Business intelligence continues to be an important sector for businesses everywhere. As data becomes more and more important, and we find new ways to collect and analyse it, it’s vital to keep up with how things are changing and growing. Business intelligence analysts need to keep their finger on the pulse in this fast-growing field to ensure they stay up to date on best practices. Some of the things influencing business intelligence include ethics, new technologies, connecting with consumers and different models for analysing data. Each year brings new trends in business intelligence that are worth paying attention to if you want to be at the cutting edge and improve business efficiency.
Use of natural language with tech
Technology is great for doing things for us, but it’s not always so great and understanding or using English (or other languages). You might have to use specific keywords to get a tool to do something for you, even if it doesn’t sound that natural. But advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) are improving computer performance by helping them to understand human language more easily. A person can have a more natural “conversation” with a system, asking it questions that flow in more of a pattern and don’t need to be asked as individual, standalone questions.
Connecting analytics and action
Collecting and analysing data is all very good, but that data has to be put to use as well. Analytics might reveal some interesting trends, but the next step is to turn them into actions. Business intelligence platforms are evolving to put both data and actions in the same place. By doing this, productivity is improved because it isn’t disrupted by having to switch between applications. Some things that are helping include mobile analytics, embedded analytics and dashboard extensions, which all ensure people have access to the analytics that they need in more convenient ways.
More ethical behaviour for social good
The ethics of data collection and analysing have been hot topics in the last few years. With the EU introducing their new GDPR legislation, everyone has had to take a good look at how and why they use people’s data. What ethical data practice might look like in the future is essential to consider. When data is used, it could be put towards a good cause, with the “data for good” movement growing. Social causes can be driven by the ethical use of data, and it’s becoming more affordable for nonprofits and charities thanks to technology like cloud computing.
Telling stories with data
Translating data into language that others can understand is an important skill for any business intelligence analyst. Data storytelling takes data and turns it into something that makes sense for even those who don’t spend all day analysing it. Data visualisation is a key tool for making data more presentable and digestible for everyone. Good storytelling and visualisation requires people who are good at communicating their findings and ideas.
Business intelligence is always changing, so keeping up with the latest trends is essential.