Analysts discuss BI trends for 2008

Analysts discuss BI trends for 2008

Analyst firm Gartner's predictions for outsourcing in 2008

Gartner has given insight into trends it believes will emerge in the 2008 business intelligence (BI) market. The information comes in advance of the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit, planned for the 5 -7 February in Amsterdam.

Andreas Bitterer, Gartner research vice president, said that one of the key issues being discussed would be the now consolidated BI market. “The whole market is looking different as the mega vendors take over the BI market,” Bitterer said. “Everyone is up for sale and in flux.”

This creates problems, Bitterer added, because “BI is a strategic initiative and requires good governance. At the moment there is more consolidation and radical change.".

The “never ending round of acquisitions” will disrupt the carefully planned BI strategies that chief information officers have put in place in order to deploy BI to a wider business audience, said the analyst firm. Bitterer plans to discuss the issue in more depth during the conference keynote.

Another difficulty is the amount of innovation the BI market will be able to deliver in its new state. “Innovation yields to integration,” Bitterer said, and acquisitions such as SAP and Business Objects, where there are overlapping applications, will be less able to innovate. Innovation, such as the use of virtualisation techniques, is more often accomplished by small companies, Bitterer said, adding that other innovative areas in the BI market include in-memory analytics and open source capabilities.

Gartner said the biggest challenge in IT is currently “how to make BI more pervasive and to increase adoption among business users.” Bitterer said that Cognos’ plan to go mobile with Nokia is one way of increasing BI’s pervasiveness.

Cognos 8 Go! Mobile, is the first BI mobile solution and will allow customers to view and interact with performance information while on the go, this leveraging the advantages of mobile working.

The solution will be compatible with Nokia E series devices and N series multimedia computers based on S60 third Edition on Symbian OS. The vendor’s wireless business intelligence solution will also support Windows Mobile 6 smartphones

Ilkka Pirttimaa, leading IT architect at Cognos 8 BI customer Stockmann, said, “Having the IT department write one report and deliver it to end users for consumption and interaction across desktops, the Web, or mobile devices is a powerful advantage that increase business efficiency by contributing to a consistent view of businesses information for more informed decision-making.”

Bitterer discussed other BI type challenges organisations are facing, including BI rationalisation and the difficulties of obtaining data quality.

Bitterer said in order to ensure data quality, the first step an organisation needs to take is to acknowledge the problem. “Data quality is the business’ problem and not IT’s”, Bitterer said. While IT concentrates on the data administration side for organisations, the business side—which has an understanding of data content—should take care of data management, Bitterer said

Bitterer added that organisations should employ data quality champions such as chief financial officers or data stewards to understand the content needing to be managed.

The BI conference will cover the areas of process, performance management, governance, technology such as data warehousing, the future of BI and emerging trends, according to Bitterer. Emerging trends include issues such as the impact of social networks on enterprise, he said.

Bitterer also mentioned that Microsoft’s BI intelligence solution is likely to grow in popularity, even though it has not made any acquisitions because of the number of people who “live in excel.”