I am probably one of the few people still sitting at my office desk in 2007, but I have one more thing to do before the remaining seconds in 2007's clock tick down to 0 - my BI predictions for 2008:
1) Greater emphasis on embedding and integration of business intelligence componentry into operational and analytico-operational applications. 2006-7 showed that there was a never-slaked thirst on behalf of the mega-vendors to gobble up vendors providing the various component capabilities for end-to-end enterprise information management. As such, most of the big BI vendors are now absorbed into even larger monoliths, and the result is the further integration of their capabilities into a stacked set of offerings. Second, smaller BI tool vendors (open-source included) are demonstrating more and more OEM involvement with vertical solution vendors in the telecommunications, health care, financial, pharma industries, etc. Third, Microsoft is pulling desktop-users up the stack as more BI functionality is provided (consider the launch of Sharepoint, the inclusion of advanced analytics into Excel...). In addition, we are seeing more development of business applications that exploit BI within real-time (or near real-time) operations, such as embedded call center analytics. This points to a trend to move business intelligence out of its own arena and further its inclusion into the mainstream. My prediction: Across the board, vendor messaging will focus on performance management and integrated reporting within both "pull" and "push" frameworks, increased embedding of reporting and performance metrics into existing operational applications, and establishment of BI capabilities as a "dial-tone" service.
2) Recognition of the criticality of location: Mobile phones have it. Automobiles have it built-in. Now you can purchase one for less than $150. What is it? A device that can access and manipulate data from geosynchronous positioning satellites. Of course, I am referring to the soon-to-be ubiquitous GPS device that hangs suctioned off a growing number of windshields. Most of the more sophisticated mobile devices have it also. In fact, the major geographic data companies are in midst of acquisitions, one by mobile device manufacturer Nokia. This underscores a growing understanding of the nature of location, not just in determining how to get from here to there, but also information about all the points in between, as well as where things happen. Consider this: no matter what, almost every business activity takes place somewhere, and the more you know about how these activities reflect the location in which they take place, the better your operational decisions will be. My prediction: increased incorporation of geographic business intelligence into analytical applications and platforms.
3) Emergence of policy management solutions to supplement MDM: Many of the MDM case studies are largely siloed consolidation and management of a focused data collection. We have seen a number of customer data integration hubs, product information management systems, even geographic data hubs, largely for analytical uses. However, the value of MDM is largely increased when the master data is used in both operational and analytic environments. But to establish reasonable master data services for operational or transactional applications, the MDM systems must be able to demonstrate management of the relationships between master objects within the operational contexts, which are typically designed to address defined business process requirements. On the other hand, the combination of siloed data sets into a master environment introduces numerous data quality and business operations requirements to be imposed across the master data as well as the upstream data sources. This means that the policies guiding business operations and data quality management must be absorbed into the MDM environment and integrated into the information flows. My prediction: as the importance of policy management for enterprise information management is observed, vendors will introduce a "metadata-like" mechanism for managing collections of business rules that compose the business and information policies to which master data must comply.
Well, now that the predictions are done, I guess I can wrap it up for 2007. Happy New year to everyone, and best wishes for a great 2008!
Posted December 31, 2007 2:10 PM
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