The Future of Business Intelligence

Let us explore the future of Business Intelligence.  Last week I spoke about Windows 8 and it’s impact on computing.  However, let’s further explore the problems, yes problems, with Business Intelligence.

Until today, Business Intelligence has been primarily provided by Hyperion, Cognos and other solutions.  Many years back, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Analysis Services.  However these solutions have been either expensive in their software purchase and/or their implementation.  Further complicating things are the differing requirements from the user to the manager to the executive.

Therefore, we have seen an emerging trend in business solutions in which we believe you should know about.  They are:

Audience — the audience or consumer of the business intelligence will always be the number one concern in Business Intelligence.  For example, the CEO and CFO will have a varying set of requirements of what they want to see.  The manager of purchasing will want to see something different from each other.  Thus, a real Business Intelligence solution must accommodate not only the level of the position in the company but also the information they need to make decisions.

Platform — the platform has changed.  Built in Cubes or Analytical Processes built into the ERP system are key to giving the information necessary for users of all types.  Using Analysis Services from Microsoft, for example, is an easy and cost effective way of delivering the right information.  Therefore, some of the legacy solutions are relegated the the dungheaps of history.  Consider the power of Microsoft’s PowerPivot and SharePoint Enterprise Services for delivery of real information for your audience.  

Delivery — to the tablet, PC, laptop and phone will continue to be the wildcard in Business Intelligence.  As devices become more agnostic in nature, they will continue to proliferate the consumption of data.  Thus, delivery will require a robust ability to drill down, drill through and self guidance that is available for many apps today.  

Our recommendation for the future is to meet with a trusted advisor who will take into account the audience, platform and delivery when considering the right Business Intelligence Solution for you.