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November 21, 2016

The Top Five BI Analytics Trends for 2017

Louis Vistola

The importance of analytics to businesses is growing. Fast analysis of data from a variety of sources is viewed as a potential gold mine to optimize operations, increase revenues, improve customer relations, and more. Furthermore, as analytics expands into more operational areas, new use cases continue to emerge.

Simply put, companies need to derive actionable insights from their data sets. Visualization, analysis, and building analytical apps on top of this data all become extremely important.

The challenge for most companies is finding the right BI solution that is easy-to-use, suitably priced for company-wide use, and massively scalable. When evaluating solutions to meet changing BI requirements, here are the top trends for next year to keep in mind that should guide your selection.

Democratization of data: Inside most organizations, users want to be actively engaged with their data. However, they have not had the technology to do so. Companies will need to provide easy access to data and easy-to-use BI solutions that bring visualization and analytics to the masses. By providing users with BI solutions that allow true self-service, they move from passively consuming the data to actively using it to extract important information.

A cloud platform to get ready for IoT: Companies will face infrastructure problems as they try to make use of more data in their BI and analytics efforts. Already, 70 percent of companies say their existing infrastructure does not allow for them to deliver what business stakeholders want to do with data. Things are only going to get worse. Many companies anticipate using IoT data in the near future. That is a game changer. The volume of data captured by the IoT will exceed 1.6 zettabytes by 2020. The only way to accommodate and make use of such data will be to have a true cloud platform that easily scales.

The struggle to bridge the data talent chasm: Smart companies are realizing that expanded use of analytics is critical to their success. Unfortunately, even if companies wanted to staff up hiring many more data scientists, they will hit a wall. Data analytics talent is in short supply. More than 40 percent of companies are struggling with finding the talent they need. This makes it ever-more critical to select a BI solution that gives business users who do not have expertise in data sciences the ability to access, visualize, and analyze complex datasets.

The need for open platform to leverage existing investments: Most companies have made significant investments over time in their databases and analytics engines. Many are finding that these legacy systems cannot scale to meet current and future analytics demands. Tossing these systems and starting from scratch is not practical. What is needed is a modern, open analytics platform that integrates with legacy systems and also brings the requisite features and scaling capabilities. Specifically, any new solution chosen must support direct integration with today’s popular data sources and Big Data engines. and it must allow companies to use either the provided analytics engine in the new solution or use their own engine, leverage existing data warehouse investments.

The rise of the insight-driven organization: The role of analytic in organizations is expanding. Companies are going beyond the selective use of insights to fuel decision-making in individual parts of the business. Instead they are moving to an approach that relies on tightly integrated analytics and business processes to drive a competitive advantage and improve operations. To accomplish this requires a different type of BI platform. Transitioning from reporting-centric BI, companies need to be able to digest and gain insights from data at a glance. Visualization and easy-to-use analytics tools are essential as users need to be able to understand their data in a way that is natural to them, breaking down the barriers between people and their data.

Next steps

Adapting to changing BI requirements brought about by these trends will not be easy. Companies will need a modern analytics platform that helps them work with the large datasets and economically expand use of analytics throughout the organizations.

These are areas where solidThinking can help. Its Envision solution is a modern, cloud-based BI platform. Architected for an optimized self-service user experience, Envision democratizes data visualization, exploration, and discovery. Users can connect to their data to quickly create and publish charts and dashboards in an environment that is intuitive and collaborative yet powerful and secure.

For more information about expanding the use of analytics with a modern BI solution, visit:

 To see how different industries are benefiting from the increased use of analytics, visit: