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Business intelligence data is getting even more user friendly

Business intelligence data is getting even more user friendly

This post originally appeared on www.cio.com

In the digital era, data is pervasive. For many organizations, the amount of data they collect has become a major problem. Others struggle to identify what data will be most helpful for them to gather. Big data, while revolutionary, has created a glut of information leaving companies trying to figure out how to structure it to generate actionable insights. Business Intelligence is at the core of any kind of long-term business strategy, because it helps make sense of the data. When utilized, data strategy can have a big impact on any operation.

When surveyed, 72% of business leaders said that they lacked the tools to effectively manage their data for their existing and future efforts. To meet that need, technology companies are beginning to bring more integrated solutions to market. Uday Hegde, big data expert and CEO of USEReady, explains, “We expect to see a confluence of data, cloud technology, and the internet of things (IoT), helping to make data more user-friendly. This will help companies develop technology solutions that can improve our lives in significant ways.”

Self-service BI

Business intelligence used to involve cumbersome spreadsheets and large amounts of human interaction. More recent developments have been opening up self-service options that are helping companies navigate copious amounts of data to deliver insights that can create competitive advantage.

Hegde details why self-service solutions are gaining popularity: “Companies frequently have to navigate the impact of the four Vs of data: namely, volume, variety, velocity, and veracity. As such, they need effective BI solutions to maintain any kind of competitive advantage. Self-service advancements, powered by recent developments in cloud computing, are driving increased BI adoption.” These developments help companies contextualize their data better, which makes it easier to use in decision making.

Centers of excellence

Many companies are beginning to realize that data is less effective when siloed in different departments, or when it is coming from numerous platforms. As a result, many are beginning to make structural shifts to the organization in order to centralize their data. Some have even begun to create new positions to help with this transition, with titles like chief data or chief analytics officer.

These executives often oversee the creation of centers of excellence that help companies more effectively leverage data insights. Centers of Excellence function as a central location that can manage disparate data inputs. Gartner found that by 2018, at least 75% of all BI functions will transition to centers of excellence.

Data visualization

As workers and consumers become more familiar with visual and digital media, data visualization is becoming more important than ever. Hegde explains, “Creating effective data visuals enables business owners to evaluate the health of their organizations in a meaningful way with real insights. Meticulously presented data helps them ask critical questions and make better informed decisions about leveraging limited resources.”

While data visualization is by no means new, it has recently become a critical part of presenting data in a user-friendly format. The popularity of Hans Rosling’s presentations and countless other YouTube infographic videos demonstrates how powerful data can be when visualized in a winsome, novel manner.

Managed IT services

The advent of data warehousing allowed data to be outsourced from traditional IT departments, but it did very little to support internal IT functions. As the IT functions of a business grow, there is often a point at which an organization has to decide how best to manage its IT infrastructure.

Many have begun to opt for managed IT services through companies with more experience in managing complex infrastructures. Also, as security becomes more of a concern, business leaders are looking to experts that can guarantee their data will remain safe. Hegde explains the complexity of data security in the new data frontier: “Companies are realizing that democratizing data comes with unanticipated security concerns. It is vital that organizations evaluate their data infrastructure and make appropriate decisions.”

As the definitions of BI and big data shift with emerging trends, it is important to follow developments to stay ahead of the competition. The new data landscape is more demanding than ever, and business leaders at every level need to consider how their efforts can be quantified, analysed and presented. Consider how any one of these trends might impact your business if utilized, as determining the benefit will help decide which partners to take in developing your strategy.

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