Business Intelligence Software: Where It's Headed: Page 2

Business intelligence software may be overshadowed by Big Data, but BI remains as relevant as ever.
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4) NoSQL is the new SQL: SQL will always be around, as will row and column databases. But NoS, the unstructured database, is used to store pretty much anything. NoSQL databases have virtually no data model restrictions and can hold anything. This means that application changes and database schema changes can be done far more easily than in a SQL environment.

Another thing that makes NoSQL popular is that it scales out, rather than up. In an Oracle database, you buy a big iron system and run the database on that machine. If it gets too slow, you replace it with a bigger piece of iron. For NoSQL, you can scale out and distribute the database across multiple commodity hosts as the load increases. With BI coming from a variety of sources, this makes NoSQL increasingly popular.

5) Move to the cloud: Like everything else, BI should start moving to the cloud, and users are ready. Forty-five percent of respondents to Gartner's 2014 BI and analytics platform Magic Quadrant survey said they would put their mission-critical BI in the cloud, a big jump from 30 percent in the prior four years.

Of course, the software isn't quite there yet. Gartner says BI vendors with cloud offerings are working toward meeting critical market requirements for things like strong product functionality, positive customer experiences and high business value to customers. By 2016, Gartner estimates 25% of net-new BI and analytics deployments will be in the cloud.

Most BI vendors have announced one of two types of cloud strategies; their own cloud offering and data centers and/or by integrating with existing cloud platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure and RackSpace.

6) Collaboration: BI tools can be solitary, used by one person who then shares the findings with others. Vendors like Tableau, Qlik, SAP and Microsoft have been working on collaborative BI for enterprise-wide reporting and analytics, making the process of sharing data easier and enabling more efficient decision making among team members.

Collaborative BI emphasizes the problem-solving process. Tools allow peers to analyze data and exchange information and ideas through Web 2.0 tools like blogs and wikis. Modern tools also support brainstorming through social networking-like features, which continue to gain popularity for both business and personal use.

7) Going embedded: In some instances, one of the best ways to get the necessary data is to embed analytics right into the systems they use every day and give people analytics they previously did not have. For example, using Salesforce's Canvas to integrate third-party applications with Tableau software, it's possible to embed a BI dashboard to give the salesperson an overview of their accounts that Salesforce does not provide.

TIBCO also offers embedding of BI into commercial software, custom software and cloud/SaaS apps to give end users better insight into the application's data and provide data visualization reports.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Tags: business intelligence software, big data, BI applications, big data tools


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