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Big data drives business intelligence shift

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The rise of the big data phenomenon and development in corresponding technologies is seeing new trends in BI and analytics come to the fore. These trends are highlighting the growth in value of integration and consolidation of data in building policies and meeting the businesses’ strategic objectives.
Many organisations are, at present, making use of many different BI tools. However, this burgeoning data growth is driving a need for technologies that have extended capabilities. BI and analytics providers are taking notice of this shift driven by big data, says Vivian Goliath, head of the BI practice at Logikal Consulting.
“Players in this arena are gearing up to meet new market demands. The question all organisations need to ask themselves is how they are going to harness this data, quickly and efficiently, so that IT investments start giving a good return on investment.”
She says that, although big data is a hot topic, what is crucial to any business is separating the relevant data, and gaining actionable insights from that information. “This is where analytics is coming into its own. It is becoming a crucial driving force in business decision making. Following from this, the ability to generate reports that are easy to understand and action quickly, is also becoming vital to the business.”
Another trend, says Goliath, is the integration of big data and BI with cloud technologies. “Cloud-based BI and analytics are growing at an exponential rate, and companies who integrate these technologies will have a significant competitive advantage, as they will be able to obtain the insights that help boost the bottom line more quickly than their competitors. Within every business, users need to be able to engage actively with their information, but they don’t always have the tools to do so. BI solutions need to offer self-service, allowing businesses to move away from passively consuming data, to actively using it to obtain actionable information.”
Another trend she sees is the move towards data coming from both internal and external source. “Clever enterprises understand that all good decisions come from using information at hand, and to harness that information effectively, businesses need to look to both external and internal data sources. Merely looking at the data within the organisation, instead of looking at all the market data and intelligence out there is a mistake. Companies that process information from multiple, disparate sources will have a far better view of the landscape, and will remain ahead of the pack.”
Finallly, she talks about the consumerisation of IT as a factor. “This is no longer a theory, it’s a fact. Individuals want products that they feel comfortable with, and enjoy using. They also like to engage with and learn from other users, inside and outside their company. Vendors who design products that inspire their users to do exactly this will thrive.”
At the end of the day, she says more and more people, from consumers to business users, to civil servants, are making data an integral part of their lives. The companies who allow all these users to effectively harness their data, will remain ahead of their competitors.