Over the past decade, we’ve made a lot of progress when it comes to gathering data from users, customers, clients and others. Whole specialties have grown up around usability, optimizing databases and rushing finished products to customers in record time. That said, we may be approaching a point where more investments in speed or cost efficiency have little return.
So what is the next big thing to increase productivity? Let’s take a look at Business Intelligence.
Though the IT Department may have the data, it is very rare for IT to have the Subject Matter Expertise to completely understand what the data may reveal. The push for information is coming from the business users of the systems. Now it is up to IT to deliver a tool that can help the business become more productive. This is called “self-service,” and means that the user should not need much of IT’s assistance using the Business Intelligence tool. According to Gartner, Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms will continue to grow, well into 2016.
Business Intelligence is here to stay
Are you experienced in Business Intelligence? In a recent survey, two of the top five hottest positions in 2014 are Business Intelligence Analyst and Data Architect according to Robert Half. In mid-December, there were 23 Business Intelligence related positions open within 40 miles of downtown Sacramento. These positions involve technologies from SAP to Clarity and Informatica.
With a broad install base, the most widely used Business Intelligence toolset is Microsoft’s triumvirate of Excel, SharePoint and SQL Server. There are plenty of other products available that organizations can use to leverage their existing data. Many of these products are quite expensive and may specialize in specific areas (e.g. financials, HR), so do the research before investing.