There are going to be long-lasting changes in the business intelligence (BI) and analytics landscape as such software will have more functions catered for mobile workers incorporated into it and applications become increasingly collaborative and social, revealed a new report.
According to research firm Gartner, traditional assumptions about BI and analytics are being challenged by four trends. These trends revolve around mobile and social elements that are either being integrated into traditional offerings or changing the way businesses procure and utilize their BI capabilities, its report stated.
"The market for BI and analytics is undergoing a gradual evolution," said Neil Chandler, research director at Gartner, said in the report. "By 2014, the metamorphosis of BI from IT-owned and report-centric will be virtually complete for a number of organizations."
These organizations will, in turn, change what types of BI and analytics they use, how and where they procure the software and modify how information feeds the decision-making process, he added.
Rise of mobile BI
The first trend identified by the research firm is that 33 percent of BI functionality will be consumed via handheld devices by 2013.
It explained that mobility is playing an increasingly important role as current adoption rates, widely available current-generation devices, and the marketing and development campaigns of BI vendors promise to "quickly generate" a strong wave of mobile BI users.
Mobile BI will initially comprise of just porting existing reports and dashboards to mobile devices but, by 2012, vendors will be creating mobile analytic applications for specific tasks and domains, said Gartner.
The report also observed that the rise of mobile BI would widen the population of BI users to include a more mainstream audience, presenting an attractive investment opportunity.
Additionally, for remote workers who need to access corporate BI data on their mobile devices, organizations must ensure their current BI infrastructure can support these demands, Gartner advised, adding that tablet devices can be adopted to improve the mobile BI experience.
BI gets collaborative, social
Secondly, Gartner predicted that in two years' time, 15 percent of all BI deployments will integrate traditional BI functions with collaboration and social elements to form a cohesive, decision-making environment, the report noted.
"Collaborative decision environments will drive investment in new BI and analytic applications, particularly those that link with collaboration and social networking functions," Gartner stated.
A number of vendors have already latched on to the trend and are beginning to tailor offerings to meet these needs, it added.
With regard to analytics applications, the report stated that 30 percent of such software will include proactive, predictive and forecasting capabilities while another 30 percent will utilize in-memory functions to add scale and computational speed by 2014.
This third trend is in direct response to the need for more responsive data insight even as the volume of information rapidly increases, it added.
To address this challenge, companies will seek columnar data repositories and in-memory online analytical processing, which are faster and easier to architect, noted Gartner. Furthermore, packaged analytics applications will incorporate data and text mining, forecasting and regression, optimization, scoring and simulations using complex business rules and data modeling.
Lastly, the report predicted that 40 percent of business analytics expenditure will go to system integrators (SIs) rather than software companies.
Organizations will realize that the old method of buying products from software companies and getting SIs to integrate the applications into their backend systems is "increasingly risky and potentially uncompetitive", Gartner argued.
The risks stem from the growth of user-driven initiatives, external information sources and the integration of unstructured content, it elaborated.
Companies are instead encouraged to rope business users into the process of deciding what BI and analytics software to purchase, and to broaden their choices beyond pure-play software vendors, the report noted.
Gartner is not the only research firm forecasting the evolution of the BI and analytics market. Springboard Research had mentioned last month that demand for reporting and analytics functions will render traditional BI obsolete.
The bifurcation between the two functions within BI is largely a result of increased demand from end-users for mobile reporting services, it added.