5 Top BI Trends for 2015

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Ellie_FieldsIn this special guest feature, Ellie Fields of Tableau identifies the 5 top business intelligence trends for the upcoming new year in 2015. Ellie Fields is Vice President, Product Marketing at Tableau Software, responsible for new product launches, Tableau Public, and Tableau’s community.

It’s that time of year again! As everyone begins making their New Year’s resolutions for 2015, the data geeks at Tableau have put our brains together to decide what big business intelligence (BI) trends are likely on tap. This is an annual tradition; in 2014, our predictions included data moving from specialists to the everyman, the mainstreaming of cloud business intelligence, and the rise of NoSQL.

What will be trending in 2015? Check out just a few of our favorite predictions for the BI market in the year to come.

1. A Focus on Integration. There’s been an impressive amount of innovation in the BI space over the last decade, but many organizations are losing patience with multiple logins and clunky processes to move and manage data. That’s why 2015 will be the year of the ecosystem. There will be far less room for applications that don’t play well in a larger ecosystem, and people will no longer accept manual integration and data quality efforts.

2. Deeper Conversations. Let’s be honest: Static charts and dashboards are so five years ago. Data is now accessible and interactive enough that it can become the backbone of a conversation. Users can quickly analyze data, mash it up with other data, and redesign it to create a new perspective. What does this mean? Well, for one it means that meetings can become more engaging, with folks exploring data together rather than plodding through a set of slides.

3. The Move to Mobile. It’s no secret that workers are no longer tied to their desks – but they still need to be able to access and analyze their data. While mobile solutions have been around for years, they’re just not reaching a level of maturity where mobile workers really can do light analysis from the road.

4. More Democratization. We’ve already seen the democratization of data and analytics thanks to easy-to-use tools. This trend will continue in 2015, with graphical, intuitive modeling allowing business users to use predictive analytics without the need for extensive expert consultation or scripting. Essentially, as self-service analytics becomes more mainstream, more advanced analytics such as basic forecasting will become a more common and less painful activity.

5. Better Data Governance. Building on that point, new processes and best practices will emerge to keep data secure while letting business people get answers from their data. Just as the business intelligence landscape has transformed from static reporting to interactive, self-service data, so too must governance transform. Simple approaches like locking down all enterprise data won’t work any longer—nor will the approach of doing away with any process at all.

The bottom line is that the way people interact with data is changing fast — and mostly for the better.


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  1. Nice article, thank you.

    It’s time the subject matter expert gets all the tools they need in order to make the business more effective.

    We’re all about No1 but interestingly enough 1-5 aligns perfectly with our strategy for our Integration Platform as a Service delivery for 2015. That is what happens when you focus on the business outcomes and the subject matter expert.

    Happy holidays!