For 10 years the prevailing trend in business intelligence (BI) and analytics has been the move toward self service. That's about to change. In 2018 and beyond, we'll see a growing list of what many call "smart" capabilities powered by machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). These features are sure to help us move beyond the limits of the self-service era.
As I explain in a my latest report, How Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence Will Change BI & Analytics, we're already starting to see smart capabilities in five areas: Data prep, discovery, analysis, prediction, and AI-powered prescriptive applications. My research details investments being made by more than 20 startups and 14 established BI and analytics vendors to advance the state of the art.
Expect a steady drumbeat of announcements throughout 2018 and beyond about ML applied to tasks including cleansing and combining data, discovering new data, and suggesting new combinations of data that could, in turn, uncover important insights. Non-technical business users will appreciate ML-powered suggestions on best-fit data visualizations. Automated modeling features, meanwhile, will help non-technical business users tap into the power of predictive analytics.