Enterprise BI: Five Trends for 2013

Enterprise BI: Five Trends for 2013

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With most businesses closing out their first quarter, now is a right time to look ahead at upcoming BI trends in order to plan for success in 2013. Here’s what I think will be the most important BI trends to consider moving ahead for the year.

1. Big data and related tools will continue to grow. 

There is a demand for GUI-based products that can speed up creating BI solutions based on the big data. 2013’s primary focus will be on spending less time developing and more time analyzing big data. Oracle’s Endeca and Cloudera are definitely among the leaders; however, they will definitely see some stiff competition from other tools, including Karmasphere, Talend, Pentaho, and Jaspersoft. The leaders will be the ones who will better prepare their offerings for enterprise situation with focus on security, manageability, and performance. Some businesses will need to re-evaluate their big data efforts to see whether the spending is justified and whether the investments will pay off.

2. Traditional data-warehousing projects will remain strong .

There are still many opportunities for companies to improve their BI projects with datamart consolidation, data-quality, master data management and analytical reporting. Business users will expect even more current data (daily loads will not be sufficient for many) and the demand for ad-hoc reporting will rise as analysts become more and more accustomed to the reporting software. Another feature that will become more popular (and made possible by tightly integrated hardware and software) is the possibility of real-time analytics with good performance with Oracle Exalytics gaining more momentum.

3. Data Integration will remain a hot topic.

Informatica is positioned strongly in 2013, offering support for big data in its latest product tool-set. It also helps that their diverse product offering can be suited for most data integration projects’ needs. Master Data Management, Data Quality, and Data Virtualization offering by Informatica can help BI managers to deal with constantly changing business requirements.

4. Predictive software will thrive.

Analytics and predictive software make it possible to change and adjust pricing and marketing offers on the fly – taking into consideration the real-time data. SAP has rolled out its offering of this software in the end of last year, and it will be interesting to see the use case and the adoption throughout the 2013. Of course, the good part is that potential customers will be able to roll it out stand-alone or in a unified in-memory real-time analytics platform – SAP Hana.

5. There will be further standardization of BI delivery.

While the truly central enterprise architecture might not be reachable right away for most businesses, I believe some companies will try to find ways to save money and improve BI operations by merging diverse BI, ETL and data warehousing projects into centers of excellence focused on BI Delivery. This will make it easier to administer and manage BI projects. Frequently, external partners can step in to handle BI projects for several reasons: consultants’ technical skills are more likely to be superior, implementation experience in certain BI technologies means there is less risk, and finally, political neutrality (which is not always possible within internal teams). 2013 will be a year of stabilizing and establishing governance. Many projects will be mature enough to justify additional effort and spending in such categories as change management, continuous integration, customization, and bringing-in additional sources.

I would be remiss to leave out the skills required for these five trends. To me it’s obvious that in addition to core dimensional modeling, data integration and data warehousing skills (which are absolute must), today’s BI specialists must have a solid understanding of many faucets related to Enterprise BI in order to be able to successfully deliver value – virtualization, infrastructure (security, SOA, BPM) , enterprise security, familiarity with using various databases, BI appliances, Linux skills, ETL/ELT tools (such as Informatica PowerCenter or Oracle Data Integrator), SQL-tuning skills, familiarity with best practices in User Interface and Dashboard visualization, ability to understand the functional area, and last but not least – excellent communication skills.

2013 is an exciting year to be in the Business Intelligence industry and hopefully we will be pleasantly prepared – rather than surprised – with what happens.

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