This week somebody asked me “What would be your one prediction for BI in 2014?”.
Yes, I have seen many of the BI analysts and vendors making their top prediction and trend lists with items like Big Data, Agile BI, Embedded Analytics, Collaboration, True Self-Service BI, Social BI, Prescriptive BI, Data Science frequently included . None of these things are really new but the technology has certainly improved to make some of them more relevant. However, none of them would be my one prediction for BI in 2014 based on the companies and people I talk with every day and what I am seeing myself.
My prediction is that Business Intelligence will finally be a commodity that is both available and affordable to all. The combination of cloud based applications, smart mobile devices and simple to use BI visualization tools has brought about a revolution in the way BI can be delivered to everyone easily and inexpensively.
This is scary news for the major BI vendors who are entrenched in selling big ticket BI tools but it is great news for everyone else.
The big software vendors like Oracle, IBM, and SAP who bought the big BI vendors namely Hyperion, Cognos and BusinessObjects focused too much on integration with their own products rather than innovation of the next generation of BI tools. Microsoft can also be added to this list of “legacy” BI vendors with its SQL Server based BI offering. This provided an opportunity for new BI vendors like Qliktech, Tableau and Birst to launch new low cost BI solutions based on more current technologies but as soon as they gained traction they followed in the footsteps of the legacy BI vendors by focusing or large and medium sized organizations to replace an existing legacy BI tool. Ironically, in response, the legacy BI vendors are now developing BI tools that look and act just like those from the new BI vendors!
Now they all (legacy and new) want to focus on Big Data to find new ways to sell more licensing to the same organizations.
What most of them appear to have missed is the revolution that has been happening outside of large corporations with the millions of new small companies and “solopreneurs” that have emerged and are running very successful operations using low cost or no cost software solutions. Many of them are not only using BI but are pushing BI out to consumers everywhere with no expensive license fees involved. BI is finally getting into the hands of the masses through smart mobile devices using engaging visualizations and often hosted in the cloud . The BI software or solutions are often subscription based or bundled into an affordable, instant ROI offering.
I expect to see a major shift in the BI vendor landscape in 2014 both as a result of BI finally becoming available to all with simple and cost-effective solutions and as a result of the backlash from organizations with existing BI solutions not interested in paying high software license and maintenance fees any longer when they can take advantage of these new solutions.