Raw data can be changed into actionable insight. But for this to happen, Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics need to scale up to support the growth in data sources, according to latest predictions from analyst firm Gartner. Business intelligence leaders must embrace a broadening range of information assets to help their organizations.
"New business insights and improved decision making with greater finesse are the key benefits achievable from turning more data into actionable insights, whether that data is from an increasing array of data sources from within or outside of the organization," said Daniel Yuen, research director at Gartner.
"Different technology vendors, especially niche vendors, are rushing into the market, providing organizations with the ability to tap into this wider information base."
Gartner outlined three key predictions for BI teams to consider when planning for the future. These are:
By 2015, 65% of packaged analytic applications with advanced analytics will come embedded with Hadoop (a programming framework that helps process large data sets).
Organizations realize the strength that Hadoop-powered analysis brings to big data programs, particularly for analyzing poorly structured data, text, behavior analysis and time-based queries (like selling empty airline seats just hours before takeoff) . Application providers will embed purpose-built, Hadoop-based analysis functions within packaged applications. The trend is most noticeable so far with cloud-based packaged application offerings, and this will continue.
By 2016, 70% of BI vendors will have incorporated natural-language and spoken-word capabilities.
BI/analytics vendors continue to be slow in providing language- and voice-enabled applications. In their rush to port their applications to mobile and tablet devices, BI vendors have tended to focus only on adapting their traditional BI point-and-click and drag-and-drop user interfaces to touch-based interfaces.
Over the next few years, BI vendors are expected to start playing a quick game of catch-up with the virtual personal assistant market. Initially, BI vendors will enable basic voice commands for their standard interfaces, followed by natural language processing of spoken or text input into SQL queries. Ultimately, "personal analytic assistants" will emerge that understand user context, offer two-way dialogue, and (ideally) maintain a conversational thread.
"Many of these technologies can and will underpin these voice-enabled analytic capabilities, rather than BI vendors or enterprises themselves developing them outright,"" said Douglas Laney, research vice president at Gartner."
By 2015, more than 30% of analytics projects will deliver insights based on structured and unstructured data.