The week after the Gartner BI show I thought I would try and summarize my thoughts on where the BI industry is and might go based on what I saw at this show.
I think the BI industry is in transition right now. There is a general acceptance that lots of good work has been done on how to use BI to analyze data and produce insight into what it all means and that there a fairly well established set of best-practices around BI and Data Warehousing. That said, there does not seem to be as much agreement as to where it is going.
Clearly there is a move to real-time or right-time. Clearly there is a growth in the appetite for query and reporting tools in the user community, especially as more tech-savvy workers come to the fore. Business Process Management, Corporate Performance Management and Business Intelligence are converging at some level creating new opportunities and new problems. The idea of information as an asset and as a source of competitive advantage is well established. There is a growing focus on decisions - taking better decisions - not just collecting and reviewing data.
From my point of view I think there is one big open question and I look forward to seeing Gartner address if over the coming months: Is Business Intelligence about delivering information to people or about a broader range of activities including real-time decisioning and actionable-insight (see Analytics defined) where the recipient might be a system not a person? Personally I would like to see the BI market be inclusive of both aspects and not be constrained by the idea that a person is the end point in the BI value chain. It remains to be seen if our friends at Gartner agree with me.
I think I will close with my favorite comment from the event - from Bill Hostmann - "this is not your father's BI".
Just FYI here are the other posts that relate to the show:
- Live from Gartner BI: Not your father's BI
- Live from Gartner BI: Business Intelligence, Business Process and Business Rules
- Live from Gartner BI: Future Trends in Business Intelligence
- Live from Gartner BI (not really): Business Activity Monitoring and EDM
- Decisions, decisions, decisions (actually a post about an article about a presentation)