Global business intelligence trends hit home

Global business intelligence trends hit home

Business intelligence specialist and IBM partner CDP Group sees greater local demand in growing global areas of the field.

At the recent IBM Insights Forum CDP director Allan Keyte said there was increasing interest in mashups for enhanced visibility in reporting, improving data quality, collaboration by incorporating social networking information in performance management, as well as sustained momentum in dashboarding.

These four areas were among 10 global trends in business analytics that have been highlighted by analysts such as Gartner, IDC and Forrester, Keyte says.

According to Keyte, analysts say a third of analytics applications will in future involve mashups (the integration of an application with a third-party offering for more visible and in-depth reporting). CDP has been involved in implementations for logistics firms tracking travelling distances using GPS data and Google Maps.

Organisations also want to increase collaboration between people using business intelligence, by incorporating social networking information such as chats, conversation threads and image tags into performance management applications. Keyte says there is a lot of interest locally in such commentary-based solutions.

There is now widespread adoption of dashboards for visual representation of an organisation’s performance, says Keyte. However, organisations must choose the most appropriate representation from among those available, he says. These include more traditional line and bar charts, along with dials, and the green/red/yellow light system that highlights strong and weak performance areas. Companies are now breaking data down into time periods, specific customer groups and regions.

Local companies also want to improve data quality using analytics, he says. He adds in the past there has been a tendency for firms to think they’re doing okay if they have only about two percent of bad data, but if they have high volumes of information, this two percent “can add up to significant issues”, says Keyte.

Companies are seeking to better match data, as well as track exceptions, missing or doubled up records, he says.

Among the other six global trends coming to the fore in business analytics is standardisation, where companies align information from different silos of the company with common information goals.

Another trend is the consistency of business language used, with the development of organisational dictionaries and glossaries, and the appointment of staff to be responsible for the stewardship of data.

CDP Group is offering a “sales analysis in a box” bundle of hardware, software and templates for companies to analyse sales performance. This fits an area of growing demand for “pre-built” analytics, says Keyte.

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