Businesses are sitting on top of a goldmine with their collected customer data and other important information. To tap this immense resource, they need to invest in a quality business intelligence (BI) software solution. The global BI and analytics software market is expected to rake in revenue of $18.3 billion in 2017, growing 7.3% from last year. In this article, we detail popular current BI trends that you can apply to make your analytics more effective and useful.

Modern BI

Business intelligence analytics is no longer the domain of IT experts. Even non-analysts are learning to explore data and share their findings. Many leading companies are discussing and implementing strategies to promote BI internally. They are providing a safe environment to their employees to facilitate data discovery and exploration. Thus, modern BI has become an important priority for startups as well as global corporations.

Collaborative Analytics

Collaboration helps BI users to utilize the knowledge and expertise of multiple participants. As a result, collaborative analytics is trending facilitated by more accessible governed data and effortless sharing using cloud technology. Businesses have realized the immense benefits of cloud software solutions and are investing heavily in software-as-a-service (SaaS) products.

The era of unidirectional information flow is over. People are no longer using PowerPoint presentations and static PDFs to share data. Instead, they have advanced to sharing live data sources and interactive workbooks to drive analytics. Collaborators are iterating and improving each other’s output to get answers to their queries. Apart from cloud, they are also utilizing sharing functionalities such as subscriptions and email alerts to keep in touch. Collaborators are able to reach other people anywhere by embedding their dashboards inside other enterprise solutions. Top businesses are encouraging employees in all roles to consume data on interactive dashboards, perform their own analyses, and share their insights with others.

Equality of data

Data value no longer depends on its size or rank. It doesn’t matter whether you have a basic Excel spreadsheet or big data. The important thing is to enable your users to easily and quickly access and explore the data to find answers to key business queries to improve results.

Businesses are providing an environment where their employees can analyze data of all sizes, shapes, and types, and share their findings to improve decision-making. You don’t need to worry about storing your data in an Excel, Redshift, or Hadoop file. Top BI software solutions provide you a 360-degree look at your analytics and enable you to explore multiple data sources. Learn about the pros and cons of leading BI systems by browsing notable online directories such as this FinancesOnline.com review site.

Data Prep

In 2017, data prep is no longer done only by data and IT experts. Agility and ease of use are being applied to data integration also. Now, you don’t need specialists for standard data-prep work like cross-database joins, HTML and JSON imports, and data parsing. Even non-analysts are being empowered to perform these tasks to improve their analytics skills. The role of IT here is to make data accessible to all users and enable them to work in a secure data environment.

Embedded BI

Now, you don’t have to use a specialized BI software solution to derive data insights. Businesses are embedding analytics in standard business apps used by their employees such as Salesforce. This year, the use of analytics is expected to become widespread and companies can utilize the insights they derive to improve all key business processes. This means analytics will become available even to lay users such as truck drivers, call enter employees, and store clerks. The use of embedded BI means analytics may well become a part of daily life such as using predictive analytics to find music albums on Pandora or movies on Netflix. 

Natural Data Exploration

Ease of use is important for any business application and this applies to data analytics also. As a result, drag-and-drop interfaces are replacing pivot tables and scripting. Techniques such as natural language generation and processing are being used to provide natural interfaces to data. Natural language user experiences are making dashboards, charts, and data easily accessible by enabling lay users to utilize natural language and text to explore data. Now, the emphasis is on storytelling moving on from standard reporting. Though some experts are skeptical about this development, its success is sure to make data analytics even more popular as it can be performed even by lay users. 

Data Literacy

To extract the maximum results from their BI software solution, companies also need to invest in additional training for their employees to enhance user adoption. As mentioned earlier, data preparation and analytics is not restricted only to IT specialists and MBAs. All employees who interact with data need to improve their data literacy. Therefore, businesses need to focus on enhancing their average employee’s skills to interpret and explore big data.

Conclusion

Business success depends more on smart work than on hard work. Instead of slogging with ineffective marketing methods and business processes, companies need to make good use of BI analytics to improve their sales campaigns and to make more effective decisions. You can read detailed software reviews and comparisons online to select a suitable system for your requirements. Feel free to share details about how your company uses BI analytics to boost business prospects.

Read also: 3 Things Every Successful Business Owners Do

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