Our View on the Results
For the first time, data quality and master data management was voted as the most important trend this year. Our 2,770 participants send a strong message – highly appealing topics like data discovery, visualization and self-service BI are nothing without a solid foundation of data.
We hope this perceived importance does not lead to initiatives that are announced with a fanfare before quickly moving down the list of priorities – as has often happened in the past. Business intelligence will not work without comprehensive data integration and data quality initiatives, but these have to be backed up with the right level of attention, resources and funding.
All four of the following top trends – data discovery / visualization, self-service BI, data governance and data preparation for business users – are related. Business users need more autonomy and agility when it comes to integrating, analyzing and visualizing data. Often they achieve it (e.g. by using self-service tools), but when too many people have too much freedom to manipulate and communicate data, a call for more data governance is the natural reaction to restore trust in data and efficiency in decision-making.
It is interesting to note that the average rating of most trends has decreased this year. It looks like the overall importance of BI has decreased, although it remains at a good level with absolute average scores of 6.4 to 6.9 for the top three rated trends.
Trends that ranked higher compared to previous years include data preparation for business users, collaboration and using external/open data.
While collaboration is a more organizational topic, which supports the increased use of BI across different user types within the organization, using external/open data is more commonly linked to typical digitalization initiatives. Analyzing IoT/sensor or log data in real time and expanding the available data space beyond internally available data (e.g. for building predictive models) are new application areas that companies are exploring.
While concrete big data use cases are thriving, participants rank the more (maybe too) general topics “big data analytics” and “predictive analytics” as considerably less important than in previous years.
The same is true for mobile BI, agile BI development and integrated platforms for BI and performance management. This perceived decrease in importance might result from the maturity of the trends and the fact that many companies have already adopted them, making room for other topics to gain in importance.
In the next few weeks and months, we will post and update a series of articles looking at each BI trend in more detail. You will learn how different regions, industries, user types, company sizes and best-in-class companies rate the various trends and how their views have changed since last year. Sign up for our newsletter below and we’ll keep you informed about the latest articles.