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5 (more) big Business Intelligence trends of the near future

EducationI can picture it now. Twenty years or so down the road, we’ll probably be telling young business people, “Back in my day, business intelligence applications displayed data on these things called ‘computer monitors’ and couldn’t even predict the future. Also, we had to walk to work uphill both ways.” Then, everyone laughs thinking about how archaic life back in 2012 sounded.

What will business intelligence look like in twenty years? Who knows? Maybe we’ll all wear glasses that automatically display important data right in front of our eyes. Or, maybe we’ll all wear hats that send data directly to our brains. Sound crazy? Those technologies are actually being developed right now.

While we don’t know what BI will look like in 10 or 20 years, what do you think it will look like in the near future? How will business intelligence change in the next 2 or 3 years? I recently wrote up an article listing 6 important BI trends that will be important in the very near future. While I believe we can expect to see those trends in the next year or so, I’d like to go a step further in this article. What BI trends will be commonplace in the next few years? While you can always add your thoughts in the comments, I’ve put together a list of 5 such trends that we can expect to see in the next few years:

1. Predictive analytics

Business intelligence will become more than “What is happening in my business?” Instead, it will turn into “What will most likely happen in my business based on past data?” As BI becomes more powerful, it will be able to analyze multiple data points and use that data to predict future outcomes. Imagine what a powerful tool that could be. What if you could pick up your phone, access your mobile BI application, and see the most probable future results?

2. Intelligent Alerts

Once real-time BI becomes the standard, the next logical step is trigger-based alerts. When data has triggered a pre-defined alert, the BI app will send an email or text message to the appropriate party. For instance, what if product sales are abnormally low on one day. An intelligent alert can instantly notify you of this abnormality, and may help you stop a problem before it gets out of hand. For example, this business dashboard already displays real-time data. With just a little javascript, this dashboard could be configured to automatically send email alerts when specific criteria are met.

3. Open Integration

Data will no longer be confined to one or two internal database(s). Soon, BI applications will have to pull data from your database, cloud services, email accounts, social media, the web, and more. For instance, what if your business intelligence application could not only display product sales, but also scan the web and social media sites for reviews and comments about your products? Wouldn’t that be incredibly useful information? If sales were low, the product feedback pulled from the web may help you understand why.

4. Location-aware

As business intelligence moves towards mobile devices, the usefulness of location aware applications increases. For instance, when your salespeople visit customer or prospect sites, a location-aware application could instantly pull up all the customer/prospect data and correspondence. For example, take a look at this customer listing application. With a little HTML5 and javascript, the mobile presentation of this application could determine the user’s location and pull up the nearest customer’s information.

5. Consumerization

Consumer devices are becoming more prevalent and powerful. Like it or not, they will continue to work their way into the business world. What does this mean for Business Intelligence? To take advantage of the consumerization trend, companies will build BI apps that are accessible on any device, not just the “company approved” options. If that sounds like a security nightmare, here’s something you’ll want to read: This article explains how focusing on the data (and not the device) is the key to success.


Business Intelligence is evolving at a rapid pace. As mobile usage grows and businesses continue to produce more data, good business intelligence will become increasingly important. BI applications must deliver instant, relevant information whenever or wherever you are.

If you have any questions about BI, or want to know how you can build web (and mobile) BI applications for your company, we’re happy to help. Just fill out this short form and let us know what’s on your plate.

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