If anything good came out of 2020, it’s this: adversity can speed up innovation years, or even decades, ahead of schedule. Technologies that were deemed futuristic and advanced, such as highly interactive videoconferencing and uninterrupted wireless networks, are now as mainstream as electricity. Each day, new technological breakthroughs occur, and it seems no sooner than a business embraces one, better ones show up the next day.
The world of Business Intelligence (BI) is humming with new innovations, and in this new series, we’ll look at an overview of three key trends for analytics this year, knowing that by the end of the series, we may need to start all over with new ones.
Trend 1: Who’s Driving This Dashboard? (BI Meets AI)
Dashboards are improving every day and have not only become more tailored to a company’s needs but have also become a standard start to almost every worker’s day. Yet AI will reduce our reliance on fixed dashboards to tell our data stories. Employees will soon receive “the data they need in their existing workflows.1” Moreover, these data experiences will become tailored and simplified, thus reducing an employee’s dependence on data experts to either extrapolate or decipher big data. Finally, the data will be “available in the broader enterprise market to share the power of analytics to entire teams,1” whether or not the individuals or teams have special knowledge or training. Unlike on-premise software with limited data and processing capability, cloud-based analytics solutions will make data sharing experiences easier, both inside and outside the organization, which brings us to the next trend.
Trend 2: I’ll Take My Data To-Go, Please (Mobile BI)
Whether we’re on the beach, in the office, or in most cases today working from home and balancing video calls with the kids’ homework, we should be able to access our data wherever and whenever we need it. “Office” environments have drastically changed over the past year, so it’s no surprise that BI solutions are offering software-as-a-service tools like Qlik that include effective mobile capabilities. But wherever and whenever are only two key components to mobile BI solutions: whoever (the user) and whatever (the device) are components as well. BI solutions are getting better at providing the best user experience regardless of screen size, interface design, and user skill. As the language of analytics becomes more simplified, the power to wield data now rests in the hands of every user in the business, from data experts to remote salespeople. Mobile BI is the classic have your cake and eat it, too. Merging where, when, who and what enables the new AI to push the information and data we need to our iPads, for example, while we have our first cup of coffee in the morning.
Trend 3: So, That’s What Could Happen if I Make This Decision (Prescriptive Analytics)
Real-time data and predictive analytics are the talk of the town, but what if we could see into the future? Prescriptive analytics will take predictive analytics a step further and be the next big tool in achieving business goals. Being able to use past and present information to make data-driven decisions is one thing, but how about running scenarios to see just how those decisions will play out? Prescriptive analytics move us several steps beyond predictive analytics, allowing business to analyze possible outcomes of future decisions before they are even made. As prescriptive analytics becomes savvier, key business decisions will become savvier, too, and less time and money will be spent course correcting after a bad decision.
Over the next couple of months, we will delve into each trend with one goal in mind: how each trend will not only help your business adapt to a constantly changing landscape but also evolve your business into a digital-savvy trendsetter. And as such, able to overcome any new challenges that may come our way in the years to come.
1: Forbes Magazine