‘We are heading towards world of analytics everywhere’

By : |June 10, 2013 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: IT must continue to lay the foundations for a world in which business intelligence (BI) and analytics will play an increasingly important role in reinventing business models, according to Gartner.

Up until now, analytics has largely been about IT projects, however, as digital technologies, dominate CIO technology priorities, the influence of analytics is set to increase dramatically.

“We are rapidly heading towards a world of analytics everywhere,” said Dan Sommer principal research analyst, Gartner. “Gartner predicts that analytics will reach 50 per cent of potential users by 2014. By 2020, that figure will be 75 per cent, and we will be in a world where systems of record, systems of differentiation and systems of innovation are enabling IT, business and individuals to analyze data in a much denser fashion than before. Post 2020 we will be heading towards 100 per cent of potential users and into the realms of ‘Internet of Everything’.”

There are three factors that can discourage the sustained adoption of BI and analytics by its intended users – ease of use, performance and relevance. Many disruptive technologies – Facebook and web browsers being just two examples – have displayed significant improvements in those factors. Now, there is a vast array of new technologies addressing ease of use, performance and relevance that unlocks new opportunities for business users

“One segment that is really pushing usability to new levels is what we call interactive visualization or data discovery. These are tools with appealing user interfaces, where you can mash data up, often into memory,” said Sommer. “This segment grows three times faster than traditional BI front-ends, and is expected to reach $1 billion in value by the end of next year. The vendors that dominate this segment are newer vendors, such as QlikTech, Spotfire and Tableau. However, MicroStrategy, IBM, Microsoft and SAS have all launched rivaling products in the past year, propelling that entire segment into a newer, much more competitive phase. What this means is that data discovery has arrived as a mainstream architecture.”

Another area that is really evolving the area of relevance, or context, is the shift from build, to buy. There are now many more tools to address the specific needs of businesses, such as workforce analytics for the HR manager, or fraud analytics for the risk manager, or churn, for the telecommunications company. This is increasing adoption to a new set of users, previously not accustomed to BI.

As a result, the playing field is opening up to include a wider range of vendors from the large software vendors, such as SAS, Oracle and FICO to service providers including IBM, Accenture and Deloitte who aim to use packaged analytics as a way to go in and sell solutions. At the opposite end, there are the SaaS and data-as-a-service providers, selling data, and the small independents specializing in one vertical, or one horizontal context. This is also opening new pricing models, not just license/maintenance, but also subscription and sometimes value-based pricing.

Gartner predicts that despite ongoing consolidation and acquisitions by the megavendors, new categories of analytic applications will continue to emerge, as the innovation keeps coming from small vendors in the fringes, resulting in more, not less, market fragmentation. Existing categories of analytic applications are certainly consolidating and changes are occurring within each category, as vendors are acquired or merge, and certain categories are disappearing as they are superseded or integrated into other categories. However, the variety of data, channels and business issues that are open to analysis is also continuing to grow, resulting in continual fragmentation of the market.

These trends will be accentuated further beyond 2014, with cloud, social, mobile and information/big data as new channels for bringing analytics to new audiences.

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