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In a Q&A, consultant Howard Dresner discusses cloud business intelligence trends and why more user organizations have yet to embrace cloud BI services.
User adoption of cloud business intelligence tools increased “dramatically” over the past three years, according to Howard Dresner, founder, president and chief research officer at consultancy Dresner Advisory Services. He expects interest in cloud BI and analytics to continue to grow. Even so, the cloud is still pretty sparsely populated by BI users: In a survey conducted last year by Dresner’s company, only 20% of the 853 respondents from user organizations said they were currently running BI applications in public clouds, and nearly 70% said they had no plans to do so.
Dresner began conducting his annual Wisdom of Crowds Cloud Business Intelligence Market Study in 2012. In an interview with SearchBusinessAnalytics, he discussed cloud BI trends, the results of the 2014 survey and why many companies remain hesitant to embrace the cloud for BI. Dresner said there are various benefits to using cloud BI services, including lower licensing, hardware and ongoing management costs. But in a lot of cases, those benefits are outweighed by lingering concerns about putting BI data in the cloud.
Oracle and Salesforce have both made big plays over analytics this week, in a another clear sign that the use of big data will be a key battleground in the enterprise software market.
As part of the plans Oracle has launched several analytics programs including its Hadoop-enabled tool Big Data Discovery, whilst Salesforce has opened up its analytics platform Wave to mobile users.
Customers of Salesforce will be able to use Wave on mobile to import data directly into the firm’s Analytics Cloud, as well as design a data dashboard from their phones, and browse data.
“Business intelligence is now the number two priority in mobile applications for the first time ever, trailing only email,” said Howard Dresner, chief research officer, Dresner Advisory Services.
“User empowerment is key right now, and cloud and mobile BI (business intelligence) solutions are providing faster channels of delivering fact-based insights to more business users at key points of decision.”
Data preparation capabilities are emerging that will provide business users and analysts the ability to extend the scope of self-service – One of the biggest challenges faced by any enterprise seeking business insights from data is the need to depend on a central IT organization. IT traditionally uses Extraction, Transformation and Loading (ETL) tools and routines for bringing data from across the enterprise into a data warehouse, using tools such as Informatica, IBM InfoSphere DataStage. The problem with this approach has been (i) business has to get into an IT queue and wait, (ii) clunky tools that requires IT skills for even basic usage; and (iii) data transformation (if applied during the ETL process) becomes outdated quickly as business conditions change. Typically the process of Data Preparation achieves two objectives, (i) aggregates enterprise data from across different source systems into a data warehouse for ease of end-use and (ii) attempts to create a single version of the truth within a data warehouse. Emerging self-service Data Preparation tools such as Trifacta, Paxata have made both these processes redundant i.e., (i) there is no need to physically aggregate data as long a logical layer that has the potential to marry the semantics of data from across the enterprise, just-in-time, for business user self-service i.e., let the data live where it is and integrate it at the end point of the business solution needs, obviously under proper governance; and (ii) are driven on end user demand versus IT supply principle i.e., business user needs driven versus IT capacity and understanding driven. If you want to know more about what’s happening in the Data Preparation market, please see the recent study by Dresner Advisory.
Salesforce.com today announced updates to its Wave Analytics Cloud, which the company first introduced at Dreamforcei n October. The updates will allow users to import and analyze new data sources, build entirely new dashboards, and share insights.
The Wave Analytics Cloud was designed to enable sales reps to interpret large data sets and analyze customer trends through their mobile phones without referring to another machine or expert. Using an advanced computing engine, it eliminates the need of going through a sorting process before analyzing information.
Howard Dresner, chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services, reiterates that the trend toward on-the-go use is apparent. “We’ve been researching mobile computing and mobile business intelligence (BI) for six years now and have seen its importance grow dramatically since then,” he says. “There are some users that will never use BI on a laptop or desktop, and those numbers will continue to grow. So, mobile-first makes great sense as a forward-thinking approach to usage.”
When I asked my weekly #BIWisdom tweetchat tribe of users, vendors and consultants about their observations and experience with open source in business intelligence their comments that Friday whirled about like dancers. Their tweeted comments from all around the world focused on whether open source is — or will be — a difference-maker in BI solutions.
In our studies in our annual Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Studies, we saw increased interest in open source in 2014 than in prior years. It’s not yet ranked as a high priority among the 22 technology areas that we track in our surveys, but its importance rose in 2014 after years of stagnation. Moreover, respondents’ interest is distributed across industry verticals and geographies.
A #BIWisdom tribe member tweeted an observance that there is also a definite uptick in open source extensions to existing BI solutions.