The future of business intelligence (BI) promises better access to information, more ways to analyze data and make decisions, and superior methods of reporting results to managers and stakeholders. A modernized, robust BI platform can mean the difference between a company lagging behind or leading the pack. Medium and small-sized businesses especially are joining the BI revolution.

Here are a number of the latest business intelligence trends that may impact a company’s ability to attract and keep customers or clients, while ensuring the smoothest possible operation of the business:

  1. Data Discovery Tools. One BI trend sure to be on the radar of every business is data discovery. Data discovery steers business leaders toward new ways of seeing and analyzing company data.

    As data becomes more complex, it makes better sense to show it in more interactive and visual presentations. Text and tables of hard-to-consume data are being replaced by charts and graphs that can be flexed and manipulated. These new interactive visualization tools enable decision-makers to see major business trends and to spot problematic issues more quickly.

  2. Self-service Business Intelligence. It used to be that when company decision-makers wanted to see business data, they would have to request it from the IT or finance departments. What the decision-maker received may or may not have been useful to them. With self-service BI, business leaders can get instant access to customizable data wherever they are.

    More and more, business leaders appreciate the ability to analyze and act on data right at their fingertips. Users can modify their own dashboards, design their own queries, customize their own models, create their own reports and take advantage of other functionality without involving IT or finance staff.

  3. Predictive Analytics. Business forecasting has always been important, but taking some of the guesswork out of forecasting can pay off big time for businesses. Predictive analytics is a BI trend that examines complex enterprise data and makes assumptions and projections on future probabilities.

    Predictive analytics has many uses when it comes to BI, including: determining the value of prospects and customers; forecasting price, sales and demand; predicting machine failures; and monitoring and evaluating social media. By using predictive analytics, business leaders can better understand the inefficiencies or strengths of their companies and improve future company performance.

  4. Data Quality Management. We’ve all heard the prophetic adage “garbage in, garbage out.” This is especially true for BI. Without reliable, accessible and coherent data, BI might produce false assumptions and spawn poor decisions that harm the company.

    Data quality management uses a number of parameters to ensure the integrity of information. These include: completeness, accuracy, validity, uniqueness, consistency and timeliness. Managing the quality of data is vitally important to making the right company decisions and optimizing success.

  5. Cloud Analytics. While many businesses already use cloud solutions for data storage, the cloud also provides incredible opportunities for analyzing business information. Employing cloud-based data analytics offers companies up-to-the-minute technology without having to develop expensive in-house expertise.

    A cloud BI system can be implemented within a very short time frame and at significantly lower costs than an in-house BI platform. It requires no additional hardware purchases or IT resources, and future costs are much easier to predict. Some businesses have been reluctant to embrace the cloud, but recent improvements in security and infrastructure has virtually wiped out any concerns businesses may have had in that respect.

With BI becoming increasingly important to business success, RDX is committed to helping businesses gain a competitive advantage by providing the expertise, services and scale they need to maximize the value of their BI. Since our inception in 1994, our remote DBA services have helped hundreds of companies improve the quality of their database environments while reducing the costs associated with on-site database management.

We also help clients leverage Microsoft’s industry-leading BI Product Suite (SSIS, SSAS, SSRS) and Power BI, enabling them to turn raw data into revenue. Our customized, scalable Microsoft BI solutions allow companies to unlock the power of data to delight customers, drive differentiation and make better, faster business decisions. It’s why we’re the #1 provider and pioneer of remote DBA services.