More than three decades in, BI technology is still in a relatively nascent phase considering where it’s poised to go. But that doesn’t mean that the present state of modern business intelligence (BI) technology doesn’t paint an exciting outlook for the future of enterprise operations.
To understand the BI’s long-term potential, it helps to understand what the best of business intelligence tools can already accomplish. Let’s discuss four qualities of highly effective solutions and platforms.
Artificial intelligence is no longer something we talk about as future development. AI and machine learning (ML) are being applied in everything from autonomous cars and robot-operated warehouses to data analytics and fintech.
Tasks as granular, complex and routine as data processing and analysis are burdensome and tedious for even the most trained data professionals to execute consistently. Not only could data teams spend their time on higher-priority business tasks, but organizations would also stand to benefit via self-learning BI systems. AI carries the potential to sift through dozens of data sources to find relevant results, indicate hidden trends users may have missed and tailor findings to the users it serves.
Regardless of the company, achieving success is difficult without effective communication. While business intelligence platforms may be the brain organizations pick for answers, truly operation-changing BI tools are also the medium that distills and circulates knowledge across the enterprise. Historically, using business intelligence software has required teams of data professionals. This slowed down the data discovery process and limited teams’ access to information.
Today’s business intelligence tools are useful because they extend access to an entire company and all its partners and suppliers. Features like ThoughtSpot’s embedded BI allows charts, voice optimization, search bars, and dashboards to integrate into existing apps, portals and workflows. Then, custom data APIs give businesses the choice to tailor their data analytics software even closer to their needs. When a company can not only generate actionable insights but also provide data visibility to all the entities that power their supply chain, everybody wins.
The business ecosystem moves quickly these days, but that doesn’t mean raw information is any less sensitive. There are growing pains in cyber defense, risks with having multiple access points to company data and, of course, the dilemma of artificial intelligence one day commandeering control of the ship.
All this and more makes it essential for any modern business intelligence solution to be trustworthy. This means enterprise-grade governance and setting custom access permissions no matter how large a company grows. It also means leveraging AI in a way that provides accuracy without compromising transparency. When users see the sources along with insights, they can trust that they’re getting one version of the truth, which helps increase employee adoption.
Most of us operate despite fragmented attention spans. Our limitless apps and push notifications are to blame, but so is the digital economy with email and work messaging tools. Like it or not, things aren’t going back to the way they were. So, if we’re accustomed to searching Google in our personal lives for every curiosity that surfaces, wouldn’t we do the same thing if given a chance at work?
Business intelligence has always revolved around a search bar, it’s just that that search bar couldn’t do anything that wasn’t a predefined view. With modern platforms, users can ask questions on the fly and receive accurate answers that were computed instantly.
From a company usage perspective, it’s also important for a platform to be adaptable to how many users it can serve, as well as how many data sources it can accommodate. Because as we all know, data generation isn’t decreasing anytime soon.
Businesses across industries are already seeing the outcomes that can stem from proper analytic processes. While getting value from data surely involves more than software, companies won’t get far without an adaptable, communicative, self-learning, and trustworthy BI tool.