7 Business Intelligence Trends to Look Out for in 2018

2017 saw an explosion of data, more organizations moved to Cloud and spreadsheets took a backseat to make way for interactive dashboards with actionable insights visualizations. That being said, 2018 is a new year with new possibilities. While the practices of last year will continue to play big roles, 2018 will see emergence of new trends that will take Business Intelligence beyond data analyses and make it more about quality data management, artificial intelligence and multi-Cloud strategies.

Here is Embee’s take on the BI trends that will take center stage in 2018:

1. Visual analytics will make data discovery easier:

Visual analytics, enhances non-analysts’s pattern-recognition capabilities, thereby enabling better decision Business leaders agree that they find it easier to detect patterns if data is conveyed in charts and graphs rather than in figures. Recently, Microsoft Power BI teamed up with renowned visualization expert Alberto Cairo to explain the methodology behind graphics and how they can support data storytelling. Here is how they put it:

2. Predictive is not enough, prescriptive analytics will also become more important:

Till date business intelligence tools have helped enterprises predict consumer behavior, forecasting possible scenarios based on past patterns and practices. While that is a leap from a decade ago, or even 5 years if we may say, the future is still estimated.

Source: Wikipedia

Prescriptive analytics probes much deeper into the future. It analyzes data and content to determine which decisions can be more beneficial for the business and which steps should be avoided to achieve an intended goal. Comprising of various techniques like graph analysis, simulation, complex event processing, neural networks, recommendation engines, heuristics, and machine learning, prescriptive analytics tries to gauge the impact of future decisions before they are actually made, ‘prescribing’ corrections, if and when necessary. In practical situations, this will not only improve decision making but also optimize scheduling, production, inventory and supply chain design to enable businesses deliver what their customers want in the best possible way.

3. Artificial Intelligence will render analytics more accurate:

Among the disruptive technologies that are going to be prominent in 2018, intelligent apps rank at #1. And it is all set to revolutionize how businesses interact with their data management and analytics.

Having already evolved from static, passive reports to proactive reports on live dashboards, Business Intelligence solutions are now using AI algorithms that are based on advanced neural networks and keeps on learning from past records and patterns, to achieve higher accuracy in anomaly detection. This way, businesses can be alerted of potential problems and course correction can be initiated immediately. Moreover, with such an d decision support system software one can choose the data set they want to analyze and calculations will be fetched along with growth, trends and forecast, key segment correlations, anomalies, value drivers as well as ‘what if’ scenarios.

As Gartner has predicted, more than 40% of data science tasks will be automated by 2020. Keeping that in mind, we think advanced algorithms, driving that automation, will be more competitive in 2018, enabling machines to operate autonomously and make decisions efficiently. It is now time for businesses to decide whether semi-automated decision making should be left completely on algorithms or not.

4. Self-service BI can be a game changer:

We think in 2018, most business leaders will prefer self-service BI solutions to analyze business data and customize visual reports without having to depend on IT specialists for the same. Gartner research vice president, Rita Sallam, states “self-service data integration will reduce the significant time and complexity users face in preparing their data for analysis and shift much of the activity from IT to the business user.”

5. Investing in Mobile BI means gaining a competitive edge:

Companies using mobile BI are almost 70% more likely to use business data at the exact moment it is needed, compared to business that don’t use it. Thus, the number of businesses using mobile BI has increased noticeably year-on-year, and it looks like this trend is going to get stronger in the coming years.

6. Data Quality Management cannot be undermined:

We expect organizations to invest more in data governance, specifically Data Quality Management (DQM) in 2018. Meeting strict data quality levels also helps with meeting standards of latest compliance regulations and demands. DQM includes a number of processes like advanced data processes, distributing the data effectively and managing oversight data. By implementing company-wide DQM processes, businesses leverage the power of BI and gain a competitive edge.

7. Together with multi-Cloud, BI will work to reduce risks and boost flexibility:

In Business Intelligence and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) sectors, the interest in multi-Cloud adoption is growing at an exponential rate.  Since businesses are growing wary about being locked into a single legacy software solution that may or may not be able to bridge the gap between their current and future BI goals, organizations are increasingly leaning towards multi-Cloud adoption. Now that interoperability has become easy with similar APIs and open standards like Linux, MySQL, and others, businesses are adopting multi-Cloud strategies to make their BI solutions work on different platforms.

Being only data driven is no longer enough. It is an expectation that modern businesses must meet. 2018 is the year to go beyond that expectation with exciting new possibilities. It is time to evaluate how data driven you are. Are you ready to take note of these trends and extract the maximum value from Business Intelligence ? You must!

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