Advanced analytics made easy with new business discovery tools
My last entry in this space was that of text mining. Since that piece, I have now moved onto learning the market trends in the multi-billion dollar business intelligence tools and so far the study has truly been a satisfying 'business discovery'. I emphasize the term 'business discovery' mainly because this is the catch phrase that is being used by the next-generation business intelligence vendors to differentiate themselves from the traditional BI tool vendors typically supplied by the behemoths SAP, SAS, Oracle, IBM and Microsoft.
Although traditional BI tools have the advantage of hosting massive amounts of data, boast high quality graphics and visualization have been limited by such qualities as difficulty in using, slow in responding to queries and were mostly limited to the IT department of an organization.
Now the next-generation data discovery/business discovery tools such as the ones provided by Qliktech, Tibco, Actuate, Salient etc seek to address those limitations by providing in-memory architecture, 'speed-of-thought' responses to queries, highly intuitive dashboards and many more. Most importantly these tools are so easy to use that any business user can get his daily fix of charts and figures without having to deal with IT!. This truly represents a shift in the way BI tools have been positioned in an enterprise.
This new approach to BI tools has certainly attracted number of small players offering their solutions crowding the market place. Although there is enough room in the global market for new players to enter (our estimation is about $9.5 billion in 2010) the mega vendors (SAP and others) are now waking up. Recently, SAP's Business Objects shifted its architecture to an in-memory platform signaling that it is ready to take on the minnows.
It remains to be seen who wins. My thinking is that whoever is a winner, the ultimate winner has to be the business user of an enterprise!. Imagine the possibilities, if this next generation BI tool and text mining tool are integrated on the same platform!. While this is being accomplished already, I certainly believe there is room for further improvement in this area.
Watch this space... more to come on BI