Gartner: SIs and SPs to Take Prominent Role in Business Intelligence Delivery

Researcher sees users accessing sophisticated business intelligence data from handhelds, strong upticks in the market for performance management and applied analytics and more involvement by channel players. Future BI deployments likely to include social media and collaboration solutions.

January 12, 2011

D.H. Kass

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Business Intelligence solutions will be immutably tied to the fabric of business decision-making by 2014, according to researcher Gartner Inc., as the increasingly sophisticated technology allows users to actualize volumes of data on the fly for specific tasks, assess performance, evaluate solutions and drive future marketing and sales efforts.

“The market for BI and analytics is undergoing gradual evolution,” said Neil Chandler, Gartner research director. “By 2014, the metamorphosis of BI from IT-owned and report-centric will be virtually complete for a large number of organizations,” he said.

“These organizations will change what types of BI and analytics they use,” Chandler said. “They will change how they procure them and where they procure them from, and they will modify how information feeds decision making.”

In advance of its Business Intelligence Summit, slated for London on January 31 and Los Angeles, CA on May 2, the researcher offered four trends it said will overturn traditional assumptions about the technology and its future application in business settings.

Chief among them is that the channel stands to reap the benefits of the growing BI segment. According to Gartner, by 2014, an estimated 40 percent of spending on business analytics will go to system integrators and service providers rather than software vendors as is currently the case.

Businesses will rely more on system integrators and service providers to integrate user initiatives, external sources of data and unstructured content, the researcher said.

“Buyers can now evaluate solutions, for example, marketing campaign effectiveness in financial services, as total packages and select a lead provider, often a service provider to deliver it,” Gartner said.

Business users “need to broaden their evaluations to include service providers, and evaluate them based on industry expertise and best practice in addition to functions and architecture,” the researcher said.

Gartner also said that a new wave of mobile business intelligence users, equipped with smartphones and tablets, will access analytic applications, initially for existing reports and dashboards but, with increasing frequency, for specific tasks or domains. Indeed, the researcher believes that by 2013, fully one-third of business intelligence functionality will be consumed by users through handheld devices.

“Mobile BI will significantly expand the population of BI users to include a more mainstream audience and this opportunity will attract significant investment,” Gartner said.

By 2014, about 30 percent of analytic applications will take advantage of in-memory functions to add computational speed and scale, and will incorporate proactive, predictive and forecasting capabilities, Gartner said.

“Packaged applications will incorporate data and text mining, forecasting and regression, optimization, scoring and simulations using complex business rules and data modeling,” the researcher said.

The impact of social media and collaboration technology on business intelligence will be more noticeable in the next three years, as up to 15 percent of BI deployments will combine all three platforms, according to Gartner.

“Organizations are starting to piece together collaboration technology, social software and BI to create collaborative decision making environments,” the researcher said. “During the next 12 to 18 months, these efforts will continue to grow as organizations start to more proactively manage, capture and optimize decision processes and outcomes to improve performance beyond the decision inputs such as BI,” the company said.

Gartner said that already it has seen a number of vendors tackling the challenge of melding BI, social media and collaboration solutions.

“BI and analytics leaders should embrace the technology, market and management trends that will transform this field within a few years,” said Chandler.

The researcher has produced a report on its BI predictions, entitled Predicts 2011: New Relationships Will Change BI and Analytics .

TAGS: mobile,business intelligence,Gartner,service provider,system integrator

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