To survive and thrive… businesses must value data

To survive and thrive in today’s dynamic business climate, enterprises must treat data as an organisational asset, according to global analyst firm Ovum.

Enterprises increasingly need to shift the basis of differentiation to focus on smarter and more efficient use of data, thereby improving decision-making and creating a sustainable competitive advantage.

Hence, the ability to extract, integrate, analyse, and interpret data related to the business in a timely, proactive way should be the number one priority for business intelligence (BI) vendors.

In Ovum’s latest Decision Matrix: Selecting a Business Intelligence Solution, the independent analyst firm reveals that BI continues to be a growing and highly competitive market.

Most vendors featured in the Decision Matrix, such as IBM, reported double-digit annual growth figures, with new license revenues rather than maintenance and services driving this growth.

“BI vendors today cannot be choosy about the data they analyse,” says Surya Mukherjee, Senior Analyst, Ovum.

“Unstructured and semi-structured data is more relevant for BI today than ever before, and so is invaluable customer and pipeline data sitting idle in CRM systems.

“Vendors that fail to see the forest for the trees (curated data) will lose business and hinder growth for their customers.”

In Ovum’s opinion, the uptake of visual data discovery solutions has been one of the most noteworthy developments in the BI market during the last couple of years.

The adoption of such tools can be attributed to the ease with which users can source, mash up, analyse, and visualize well-defined data with intuitive and visually driven solutions, often with little to no help from IT.

“Data creation, preparation, and consumption are now merging into one activity,” Mukherjee adds.

“Enterprises expect vendors to automate data mapping to the extent that data created or updated in one system should reflect immediately in others.

“This requires a greater focus on data management technologies, but without the encumbrances of long, drawn-out, IT-driven deployments. Business should be the driving force for data.”

Ovum believes that nearly half of BI and analytic applications built and run in 2014 will integrate, to some degree, text and data analysis and modeling, complex business rules, and predictive analytics.

These additional capabilities will help enterprises crunch more data and run more sophisticated analytics, driving a demand for more processing power to maintain acceptable response times.

“Enterprises today need BI that is smarter and faster, but invisible,” Mukherjee adds.

“User interfaces and experiences that are reminiscent of the enterprise resource planning era will not survive the next five years.”

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