The strategic importance of Business Intelligence (BI) is growing for more and more companies. BI methods and technologies allow organizations to better plan and control their business processes and the market through greater transparency. Many companies have now defined a BI strategy and taken organizational measures to improve its implementation within the organization. Current trends come from very different areas. Some can be traced back to a mega-trend: The stronger consumer orientation (consumerization) of IT. This phenomenon describes the alignment of applications and access paths to applications with the experience of users in their private lives. BI applications are influenced by this in very different aspects, e.g. interface design, expectations of query speed and provision of possibilities for collaboration as known from social networks or the use of mobile devices to access BI systems.
Many trends change the technical implementation form of BI or extend the methods and procedures of data analysis. Report visualization focuses on the presentation of data in reports. The aim here is to increase the informative value and information content of reports by using standards in the presentation of data. Rules of information design such as those propagated by Rolf Hichert, for example, play an essential role.
Organizational measures are to coordinate the various initiatives for more BI in the company and institutionalize the absolutely necessary cooperation between IT and business departments. In terms of organizational structure, many companies have now set up a BI Competence Center (BI CC) or Center of Excellence (BI CoE), which are already being expanded or restructured on the basis of experience. In terms of process organization, a more agile BI is to be achieved by interlinking technical and professional competence. Agility, i.e. a high speed to react to changes, is an essential goal for organizational changes in the BI area. However, trends such as self-service BI and Big Data cause some difficulties in ensuring information governance in the company. Consistent and quality-assured processes and content for reporting, analysis and planning can only be achieved with appropriate governance. Rules for data access and processing must not only be defined, but also possibilities for enforcing and monitoring compliance must be created. Organization and governance thus form the foundation and the framework for action to be able to implement the various trends in Business Intelligence.
Dr. Carsten Bange is founder and managing director of the Business Application Research Center (BARC). BARC is a Europe-wide operating analyst house and the leading contact for companies in all strategic questions of software use. As a market expert with many years of experience, Dr. Bange supports companies in particular in BI strategy, BI organization, architecture and software selection.