In late August, I had the privilege of presenting for a webinar hosted by TDWI and featuring Dr. Claudia Imhoff, president and founder of Intelligent Solutions. Claudia, an internationally recognized expert on analytics and co-author of many books on the subject, spoke on five major trends impacting today’s data management and decision-making environment. I deal with these five trends everyday in my work at Liaison and can vouch for just how relentlessly they are pushing us forward into new and exciting (and sometimes frustrating) arenas of analytics.
If you’re thinking about optimizing your analytics environments, the understanding that these five trends should be considered and likely accounted for, will go a long way toward informing the approach you take.
Trend #1: Big data. You may be thinking right now that there’s no escaping talk of big data. Well, you’re right. Big data is impacting every area of analytics and there’s no getting around it. With good reason. There is immense value to be had in accessing data sets with sizes, variances and speed requirements beyond the scope of commonly-used tools.
Trend #2: Mobile devices. Business activities of all kinds are going mobile. To give your decision-makers unfettered access, your analytics environment should support mobile devices. Even though this comes with a whole slew of complications—security and integration being two of them—enabling mobile device usage is a worthwhile goal.
Trend #3: Cloud-based solutions. In the last five years the cloud has taken off. Liaison knows first-hand the advantages of cloud-based solutions: low upfront costs, faster ROI, improved security model, ease of implementation, ease of use, etc. These same benefits also apply to cloud-based analytics solutions, but as with any innovation, there are challenges to overcome such as ensuring compatibility with on-premise applications that need to export/import data to/from the cloud.
Trend #4: Self-service BI. Self-service BI is a win/win for any organization. Information workers have enhanced BI at their fingertips through easy-to-use tools, broadening the reach of BI to those that may not have previously had enough expertise to consume it; simultaneously, IT departments are no longer bottlenecks to BI requests and are freed up to focus on other areas of the analytics environment.
Trend #5: Advanced Analytics. There’s a lot more beyond reporting and multi-dimensional analysis going on these days. Enabled by big data technologies, advanced analytics techniques such as modeling, statistics, machine learning and data mining are capable of spotting patterns and making predictions.
A huge thank you to Claudia for compiling these trends and speaking so eloquently on them. If you have time to watch the whole webinar, I highly recommend it. You can view it here. In addition to getting much more detail on the five trends driving analytics, you’ll also hear me speak on how a cloud services brokerage (CSB) can buffer many of the adoption challenges that accompany these trends.