Forces Behind Business Intelligence’s Rapid Growth

The business intelligence market is rapidly expanding, according to Zion Market Research. The company estimates that BI market size will hit $26.5 billion by 2021, at a compound annual growth rate of 8.4 percent between 2016 and 2021.

Looking back at 2015 numbers, the firm said that more than 20 percent was in mobile BI. By deployment segment, 86 percent was on-premises, although that is likely to change as cloud-based deployment becomes more common. North America will be the largest market and currently accounts for 56 percent of the global market. Zion expects Asia Pacific to see rapid growth going forward.

It’s all good news for BI professionals. However, knowing that something is happening is only half of what you need for smart career and business planning. You also want to know why events unfold as they do.

Several forces are behind BI growth according to an Information Management interview of Rita Sallam, research vice president at Gartner. The details put the overall numbers into a different light.

For example, one of the big drivers of new purchases is the need for tools that allow governance, rather than standalone applications that could be implemented without the IT department. Some of the key capabilities will be “greater accessibility, agility and analytical insight at the enterprise level,” Sallam said. Professionals will need to demonstrate expertise in these areas to stay ahead of the market.

At the same time, companies will put money into data preparation, as executives look for analysis of complex sets of data sources and models and want results fast. Proper data preparation can make or break the effort. Similarly, there will be pressure for real-time event coverage and streaming data, complicating data preparation as it may need to happen on the fly.

BI professionals will want to be well versed in a few technical directions that vendors will take. Embedding analytic capabilities and content into other applications becomes ever more important. Companies will want to break analysis out of a silo and make it available everywhere it can be used. That may need a different way of thinking about data and how to present it.

As cloud services become more important, an entirely new aspect of BI — marketplaces — will develop. As Sallam said, “The availability of an active marketplace where buyers and sellers converge to exchange analytic applications, aggregated data sources, custom visualizations and algorithms is likely to generate increased interest in the BI and analytics space and fuel its future growth.”

For a strong career in the future, BI professionals will need to consider how all these points may change what companies expect and how they want analytics performed and delivered.

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