Proposed Themes For BI Trends 2011 Research Document

Forrester's recent report on Top 15 Technologies To Watch In 2011 once again proved that BI is front and center on everyone's agendas. We indeed continue to see unrelenting interest and ever-increasing adoption levels of BI platforms, applications, and processes. But while BI maturity in enterprises continues to grow, and BI tools become more function rich and robust, the promise of efficient and effective BI solutions remains quite challenging at best, and elusive at worst. Why? Two main reasons. BI is all about best practices and lessons learned, which only come with years of experience. Additionally, traditional BI technologies (ETL, data warehousing, reporting, OLAP) have not kept pace with the ever-changing business and regulatory requirements. In a work-in-progress research document, building on a last year's relevant blog post on next-gen BI, we plan to review top best practices and next- generation BI technologies for our clients to watch and adopt in 2011 to improve their chances to deliver successful BI initiatives. Here's the proposed document outline and major themes:


  • Emphasis on business ownership and data governance 
  • Combining top-down performance management, with bottom-up approaches 
  • Emphasis on change management
  • Loosely coupling data preparation vs. data usage
  • Different treatments for front-office vs. back-office users and applications
  • Using a hub-and-spoke model for data architecture and organizational structures  
  • Using Agile development methodology
  • Working with SMEs 
  • Using BI on BI and aligning BI with incentive comp
  • Achieving tangible BI ROI
  • Providing self-service capabilities to end users


Technologies to make BI more automated:

Technologies to make BI more unified:

Technologies to make BI more pervasive:

Technologies to reduce BI limitations:

  • Adaptive data models
  • Unlimited dimensionality
  • Exploration + analysis
  • Elasticity via cloud 

And last, but not least:

What did we miss? Would love to hear from you. 


BI Technologies


One of the most transformational Next Genertion BI technology topic and trend is missing from your list. IMO, In-Memory Analytics will emerge as the game changer for how BI is approached and deployed expecially in large IT shops. All major BI vendors are headed this way. IBM and HP are already providing this technology for SAP yielding 1000x performance improvements. SAP HANA is leading the charge. Couple this with new trends in how data is stored for advanced analytics (columnar vs row) and a entriely new BI technical landscape will emerge.

Bruce, no, of course I did

Bruce, no, of course I did not forget in-memory analytics. It will be covered under adaptive, on demand data models bullet in the BI without borders section. But my point is that in-memory implementation is just a vehicle to enable these types of analysis and exploration. Other technologies such as associative and inverted index DBMS also allow analysis with little modelling required.

Automated business process discovery

Our experience shows that automated discovery allows to save up to 85 percent of project time