Business Automation and Software Blog

Keeping Up with Business Intelligence (BI) Trends

Posted by Robert Baran on Tue, Apr 05, 2011 @ 03:51 PM

You know that business intelligence (BI) is key to making your business more agile, efficient, and competitive. We wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the top trends in business intelligence and the ways in which you can apply them to your organization in order to utilize them effectively.

Trend #1: BI has become more pervasive, visible – and more invisible.

There has been an increased integration of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) , Sales Force Automation (SFA) and other sales and service applications with BI applications. This provides a more complete view of business operations while hiding BI functions behind other interfaces.

Application: You should seek to ensure that all of your current CRM, SFA, help-desk, and other solutions have the capability to communicate with your BI solutions. This will help you get the most out of your BI application.

Trend #2: BI applications are becoming increasingly cloud based.

It is only natural that BI functionality would follow CRM and other sales & marketing software into cloud based servers. The advantage of this is that it gives you more options for expanding the reach and adoption of BI and related applications.

Application: If you’re already using cloud-based solutions, work with your vendors to make sure those solutions interoperate with BI solutions. If you’re not yet using cloud-based solutions, research what’s available and what may work best for your organization’s specific requirements.

Trend #3: BI and business collaboration are growing closer.

New innovative collaboration-centric solutions were introduced in 2010. Built upon platforms such as Google’s Wave,’s Chatter, and SAP’s 12 Sprints/”Constellation” project, these new solutions support real-time collaboration with information pulled from multiple sources both inside and outside of an organization, offering enhanced real-time data and analytics.

Application: Research developments related to these and other platforms, paying specific attention to how and whether the providers of your own applications respond to them. Additionally you’ll want to make sure that those responsible for the business-critical applications at your organization sign up for access to the emerging platforms so that you have as much information as possible about potential BI-collaboration integrations.

Trend #4: BI is gaining a larger “voice”.

The growing use of IP telephony is creating new opportunities to gather and leverage information about who calls whom and what happens before, during and after each call. This is a very valuable addition if your company’s phone system has the appropriate capabilities.

Application: Take a strategic approach to VoIP and make sure that your solutions and their vendors understand your business needs and goals. You want to ensure that you are receiving all relevant information about voice traffic at your organization.

Trend #5: BI will continue to challenge business decision makers to take full advantage of its benefits.

Many companies will leverage BI technology for success; however there are some pitfalls you want to avoid. These include disjoint solutions, inconsistent integrations with other key applications, lack of complete adoption and managerial support, and others.

Application: Stay focused on your business goals and keep decision-makers within your organization informed of the benefits of BI. Furthermore remain focused on solutions and vendors that support interoperability, ease of use, and effective integration.

Ultimately, business intelligence will only improve your organization if it is driven by your business goals and is deployed appropriately, and managed to produce measureable results.


Adapted from: Business Intelligence: 5 Things to Watch for in 2010