With the Gartner Business Intelligence & Analytics Summit kicking off in Las Vegas, March 30 – April 1, we asked Kurt Schlegel, research vice president at Gartner and conference chair, to share his views on the outlook for the business intelligence (BI) market and the key trends that will be discussed at the Summit this year.
Q: What are the key areas in BI that CIOs should focus on in 2015 and why?
A: Putting the right team together. CIOs need to make sure there is a cross functional team of technical and business skills, and an organizational structure that serves both the centralized needs of the enterprise and the decentralized needs of local domains.
CIO’s also must create a more realistic plan for technology standardizations, for example, logical data warehouse vs. enterprise data warehouse, data discovery as an augmentation to traditional BI and provision capabilities for the big data era.
Q: The Summit theme is “Crossing the Analytical Divide: New Technologies, New Skills”. What is meant by this, and how can organizations ensure they’re on the right side of the analytical divide?
A: Last year’s conference was very much focused on creating a very innovative, data driven business model (transparent, decisive, and personalized). We painted a picture of a digital business, and the advanced analytical capabilities it would require. This year’s theme discusses how to cross the analytical divide to achieve this vision to create a more data driven company, but to do it in a way that doesn’t abandon the old ways.
Organizations are being told they need to invest in all this cool, innovative technology, such as predictive, content, and real time analytics; however, they still need to deliver the traditional management reports and dashboards that run the company. So the theme, “Crossing the Analytical Divide”, is very much from the perspective of the analytics leader who needs to deliver on an innovative vision, while keeping the day to day analytic operations up and running. It’s not an easy task.
Q: How do analytics drive digital business?
A: In some businesses, providing information will become the business. The business model will be about selling data/information. In these cases, analytics is an explicit part of the business model. However, this will the minority.
In most companies, a digital business doesn’t mean directly monetizing (selling data). An insurance company will sell insurance. A retailer will still sell consumer packaged goods, etc., However, to be an insurance company, a retailer, or any company in the private and public sector delivering goods and services, will be required to be wrapped in an information context. For example, that insurance company will collect more granular data than ever to personalize the insurance experience. The same will be true in all industries. Making sense of this information through analytics will be a key aspect of how well one competes.
Q: In what ways do mobile, social and cloud continue to impact BI and analytics?
A: All three have become expected aspects of how BI and analytics projects are delivered. A key focus at this year’s Summit will be cloud and its impact because virtually every new BI and analytics offering that hits the market will be designed to work in the cloud first. The growth of cloud-based business applications will only accelerate this trend.
Mr. Schlegel will provide more analysis on top BI and analytics trends at the Gartner Business Intelligence & Analytics Summit taking place March 30 – April 1 in Las Vegas. More information can be found at www.gartner.com/us/bi. Members of the media can register for this event by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.