Top 10 BI and Analytics Trends for 2018

by December 9, 2017

The commonly used functionalities in business intelligence such as visualization and reporting are integrated by different tools. An organization can now identify flaws in its processes, measure supply and demand, keep a tab on market position and remove the guesswork from the system using analytics. Business models can be customized according to strategies and objectives of an organization and a measure of overall performance can be kept using scorecard and dashboards.

Real-time data from a central source reduces costs and improves efficiency. Likewise, BI software does the entire analytics and modeling part of a process thereby reducing the complexity of the business. BI has gone on to become a tool meant for the masses. Even with limited knowledge, users can now make use of this technology to leverage the power of analytics in their businesses.

With continued evolution in the BI landscape, it’s become more and more important to keep rearranging our priorities to help organizations achieve the next best level. Here we identify ten of the most important BI and analytics trends that an organization needs to be aware of.


1. Natural Language Processing (NLP)

The rising popularity of AI devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home have made people realize that software can indeed comprehend what one speaks and respond accordingly. Nuanced questions can be put forth to software and it will make easier for people to analyze the vast volume of data at hand. According to Gartner, by 2020, 50 percent of analytical queries will be generated via NLP. Also, organizations in the near future are bound to spend more on chatbot than traditional apps.


2. Data Protection

Cyber insurance saw its birth with organizations realizing that the biggest asset it had was its data. This market is set to grow up to US$5.6 billion by 2020. If the systems in an organization go down or get hacked, all trade would be lost. No institution is immune to the threat of data breach as we have seen with most recent high profile data breach cases. Since data is treated as an asset, its value will only increase with time and can be reviewed using both financial and non-financial models.


3. Cloud Analytics

Most businesses will soon make a shift towards BI and offer more applications in the cloud than on-premise because of shorter implementation time, low upfront investments and no IT costs.


4. Data Visualization

It is a known fact that the human brain processes visual information faster than any other form of information. Visualization driven analytics has therefore been experiencing an upward trend amongst the professionals. Visualization makes the interpretation of discovered data a lot easier task.


5. Mobile Analytics

With smartphone revolution moving a level up each year, mobile analytics has become more of a necessity than an option for businesses. Businesses now consider this to be an important part of their strategies. The fact that mobile provides fastest and easiest access to analytics has made mobile analytics a popular choice and forced businesses to move away from desktops.


6. Chief Data Officers

The C-suite in the most organization now faces the challenge of creating analytics based processes because big data and analytics have become an integral part of businesses. With the introduction of a chief data officer, it will become easier to spearhead business process changes with respect to analytics as well communicate the value that analytics brings to all departments. A chief data officer is responsible for developing and executing analytics plan at all levels.


7. Moving to Art and Storytelling

One of the primary skills of liberal arts is that of storytelling and this is the skill that has formed the base of the technical aspects of creating an analytical dashboard. Instead of depending on executives to pull out insights from data, the dashboard itself tells a summary or a story sharing graphs and charts and how to implementation and what decisions to take. “Business Intelligence will take some turns in 2018, with a turn towards more AI and an embracing of Liberal Art’s majors,” says Lindsey Havens, Senior Marketing Manager for Phishlabs.


8. Self-Service Analytics

Gone are the times when everything in a business used to run through the IT department. Now BI has shifted towards self-service with platforms becoming more business user-centric. Owing to this, self-service analytics will grow significantly in the coming year. Also with users proficient with business tools, boundaries of data integration will now be pushed further.


9. Investment in Academics

About 70 percent of employers by 2021 will need data science skilled employees according to a PwC report. With increasing demand for data science jobs, more and more students are turning towards this field and hence will need more professional degree courses. For instance, UC San Diego has introduced an undergraduate major and minor in data science this year.


10.Data Engineers

A business’s operational and analytical database is built and managed by data engineers. A deep technical knowledge will be needed with the increase in data volume and complexity. With data in a constant need of tweaking, data engineer roles will keep on growing. As of now, there are 2,500 open positions for data engineers on LinkedIn, indicating the growing and continued demand for this specialty.