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Business Intelligence is high on the radar at most companies. Gartner says that businesses rank BI as their highest priority in 2012, and IDC is forecasting that the BI market will reach $39.9 billion in 2012. The current trend in Business Intelligence is what’s being called ‘self service’.
The idea behind ‘self service’ is that Business Intelligence is best carried out by users empowered with analytic tools that enable them to independently explore and generate reports from their data sets. Forrester and Gartner were among the first to identify self-service as an important BI trend. Most BI vendors have jumped aboard and are now trying to market their products as easy-to use self-service tools.
- Analytic requirements for Business Intelligence are often a moving target. In the past, IT acted as a middleman and implementor of new requests for business intelligence. But IT can never keep up with the pace of requests from users, and BI features were often outdated once they finally were rolled out to the user.
- Users don’t know what they want until they see it. And because of that, interacting with Business Intelligence often requires an iterative ‘what if’. And that doesn’t mesh well with traditional software approach to BI that demand clearly stated up-front requirements.
- Business users and IT often work to different schedules and priorities, and the difference in perspective between the two teams means that business users aren’t always happy with how and when features are implemented in the software.