- Improving revenues using BI is now the most popular objective enterprises are pursuing in 2019.
- Reporting, dashboards, data integration, advanced visualization, and end-user self-service are the most strategic BI initiatives underway in enterprises today.
- Operations, Executive Management, Finance, and Sales are primarily driving Business Intelligence (BI) adoption throughout enterprises today.
- Tech companies’ Operations & Sales teams are the most effective at driving BI adoption across industries surveyed, with Advertising driving BI adoption across Marketing.
These and many other fascinating insights are from Dresner Advisory Associates’ 10th edition of its popular Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Study. The study is noteworthy in that it provides insights into how enterprises are expanding their adoption of Business Intelligence (BI) from centralized strategies to tactical ones that seek to improve daily operations. The Dresner research teams’ broad assessment of the BI market makes this report unique, including their use visualizations that provide a strategic view of market trends. The study is based on interviews with respondents from the firms’ research community of over 5,000 organizations as well as vendors’ customers and qualified crowdsourced respondents recruited over social media. Please see pages 13 – 16 for the methodology.
Key insights from the study include the following:
- Operations, Executive Management, Finance, and Sales are primarily driving Business Intelligence (BI) adoption throughout their enterprises today. More than half of the enterprises surveyed see these four departments as the primary initiators or drivers of BI initiatives. Over the last seven years, Operations departments have most increased their influence over BI adoption, more than any other department included in the current and previous survey. Marketing and Strategic Planning are also the most likely to be sponsoring BI pilots and looking for new ways to introduce BI applications and platforms into use daily.
- Tech companies’ Operations & Sales teams are the most effective at driving BI adoption across industries surveyed, with Advertising driving BI adoption across Marketing. Retail/Wholesale and Tech companies’ sales leadership is primarily driving BI adoption in their respective industries. It’s not surprising to see the leading influencer among Healthcare respondents is resource-intensive HR. The study found that Executive Management is most likely to drive business intelligence in consulting practices most often.
- Reporting, dashboards, data integration, advanced visualization, and end-user self-service are the most strategic BI initiatives underway in enterprises today. Second-tier initiatives include data discovery, data warehousing, data discovery, data mining/advanced algorithms, and data storytelling. Comparing the last four years of survey data, Dresner’s research team found reporting retains all-time high scores as the top priority, and data storytelling, governance, and data catalog hold momentum. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.
- BI software providers most commonly rely on executive-level personas to design their applications and add new features. Dresner’s research team found all vertical industries except Business Services target business executives first in their product design and messaging. Given the customer-centric nature of advertising and consulting services business models, it is understandable why the primary focus BI vendors rely on in selling to them are customer personas. The following graphic compares targeted users for BI by industry.
- Improving revenues using BI is now the most popular objective in 2019, despite BI initially being positioned as a solution for compliance and risk management. Executive Management, Marketing/Sales, and Operations are driving the focus on improving revenues this year. Nearly 50% of enterprises now expect BI to deliver better decision making, making the areas of reporting, and dashboards must-have features. Interestingly, enterprises aren’t looking to BI as much for improving operational efficiencies and cost reductions or competitive advantages. Over the last 12 to 18 months, more tech manufacturing companies have initiated new business models that require their operations teams to support a shift from products to services revenues. An example of this shift is the introduction of smart, connected products that provide real-time data that serves as the foundation for future services strategies. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.
- In aggregate, BI is achieving its highest levels of adoption in R&D, Executive Management, and Operations departments today. The growing complexity of products and business models in tech companies, increasing reliance on analytics and BI in retail/wholesale to streamline supply chains and improve buying experiences are contributing factors to the increasing levels of BI adoption in these three departments. The following graphic compares BI’s level of adoption by function today.
- Enterprises with the largest BI budgets this year are investing more heavily into dashboards, reporting, and data integration. Conversely, those with smaller budgets are placing a higher priority on open source-based big data projects, end-user data preparation, collaborative support for group-based decision-making, and enterprise planning. The following graphic provides insights into technologies and initiatives strategic to BI at an enterprise level by budget plans.
- Marketing/Sales and Operations are using the greatest variety of BI tools today. The survey shows how conversant Operations professionals are with the BI tools in use throughout their departments. Every one of them knows how many and most likely which types of BI tools are deployed in their departments. Across all industries, Research & Development (R&D), Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC), and IT respondents are most likely to report they have multiple tools in use.
- 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.
- 66% of organizations that consider themselves completely successful with Business Intelligence (BI) initiatives currently use the cloud.
- 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-service. Healthcare 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.