January 7, 2011 – Business intelligence and analytics will continue a rapid evolution over the next few years, causing four main changes to how organizations implement and spend on data initiatives, according to analyst firm Gartner.

By 2014, many businesses will be involved in BI that is IT-owned and report-focused, requiring shifts in investments and the types of analytics they use, says Gartner research director Neil Chandler.

“Traditionally, BI has been widely adopted in the enterprise. But over the past five years, this has extended to smaller organizations as the cost and footprint required has reduced and the levels of maturity and competence with BI has increased,” Chandler says.

As part of ongoing research on the evolution of business intelligence and analytics, Gartner pegged four market and management trends for businesses and vendors to embrace so they can get the most from developing systems.

Based on current adoption rates, one-third of BI functionality will be accessed through handheld devices by 2013, quickly moving beyond just reports and dashboards to specific tasks and analytical applications, according to Gartner. Secondly, in the next three years the analyst firm predicts in-memory functions at use in 30 percent of analytical applications, along with predictive analytics in play with 30 percent of applications.

Next, the growth of user-driven initiatives, external information sources and the integration of unstructured content will push 40 percent of business analytics spending toward system integrators rather than software vendors. Lastly, Gartner research slates 15 percent of BI deployments to involve a combination of BI, collaboration and social software into decision-making environments within the next 18 months.

As these BI and analytics technologies and trends develop, Chandler says companies must pull together fluid IT strategies from a BI marketplace that will likely cater to more specific applications and needs of buyers.

“IT and business must work together and pragmatically apply technology, but from an ‘outside-in’ perspective in the context of what the business needs to achieve,” Chandler says. “Vendors need to help organizations sift hype from competitive advantage and provide appropriate ‘content’ which can be integrated into an eco-system, thus not creating new silos.”

Gartner’s research release, “Predicts 2011: New Relationships Will Change BI and Analytics," is available here for a fee.

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