February 4, 2016

Tech ‘Democratization’ Seen Fueling Analytics Boom

George Leopold

The “democratization” of analytics illustrated by the transition to self-service business intelligence and foolproof BI platforms promises to boost to global analytics market to new heights in 2016 and beyond, market researcher forecast.

Gartner Inc. (NYSE: IT) predicted the worldwide BI and analytics market would reach $16.9 billion this year, up 5.2 percent over 2015. Last month, it projected the “advanced analytics” market would grow at a 14-percent clip this year to $1.5 billion as more data is shared on secure platforms.

The booming BI and analytics markets are approaching a “tipping point,” according to Gartner’s Ian Bertram, as enterprises shift from IT- and data scientist-led analytics to “business-led, self-service analytics.”

The emergence of combined BI and analytics platforms has fueled what the market researcher calls “the democratization of analytics” as “every business process [becomes] an analytics process and every person is an analytics user.”

The traditional approach in which data scientists and the IT department created “analytics content” through data consolidation and modeling is being replaced by emerging BI platforms that support “IT-enabled development of analytics content” by business users, Gartner said.

“To get the full benefit of modern BI and analytics platforms, leaders must rethink most aspects of their current IT-centric, centralized analytics deployments, including technology, roles and responsibilities, organizational models, governance processes and leadership,” stressed Bertram, a Gartner managing vice president.

The market researcher also released a chart comparing traditional and emerging BI and analytics platforms. Along with the elimination of upfront modeling of data sources and a shift from “IT-produced” to “IT-enabled” data ingestion and preparation, the takeaway was that business users are now in a position to handle “content authoring.” Gartner also noted that businesses also have been freed from relying on predefined models to conduct analyses, which is steadily shifting toward what it calls “free-form exploration” of data.

Echoing earlier findings about the growing ability to share the fruits of data analyses on secure platforms, Gartner noted that business intelligence has shifted from distribution via scheduled reports to “delivery via sharing and collaboration, storytelling and open APIs.”

By 2018, the market researcher predicts more than half of large global enterprises will leverage analytics and proprietary algorithms on secure platforms. Gartner also forecast a growing list of retail, financial and even professional sports applications as practitioners struggling to come up with big data strategies finally begin reaping a return on their investment.

Other market watchers are equally bullish about the global big data technology and services markets. For example, IDC Research released a forecast in November predicting a 23.1 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years. IDC said annual spending would reach $48.6 billion worldwide by 2019.

Infrastructure growth was pegged at 21.7 percent during the forecast period while software spending could surge by 26.2 percent, IDC predicted. Meanwhile, big data services were projected to grow at a 22.7-percent clip.

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