Gartner recently changed the selection criteria for its Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms to favor “easy-to-use tools that support a full range of analytic workflow capabilities and do not require significant involvement from IT to pre-define data models up front.”
Why the Change?
It’s about time, but why was the shake up needed? The MQ up until now has been stuck in the dark ages of BI, where vendors were measured on their ability to build cubes, reports and dashboards. It rewarded capabilities that were ultimately counter-productive to getting actionable information in the hands of users across the organization. It appears the elephant in the room, massive investments in BI, but dismal user engagement, is finally being acknowledged.
What has Changed?
What have they done to address this? Gartner indicated that every business should base its strategic BI planning on modern considerations, with the dominant theme being self-service. BI professionals are hired to investigate new insights, not to field a consistent stream of one off data requests from the business, and yet in recent years organizations have been encouraged to continue investing in legacy BI techniques that have never been successful. Self-service, however, is just the first step on the ladder to business intelligence.
Is it Enough?
Despite the shake up, what is still needed is a completely new approach that automates the process of cutting through the data noise. With today’s volume and frequency of data, no business user has the time to do self-service analysis all the time. The result? — when they are not looking, they are missing key events in the data that they should be taking action on.
Machines and Intelligent algorithms must keep a digital finger on every available data pulse to point out issues that would otherwise be missed, or found too late. Once relevant anomalies are found, a smart distribution mechanism is needed to send that information to the people who need it, when they need it, where they need it, without overwhelming them.
Metric Insights calls this approach Push Intelligence. Plugging Push Intelligence into existing data and tools liberates BI teams of reactive number crunching and lets them use BI to move the organization forward, rather than act as a sort of data helpdesk.
Gartner’s revamp of the MQ is a refreshing first step in helping organizations take a new perspective on BI. Only automation, in the form of Push Intelligence and in other smart forms that have yet to hit the market, will save BI from becoming a lost cause.