As you’re evaluating enterprise systems, you’ve probably realized the importance of strong reporting functionality. However, do you know what enterprise software vendors are at the forefront of business intelligence (BI) and reporting? Which ones have already embraced emerging trends, and which are in the best position to embrace future trends?

The only way to know is to understand what these trends are to begin with. Then, you can determine which of your potential vendors are prioritizing the trends that matter most to your business. So, let’s explore these business intelligence technology trends, shall we?

7 Business Intelligence Technology Trends​

1. Data Storytelling​

Business leaders already know that data analytics can help uncover key insights. Yet, interpreting those insights and using them to drive business decision-making can be a challenge.

This is where data storytelling comes in. This is the process of adding context to analytics, providing the backstory and narrative necessary to turn them into actionable items. As analysts interpret business information, they can break down complicated concepts into step-by-step approaches, helping everyone understand what they mean and why they’re important.

The 2023 ERP Report

92% of respondents said they deployed or plan to deploy business intelligence at their organization. For the full story, download our report.

2. Cloud BI Verticals​

Many companies are moving their existing, on-premise BI platforms to the cloud, as more employees are working remotely. In other words, they are shifting their BI systems to cloud-based solutions that enable flexibility and scalability.

Most industries, from healthcare to banking, now consider analytics a core, mission-critical capability. As such, leading ERP vendors are creating vertical-specific cloud BI solutions designed to cater to various sectors.

3. Natural Language Processing​

Traditionally, BI worked like this: Employees run queries, then send them to the analytics team. The team mines them for insights, creates reports, and sends the data back.

As you can imagine, this intricate process involved multiple checkpoints and stakeholders. Not only did it result in time-consuming bottlenecks, but the insights delivered weren’t always accessible to every user.

Now, companies are looking to close this gap by bringing the user closer to the business data they need to analyze. To improve accessibility, they’re looking to Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology. With NLP, users can query their systems using natural language and simple keywords, not technical jargon.

In this way, it’s similar to using a search engine. With the right training, users can generate reports and dashboards on their own, without the need to go through the analytics department. This can improve employee adoption and reduce your organizational change management spend.

4. Data Governance

To increase the ROI on your BI investments, it’s important to have a solid data governance strategy in place so you have a roadmap for managing corporate data assets.

A data governance plan clearly details how the company will manage the data assets it interacts with, including:

  • Processes
  • Operational infrastructure
  • Data architecture

When all of your technology, people, and processes are working together, the data generated is more complete, trustworthy, and secure.

Though many businesses are just now adopting data governance policies, some addressed this back in 2018, when the General Data Protection and Regulation (GDPR) took effect.

5. Self-Service BI​

Companies need access to timely BI insights to make real-time business decisions. As such, business leaders are looking for ways to equip their employees with the skills and tools they need to query and interpret data.

In addition to NLP, they’re looking at other self-service tools, including:

  • Data connectors
  • Pre-designed workflows
  • Intuitive user interfaces

These tools allow employees to analyze data largely on their own, without technical help. This turns analytics into an organization-wide effort and catalyzes a culture of data literacy.

(Learn more about self-service BI best practices.)

6. Mobile BI

When users need insights, they shouldn’t be stuck behind a desk waiting to get them.

Research shows that 93% of American workers who own smartphones use their mobile devices for work every day. To do this, they need the ability to access BI solutions when they’re out of the office. With mobile BI tools, employees can access dashboards and reports right on their phones.

While this is helpful in the field, it also offers in-office benefits. For instance, if an employee is about to go into a meeting with a client, they can access their app to bring up real-time updates on key data points.

Companies that wish to add these tools to their business plan should consider the following questions:

  • Will you provide company phones for people to use the app?
  • How will you set policies around using the devices?
  • How will you develop security protocols to protect the data?

The third question is essential. While mobile-ready solutions can be convenient for users, there must be standards around how they’re used, who can use them, and how to safeguard the sensitive data they contain.

7. Collaborative BI

While the concept of collaborative BI has been around for a while, today there are more tools and software to make it possible. This includes Web 2.0 and social technologies that allow companies to streamline data-centric decision-making models.

More recently, the emergence of Web 3.0 is allowing users to have even more control over their own operational data. Using sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT), users can access analytics and reporting, and engage in problem-solving tasks.

The Future of BI is Here​

Companies across all verticals are realizing that when data is clearly organized and expertly managed, all users can benefit.

As more organizations deploy advanced BI solutions, it’s becoming easier for individual employees to take an active role in data governance. From mobile solutions to NLP functions, these business intelligence technology trends put the power at users’ fingertips.

Interested in learning more about the power of BI and which trends to consider during your ERP selection? Contact our ERP implementation consultants below.

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