BI - From good to have to must have

Some of the general changes in Business Intelligence that I have observed over the years are,
  • In the past, mainly big/large companies invested in BI. BI was a “must have” for big companies whereas for the SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) sector it was a “good to have”. Now, that has changed, even SMEs consider BI as a “must have”. This emphasizes the fact that more and more decisions are now made based on data.
  • In the past, executives had to be convinced that the organization/department needs a BI solution. This is now changing and BI is becoming a default function (like legal, accounts, HR) to be part of the organization.
  • In the past, mostly strategic decisions were made based on data, now, even operational decisions are mostly based on data. I don’t know the percentage increase in operational BI usage but definitely there is an increasing trend. Operational BI has enabled ground level staff to perform better. As the number of ground level staff is usually very much more than the number of executives, the number of decisions using BI in an organization has increased manifold. Based on usage in BI we have 3 types strategic BI, tactical BI and operational BI.
  • Mostly BI was used to get an understanding of the historic data, note that some of the companies had already started forecasting data based on historic data and business rules but the percentage was lesser compared to now. Now, there is increasing trend in usage of BI for predictive and even prescriptive. Based on the type of analysis we have descriptive BI, predictive BI and prescriptive BI.


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