Through history, enterprises have sought ways in which they could improve on their strategy in order to make more money. So this continual search led to the formation and crystallization of organizational structures. As these matured, it became apparent that a firm could harness all the information its structure produces and consumes to make better decisions. From then on, it was a short road to to business intelligence trends and to people who look for them.

Management organs started designing ways to collect and analyze information. Technology burst on the scene and transformed this from an ad hoc process to a highly technical one. This article looks to define business intelligence, briefly explore its benefits and analyze new business intelligence trends and what they mean for enterprises.

What Is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence refers to the technology an enterprise uses to collect, manage and analyze data. So the goal for every financial and time investment towards it is to gain as much actionable, and valuable learning from information gathered, as possible.

The market is replete with tools that can contribute towards a firm’s business intelligence push. Yet, these tools have a standard set of functions that serve to achieve their purposes. They include:

  • Data mining;
  • Process analysis;
  • Performance bench marking;
  • Descriptive analytics;
  • Complex event processing;
  • Reporting.

New business intelligence trends ensure the tools always stay dynamic to adapt to any needs that arise.

Who Uses Business Intelligence?

Various types of companies in different industries find business intelligence useful in their operations. Companies producing consumer packaged goods use business intelligence to gain a better understanding of their customers and how they make decisions. Therefore, the insights generated are used to improve their production and marketing efforts.

E-commerce companies rely on business intelligence to manage their inventory to avoid stock outs. They also use data generated from shoppers to identify any market or behavioral trends they can capitalize on to boost sales or customer experience. Also, it helps them manage website operations by delivering insights on what to improve and where to capture shopper attention more.

6 Business Intelligence Trends to Watch

Technology is constantly evolving, and business intelligence is not any different. Therefore, firms seeking a competitive edge need to be analyzing business intelligence trends regularly to stay in the know. But here are some trends to consider:

1. Increased Adoption of Cloud Technology

The advent of cloud technology has seen a seismic shift in the way various enterprises have pivoted to evolve e.g. Amazon and the growth enabled by its AWS infrastructure. As more businesses witness the cost effectiveness of outsourcing its data storage to service providers, its adoption will increase.

The convenience of being able to access your data without requiring proximity to physical hard drives will increase efficiency for many adopters. No wonder this only goes to increase its popularity and uptake.

2. Growth of Technology-Backed Collaboration

Many employees are now using business intelligence tools to work together no matter the distance or time zone involved. The improved output that companies are witnessing due to direct staff collaboration will only fuel greater adoption of technology supporting it.

3. Increased Emphasis on Data-Driven Decisions

More companies are figuring out how to access valuable insights from data they gather and incorporate it into their decision making mechanisms. So the effect of precise data leading to clarity and results in decision making becomes more evident. Therefore, companies will increase their investments in it.

Business intelligence tools that help polish the data make it easy to interpret and retrieve as needed will see an uptake in use.

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4. Improved Data Governance

The more companies see the value of data in their operations and strategy the greater the volume of information they will generate. So this will inevitably lead to an increased need for efficient data governance mechanisms. Therefore, enterprises will need to know where all the information is to enable easy updating and correlation.

Workers who are adequately skilled in data management will represent a growing portion of the talent class recruiters will seek to hire. Consequently, any worker who is data illiterate will increasingly find it hard to get employment.

5. Increased Focus on IoT By Enterprises

One of the most promising business intelligence trends is the growing popularity and adoption of the internet of things. As consumers and other client classes purchase more IoT gadgets, they will continue generating data pointing to their behavior patterns. Moreover, business intelligence tools and systems will be able to tap into this data consumers generate for analysis. So this will continue to be a more efficient less time-consuming method no running market research.

The time lag associated with traditional surveys and focus groups will be cut short. Enterprises will be able to make faster decisions. Consequently, this will favor their increased focus on integrating IoT with their business intelligence tools.

6. More Data Analytics Across Different Verticals

The increased focus on pursuing analytics as a way of improving strategy has led to companies investing more in their IT infrastructure. Business intelligence features that needed a dedicated team or equipment to touch a single department now cut across several others.

For example, while marketing and finance required dedicated dashboards that cost more time and money, they can now use a single one that delivers differentiated data to each of them. So this trend will increase as firms seek to take advantage of cost and process efficiency that new tools afford.

Wrapping Up

Business intelligence has come a long way from its initial low-level forays into today’s highly specialized function. Moreover, advances made in different areas of technology have led to the development of emerging business intelligence trends. These represent the new tools and approaches that companies can use to increase the value of the insights generated from their data. Various processes go into business intelligence such as data mining, complex event analysis, bench marking, process analysis, descriptive analytics, etc.

There are various ways that this intelligence is of use to many companies with different business models. The underlying factor that cuts across these applications is the need to improve decision making and strategy using analytics. Do you use business intelligence in your company? Also, have you spotted any new business intelligence trends that excite you? Then, share with us in the comments below!

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