The Business Intelligence (BI) space has been around for well over 20 years now. Over the last few years, the BI space has been morphing and growing rapidly with new trends and best practices. Some of these new trends and best practices will help drive success within an organization; others will be "noise" and cost an organization time and money. Here are the top three trends that we should look out for in 2019 to help drive success.
Lately, everyone in IT and outside of IT are talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI has become the latest hot topic. Studies have shown that nearly 60% of businesses are looking to integrate AI, and by extension machine learning, within their organization over the next three years. Implementing a machine learning solution works best where you clearly define the decision that must be made, use a limited number of variables, and where errors can be quickly corrected to improve the algorithm further. For example, "which of these bank payments correspond to this invoice?" is significantly easier to implement than "how can we improve long-term lung cancer survival rates?" You can use AI to help improve long-term cancer survival rates, but you need to clearly define your problem statement, hypothesis and control the number of variables to ensure success and accurate reporting. Do be afraid to start small and work up to "improving long-term cancer survival rates."
Data Visualization is more than fancy graphs and charts. Visualizations are created to give business leaders a tool to monitor the state of the business. These leaders need to be able to assess the health of the organization quickly and to make decisions as appropriate quickly. In order to meet these demands, the reporting layer needs to focus on well-developed stories. A good data visualization story integrates multiple data sets and allows the business leaders to formulate deep insights to set the strategic direction for the organization. Developing a good story is no easy task, but if you get it right, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition.
For the past several years, organizations have been shifting toward self-service analytics. To better manage these self-serving environments, companies are driving towards better data governance. Setting up Data Governance best practices allow the business user to ask and answer complex business questions while allowing them to find the data they need when they need it. To set-up these best practices and data standards, IT team members must partner with the key business stakeholders. By partnering together, they will identify the data that is most important to govern and create business rules that maximize the value of analytics without compromising the data integrity.
Business Intelligence is no longer a nice-to-have asset for organizations; it is a must. BI leaders are always looking out for the best solution that adds the most value within a company. In 2019, BI leaders should focus on Artificial Intelligence, Data Visualization, and Data Governance to drive success. Now is the time to plan for 2019 and identifying the success criteria in each of these categories to help ensure that your organization is one step ahead of the competition.