What's the Next Big Thing in BI?

Taking our inspiration from a thread at ebizq.com, we thought about what the next "big thing" in BI might be. Here we share with you some ideas that were brought to the table by thread participants.

How about "actual" business intelligence? In other words, moving beyond static reports on historic datasets to more interactive, analytic-supporting insights on business past and present performance, including of course more real-time, operational, intelligence. (Paul Vincent)

Another suggestion was End-User Driven Visualization. What does this mean? Large reports, even end-user driven ones are pretty useless if they just present large amounts of data in text format or similar. Some feel that users should not have to take it upon themselves to learn the ins and outs of data visualization themselves, when the tool itself could do it for you. Intelligent tools that can understand the context of the data being presented and can choose one or a few of the most appropriate ways of displaying the information would be huge.

Integration was next on the list. Rather than standalone products, BI will start to be incorporated with other solutions to provide analysis and trend data related to specific business processes or applications, particularly around B2B interactions. On-demand business intelligence and SaaS based solutions will come out ahead in this trend because of ease of integration. (Margaret Dawson)

The next big thing, according to Augusto Albeghi, is simulation and budget. The future of BI should lie in actual decision instruments that can easily model the impact of change on the existing business. This process has a lot to do with budget but current systems usually fix issues who are not perceived as such or are scarcely relevant to business.

What else was mentioned? Mobile BI on tablets, better predictive analytics, better data visualization, ubiquitous BI.

Outside of the thread, we also noticed that analysts such as Gartner have predicted a social future for business intelligence - i.e. businesses that leverage social media within their business intelligence software will gain an advantage over others. Business intelligence software developers should be taking note and making their analytics and reporting offerings more "social" by taking the technologies and principles behind Twitter, LinkedIn etc. and applying them to their solutions.

What do YOU think will be the next big thing in Business Intelligence?