Making predictions about what in big data, analytics and BI will be hot in 2013 is so 2012. Let’s predict which of those predictions will fall short
You could argue that bona fide BI believers shouldn’t dabble in crystal ball gazing. After all, we’re supposed to be all about the facts. As in: get the right data to the right people at the right time, then get out of the way while they make smarter, more timely business decisions.
Oh, but who can resist?! I know I can’t. As Oscar Wilde said, I can resist anything but temptation.
This year I took a different approach. Without joining the fray, I let the industry pundits roll the bones and publish their prognostications in November and December. I’ve reviewed what the Mutual Admiration Society believes is in store for the Business Intelligence market in 2013, and now it’s my turn to tell you what I think will be trending in BI this year.
Before diving in, let me say that when it comes to divining the tech space, I agree with that guy in Redmond who was more or less responsible for the personal computer revolution. You know who I’m talking about. To paraphrase: We tend to exaggerate the impact of a trend over the next two years and underestimate its impact over the next ten.
For example, think about cloud computing. Cloud was all the buzz two years ago, and now it seems sooooo five minutes ago.
Cloud’s initial hype has dropped off, but it didn’t disappear. It became mainstream, accepted. People got quiet and went to work making it happen. Speed of adoption was perhaps exaggerated relative to the buildup, but the impact over ten years will be massive.
For starters, I’d like to have a dollar for every time one of our clients mentioned Big Data and Hadoop. Interestingly, about half think it’s a must have feature this year, and the other half thinks its way overstated.
In time, Big Data will revolutionize our approach to BI and will impact us on a daily basis in ways we cannot yet imagine. But for 2013 I predict we’ll be hearing about Big Data challenges and opportunities all year long with little clarity on where it is going. And during the 2014 Prediction Season the pundits will hope we don’t notice that they are recycling the same questions, challenges and promises. The Big Data spin machine even admitted that in 2012 there were only a few implementations among the Global 100, and some of them are surely fibbing. What’s more, access methods and standards for truly Big Data â€“ like Hadoop â€“ are promising and exciting technologies, but they are still somewhat immature.
This year, a sobering voice somewhere is going to ask “How are these terabytes of clickstreams and sensor data valuable, anyway?” Smart people somewhere will leverage their “Human Intelligence” and start to figure it out
Nothing cool about Big Data if it’s fragmented, unwieldy, poor quality. That’s just bad data.
Netting it out, in 2013 Big Data will get bigger, but most companies will struggle with how it affects them. We’ll no doubt hear from the rank and file that “demand for enterprise-friendly Hadoop has reached a fever pitch.” Down with complicated systems! Give us a simple to use way of accessing and analyzing Big Data!
Now there’s a thought. If 2012 was the year that companies admitted they need BI, 2013 will be the year they figure out why they need it and how to simplify its use.
In that vein, I think the 2013 BI landscape will be dominated by:
- Self-service BI (AKA “DIY BI”)
- Mobile BI
- Holistic BI
These movements are grassroots, user-driven. That’s what makes them real and unstoppable. They don’t need to be blogger-blessed.
Self-Service BI. In case you hadn’t noticed, IT’s Inbox is full. (They have lots of things on their plates other than implementing BI solutions) Delays caused by allocating too many end-user projects to IT will be circumvented in favor of rapid access and control, hallmarks of self-service BI. Some estimate 80% of BI tasks will be in the hands of users. That’s fantastic news.
BI has come of age, and this points to more self-sufficiency in 2013, which means better, faster decisions by those in the best place to make them. It also means the dawn of an age of self-exploration and “insight on the fly” as users demand to explore data without the constraints of pre-built data models and preconceived notions.
Mobile BI. I admit, this is a gimme. Mobile BI has been a luxury. In 2013 it will become a requirement. Some say mobile BI adoption has trailed other enterprise mobile apps because the evidence of ROI was weak. That will all change this year. Why? Because knowledge-workers work where they are. Rather than waiting until they get back to the office, they carry the office with them and act now instead of later.
Holistic BI. I don’t mean this in the new-age “well-being” way, I mean it in more of an all-encompassing “complete” solution. I believe that 2013 will be the year of Perestroika (restructuring), where the fractionated ownership of BI solutions within a company will begin to come together, and work towards a common goal. They’ll be looking not for BI software but a technology environment that allows them to work collaboratively towards a common, holistic goal.
Let me know what you think. Do you agree or disagree? I’ll return to this post in the summer to give myself a mid-term grade.