Interesting session today with Betsy Burton and Mark Beyer on future trends in Business Intelligence. Lots of good stuff on how visualization, SOA and composite applications etc will impact what we traditionally regard as the BI market. Although they touched again on the need to bring the business intelligence platform and the business process platform together, this was not the focus. Instead they stayed pretty tightly on the future of how people will gain intelligence about their business, especially on the implications for BI of the likely skills and behavior of the worker of the future.
If you read this blog regularly you will know that I think this is only part of the problem. How do you free up the workers of the future so that they have time to use this information? How do you make sure that the insights you gain from your data can be applied not just by people but also in the transactions you have automated? When you bring business intelligence into the business process platform, does that just mean helping people involved in the process get access to in-context information or does it mean having the process actually respond automatically to the implications of the data? All these issues require, I think, a different perspective. Not on how people consume intelligence but on how intelligent people can ensure that the systems that manage so many of our interactions are as "smart" as possible.
The presentation did reinforce for me how complimentary BI and EDM are as approaches and how most organizations will need both. I still think the BI market needs to embrace EDM's concept of decision automation more if it is to help companies get the most value from their data.