What to expect from BI in 2015

The global Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics market grew by 8% in 2013 and expectations are that the growth for last year would be even bigger...
Clearly, the focus now is on how BI can unlock value inside the organisation - more effectively than before. So what does 2015 hold for the market and the development of solutions to harness this?

Armandè Kruger, regional sales director at PBT Group, believes that the wider adoption and incorporation of BI and advanced analytical outcomes in business processes will lead towards more pre-emptive analytics. These analytics will encompass automated application responses based on inputs received from analytical models.

"It might sound like a cliché to say that real-time processing of information is critical to the success of the connected business. However, no company can afford not to find ways to improve the efficiency of their analytics as a means of enabling better decision-making. Thanks to advances in technology, faster and more real-time analytics are possible through in-memory analytics and in-memory processing. As a result, we expect 2015 to be the year where these aspects gain considerable momentum in organisations."

In fact, thanks to the hype around Big Data, analytics will continue to receive interest and adoption. However, as have been seen in other hype cycles, Kruger expects the bubble to burst around Big Data sooner rather than later. This, he believes, will pave the way for a more realistic adoption of analytics where it makes the most business sense.

"This year will also be a big one for moving BI services into the cloud. This makes it more affordable for small to medium enterprises and gives larger ones the ability to focus on their core business strategy."

An uptake of various hosting options

Petr Havlik, Managing Director of CyberPro Consulting, agrees.

"While cloud has been a popular buzz word in recent times, 2015 will see a much sharper uptake of various hosting options. In fact, South African companies across industry sectors have now started to take the cloud more seriously. I expect many of them to embark on actual implementation projects and move away from proof of concept work done over the last 12 to 18 months."

In addition to the cloud, Havlik expects mobile and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to form an integral part of the business landscape. He says that similar to the cloud, recent times were spent on investigating the business merits of such approaches, with companies finally ready to make them part of their IT landscape.

"The benefits of accessing back-end information and using BI solutions while working in the field are too significant to ignore. Decision-makers will start pushing for quicker roll-outs in order to equip their mobile teams with the analytics they need to be more effective in meeting business requirements."

PBT Group's Kruger says that mobile is already becoming more personal. These devices, he believes, are no longer seen as a tool but has become an extension of an individual. Furthermore, mobile will become the electronic fingerprint of people that will be used for anything from verification, tracking, and commerce, to classification and identification to name just a few examples.

"All of this points to how essential data has become to the success of a business. Using data more intelligently will become all-encompassing for organisations. Determining buying patterns, maintaining stock levels, detecting fraud, helping manage incentive programmes, and even managing customers better will require data and the analytical systems to derive practical BI from it," he says.

This will also lead to increased rule-based living. Kruger feels that with data and information overload inevitable, software developers will focus their efforts on developing algorithms that will automate up to 80 percent of all decisions people have to make on a daily basis.

"Imagine a world where the system will decide which emails or other messages to read, discard, and respond to. This will free up the time of people to do their work and not be stuck performing admin for long periods of time."

Finally, Havlik says the regulatory environment would have finally caught up with this reliance on data.

Havlik concludes; "This year, we will definitely see numerous IT projects that have to comply with POPI (Protection of Personal Information) regulations. These aspects will include IT security, BI and data, as well as system integration and telephony spheres. Business and IT will have to integrate completely to ensure that compliancy is adhered to."
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