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Posts tagged ‘Analytics’

How To Improve Supply Chains With Machine Learning: 10 Proven Ways

Bottom line: Enterprises are attaining double-digit improvements in forecast error rates, demand planning productivity, cost reductions and on-time shipments using machine learning today, revolutionizing supply chain management in the process.

Machine learning algorithms and the models they’re based on excel at finding anomalies, patterns and predictive insights in large data sets. Many supply chain challenges are time, cost and resource constraint-based, making machine learning an ideal technology to solve them. From Amazon’s Kiva robotics relying on machine learning to improve accuracy, speed and scale to DHL relying on AI and machine learning to power their Predictive Network Management system that analyzes 58 different parameters of internal data to identify the top factors influencing shipment delays, machine learning is defining the next generation of supply chain management. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 95% of Supply Chain Planning (SCP) vendors will be relying on supervised and unsupervised machine learning in their solutions. Gartner is also predicting by 2023 intelligent algorithms, and AI techniques will be an embedded or augmented component across 25% of all supply chain technology solutions.

The ten ways that machine learning is revolutionizing supply chain management include:

  • Machine learning-based algorithms are the foundation of the next generation of logistics technologies, with the most significant gains being made with advanced resource scheduling systems. Machine learning and AI-based techniques are the foundation of a broad spectrum of next-generation logistics and supply chain technologies now under development. The most significant gains are being made where machine learning can contribute to solving complex constraint, cost and delivery problems companies face today. McKinsey predicts machine learning’s most significant contributions will be in providing supply chain operators with more significant insights into how supply chain performance can be improved, anticipating anomalies in logistics costs and performance before they occur. Machine learning is also providing insights into where automation can deliver the most significant scale advantages. Source: McKinsey & Company, Automation in logistics: Big opportunity, bigger uncertainty, April 2019. By Ashutosh Dekhne, Greg Hastings, John Murnane, and Florian Neuhaus

  • The wide variation in data sets generated from the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, telematics, intelligent transport systems, and traffic data have the potential to deliver the most value to improving supply chains by using machine learning. Applying machine learning algorithms and techniques to improve supply chains starts with data sets that have the greatest variety and variability in them. The most challenging issues supply chains face are often found in optimizing logistics, so materials needed to complete a production run arrive on time. Source: KPMG, Supply Chain Big Data Series Part 1

  • Machine learning shows the potential to reduce logistics costs by finding patterns in track-and-trace data captured using IoT-enabled sensors, contributing to $6M in annual savings. BCG recently looked at how a decentralized supply chain using track-and-trace applications could improve performance and reduce costs. They found that in a 30-node configuration when blockchain is used to share data in real-time across a supplier network, combined with better analytics insight, cost savings of $6M a year is achievable. Source: Boston Consulting Group, Pairing Blockchain with IoT to Cut Supply Chain Costs, December 18, 2018, by Zia Yusuf, Akash Bhatia, Usama Gill, Maciej Kranz, Michelle Fleury, and Anoop Nannra

  • Reducing forecast errors up to 50% is achievable using machine learning-based techniques. Lost sales due to products not being available are being reduced up to 65% through the use of machine learning-based planning and optimization techniques. Inventory reductions of 20 to 50% are also being achieved today when machine learning-based supply chain management systems are used. Source: Digital/McKinsey, Smartening up with Artificial Intelligence (AI) – What’s in it for Germany and its Industrial Sector? (PDF, 52 pp., no opt-in).

  • DHL Research is finding that machine learning enables logistics and supply chain operations to optimize capacity utilization, improve customer experience, reduce risk, and create new business models. DHL’s research team continually tracks and evaluates the impact of emerging technologies on logistics and supply chain performance. They’re also predicting that AI will enable back-office automation, predictive operations, intelligent logistics assets, and new customer experience models. Source: DHL Trend Research, Logistics Trend Radar, Version 2018/2019 (PDF, 55 pp., no opt-in)

  • Detecting and acting on inconsistent supplier quality levels and deliveries using machine learning-based applications is an area manufacturers are investing in today. Based on conversations with North American-based mid-tier manufacturers, the second most significant growth barrier they’re facing today is suppliers’ lack of consistent quality and delivery performance. The greatest growth barrier is the lack of skilled labor available. Using machine learning and advanced analytics manufacturers can discover quickly who their best and worst suppliers are, and which production centers are most accurate in catching errors. Manufacturers are using dashboards much like the one below for applying machine learning to supplier quality, delivery and consistency challenges. Source: Microsoft, Supplier Quality Analysis sample for Power BI: Take a tour, 2018

  • Reducing risk and the potential for fraud, while improving the product and process quality based on insights gained from machine learning is forcing inspection’s inflection point across supply chains today. When inspections are automated using mobile technologies and results are uploaded in real-time to a secure cloud-based platform, machine learning algorithms can deliver insights that immediately reduce risks and the potential for fraud. Inspectorio is a machine learning startup to watch in this area. They’re tackling the many problems that a lack of inspection and supply chain visibility creates, focusing on how they can solve them immediately for brands and retailers. The graphic below explains their platform. Source: Forbes, How Machine Learning Improves Manufacturing Inspections, Product Quality & Supply Chain Visibility, January 23, 2019

  • Machine learning is making rapid gains in end-to-end supply chain visibility possible, providing predictive and prescriptive insights that are helping companies react faster than before. Combining multi-enterprise commerce networks for global trade and supply chain management with AI and machine learning platforms are revolutionizing supply chain end-to-end visibility. One of the early leaders in this area is Infor’s Control Center. Control Center combines data from the Infor GT Nexus Commerce Network, acquired by the company in September 2015, with Infor’s Coleman Artificial Intelligence (AI) Infor chose to name their AI platform after the inspiring physicist and mathematician Katherine Coleman Johnson, whose trail-blazing work helped NASA land on the moon. Be sure to pick up a copy of the book and see the movie Hidden Figures if you haven’t already to appreciate her and many other brilliant women mathematicians’ many contributions to space exploration. ChainLink Research provides an overview of Control Center in their article, How Infor is Helping to Realize Human Potential, and two screens from Control Center are shown below.

  • Machine learning is proving to be foundational for thwarting privileged credential abuse which is the leading cause of security breaches across global supply chains. By taking a least privilege access approach, organizations can minimize attack surfaces, improve audit and compliance visibility, and reduce risk, complexity, and the costs of operating a modern, hybrid enterprise. CIOs are solving the paradox of privileged credential abuse in their supply chains by knowing that even if a privileged user has entered the right credentials but the request comes in with risky context, then stronger verification is needed to permit access.  Zero Trust Privilege is emerging as a proven framework for thwarting privileged credential abuse by verifying who is requesting access, the context of the request, and the risk of the access environment.  Centrify is a leader in this area, with globally-recognized suppliers including Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, and Salesforce being current customers.  Source: Forbes, High-Tech’s Greatest Challenge Will Be Securing Supply Chains In 2019, November 28, 2018.
  • Capitalizing on machine learning to predict preventative maintenance for freight and logistics machinery based on IoT data is improving asset utilization and reducing operating costs. McKinsey found that predictive maintenance enhanced by machine learning allows for better prediction and avoidance of machine failure by combining data from the advanced Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and maintenance logs as well as external sources. Asset productivity increases of up to 20% are possible and overall maintenance costs may be reduced by up to 10%. Source: Digital/McKinsey, Smartening up with Artificial Intelligence (AI) – What’s in it for Germany and its Industrial Sector? (PDF, 52 pp., no opt-in).

References

Accenture, Reinventing The Supply Chain With AI, 20 pp., PDF, no opt-in.

Bendoly, E. (2016). Fit, Bias, and Enacted Sensemaking in Data Visualization: Frameworks for Continuous Development in Operations and Supply Chain Management Analytics. Journal Of Business Logistics37(1), 6-17.

Boston Consulting Group, Pairing Blockchain with IoT to Cut Supply Chain Costs, December 18, 2018, by Zia Yusuf, Akash Bhatia, Usama Gill, Maciej Kranz, Michelle Fleury, and Anoop Nannra

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The State Of Cloud Business Intelligence, 2019

  • An all-time high 48% of organizations say cloud BI is either “critical” or “very important” to their operations in 2019.
  • Marketing & Sales place the greatest importance on cloud BI in 2019.
  • Small organizations of 100 employees or less are the most enthusiastic, perennial adopters and supporters of cloud BI.
  • The most preferred cloud BI providers are Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

These and other insights are from Dresner Advisory Services’ 2019 Cloud Computing and Business Intelligence Market Study. The 8th annual report focuses on end-user deployment trends and attitudes toward cloud computing and business intelligence (BI), defined as the technologies, tools, and solutions that rely on one or more cloud deployment models. What makes the study noteworthy is the depth of focus around the perceived benefits and barriers for cloud BI, the importance of cloud BI, and current and planned usage.

“We began tracking and analyzing the cloud BI market dynamic in 2012 when adoption was nascent. Since that time, deployments of public cloud BI applications are increasing, with organizations citing substantial benefits versus traditional on-premises implementations,” said Howard Dresner, founder, and chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services. Please see page 10 of the study for specifics on the methodology.

Key insights gained from the report include the following:

  • An all-time high 48% of organizations say cloud BI is either “critical” or “very important” to their operations in 2019. Organizations have more confidence in cloud BI than ever before, according to the study’s results. 2019 is seeing a sharp upturn in cloud BI’s importance, driven by the trust and credibility organizations have for accessing, analyzing and storing sensitive company data on cloud platforms running BI applications.

  • Marketing & Sales place the greatest importance on cloud BI in 2019. Business Intelligence Competency Centers (BICC) and IT departments have an above-average interest in cloud BI as well, with their combined critical and very important scores being over 50%. Dresner’s research team found that Operations had the greatest duality of scores, with critical and not important being reported at comparable levels for this functional area. Dresner’s analysis indicates Operations departments often rely on cloud BI to benchmark and improve existing processes while re-engineering legacy process areas.

  • Small organizations of 100 employees or less are the most enthusiastic, perennial adopters and supporters of cloud BI. As has been the case in previous years’ studies, small organizations are leading all others in adopting cloud BI systems and platforms.  Perceived importance declines only slightly in mid-sized organizations (101-1,000 employees) and some large organizations (1,001-5,000 employees), where minimum scores of important offset declines in critical.

  • The retail/wholesale industry considers cloud BI the most important, followed by technology and advertising industries. Organizations competing in the retail/wholesale industry see the greatest value in adopting cloud BI to gain insights into improving their customer experiences and streamlining supply chains. Technology and advertising industries are industries that also see cloud BI as very important to their operations. Just over 30% of respondents in the education industry see cloud BI as very important.

  • R&D departments are the most prolific users of cloud BI systems today, followed by Marketing & Sales. The study highlights that R&D leading all other departments in existing cloud BI use reflects broader potential use cases being evaluated in 2019. Marketing & Sales is the next most prolific department using cloud BI systems.

  • Finance leads all others in their adoption of private cloud BI platforms, rivaling IT in their lack of adoption for public clouds. R&D departments are the next most likely to be relying on private clouds currently. Marketing and Sales are the most likely to take a balanced approach to private and public cloud adoption, equally adopting private and public cloud BI.

  • Advanced visualization, support for ad-hoc queries, personalized dashboards, and data integration/data quality tools/ETL tools are the four most popular cloud BI requirements in 2019. Dresner’s research team found the lowest-ranked cloud BI feature priorities in 2019 are social media analysis, complex event processing, big data, text analytics, and natural language analytics. This years’ analysis of most and least popular cloud BI requirements closely mirror traditional BI feature requirements.

  • Marketing and Sales have the greatest interest in several of the most-required features including personalized dashboards, data discovery, data catalog, collaborative support, and natural language analytics. Marketing & Sales also have the highest level of interest in the ability to write to transactional applications. R&D leads interest in ad-hoc query, big data, text analytics, and social media analytics.

  • The Retail/Wholesale industry leads interest in several features including ad-hoc query, dashboards, data integration, data discovery, production reporting, search interface, data catalog, and ability to write to transactional systems. Technology organizations give the highest score to advanced visualization and end-user self-service. Healthcare respondents prioritize data mining, end-user data blending, and location analytics, the latter likely for asset tracking purposes. In-memory support scores highest with Financial Services respondent organizations.

  • Marketing & Sales rely on a broader base of third party data connectors to get greater value from their cloud BI systems than their peers. The greater the scale, scope and depth of third-party connectors and integrations, the more valuable marketing and sales data becomes. Relying on connectors for greater insights into sales productivity & performance, social media, online marketing, online data storage, and simple productivity improvements are common in Marketing & Sales. Finance requiring integration to Salesforce reflects the CRM applications’ success transcending customer relationships into advanced accounting and financial reporting.

  • Subscription models are now the most preferred licensing strategy for cloud BI and have progressed over the last several years due to lower risk, lower entry costs, and lower carrying costs. Dresner’s research team found that subscription license and free trial (including trial and buy, which may also lead to subscription) are the two most preferred licensing strategies by cloud BI customers in 2019. Dresner Advisory Services predicts new engagements will be earned using subscription models, which is now seen as, at a minimum, important to approximately 90% of the base of respondents.

  • 60% of organizations adopting cloud BI rank Amazon Web Services first, and 85% rank AWS first or second. 43% choose Microsoft Azure first and 69% pick Azure first or second. Google Cloud closely trails Azure as the first choice among users but trails more widely after that. IBM Bluemix is the first choice of 12% of organizations responding in 2019.

Which Analytics And BI Technologies Will Be The Highest Priority In 2019?

  • 82% of enterprises are prioritizing analytics and BI as part of their budgets for new technologies and cloud-based services.
  • 54% say AI, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are also a high investment priority.
  • 50% of enterprises say their stronger focus on metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) company-wide are a major driver of new investment in analytics and BI.
  • 43%  plan to both build and buy AI and machine learning applications and platforms.
  • 42% are seeking to improve user experiences by automating discovery of data insights and 26% are using AI to provide user recommendations.

These and many other fascinating insights are from the recent TDWI Best Practices Report, BI and Analytics in the Age of AI and Big Data. An executive summary of the study is available online here. The entire study is available for download here (39 PP., PDF, free, opt-in). The study found that enterprises are placing a high priority on augmenting existing systems and replacing older technologies and data platforms with new cloud-based BI and predictive analytics ones. Transforming Data with Intelligence (TDWI) is a global community of AI, analytics, data science and machine learning professionals interested in staying current in these and more technology areas as part of their professional development. Please see page 3 of the study for specifics regarding the methodology.

Key takeaways from the study include the following:

  • 82% of enterprises are prioritizing analytics and BI applications and platforms as part of their budgets for new technologies and cloud-based services. 78% of enterprises are prioritizing advanced analytics, and 76% data preparation. 54% say AI, machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are also a high investment priority. The following graphic ranks enterprises’ investment priorities for acquiring or subscribing to new technologies and cloud-based services by analytics and BI initiatives or strategies. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • Data warehouse or mart in the cloud (41%), data lake in the cloud (39%) and BI platform in the cloud (38%) are the top three types of technologies enterprises are planning to use. Based on this finding and others in the study, cloud platforms are the new normal in enterprises’ analytics and Bi strategies going into 2019. Cloud data storage (object, file, or block) and data virtualization or federation (both 32%) are the next-most planned for technologies by enterprises when it comes to investing in the analytics and BI initiatives. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • The three most important factors in delivering a positive user experience include good query performance (61%), creating and editing visualizations (60%), and personalizing dashboards and reports (also 60%). The three activities that lead to the least amount of satisfaction are using predictive analytics and forecasting tools (27% dissatisfied), “What if” analysis and deriving new data (25%) and searching across data and reports (24%). Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • 82% of enterprises are looking to broaden the base of analytics and BI platforms they rely on for insights and intelligence, not just stay with the solutions they have in place today. Just 18% of enterprises plan to add more instances of existing platforms and systems. Cloud-native platforms (38%), a new analytics platform (35%) and cloud-based data lakes (31%) are the top three system areas enterprises are planning to augment or replace existing BI, analytics, and data warehousing systems in. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • The majority of enterprises plan to both build and buy Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solutions so that they can customize them to their specific needs. 43% of enterprises surveyed plan to both build and buy AI and ML applications and platforms, a figure higher than any other recent survey on this aspect of enterprise AI adoption. 13% of responding enterprises say they will exclusively build their own AI and ML applications.

  • Capitalizing on machine learning’s innate strengths of applying algorithms to large volumes of data to find actionable new insights (54%) is what’s most important to the majority of enterprises. 47% of enterprises look to AI and machine learning to improve the accuracy and quality of information. And 42% are configuring AI and machine learning applications and platforms to augment user decision making by giving recommendations. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

Tech Leaders Look To IoT, AI & Robotics To Fuel Growth Through 2021

  • 30% of tech leaders globally predict blockchain will disrupt their businesses by 2021.
  • IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics have the greatest potential to digitally transform businesses, making them more customer-centered and efficient.
  • 26% of global tech leaders say e-Commerce apps and platforms will be the most disruptive new business model in their countries by 2021.
  • IDC predicts worldwide IoT spending will reach $1.1T by 2021.

These and many other insights are from KPMG’s recent research study Tech Disruptors Outpace The Competition. The study can be downloaded here (PDF, 42 pp., no opt-in.).  The methodology is based on interviews with 750 global technology industry leaders, 85% of whom are C-level executives. For additional details on the methodology, please see pages 32 and 33 of the study. The study found that the three main benefits of adopting IoT, AI, and robotics include improved management of personal information, increased personal productivity, and improved customer experience through personalized real-time information. Key insights gained from the study include the following:

  • IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics have the greatest potential to digitally transform businesses, making them more customer-centered and efficient. Tech leaders also see these three core technologies enabling the next indispensable consumer technology and driving the greatest benefit to life, society, and the environment. KPMG’s research team found that tech companies are integrating these three technologies to create growth platforms for new business ventures while digitally transforming existing business processes. Tech leaders in the U.K. (21%), Japan (20%) and the U.S. (16%) lead all other nations in their plans for IoT digitally transforming their businesses by 2021. Please click on the graphic below to expand for easier reading.

  • 30% of tech leaders globally predict blockchain will disrupt their businesses by 2021. 50% of Japanese tech leaders predict that blockchain will digitally transform their industries and companies by 2021, leading all nations included in the survey.  IoT processes and the rich, real-time data stream sensors and systems are capable of delivering is predicted by tech leaders to be the primary catalyst that will enable blockchain to digitally transform their businesses. 27% of tech leaders globally expect IoT data and applications combined with blockchain to redefine their companies, supply chains and industries. Identity authentication (24%), automated trading (22%) and contracts (14%) are the 2nd through fourth-most disruptive aspects of blockchain by 2021 according to tech leaders. Please click on the graphic below to expand for easier reading.

  • 26% of global tech leaders say e-Commerce apps and platforms will be the most disruptive new business model in their countries by 2021. 19% see social media platforms creating the majority of new business models, followed autonomous vehicle platforms (14%) and entertainment platforms (11%).  KPMG’s analysis includes a ranking of top business models by country, with e-Commerce dominating four of the five regions included in the survey.

  • 50% of tech leaders expect media, transportation, healthcare, and transportation to experience the greatest digital transformation in the next three years.  Respondents most mentioned Amazon, Netflix, Alibaba, Uber, Google, and Facebook as examples of companies who will digitally transform their industries by 2021.  The following table provides insights into which industries by country will see the greatest digital transformations in the next three years. Entertainment platforms are predicted by tech leaders to have the greatest potential to digitally transform the media industry in the U.S. by 2021.

  • Tech leaders predict IoT’s greatest potential for adoption by 2021 is in consumer products, education, services, industrial manufacturing, and telecom. AI’s greatest potential to digitally transform business models is in healthcare and industrial manufacturing (both 11%), consumer products, financial, and services (10% each).  As would be expected, Robotics’ adoption and contribution to digitally transforming businesses will be most dominant in industrial manufacturing (15%), followed by healthcare (11%) and consumer, financial and services (10%). Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

Global State Of Enterprise Analytics, 2018

  • 71% of enterprises globally predict their investments in data and analytics will accelerate in the next three years and beyond.
  • 57% of enterprises globally have a Chief Data Officer, a leadership role that is pivotal in helping to democratize data and analytics across any organization.
  • 52% of enterprises are leveraging advanced and predictive analytics today to provide greater insights and contextual intelligence into operations.
  • 41% of all enterprises are considering a move to cloud-based analytics in the next year.
  • Cloud Computing (24%), Big Data (20%), and AI/Machine Learning (18%) are the three technologies predicted to have the greatest impact on analytics over the next five years.
  • Just 16% of enterprises have enabled at least 75% of their employees to have access to company data and analytics.

These and many other fascinating insights are from MicroStrategy’s latest research study, 2018 Global State of Enterprise Analytics Report.  You can download a copy here (PDF, 44 pp., opt-in). The study is based on surveys completed in April 2018 with 500 globally-based enterprise analytics and business intelligence professionals on the state of their organizations’ analytics initiatives across 20 industries. Participants represented organizations with 250 to 20,000 employees worldwide from five nations including Brazil, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. For additional details on the methodology, please see the study here. The study’s results underscore how enterprises need to have a unified data strategy that reflects their growth strategies and new business models’ information needs.

Key takeaways from the study include the following:

  • Driving greater process and cost efficiencies (60%), strategy and change (57%) and monitoring and improving financial performance (52%) are the top three ways enterprises globally are using data and analytics today. The study found that enterprises are also relying on data and analytics to gain greater insights into how current products and services are used (51%), managing risk (50%) and attain customer growth and retention (49%). Across the five nations surveyed, Japan leads the world in the use of data and analytics to drive process and cost efficiencies (65%). UK-based enterprises lead all nations in their use of data and analytics to analyze how current products and services are being used.  The report provides graphical comparisons of the five nations’ results.

  • Cloud Computing, Big Data, and AI/Machine Learning are the three technologies predicted to have the greatest global impact on analytics over the next five years. Japanese enterprises predict cloud computing will have the greatest impact on the future of analytics (28%) across the five nations’ enterprises interviewed. AI/Machine Learning is predicted to have the greatest impact on analytics in the U.K. (26%) globally as is Big Data in Germany (29%). Please see the study for country-specific prioritization of technologies.

  • 52% of enterprises are leveraging advanced and predictive analytics today to provide greater insights and contextual intelligence into operations. Additional leverage areas include distribution of analytics via e-mail and collaboration tools (49%), analytics embedded in other apps including Salesforce (44%) and mobile productivity apps (39%). Japanese enterprises lead the world in their adoption of advanced and predictive analytics (60%). German enterprises lead the world in the adoption of analytics for collaboration via e-mail and more real-time data and knowledge-sharing methods (50%).

  • 59% of enterprises are using Big Data Analytics, leading all categories of intelligence applications. Enterprise reporting (47%), data discovery (47%), mobile productivity apps (44%) and embedded apps (42%) are the top five intelligence applications in use globally by enterprises today. Big Data’s dominance in the survey results can be attributed to the top five industries in the sampling frame is among the most prolific in data generation and use. Manufacturing (15%) is the most data-prolific industry on the planet. Additional industries that generate massive amounts of data dominate the survey’s demographics including software technology-based businesses (14%), banking (13%), retail (11%), and financial services/business services (6%).

  • 27% of global enterprises prioritize security over any other factor when evaluating a new analytics vendor. The three core attributes of a scalable, comprehensive platform, ease of use, and a vendor’s products having an excellent reputation are all essential. Enterprises based in four of the five nations also prioritize security as the most critical success factor they evaluate potential analytics vendors to do business with. Enterprise scalability is most important in the U.S., with 26% of enterprises interviewed saying this is the most important priority in evaluating a new analytics vendor.

  • Data privacy and security concerns (49%) is the most formidable barrier enterprises face in gaining more effective use of their data and analytics. Enterprises from four of the five nations say data privacy and security are the most significant barrier they face in getting more value from analytics. In Japan, the greatest barrier is access limited to data across the organization (40%).

  • Globally 41% of all enterprises are considering a move to the cloud in the next year. 64% of U.S.-based enterprises are considering moving to a cloud-based analytics platform or solution in the next year. The U.S. leads enterprises from all five nations in planned cloud-based analytics cloud adoption as the graphic below illustrates.

Where Business Intelligence Is Delivering Value In 2018

  • Executive Management, Operations, and Sales are the three primary roles driving Business Intelligence (BI) adoption in 2018.
  • Dashboards, reporting, end-user self-service, advanced visualization, and data warehousing are the top five most important technologies and initiatives strategic to BI in 2018.
  • Small organizations with up to 100 employees have the highest rate of BI penetration or adoption in 2018.
  • Organizations successful with analytics and BI apps define success in business results, while unsuccessful organizations concentrate on adoption rate first.
  • 50% of vendors offer perpetual on-premises licensing in 2018, a notable decline over 2017. The number of vendors offering subscription licensing continues to grow for both on-premises and public cloud models.
  • Fewer than 15% of respondent organizations have a Chief Data Officer, and only about 10% have a Chief Analytics Officer today.

These and many other fascinating insights are from Dresner Advisory Service’s  2018 Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Study. In its ninth annual edition, the study provides a broad assessment of the business intelligence (BI) market and a comprehensive look at key user trends, attitudes, and intentions.  The latest edition of the study adds Information Technology (IT) analytics, sales planning, and GDPR, bringing the total to 36 topics under study.

“The Wisdom of Crowds BI Market Study is the cornerstone of our annual research agenda, providing the most in-depth and data-rich portrait of the state of the BI market,” said Howard Dresner, founder and chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services. “Drawn from the first-person perspective of users throughout all industries, geographies, and organization sizes, who are involved in varying aspects of BI projects, our report provides a unique look at the drivers of and success with BI.” Survey respondents include IT (28%), followed by Executive Management (22%), and Finance (19%). Sales/Marketing (8%) and the Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) (7%). Please see page 15 of the study for specifics on the methodology.

Key takeaways from the study include the following:

  • Executive Management, Operations, and Sales are the three primary roles driving Business Intelligence (BI) adoption in 2018. Executive management teams are taking more of an active ownership role in BI initiatives in 2018, as this group replaced Operations as the leading department driving BI adoption this year. The study found that the greatest percentage change in functional areas driving BI adoption includes Human Resources (7.3%), Marketing (5.9%), BICC (5.1%) and Sales (5%).

  • Making better decisions, improving operational efficiencies, growing revenues and increased competitive advantage are the top four BI objectives organizations have today. Additional goals include enhancing customer service and attaining greater degrees of compliance and risk management. The graph below rank orders the importance of BI objectives in 2018 compared to the percent change in BI objectives between 2017 and 2018. Enhanced customer service is the fastest growing objective enterprises adopt BI to accomplish, followed by growth in revenue (5.4%).

  • Dashboards, reporting, end-user self-service, advanced visualization, and data warehousing are the top five most important technologies and initiatives strategic to BI in 2018. The study found that second-tier initiatives including data discovery, data mining/advanced algorithms, data storytelling, integration with operational processes, and enterprise and sales planning are also critical or very important to enterprises participating in the survey. Technology areas being hyped heavily today including the Internet of Things, cognitive BI, and in-memory analysis are relatively low in the rankings as of today, yet are growing. Edge computing increased 32% as a priority between 2017 and 2018 for example. The results indicate the core aspect of excelling at using BI to drive better business decisions and more revenue still dominate the priorities of most businesses today.
  • Sales & Marketing, Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) and   Executive Management have the highest level of interest in dashboards and advanced visualization. Finance has the greatest interest in enterprise planning and budgeting. Operations including manufacturing, supply chain management, and services) leads interest in data mining, data storytelling, integration with operational processes, mobile device support, data catalog and several other technologies and initiatives. It’s understandable that BICC leaders most advocate end-user self-service and attach high importance to many other categories as they are internal service bureaus to all departments in an enterprise. It’s been my experience that BICCs are always looking for ways to scale BI adoption and enable every department to gain greater value from analytics and BI apps. BICCs in the best run companies are knowledge hubs that encourage and educate all departments on how to excel with analytics and BI.

  • Insurance companies most prioritize dashboards, reporting, end-user self-service, data warehousing, data discovery and data mining. Business Services lead the adoption of advanced visualization, data storytelling, and embedded BI. Manufacturing most prioritizes sales planning and enterprise planning but trails in other high-ranking priorities. Technology prioritizes Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) given its scale and speed advantages. The retail & wholesale industry is going through an analytics and customer experience revolution today. Retailers and wholesalers lead all others in data catalog adoption and mobile device support.

  • Insurance, Technology and Business Services vertical industries have the highest rate of BI adoption today. The Insurance industry leads all others in BI adoption, followed by the Technology industry with 40% of organizations having 41% or greater adoption or penetration. Industries whose BI adoption is above average include Business Services and Retail & Wholesale. The following graphic illustrates penetration or adoption of Business Intelligence solutions today by industry.

  • Dashboards, reporting, advanced visualization, and data warehousing are the highest priority investment areas for companies whose budgets increased from 2017 to 2018. Additional high priority areas of investment include advanced visualization and data warehousing. The study found that less well-funded organizations are most likely to lead all others by investing in open source software to reduce costs.

  • Small organizations with up to 100 employees have the highest rate of BI penetration or adoption in 2018. Factors contributing to the high adoption rate for BI in small businesses include business models that need advanced analytics to function and scale, employees with the latest analytics and BI skills being hired to also scale high growth businesses and fewer barriers to adoption compared to larger enterprises. BI adoption tends to be more pervasive in small businesses as a greater percentage of employees are using analytics and BI apps daily.

  • Executive Management is most familiar with the type and number of BI tools in use across the organization. The majority of executive management respondents say their teams are using between one or two BI tools today. Business Intelligence Competency Centers (BICC) consistently report a higher number of BI tools in use than other functional areas given their heavy involvement in all phases of analytics and BI project execution. IT, Sales & Marketing and Finance are likely to have more BI tools in use than Operations.

  • Enterprises rate BI application usability and product quality & reliability at an all-time high in 2018. Other areas of major improvements on the part of vendors include improving ease of implementation, online training, forums and documentation, and completeness of functionality. Dresner’s research team found between 2017 and 2018 integration of components within product dropped, in addition to scalability. The study concludes the drop in integration expertise is due to an increasing number of software company acquisitions aggregating dissimilar products together from different platforms.

10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Big Data’s Growth

  • 10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Big Data's GrowthWorldwide Big Data market revenues for software and services are projected to increase from $42B in 2018 to $103B in 2027, attaining a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.48% according to Wikibon.
  • Forrester predicts the global Big Data software market will be worth $31B this year, growing 14% from the previous year. The entire global software market is forecast to be worth $628B in revenue, with $302B from applications.
  • According to an Accenture study, 79% of enterprise executives agree that companies that do not embrace Big Data will lose their competitive position and could face extinction. Even more, 83%, have pursued Big Data projects to seize a competitive edge.
  • 59% of executives say Big Data at their company would be improved through the use of AI according to PwC.

Sales and Marketing, Research & Development (R&D), Supply Chain Management (SCM) including distribution, Workplace Management and Operations are where advanced analytics including Big Data are making the greatest contributions to revenue growth today. McKinsey Analytics’ study Analytics Comes of Age, published in January 2018 (PDF, 100 pp., no opt-in) is a comprehensive overview of how analytics technologies and Big Data are enabling entirely new ecosystems, serving as a foundational technology for Artificial Intelligence (AI). McKinsey finds that analytics and Big Data are making the most valuable contributions in the Basic Materials and High Tech industries. The first chart in the following series of ten is from the McKinsey Analytics study, highlighting how analytics and Big Data are revolutionizing many of the foundational business processes of Sales and Marketing.

The following ten charts provide insights into Big Data’s growth:

  • Nearly 50% of respondents to a recent McKinsey Analytics survey say analytics and Big Data have fundamentally changed business practices in their sales and marketing functions. Also, more than 30% say the same about R&D across industries, with respondents in High Tech and Basic Materials & Energy report the greatest number of functions being transformed by analytics and Big Data. Source: Analytics Comes of Age, published in January 2018 (PDF, 100 pp., no opt-in).

  • Worldwide Big Data market revenues for software and services are projected to increase from $42B in 2018 to $103B in 2027, attaining a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.48%. As part of this forecast, Wikibon estimates the worldwide Big Data market is growing at an 11.4% CAGR between 2017 and 2027, growing from $35B to $103B. Source: Wikibon and reported by Statista.

  • According to NewVantage Venture Partners, Big Data is delivering the most value to enterprises by decreasing expenses (49.2%) and creating new avenues for innovation and disruption (44.3%). Discovering new opportunities to reduce costs by combining advanced analytics and Big Data delivers the most measurable results, further leading to this category being the most prevalent in the study. 69.4% have started using Big Data to create a data-driven culture, with 27.9% reporting results. Source: NewVantage Venture Partners, Big Data Executive Survey 2017 (PDF, 16 pp.)

  • The Hadoop and Big Data Market are projected to grow from $17.1B in 2017 to $99.31B in 2022 attaining a 28.5% CAGR. The greatest period of projected growth is in 2021 and 2022 when the market is projected to jump $30B in value in one year. Source: StrategyMRC and reported by Statista.

  • Big Data applications and analytics is projected to grow from $5.3B in 2018 to $19.4B in 2026, attaining a CAGR of 15.49%. Big Data market worldwide includes Professional Services is projected to grow from $16.5B in 2018 to $21.3B in 2026. Source: Wikibon and reported by Statista.

  • Comparing the worldwide demand for advanced analytics and Big Data-related hardware, services and software, the latter category’s dominance becomes clear. The software segment is projected to increase the fastest of all categories, increasing from $14B in 2018 to $46B in 2027 attaining a CAGR of 12.6%. Sources: WikibonSiliconANGLE; Statista estimates and reported by Statista.

  • Advanced analytics and Big Data revenue in China are projected to be worth ¥57.8B ($9B) by 2020. The Chinese market is predicted to be one of the fastest growing globally, growing at a CAGR of 31.72% in the forecast period. Sources: Social Sciences Academic Press (China) and Statista.

  • Non-relational analytic data stores are projected to be the fastest growing technology category in Big Datagrowing at a CAGR of 38.6% between 2015 and 2020. Cognitive software platforms (23.3% CAGR) and Content Analytics (17.3%) round out the top three fastest growing technologies between 2015 and 2020. Source: Statista.

  • A decentralized general-merchandise retailer that used Big Data to create performance group clusters saw sales grow 3% to 4%. Big Data is the catalyst of a retailing industry makeover, bringing greater precision to localization than has been possible before. Big Data is being used today to increase the ROI of endcap promotions, optimize planograms, help to improve upsell and cross-sell sales performance and optimize prices on items that drive the greatest amount of foot traffic. Source: Use Big Data to Give Local Shoppers What They Want, Boston Consulting Group, February 8, 2018.

  • 84% of enterprises have launched advanced analytics and Big Data initiatives to bring greater accuracy and accelerate their decision-making Big Data initiatives focused on this area also have the greatest success rate (69%) according to the most recent NewVantage Venture Partners Survey. Over a third of enterprises, 36%, say this area is their top priority for advanced analytics and Big Data investment. Sources: NewVantage Venture Partners Survey and Statista.

Additional Big Data Information Sources:

4 Pain Points of Big Data and how to solve them, Digital McKinsey via Medium, November 10, 2017

53% Of Companies Are Adopting Big Data Analytics, Forbes, December 24, 2017

6 Predictions For The $203 Billion Big Data Analytics Market, Forbes, Gil Press, January 20, 2017

Analytics Comes of Age, McKinsey Analytics, January 2018 (PDF, 100 pp.)

Big Data & Analytics Is The Most Wanted Expertise By 75% Of IoT Providers, Forbes, August 21, 2017

Big Data 2017 – Market Statistics, Use Cases, and Trends, Calsoft (36 pp., PDF)

Big Data and Business Analytics Revenues Forecast to Reach $150.8 Billion This Year, Led by Banking and Manufacturing Investments, According to IDC, March 14, 2017

Big Data Executive Survey 2018, Data and Innovation – How Big Data and AI are Driving Business Innovation, NewVantage Venture Partners, January 2018 (PDF, 18 pp.)

Big Data Tech Hadoop and Spark Get Slow Start in Enterprise, Information Week, March 20, 2018

Big Success With Big Data, Accenture  (PDF, 12 pp.)

Gartner Survey Shows Organizations Are Slow to Advance in Data and Analytics, Gartner, February 5, 2018

How Big Data and AI Are Driving Business Innovation in 2018, MIT Sloan Management Review, February 5, 2018

IDC forecasts big growth for Big Data, Analytics Magazine. April 2018

IDC Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services 2012 – 2015 Forecast, Courtesy of EC Europa (PDF, 34 pp.)

Midyear Global Tech Market Outlook For 2017 To 2018, Forrester, September 25, 2017 (client access reqd.)

Oracle Industry Analyst Reports – Data-rich website of industry analyst reports

Ten Ways Big Data Is Revolutionizing Marketing And Sales, Forbes, May 9, 2016

The Big Data Payoff: Turning Big Data into Business Value, CAP Gemini & Informatica Study, (PDF, 12 pp.)

The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise BI Platforms With Majority Cloud Deployments, Q3 2017 courtesy of Oracle

The Best Big Data Companies And CEOs To Work For In 2018

Forbes readers’ most common requests center on who the best companies are to work for in analytics, big data, data management, data science and machine learning. The latest Computer Reseller News‘ 2018 Big Data 100 list of companies is used to complete the analysis as it is an impartial, independent list aggregated based on CRN’s analysis and perspectives of the market. Using the CRN list as a foundation, the following analysis captures the best companies in their respective areas today.

Using the 2018 Big Data 100 CRN list as a baseline to compare the Glassdoor scores of the (%) of employees who would recommend this company to a friend and (%) of employees who approve of the CEO, the following analysis was completed today. 25 companies on the list have very few (less than 15) or no Glassdoor reviews, so they are excluded from the rankings. Based on analysis of Glassdoor score patterns over the last four years, the lower the number of rankings, the more 100% scores for referrals and CEOs. These companies, however, are included in the full data set available here. If the image below is not visible in your browser, you can view the rankings here.

 

The highest rated CEOs on Glassdoor as of May 11, 2018 include the following:

Dataiku Florian Douetteau 100%
StreamSets Girish Pancha 100%
MemSQL Nikita Shamgunov 100%
1010 Data Greg Munves 99%
Salesforce.com Marc Benioff 98%
Attivio Stephen Baker 98%
SAP Bill McDermott 97%
Qubole Ashish Thusoo 97%
Trifacta Adam Wilson 97%
Zaloni Ben Sharma 97%
Reltio Manish Sood 96%
Microsoft Satya Nadella 96%
Cloudera Thomas J. Reilly 96%
Sumo Logic Ramin Sayar 96%
Google Sundar Pichai 95%
Looker Frank Bien 93%
MongoDB Dev Ittycheria 92%
Snowflake Computing Bob Muglia 92%
Talend Mike Tuchen 92%
Databricks Ali Ghodsi 90%
Informatica Anil Chakravarthy 90%

 

Five Reasons Why Machine Learning Needs To Make Resumes Obsolete

  • Hiring companies nationwide miss out on 50% or more of qualified candidates and tech firms incorrectly classify up 80% of candidates due to inaccuracies and shortcomings of existing Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), illustrating how faulty these systems are for enabling hiring.
  • It takes on average 42 days to fill a position, and up to 60 days or longer to fill positions requiring in-demand technical skills and costs an average $5,000 to fill each position.
  • Women applicants have a 19% chance of being eliminated from consideration for a job after a recruiter screen and 30% after an onsite interview, leading to a massive loss of brainpower and insight every company needs to grow.

It’s time the hiring process gets smarter, more infused with contextual intelligence, insight, evaluating candidates on their mastery of needed skills rather than judging candidates on resumes that reflect what they’ve achieved in the past. Enriching the hiring process with greater machine learning-based contextual intelligence finds the candidates who are exceptional and have the intellectual skills to contribute beyond hiring managers’ expectations. Machine learning algorithms can also remove any ethic- and gender-specific identification of a candidate and have them evaluated purely on expertise, experiences, merit, and skills.

The hiring process relied on globally today hasn’t changed in over 500 years. From Leonardo da Vinci’s handwritten resume from 1482, which reflects his ability to build bridges and support warfare versus the genius behind Mona Lisa, Last Supper, Vitruvian Man, and a myriad of scientific discoveries and inventions that modernized the world, the approach job seekers take for pursuing new positions has stubbornly defied innovation. ATS apps and platforms classify inbound resumes and provide rankings of candidates based on just a small glimpse of their skills seen on a resume. When what’s needed is an insight into which managerial, leadership and technical skills & strengths any given candidate is attaining mastery of and at what pace.  Machine learning broadens the scope of what hiring companies can see in candidates by moving beyond the barriers of their resumes. Better hiring decisions are being made, and the Return on Investment (ROI) drastically improves by strengthening hiring decisions with greater intelligence. Key metrics including time-to-hire, cost-to-hire, retention rates, and performance all will improve when greater contextual intelligence is relied on.

Look Beyond Resumes To Win The War For Talent

Last week I had the opportunity to speak with the Vice President of Human Resources for one of the leading technology think tanks globally. He’s focusing on hundreds of technical professionals his organization needs in six months, 12 months and over a year from now to staff exciting new research projects that will deliver valuable Intellectual Property (IP) including patents and new products.

Their approach begins by seeking to understand the profiles and core strengths of current high performers, then seek out matches with ideal candidates in their community of applicants and the broader technology community. Machine learning algorithms are perfectly suited for completing the needed comparative analysis of high performer’s capabilities and those of candidates, whose entire digital persona is taken into account when comparisons are being completed. The following graphic illustrates the eightfold.ai Talent Intelligence Platform (TIP), illustrating how integrated it is with publicly available data, internal data repositories, Human Capital Resource Management (HRM) systems, ATS tools. Please click on the graphic to expand it for easier reading.

The comparative analysis of high achievers’ characteristics with applicants takes seconds to complete, providing a list of prospects complete with profiles. Machine learning-derived profiles of potential hires meeting the high performers’ characteristics provided greater contextual intelligence than any resume ever could. Taking an integrated approach to creating the Talent Intelligence Platform (TIP) yields insights not available with typical hiring or ATS solutions today. The profile below reflects the contextual intelligence and depth of insight possible when machine learning is applied to an integrated dataset of candidates. Please click on the graphic to expand it for easier reading. Key elements in the profile below include the following:

  • Career Growth Bell Curve – Illustrates how a given candidate’s career progressions and performance compares relative to others.

  • Social Following On Public Sites –  Provides a real-time glimpse into the candidate’s activity on Github, Open Stack, and other sites where technical professionals can share their expertise. This also provides insight into how others perceive their contributions.

  • Highlights Of Background That Is Relevant To Job(s) Under Review Provides the most relevant data from the candidate’s history in the profile so recruiters and managers can more easily understand their strengths.

  • Recent Publications – Publications provide insights into current and previous interests, areas of focus, mindset and learning progression over the last 10 to 15 years or longer.

  • Professional overlap that makes it easier to validate achievements chronicled in the resume – Multiple sources of real-time career data validate and provide greater context and insight into resume-listed accomplishments.

The key is understanding the context in which a candidate’s capabilities are being evaluated. And a 2-page resume will never give enough latitude to the candidate to cover all bases. For medium to large companies – doing this accurately and quickly is a daunting task if done manually – across all roles, all the geographies, all the candidates sourced, all the candidates applying online, university recruiting, re-skilling inside the company, internal mobility for existing employees, and across all recruitment channels. This is where machine learning can be an ally to the recruiter, hiring manager, and the candidate.

Five Reasons Why Machine Learning Needs To Make Resumes Obsolete

Reducing the costs and time-to-hire, increasing the quality of hires and staffing new initiatives with the highest quality talent possible all fuels solid revenue growth. Relying on resumes alone is like being on a bad Skype call where you only hear every tenth word in the conversation. Using machine learning-based approaches brings greater acuity, clarity, and visibility into hiring decisions.

The following are the five reasons why machine learning needs to make resumes obsolete:

  1. Resumes are like rearview mirrors that primarily reflect the past. What needed is more of a focus on where someone is going, why (what motivates them) and what are they fascinated with and learning about on their own. Resumes are rearview mirrors and what’s needed is an intelligent heads-up display of what their future will look like based on present interests and talent.
  2. By relying on a 500+-year-old process, there’s no way of knowing what skills, technologies and training a candidate is gaining momentum in. The depth and extent of mastery in specific areas aren’t reflected in the structure of resumes. By integrating multiple sources of data into a unified view of a candidate, it’s possible to see what areas they are growing the quickest in from a professional development standpoint.
  3. It’s impossible to game a machine learning algorithm that takes into account all digital data available on a candidate, while resumes have a credibility issue. Anyone who has hired subordinates, staff, and been involved in hiring decisions has faced the disappointment of finding out a promising candidate lied on a resume. It’s a huge let-down. Resumes get often gamed with one recruiter saying at least 60% of resumes have exaggerations and in some cases lies on them. Taking all data into account using a platform like TIP shows the true candidate and their actual skills.
  4. It’s time to take a more data-driven approach to diversity that removes unconscious biases. Resumes today immediately carry inherent biases in them. Recruiter, hiring managers and final interview groups of senior managers draw their unconscious biases based on a person’s name, gender, age, appearance, schools they attended and more. It’s more effective to know their skills, strengths, core areas of intelligence, all of which are better predictors of job performance.
  5. Reduces the risk of making a bad hire that will churn out of the organization fast. Ultimately everyone hires based in part on their best judgment and in part on their often unconscious biases. It’s human nature. With more data the probability of making a bad hire is reduced, reducing the risk of churning through a new hire and costing thousands of dollars to hire then replace them. Having greater contextual intelligence reduces the downside risks of hiring, removes biases by showing with solid data just how much a person is qualified or not for a role, and verifies their background strengths, skills, and achievements. Factors contributing to unconscious biases including gender, race, age or any other factors can be removed from profiles, so candidates are evaluated only on their potential to excel in the roles they are being considered for.

Bottom line: It’s time to revolutionize resumes and hiring processes, moving them into the 21st century by redefining them with greater contextual intelligence and insight enabled by machine learning.

 

The State Of Cloud Business Intelligence, 2018

  • Cloud BI adoption is soaring in 2018, nearly doubling 2016 adoption levels.
  • Over 90% of Sales & Marketing teams say that Cloud BI is essential for getting their work done in 2018, leading all categories in the survey.
  • 66% of organizations that consider themselves completely successful with Business Intelligence (BI) initiatives currently use the cloud.
  • Financial Services (62%), Technology (54%), and Education (54%) have the highest Cloud BI adoption rates in 2018.
  • 86% of Cloud BI adopters name Amazon AWS as their first choice, 82% name Microsoft Azure, 66% name Google Cloud, and 36% identify IBM Bluemix as their preferred provider of cloud BI services.

These and other many other fascinating insights are from Dresner Advisory Services 2018 Cloud Computing and Business Intelligence Market Study (client access reqd.) of the Wisdom of Crowds® series of research. The goal of the 7th annual edition of the study seeks to quantify end-user deployment trends and attitudes toward cloud computing and business intelligence (BI), defined as the technologies, tools, and solutions that employ one or more cloud deployment models. Dresner Advisory Services defines the scope of Business Intelligence (BI) tools and technologies to include query and reporting, OLAP (online analytical processing), data mining and advanced analytics, end-user tools for ad hoc query and analysis, and dashboards for performance monitoring. Please see page 10 of the study for the methodology. The study found the primary barriers to greater cloud BI adoption are enterprises’ concerns regarding data privacy and security.

Key takeaways from the study include the following:

  • Cloud BI’s importance continues to accelerate in 2018, with the majority of respondents considering it an important element of their broader analytics strategies. The study found that mean level of sentiment rose from 2.68 to 3.22 (above the level of “important”) between 2017 and 2018, indicating the increased importance of Cloud BI over the last year. By region, Asia-Pacific respondents continue to be the strongest proponents of cloud computing regarding both adjusted mean (4.2 or “very important”) and levels of criticality. The following graphic illustrates Cloud BI’s growing importance between 2012 and 2018.

  • Over 90% of Sales & Marketing teams say Cloud BI apps are important to getting their work done in 2018, leading all respondent categories in the survey. The study found that Cloud BI importance in 2018 is highest among Sales/Marketing and Executive Management respondents. One of the key factors driving this is the fact that both Sales & Marketing and Executive Management are increasingly relying on cloud-based front office applications and services that are integrated with and generate cloud-based data to track progress towards goals.

  • Cloud BI is most critical to Financial Services & Insurance, Technology, and Retail & Wholesale Trade industries. The study recorded its highest-ever levels of Cloud Bi importance in 2018. Financial Services has the highest weighted mean interest in cloud BI (3.8, which approaches “very important” status shown in the figure below). Technology organizations, where half of the respondents say cloud BI is “critical” or “very important,” are the next most interested. Close to 90% of Retail/Wholesale respondents say SaaS/cloud BI is at least “important” to them. As it has been over time, Healthcare remains the industry least open to managed services for data and business intelligence.

  • Cloud BI adoption is soaring in 2018, nearly doubling 2016 adoption levels. The study finds that the percentage of respondents using Cloud BI in 2018 nearly doubled from 25% of enterprise users in 2016. Year over year, current use rose from 31% to 49%. In the same time frame, the percentage of respondents with no plans to use cloud BI dropped by half, from 38% to 19%. This study has been completed for the last seven years, showing a steady progression of Cloud BI awareness and adoption, with 2018 being the first one showing the most significant rise in adoption levels ever.

  • Sales & Marketing leads all departments in current use and planning for Cloud BI applications. Business Intelligence Competency Centers (BICC) are a close second, each with over 60% adoption rates for Cloud BI today. Operations including manufacturing and supply chains and services are the next most likely to use Cloud BI currently. Marketing and BICC lead current adoption and are contributing catalysts of Cloud BI’s soaring growth between 2016 and 2018. Both of these departments often have time-constrained and revenue-driven goals where quantifying contributions to company growth and achievement ad critical.

  • Financial Services (62%), Technology (54%), and Education (54%) industries have the highest Cloud BI adoption rates in 2018. The retail/wholesale industry has the fourth-highest level of Cloud BI adoption and the greatest number of companies who are currently evaluating Cloud BI today. The least likely current or future users are found in manufacturing and security-sensitive healthcare organizations, where 45% respondents report no plans for cloud-based BI/analytics.

  • Dashboards, advanced visualization, ad-hoc query, data integration, and self-service are the most-required Cloud BI features in 2018. Sales & Marketing need real-time feedback on key initiatives, programs, strategies, and progress towards goals. Dashboards and advanced visualization features’ dominance of feature requirements reflect this department’s ongoing need for real-time feedback on the progress of their teams towards goals. Reporting, data discovery, and end-user data blending (data preparation) make up the next tier of importance.

  • Manufacturers have the greatest interest in dashboards, ad-hoc query, production reporting, search interface, location intelligence, and ability to write to transactional applications. Education respondents report the greatest interest in advanced visualization along with data integration, data mining, end-user data blending, data catalog, and collaborative support for group-based analysis. Financial Services respondents are highly interested in advanced visualization and lead all industries in self-serviceHealthcare industry respondents lead interest only in in-memory support. Retail/Wholesale and Healthcare industry respondents are the least feature interested overall.

  • Interest in cloud application connections to Salesforce, NetSuite, and other cloud-based platforms has increased 12% this year. Getting end-to-end visibility across supply chains, manufacturing centers, and distribution channels requires Cloud BI apps be integrated with cloud-based platforms and on-premises applications and data. Expect to see this accelerate in 2019 as Cloud BI apps become more pervasive across Marketing & Sales and Executive Management, in addition to Operations including supply chain management and manufacturing where real-time shop floor monitoring is growing rapidly.

  • Retail/Wholesale, Business Services, Education and Financial Services & Insurance industries are most interested in Google Analytics connectors to obtain data for their Cloud BI apps. Respondents from Technology industries prioritize Salesforce integration and connectors above all others. Education respondents are most interested in MySQL and Google Drive integration and connectors. Manufacturers are most interested in connectors to Google AdWords, SurveyMonkey, and The Healthcare industry respondents prioritize SAP Cloud BI services and also interested in ServiceNow connectors.

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