By 2012, emerging technologies will make it easier to build and consume analytical applications, lessening IT’s role in building these applications, according to Gartner, Inc.


Much of the innovation in the business intelligence (BI) space will come from emerging technologies that will make it easier for users to build and consume their own reports and analytical applications. In particular, five technologies - interactive visualization, in-memory analytics, search integrated with BI, software as a service (SaaS) and service-oriented architecture (SOA) - will help drive mainstream BI adoption.


Interactive visualization will be quickly accepted during the next two years as a common front end to analytical application, driven by the ubiquity of rich Internet applications. This technology trend will make reports and analytic applications easier and more fun to use. With its attractive display, it should be more widely adopted by users who aren't accustomed to the grid style of analysis and reporting offered by relational databases and spreadsheets. By definition, interactive visualization enables users to perform typical BI tasks, such as data filters, drill down and pivots, with little training by interacting with the visual, such as clicking on a pie wedge, or circling the dots on a scatter plot.


Because BI explores huge amounts of data, it has traditionally relied on IT to build aggregate and summary tables to optimize performance on disc-based data storage. This requirement to build a performance layer impeded self-service BI. Falling memory prices and the prevalence of 64-bit computing is making in memory analytics a more attractive alternative. With this approach, business users no longer require IT to build a performance layer.


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