As 2012 is next door, Gartner has identified next year’s business analytics trends. From the list, I find the following the most fascinating.
As we know profitability at any organization is the result of limitless “minor” actions taken by decision makers at the front lines — at employees’ desks, in front of customers, with partners etc. But, because traditional business intelligence solutions are best suited to delivering historical, narrowly-focused information, most companies are unable to arbitrate and respond to business changes in real time.
The enabler of micro- and macroscopic views of profitability is analytics: sets of interactive objects (i.e., graphs, tables, reports, alerts) which support the process of taking profitable actions by helping the decision maker separate truly actionable knowledge from raw data. Therefore, analytics can help link both insight and action. In order to do this properly, these must be available when profit occurs, through collaboration, at the point of opportunity, by many people, and in incremental actions.
Analytics is growing along three key dimensions:
- From traditional offline analytics to in-line embedded analytics. This has been the focus for many efforts in the past and will continue to be an important focus for analytics.
- From analyzing historical data to explain what happened to analyzing real-time as well as historical data from multiple systems in order to simulate and predict the future.
- Over the next three years, analytics will mature along a third dimension:
- from many systems supporting a collaborative decision process that brings multiple people together to analyze, brainstorm and make decisions
- from structured and simple data analyzed by individuals to analysis of complex information of many types (txt, audio etc) – best example in this category would be Apple’s new TV that will have SIRI to help viewers decide which channels to watch based on their mood.
Additionally, analytics is also beginning to shift to the cloud which enables high performance and grid computing. As we have seen this year, I have a strong belief that in 2012, analytics will increasingly focus on decisions and collaboration. It will provide simulation, prediction, optimization and other analytics, not simply information, to empower even more decision flexibility at the time and place of every business process action.
The overwhelming size of data is exponentially increasing day by day. Along with the size, complexity of formats and delivery speed has also exceeded the capabilities of traditional data management technologies. These significant changes have increased the need for new, simple technologies to manage the volume of data. Currently in the market we find many new emerging technologies, with the potential to be disruptive (e.g., in-memory DBMS). Analytics has become a major driving application for data warehousing, with the use of self-service data marts and cubes. One major implication of big data is that in the future users will not be able to put all useful information into a single data warehouse. Logical data warehouses bring together information from multiple sources as needed and will replace the single data warehouse model soon.
Cloud is a disruptive force and has the potential for broad long-term impact in most industries. While the market remains in its early stages in 2011 and throughout 2012, it will see the full range of large enterprise providers fully engaged in delivering a range of offerings to build cloud environments and deliver cloud services. As companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Salesforce continue to expand their cloud offerings users will see competition heat up and enterprise-level cloud services increase.
Enterprises are moving from trying to understand the cloud to making decisions on selected workloads to implement on cloud services and where they need to build out private clouds. Hybrid cloud computing which brings together external public cloud services and internal private cloud services, as well as the capabilities to secure, manage and govern the entire cloud spectrum will be a major focus for 2012.