intend to. In addition, it will examine how collaborative technologies are influencing BI processes and organizational decision-making. We’ve already seen the consumerization of collaborative BI. This research will explore how well businesses understand the intersection of collaborative technologies and social media with BI. Vendors such as QlikTechTibco Spotfire and Yellowfin recently enhanced their products with collaborative capabilities joining others like IBM and SAP who have advanced in collaboration capabilities with BI. As you consider your organization’s requirements, the best practices identified in this research will help you plan to incorporate these capabilities into your business processes.

We also continue to explore the role of analytics, closely associated with BI. Next week we will share the results of our Predictive Analytics benchmark research Our published business analytics research shows only one-quarter of organizations using planning and forecasting and only 13 percent using predictive analytics. Yet nearly 80 percent said both of these capabilities are important or very important. Organizations need to address that gap to enhance their business decision-making abilities.

Because business intelligence also is closely entwined with information management, I encourage you to review our Information Management research agenda as well. Almost one-third of organizations have more than 10 sources of data they have to integrate, and more than two-thirds spend more time preparing data than analyzing it. Without addressing these issues, no organization is likely to realize the full potential of business intelligence.

Business intelligence continues to be a strategic business imperative. Our research will deliver education and best practices that can help you reduce the costs, time and risk of making the wrong choices or being uninformed of this strategic imperative.


David Menninger – VP & Research Director

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