February 15, 2013 – For all the innovations and cheerleading on enterprise analytics, CIOs still only get about one-third of potential users to take on analytic tools. However, a trio of factors in the next few years holds hope of smashing through the adoption “glass ceiling,” says Gartner Research VP and analyst Rita Sallam.

As it stands, users of analytics promoted by the CIO is at about 30 percent, the same as the past few years after a meager increase, according to Gartner’s report, entitled “Actionable Analytics Will Be Driven by Mobile, Social and Big Data Forces in 2013 and Beyond.” Sallam, an author on that report, says that businesses are primed for spikes in analytic adoption rates.

On the business side, more executives are under pressure from regulatory and real-time expectations of data. Those situations trickle down to CIOs, who are dealing with their own wave of new data possibilities, according to Sallam.

“I think we are finally at an inflection point for expanding adoption beyond the 30 percent glass ceiling because, for one, users are demanding, and vendors are delivering, easier to use tools for doing a broader range of analysis similar to what they have access to in their personal lives. The huge momentum and subsequent mainstreaming of data discovery tools is an example of that,” Sallam says.

In line with that broader range of analysis of data comes “consumer interaction concepts” like collaboration and social networking discussions woven into BI and analytic tools, Sallam says. A more blunt change has already started showing up in user’s pockets: mobile devices.

“Mobile capabilities and applications, and apps with embedded analytics will make analytics invisible, transparent and accessible to an expanded set of tradition and non-traditional BI business users.”

Thirdly, over the next few years natural language query interfaces for text and voice could bring an adoption boost to enterprise analytics, according to the analyst.

Sallam didn’t put exact numbers into predictions for this analytic adoption change. However, the seasoned analyst made a terse reminder that more adoption requires many of the same quality, governance and training guidelines as previous analytic tools.

“More data and types of data (e.g., multi-structured) have the potential to give us new insights to new users that were previously not possible, but just providing more data, without providing the right, trusted data and insights, will actually impede adoption,” Sallam says.

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