Business Intelligence (BI) is:
a set of techniques and tools for the collecting and transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes (Wikipedia).
It is a wonderful tool you can use to access, compare, and put to use all the data you can collect about your business. BI has definitely come a long way since its early days. So, what is the future of Business Intelligence?
Where BI has been
You may have heard it said that “you can't know where you're going until you know where you've been.” Therefore, let's take a look back at what business intelligence has already accomplished. For years, businesses have been collecting data about everything they can think of. It's what executives have used to make decisions regarding the company.
In the past, this data was collected by highly trained IT guys and gals, and executives had to wait around until the monthly or quarterly meeting in order to get the data. Then, someone in each department would have to evaluate the data and put it into an easy to understand value to share with the executives. Finally, another meeting to discuss data trends and relationships could be set up, and decisions could be made. Companies could collect data, but it was a long process to be able to use it.
In recent years, BI has become more and more user friendly. Companies are able to not only collect, but utilize their data without the help of high-tech employees. The turn-around time on making decisions based on company data is much quicker and less expensive.
Where BI is going
As we head into the future, we can only expect Business Intelligence to grow and advance. BI will continue to become more user friendly. There will be easier access to data, and easier ways to evaluate possible relationships within data sets. As BI users discover needs within their industry, BI can be tailored to them, making trends and relationships easier to identify.
With data becoming easier to collect, we can expect businesses to start collecting more and more data. Not only will the amount of data increase, the complexity of the data will increase as well. With this “big data,” BI will have to evolve in order to accommodate it. New systems will be developing to easily filter through mass quantities of complex data, and processing it into user-friendly reports.
Another issue that might be addressed regarding BI is where the data will be stored. Currently, businesses store data in RAM, on a computer where data can be randomly accessed. RAM is still costly, and is thus a difficult place to store large quantities of data. Business Intelligence systems will need to find a solution. Maybe BI systems will find a way to utilize cloud storage or datacenters full of servers connected to the internet.
There are so many possibilities with Business Intelligence that the sky is the limit. As BI is used more broadly, new ideas will start popping up, and we will see more opportunities for creativity to advance business intelligence. The future of business intelligence is bright, and now is the time to let BI work for your business. You certainly don't want to be left in the dark.