Analytics tools ‘to be central’ to business reinvention

Making good use of business intelligence and analytics tools to gain a better insight into the workings of a company will be crucial if organizations are to successfully reinvent their operations.

This is according to Gartner, which noted ahead of its Gartner Business Intelligence and Information Management Summit taking place in Mumbai, India, today (June 10th) and tomorrow that it will be up to IT departments to build the foundations for the future of enterprises, with the insight gained from data analytics to play a key role in this.

Until now, analytics solutions have been primarily used in projects that only affect IT, but as digital technologies continue to be a top priority for chief information officers, the influence of analytics on all parts of an organization is set to increase dramatically.

Dan Sommer, principal research analyst at the firm, stated that the business environment is rapidly heading towards a situation where analytics is used everywhere. He said: "Gartner predicts that analytics will reach 50 percent of potential users by 2014. By 2020, that figure will be 75 percent 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."

Beyond 2020, technological developments such as the 'Internet of Everything' will mean that close to 100 percent of users will be taking advantage of big data analytics solutions in order to drive their key business activities.

There will be three key factors that will be vital to the successful implementation of BI and analytics technologies by a wider range of users. There are ease of use, performance and relevance of data. If these challenges are not met, individuals will be discouraged from using the tools and businesses will be unable to access the full potential of their solutions. However, Gartner observed there have been significant strides forward recently in addressing these areas and making BI usable for all business users, not just skilled IT professionals.

Mr Sommer noted: "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."

Other sectors of the analytics market that are evolving rapidly include relevance, with a shift from a build to buy model meaning many more firms can access their most important data easily. In the past, businesses looking to improve their BI capabilities would have had to create a tailored solution from scratch, which was a time-intensive and costly operation. Now, however, there are many more options available that can address the specific needs of certain users and enterprises.

For instance, organizations can take advantage of workforce analytics that deal solely with information relevant to HR managers, or adopt specialized fraud analytics solutions to aid risk professionals in their decision-making.

Gartner also observed that as the variety of data, number of channels and business issues that require analytics increase, new categories for analytics will appear and the market will become more fragmented.

"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," the firm stated.