Business intelligence and data analysis have become common tools for companies. But for current professionals and those entering the field, education and information on trends will be critical for career development. The industry, and the uses and demands of the technologies involved, are changing rapidly.
BI will change this year and into the near future because of developments in the technology and its availability as well as innovation into incorporating new types of data, like adapting artificial intelligence for the analysis of unstructured data. Here are some of the trends to watch.
BI’s past included a need for resources and spending that was difficult for many companies to provide, let alone defend in budget meetings. That is changing. Large companies that had virtually exclusive access to BI and its ability to help executives make faster and smarter decisions increasingly see smaller rivals with their own solutions. Self-serve versions, AI-enhanced services, and easier implementation don’t displace the role of data scientists, but they help democratize the field. Further enabling access are cloud-based services. A company needs dedicate IT infrastructure. Use an online service provider and using advanced BI and predictive modeling tools when desired becomes affordable, although their proper use still needs professionals. Availability extends to data, as well. Massive collections of third-party data becomes available for integration into analyses.
Integration with other systems
One of the older difficulties of BI was its separation from every other system. Someone would have to import data, run software, do analysis, export results, and provide intelligence through reports and graphics. Now systems can be brought together, either as extensions of enterprise software or the use of programming interfaces and other techniques that permit disparate application to communicate and exchange data. As the connections between different systems improve, so will the ways in which people use them and what they expect in terms of data availability. Part of integration has started to include voice recognition and natural language processing, so users will be able to ask for what they want and then verbally refine the queries. The integration will allow greater collaboration, so groups of people can work on the same problem or analysis.
AI analytic expertise
Ultimately, BI experts are necessary. But their roles will change as software becomes more capable of making decisions and delivering results to users who lack data expertise. They can handle statistical analysis as well as visualization, letting people shift from one view to another as they look for insights. And users can drill down into a visual display to get more detail and examine relationships in depth.
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