Thursday, September 01, 2005

The return of Business Intelligence

Wanted to touch a topic today that I’ve wanted to write about for quite a while. I predict the next few years will see a big revival in the market for software for Business intelligence products. Some key points which will in my opinion drive the market:-

  1. Organization wide-intelligence and information analysis:- While BI might have started off as a tool used by C-level execs, today the importance of visibility into operations across the board are being recognized. Staff across the organizations require access to processed information delivered to their desktops and mobile phones. Evolving standards like RSS will definitely have a big role to play.
  2. Blended offerings:- Advanced Excel skills are still rare and in the next few years we will see the outsourcing of the entire MIS department. BI vendors will be forced to offer a combined offering, blending tools, best practices and a analysis on tap offering that will deliver information to users without dedicated investments on the part of enterprises.
  3. The evolution of consulting:- Proprietary analysis, techniques and processes will be big. This is in my opinion going to herald the new age of consulting. Where you will have branded gurus who will be retained to analyze information flowing across the organization, crystallize it into intelligence and then monitor the execution of strategies based on the same. I expect the big 5 consulting companies to adopt to this changed universe in a big way. It will also force them to improve their offshore capability. Infosys already has embraced the model.
  4. Customer Service will take new forms:- I expect blogs, newsboards and tickets to add to the pool of enterprise information as well as get integrated into senior level dashboards leading to greater executive visibility into problems and issues as they are raised.
  5. The return of the dashboard:- The concept touted by Microsoft and others at some time in the past will now come back in a big way. This will also mark the death of those excel sheets flowing across the organization, designed by line managers and adding to the information burden, subject to information leaks and prone to data loss and black holes. I also expect these dashboards to incorporate all sorts of corporate data such as email, voice mail, blogs, intranet posts etc.
  6. Search will be back:- the ability to create custom dashboards will be dependent on good search and analysis tools. Expect some innovation here.

Very interesting area and one where there should be a lot of scope for innovation. Any thoughts?

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