How mainstream is operational business intelligence (BI) becoming, and do you think it will grow more popular among companies in the future?
We’re seeing more and more organizations move toward the concept of operational BI.
There are two main drivers for this. One is the intuitiveness and usability of operational BI technologies, making it easier for everyday workers to discover and explore their data. For years now, BI software and tools have been touted as easy to use and sold as a means of empowering end users, but with a huge gap between what was promised vs. what was delivered. At the end of the day, it often was still IT generating and pushing reports and other BI content to the business. However, the latest generation of BI tools has delivered in terms of getting information to the users in a much more self-service way than previous product releases supported. It’s a combination of technology evolution and increased comfort with technology in general.
The second driver is in-memory analytics, which is part of the next generation of business intelligence. In-memory analytics enables users to access and mine large amounts of data quickly and easily, because the information is literally at their fingertips. Such technologies have existed for some time, but they were cost-prohibitive in the past due to the large hardware configurations that were needed to take advantage of the way the architecture worked. With hardware and memory cost decreases, the in-memory approach has become much more viable, and we’re seeing that in the BI marketplace. In-memory tools challenge the traditional disk-based approach to BI and offer flexibility as to how you integrate and manage your data.
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