The latest BI trends

BI technology is an increasingly sophisticated selection of tools, using a wide range of disciplines. It’s a field that’s constantly evolving – here are some top BI trends over the past year:

Data discovery and visualisation

According to the Top Business Intelligence Trends 2017 report, visualisation and explorative data analysis (known as data discovery) for business users have become some of the most important trends in BI.

The increasing variety of data available today needs more efficient and user-oriented methods of presentation, according to the report. Visualisations help people quickly digest the most relevant information at a glance.

Master data and data quality management

With master data and data quality management, users can make the right decisions based on accurate data. The aim of master data management is to integrate and exchange data from customer, supplier or product master data across multiple systems.

Self-Service BI

Another BI trend coming to the fore is self-service BI, manifesting itself as an ever-growing demand from business users for ad hoc reporting, analysis and flexibility. But this demand for BI data to be available anytime, anywhere, and on any device is putting pressure on IT as enterprises are increasingly allowing users to build and design their own reports, models and queries.

Embedded BI

Businesses are increasingly embedding BI and analytics closer to where people work. This year, expect to see analytics put into the hands of people who aren’t BI specialists, such as shop workers, call centre staff and even truck drivers. This embedded BI extends analytics to people who may not even realise they are using it.

More BI in the cloud

BI and analytics are moving into the cloud and is fast becoming a mainstream practice. The concept of data gravity (data pulls in more data), means that analytics is deployed where data lives. As such, with the availability of cloud-based data warehouses, the need for analytics in the cloud becomes greater as it represents a faster and more scalable solution to organisations.

Artificial business intelligence

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will play an increasingly important role in business intelligence. The increasing amount of data available to businesses will mean there is no time to sift through all of it to find trending and patterns. There will also be little time produce reports.

According to a report by Hitachi Solutions, this is leading to the rise in use of machine learning, “where data structures can be integrated with decision trees so that executives can access the data they need, when they want it, in the channel that they prefer instead of relying on a secondary resources and static reporting”.


This is Part 2 of our Business Intelligence series. Please see below for links to all parts of the series.

Part 1: Introduction to Business Intelligence – Use Business Intelligence (BI) as your competitive advantage

Part 2: The latest BI trends

Part 3: BI in Action: use of BI in the Healthcare Industry

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