Top BI Events in 2010, Top BI Trends in 2011


Ajay Ohri of has posted my email interview on Business Intelligence trends – you can read a copy below.

What do you think I missed?

Ajay: “What are the top 5 events in Business Integration and Data Visualization services you saw in 2010 and what are the top three trends you see in these in 2011.”

Top five events in 2010:

(1) Back to strong market growth. IT spending plummeted last year (business intelligence continued to grow, but more slowly than previous years). This year, organizations reopened their wallets and funded new analytics initiatives — all the signs indicate that BI market growth will be double that of 2009.

(2) The launch of the iPad. Mobile BI has been around for years, but the iPad opened the floodgates of organizations taking a serious look at mobile analytics — and the easy-to-use, executive-friendly iPad dashboards have considerably raised the profile of analytics projects inside organizations.

(3) Data warehousing got exciting again. Decades of incremental improvements (column databases, massively parallel processing, appliances, in-memory processing…) all came together with robust commercial offers that challenged existing data storage and calculation methods. And new “NoSQL” approaches, designed for the new problems of massive amounts of less-structured web data, started moving into the mainstream.

(4) The end of Google Wave, the start of social BI. Google Wave was launched as a rethink of how we could bring together email, instant messaging, and social networks. While Google decided to close down the technology this year, it has left its mark, notably by influencing the future of “social BI”, with several major vendors bringing out commercial products this year.

(5) The start of the big BI merge. While several small independent BI vendors reported strong growth, the major trend of the year was consolidation and integration: the BI megavendors (SAP, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft) increased their market share (sometimes by acquiring smaller vendors, e.g. IBM/SPSS and SAP/Sybase) and integrated analytics with their existing products, blurring the line between BI and other technology areas.

Top three trends next year:

(1) Analytics, reinvented. New DW techniques make it possible to do sub-second, interactive analytics directly against row-level operational data. Now BI processes and interfaces need to be rethought and redesigned to make best use of this — notably by blurring the distinctions between the “design” and “consumption” phases of BI.

(2) Corporate and personal BI come together. The ability to mix corporate and personal data for quick, pragmatic analysis is a common business need. The typical solution to the problem — extracting and combining the data into a local data store (either Excel or a departmental data mart) — pleases users, but introduces duplication and extra costs and makes a mockery of information governance. 2011 will see the rise of systems that let individuals and departments load their data into personal spaces in the corporate environment, allowing pragmatic analytic flexibility without compromising security and governance.

(3) The next generation of business applications. Where are the business applications designed to support what people really do all day, such as implementing this year’s strategy, launching new products, or acquiring another company? 2011 will see the first prototypes of people-focused, flexible, information-centric, and collaborative applications, bringing together the best of business intelligence, “enterprise 2.0”, and existing operational applications.

And one that should happen, but probably won’t:

(4) Intelligence = Information + PEOPLE. Successful analytics isn’t about technology — it’s about people, process, and culture. The biggest trend in 2011 should be organizations spending the majority of their efforts on user adoption rather than technical implementation.

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5 responses to “Top BI Events in 2010, Top BI Trends in 2011”

  1. iip albanjary Avatar

    Point #4. I see a relation with the fast growing of social media by corporates

  2. Tarek Demiati Avatar

    Nice post Timo, but don’t you think many of those trends will only be applicable to Fortune 500 companies ?

    I’m a firm believer that in terms of BI for some customers, sometimes less is more.

    Many medium sized business don’t have the budget, in house skills and the time required to implement a full blown state of the art BI solution, what are your thoughts on this ?

    1. Timo Elliott Avatar

      For sure! I was only allowed three trends, but I’m hoping that another one will be the adoption of more on-demand BI, e.g. I believe should be the default option for most organizations, and the on-premise installation should only be if this is unsuitable for some reason.

  3. Dave Avatar

    BI=Business Integration? Or Business Intelligence? Question has me confused.

    1. Timo Elliott Avatar

      Sorry, it’s business intelligence — I’ve now expanded it to “business intelligence” to make it clearer…