End users' needs are at the center of five BI trends to watch outlined in a recent Computerworld article, most of which relate in some way to making BI more palatable to more users. The story mentions software-as-a-service (SaaS) BI, which often wins users with its comparative ease of use .
SaaS ties into another of the trends, self-service BI. As Aberdeen Group Senior Research Analyst David White recently pointed out, "SaaS BI tools are generally intuitive, easy to use, and easy to understand." That helps explain Aberdeen's finding that organizations using SaaS BI have 50 percent more self-service BI users than companies that do not use SaaS.
Growing volumes of data, and organizations' belief that at least some of it contains valuable business insights, is driving interest in Hadoop, an open source framework for processing and storing large amounts of data. As I wrote recently, vendors including IBM, Teradata, Informatica and Pentaho are tweaking their data warehousing and BI software to work with Hadoop.
A growing number of companies will likely at least evaluate open source BI alternatives, as vendors including Pentaho, Infobright, Jaspersoft, Talend and LucidDB expand their solution sets to offer more complete BI stacks, according to Computerworld.
The final trend in the article is real-time analytics, which are beginning to look a lot more feasible with vendors' increasing use of in-memory computing technologies that greatly speed data processing.
In-memory analytics showed up on Gartner's short list of predictions for BI, which are included in a ReadWriteWeb piece. Gartner believes 30 percent of analytic applications will use in-memory functions to add scale and computational speed by 2014.
Of the other Gartner predictions mentioned in the article, the one that interested me most was its contention that 40 percent of spending on business analytics will go to system integrators, not software vendors, by 2014. This suggests to me that organizations are interested in best-of-breed and specialized BI solutions.
ReadWriteWeb also includes a list of predictions from Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus, several of which mirror those in the Computerworld article. (Not surprising since Kobelius was one of the sources it cited.)