For years, organizations adopted BI and analytics technologies to achieve greater efficiency from business intelligence. With BI accessibility still limited due to license restrictions or product fit, companies have not yet conquered these early goals.
Despite this, many organizations are moving ahead on a new wave of business intelligence initiatives focused on predicting where to best steer the business. Because the folks responsible for steering the company primarily work in marketing and product development, these departments will gain influence in prioritizing requirements and selecting BI products.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that results from The BI Survey 16 indicate a broadening scope in the vision and goals for current business intelligence investments.
Though reporting and dashboard capabilities remain core staples of a BI portfolio, this rising wave of BI investments is aiming for exploration involving new data types and new sources, including integration within companies’ commercial offerings. These product and market-driven projects need to extract insights so companies can outsmart the competition and over-deliver on product and service expectations.
Unlike traditional BI projects that mine internal data from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and data warehouses, many of today’s current BI projects taking place within sales and marketing require external data such as maps, social data, or even historical weather readings. Success in gaining new insights here requires BI software that allows functional users to bring new data sources together in different ways.
The chart below provides a snapshot of the solution areas where 2,220 survey respondents are applying their BI investment resources. One thing is clear: areas such as accounting and finance are more or less under control, so companies are moving to other parts of the enterprise and the top areas now involve gaining a better understanding of the customer, market, and competitive dynamics.