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What Makes a Modern BI Platform?

Author: Stan Kidd | | July 13, 2018

The current landscape of business intelligence tools looks very different than the classic data warehouse picture of only a decade ago. Organizations are looking for a “modern” BI platform that can serve their changing business requirements. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most important characteristics to look for in a modern BI platform.

1. Self-Service Access

Organizations are increasingly looking to shift away from “IT-centric” business intelligence, giving even non-technical business users a greater role to play. Gartner estimates that by 2020, more than 40 percent of data science tasks will be automated, making it easier for non-technical “citizen data scientists” to get the information they need for their jobs.

2. High Performance

Both the quantity and the complexity of enterprise data are growing at a rapid pace. According to a HubSpot survey, the average company now manages more than 160 terabytes of data, both structured and unstructured. To avoid stale insights, any modern BI platform must be able to process and analyze this information in a timely manner.

3. Ease of Deployment

With many traditional BI tools, procurement is just the tip of the iceberg, as you then have to set up multiple servers with the right architecture. It wouldn’t be unusual for a classic data warehouse to require six months of work between project kickoff and first report. Modern BI platforms, especially those located in the cloud, make the deployment process much easier.

4. Visualizations

Not only does a modern BI platform make it easier for users to get the data they need, but it’s also easier for them to create their own visualizations. Rather than having to rely on a single star schema, users can benefit from a variety of connectors to join and visualize the data that interests them, all on their own.

5. Artificial Intelligence

According to consulting firm McKinsey & Company, there could be a shortage of up to 250,000 data scientists in the U.S. by 2024. With small and medium businesses just as hungry for data-driven insights as large enterprises, organizations who can’t make the most of their data will struggle to keep up.

Enter “augmented analytics”: the combination of business intelligence and artificial intelligence techniques. Gartner estimates that by 2020, augmented analytics platforms will deliver twice the business value that traditional BI platforms can. Augmented analytics can automatically clean and prepare data, perform feature engineering, and discover hidden patterns and insights.

Final Thoughts

Business intelligence and analytics aren’t just tools in your enterprise toolbox; they’re the competitive edge that allows you to put yourself ahead of your competitors. Modern BI platforms give your end users the access to self-service insights that they need to make themselves successful. They leverage the power of automation and artificial intelligence to make the analysis and discovery process a much simpler task.

Whatever your requirements from a modern BI solution, it’s clear that the advantages presented above are the way of the future, and utilizing these principles in your BI platform is imperative to stay on top of a changing industry.

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