The Evolution of Business Intelligence

According to research, business intelligence has delivered up to a ten-fold increase in ROI. The introduction of new technologies increases the demand for intuitive business tools. Here we look at the trends to watch out for…

Based on a concept developed in 1865, business intelligence has evolved to become one the most in-demand tools of this time. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that IBM and Siebel began to develop business intelligence into the applications we are familiar with today. And, following the development of mobile and cloud technologies in recent years, a huge surge in the re-development of BI tools and capabilities has been experienced.

Top trends

As explained on Entrepreneurial-insights.com, “If statistics are anything to go by, Business Intelligence has delivered up to a ten-fold increase in ROI.” Those who’re using business intelligence are increasing their competitive advantage, making better informed strategic decisions and evolving their products and services in-line with customer demands. To get up-to-date with the latest BI trends, here’s what to look out for:

Software development

Modern accounting software, CRM and ERP solutions incorporate business intelligence providing access to graphical dashboards for actionable insights. Microsoft continue to successfully build BI into their CRM offering. As a result they have been positioned as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms for eight consecutive years. As Bob Stutz, Corporate Vice President Microsoft said, “We’re introducing capabilities like intelligent product suggestions (for cross-sell), intelligent and contextual guidance into CRM throughout the entire customer journey, which will be a real game changer for organisations looking to reduce cycle times and win deals faster.” Another solution to watch out for is Power BI, which Curtis Norman, Project Manager at Xperience Group predicts “is going to be the big one.”


The ability to utilise internal and external data continues to be vital in remaining competitive. As explained on Forbes.com, “…internal data streams give only a limited picture, especially with the growth of digital business.” QlikView, for example, pulls in data from a variety of separate sources, making it easy for you to obtain detailed analysis in a single application. What’s more, by removing the need to move between applications you can increase productivity by 40%.

Mobile and cloud abilities

Reports for different mobile devices enable you to gain business insights, no matter where you are, in a way that is most convenient to you. Enterpriseappstoday.com states, “Mobile business intelligence has been all the rage for a couple of years now. But reality hasn’t quite matched up to expectations. Adi Azaria, co-founder of Sisense, said it has gotten to the point where mobile requirements are forcing a fundamental change in the approach to BI. “Rather than elaborate visualizations, you will see hard numbers, simple graphs and conclusions,” Azaria said. “For instance, with wearable devices you might look at an employee and quickly see the key performance indicator.”

Real-time data

As Puneet Pandit, CEO of Glassbeam, said, “When you have millions of devices, systems and machines connected on the Internet generating all kinds of machine log data, making sense of this data becomes a strategic opportunity for manufacturers, service providers and end users.” The Internet of things (IoT) is generating new types of real-time information, increasing the rate of change, therefore the ability to remain agile is vital. Businesses must have the means to action insights from up-to-date data, rather than waiting for monthly and annual reports to be produced.

Great Expectations

The development of automated systems, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and the Internet of things will revolutionise the way we do business. Instead of visual displays of data, technology will be used to create simulations, providing data on the various potential outcomes. This will enable computers to make informed decisions for us. What’s more, Gartner predict that by 2020, information will be used to reinvent, digitalise or eliminate 80% of business processes and products.

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