Big data is not a new concept; it's been around since the 90s. Few technology trends last more than a few years, let alone several decades, so it is important to take a look at why big data continues to be a force in the technology sector. The reason is that data is a core function of everything we do. From day to day decision making, all the way to major business decisions, we use information to help us evaluate which step is the right one.
That is why big data has driven growth in business intelligence, or BI, as every business needs a plan for how it will engage with the data it collects. BI initiatives are always evolving as technology improves and more people learn how to use it.
BI emerged when big data tools became easier to use for non-IT professionals and therefore increased in value. More and more companies are catching on to the impact these tools can have, creating a bustling ecosystem of apps, consultants, and hardware working to support BI initiatives. A.T. Kearney research found that spending on big data hardware worldwide may grow at a compound annual growth rate of 30% through 2018. That kind of growth indicates unprecedented demand and a shift in the way businesses are approaching data.
Firms that employ these technologies have the potential to gain a significant competitive advantage in their market, and as Jack Welch, former CEO of GE famously said, "If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete!" The following are three ways business intelligence is helping business owners engage with data to be more competitive:
Self-service business intelligence is the new wave of BI innovation that is changing the way organizations leverage data for decision making. Uday Hegde, CEO of USEReady, a firm that helps businesses leverage big data and BI technologies, shares why business leaders struggle to implement BI, " The problem is driving adoption in a large organization, as the data needs to be something each stakeholder can make use of. That's why we have to work to give people a comprehensive solution to help measure the success of their BI efforts."
That challenge is the reason why self-service tools like Tableau are gaining popularity, and why firms like USEReady can help businesses deploy them. Every organization needs to determine how data will be processed and managed, often called 'data governance'. There are plenty options for how data will be used but historically companies have opted for a department to manage data, a centralized approach, or allowing individual departments to manage their own data, a decentralized approach.
Hegde explains, "Most organizations struggle with disparate data sources because they take either a centralized or decentralized approach. Many of them are realizing that the key success factor is to take a 'hybrid' approach to data governance.