Business Intelligence Predictions for 2017

Big Data Will Get Even Bigger in 2017 and BI Will Grow in Step

Business intelligence has evolved rapidly over the past two years, and this will continue in 2017. What strategies will be the key to success?

When John Mashey coined the term “big data” in the 1990s, he could have had little idea of just how much information it would be describing 20 years later. In 2015, IBM came up with the estimate that 2.5 quintillion new bytes of data were generated each day. This mind-boggling number certainly increased in 2016, and will continue to do so in the years to come.

Here we take a look at some of the key business intelligence strategies that companies at the forefront of data analytics will be considering throughout 2017.

An Enterprise approach

Disciplines such as Quality Assurance and Risk Management realised long ago that in order to make a meaningful contribution to business success, they needed to take an enterprise-wide approach. Thus, today, everyone in a business has at least a rudimentary understanding of quality management, of mitigating risk and most importantly, of the role they play in these areas.

The same applies to business intelligence – while having an analyst sitting in a corner “doing his thing” can bring some benefits, these are insignificant compared to an enterprise approach where BI tools are used by every single person through sales, HR, business development, operations and logistics, to name but a few.

By using BI tools to better understand the entire business, organisations can take quick and effective action on everything from work attendance to communication methods.

The right tool

To date, many users of BI have simply used every tool available, to a greater or lesser extent. An important step in the development of this discipline in 2017 is likely to be that companies become more selective in their choice of business intelligence tools.

Microsoft Power BI will certainly be the tool of choice for a great many. This is a suite of tools that can analyze data and share insights. It uses dashboards to provide a full 360-degree view for business users with the most important metrics, updated in real time, and available across all platforms, incorporating, for example, Power BI Mobile apps, which update automatically with any changes to the data.

An eye to the future

When a business function is moving so rapidly, it is important not to get stuck in the present. This means that BI investments in the coming year need to be highly flexible and adaptive as new forms of big data develop.

For example, some commentators predict that big data analytics will take major steps in the retail industry in the coming year, as businesses use insights to manage stock levels and customise their customer service activities to build consumer loyalty and therefore increase market share and revenue.

Many organisations will come to realise that they have already backed themselves into something of a corner. Even those pioneering firms that have seen success to date, might come to realise that their existing solution has limits when it comes to data sharing.

2017 will be the year to roll out a data solution that has an eye to success across the enterprise, both now and for years and decades to come.