A new year is upon us and it is always exciting to look at what trends the year will bring especially at a time when businesses agree that real-time data is the elixir of businesses.
BI platforms have gone from being simply viewed as a software to being considered an extra team member doing most of the leg work. As more companies fight to squeeze more insights from their data to support decision-making in the organization, the demands of what BI platforms should do have exponentially grown.
We have listed down the top 5 BI trends in 2019 that matters.
- Scrutinizable Machine Learning Models
CFOs are skeptical people by nature and one of the main reasons for the hesitation in adapting artificial intelligence methods is the fact that machine learning applications currently do not allow spot checking. There is a lack of transparency or lack of ability to investigate the algorithms behind its recommendations.
Transparency is essential to convince CFOs or other senior leaders that an intelligent system is worth deploying and adapting.
This 2019, we will see many attempts of BI systems to try and establish trust. There will be new ways to offer an assurance that the machine learning models are working as it should and that its decisions and recommendations are based on valid predictions.
2019 will be a year when machine learning models will be presented in more digestible, comprehensible, relatable terms. When decision-makers will be allowed to ask questions, to investigate the reliability of its recommendations and decisions, and to answer based on varied what-if scenarios or varying input. 2019 will finally allow checking of the hood.
- Human Conversations and questions with Data
There are a few BI vendors today that offer their users the ability to interact with their data by allowing them to ask questions without requiring deep knowledge of the platform.
2019 will see more BI developers push the boundaries of modern BI capabilities in terms of supporting analytical conversations with data. There will be more attempts this year for systems to leverage the meaning of a specific conversation to understand what the user is trying to achieve and to be able to take the conversation further through a series of follow-up questions.
BI developers will try to make BI systems carry out analytical conversations without having to let users break down their intent or clarify uncertainty. BI features that will allow users to ask specific questions and explanations about visualizations will also be seen.
- Seamless Marriage of Data and Business
One of the reasons why many companies scramble to adopt modern technology as fast as possible is the fact that data sources have become too many, too complex, and too diverse all at once. With the culture of using data insights to support organizational decision-making and strategy-formulation, it has become critical for systems to guarantee accuracy.
BI features that will ensure clarity, standardization, and consistency in the way the business captures data, cleans them, defines them, and aligns them will stand out. BI features that will try and narrow down the gap between real world use and data will surface more.
Data catalogs that act as glossary of data sources and definitions that can be updated by SMEs will be an important BI feature. It is imperative that BI system users understand what the data they are looking at represents. It is not important they know which data source it comes from, just what it means for business.
This 2019 will see a trend of marrying data catalogs and BI platforms so that tasks may be more streamlined and consistent. 2019 will see a BI trend of looking at disparate data In a more realistic, business world perspective.
- Audience-focused Data Visualization
No matter how good a system is in automating or analyzing, it all comes down to how findings are communicated. Simply calculating numbers do not have any impact at all for the business because it is presenting what it is trying to tell us that matters.
Data visualization has long been an important BI feature. It has now become a norm to make sure that insights or information from the system are conveyed in a way that make sense otherwise, it doesn´t fulfill its purpose.
At a time when data analytics is king, 2019 will see a BI trend of audience-focused data visualization. There will be more multi-page dashboards or scrollable pages affording analysts a chance to showcase their approach in a step by step fashion until a conclusion is reached. This bolsters confidence in the quality of the analysis, the insights gained, and an opportunity to test out the strength of their assumptions in the process.
2019 will be a year of allowing other people across job titles and units to bring in deeper business perspectives to achieve a solid, reliable conclusion.
- Cloud Migration
This year modernizing the company means cloud migration. As many companies continue to flock to the cloud due to flexibility, total cost of ownership, and ease of deployment and maintenance, BI platforms in the cloud will take center stage.
2019 will see CFOs demand shortening of time it takes to perform tasks or actions while increasing efficiency.
It will become even more important for companies to have a non-IT reliant BI system that will provide quick answers to their questions. While, some companies will continue to explore hybrid solutions this year, one thing is certain – everyone is heading for the cloud.
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