October 19, 2010 – Forrester Research just came out with its annual top-15-technology-initiatives-to-watch report, and some of their predictions show there will be a significant impact on the way insurance operations are managed. I pulled a couple of interesting nuggets from the report that bear watching as things progress.

Forrester predicts that “next-gen BI” is taking shape by combining real-time access with pervasiveness, agility and self-service. This trend, however, is actually several trends happening at the same time. The self-service aspect is one that many companies would like to see more of, but progress has been slow, as I alluded to in my previous post.

The other piece of this trend that Forrester talks about shaping the information technology world over the next three years is the growing shift from historical to real-time analytics. In addition, expect to see more analytics being applied to social data through text analytics tools.

Forrester also see the following shifts in BI as we know it:

More automation of analytics: This will help manage and keep the many independent components of BI, including automated discovery, in sync, Forrester says

Pervasive BI: Another vision companies aspire to —  to embed analytics behind the scenes, supporting any and all applications

Unification: Forrester sees increasing integration between “batch and real-time, historical and predictive, disk and in-memory, data and content

These are all technology-centric developments, of course. Anyone who's been around IT for a while knows quite well that we have the technology to do many astonishing things. What tends to slow down or even put the kibosh on well-intentioned initiatives, however, is organizational issues.  Forrester cautions just that: “The complexity challenge will not be around the technologies per se, but rather in the continued effort of gaining business consensus on data governance so that bad data is not driving strategic and operational decisions.”

It’s an excellent case for staying on the cutting edge of BI and analytics.

This originally appeared on Insurance Networking News.

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