Industry Insights

Business Intelligence Trends for 2019

It is that time of year where multiple articles and reports are published for the upcoming years trends and strategies to watch out for. Starting out for 2019, we have covered Top Digital Trends for 2018 - We'll See Again in 2019, WCM Market Trends for 2019, 2018 Content Marketing Strategy in Review, Prep for 2019 and Social Media Trends to Watch and Capitalize On in 2019. This article will touch on a key piece of your operations and business intelligence trends for 2019.

What is business intelligence you might ask and why would it affect me? Business intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting actionable information to help businesses and people make informed decisions that affect all areas of a business such as sales, marketing, your tech stack, R&D, as well as new product and service implementation. The type of data collected can be sourced from many channels, such as customer satisfaction, reviews, revenue, marketing performance metrics and more. Data from sale trends, consumer behavior and resource allocation within your company can help to indicate the viability of your product and help in the planning of your business's growth. Simply put: data can help maximize revenues and reduce costs. 

In today’s customer-centric and digital-first world, the amount of data a company can collect can become overwhelming and many businesses or analysts can easily be intimidated with “information overload”. With the amount of data available, and how it can grow exponentially, one of the best solutions is to adopt a business intelligence (BI) strategy, however, businesses have been slow to adopt this strategy. This may be from lack of what it involves, the benefits, or knowledge of trends to include. The fact is, business intelligence should be an integral part of your business operations.  

Benefits of Adopting Business Intelligence 

  • Smarter Decision Making - Business intelligence can inform strategic decision-making across the company 

  • Crush Sales and Marketing Goals 

  • Deepen your Customer Knowledge 

  • Deliver a Better Customer Experience 

  • Powerup your Productivity 

  • Tighten Up Data Accuracy and Compliance 

  • Accelerate your Return on Investment 

Trends to Watch for in 2019

The (Continued) Rise of AI 

Skynet is watching? Not likely, but AI is here and will continue to grow and be integrated into every aspect of a business. According to research, only 38% of businesses have adopted some sort of AI into their business since its inception in 2017. AI can not only help automate processes but can serve customers and evaluate data more efficiently and with fewer discrepancies than from manual review. Most notably, AI is the use of chatbots for customer service, and in automating processes specifically in marketing and analytics. This trend will continue throughout 2019, with the increase of AI products and services that will have a profound impact on other business areas. 

Stats into Stories 

A new rise in the role of analytics that interprets data for the business is taking information collected from dashboards and creating narratives. More and more storytelling tools are making their way into the market to help tell long-form narratives with data. More and more businesses have been building this capacity in-house to translate data into stories or integrating a platform into their tech stack to help automate this process for them. Data storytelling will remain essential through 2019 because of the way it adds vital context to statistics. 

Natural Language 

Natural language processing/natural language query (NLP/NLQ) has been around for years, but there is a significant amount of advancement in AI and NL. Natural language processing brings together computer science and linguistics to help computers understand the meaning behind human language. With more adoption and use, businesses will be able to use advanced natural language interfaces so users can better interact with data in a more natural way. Through 2019, natural language will be applied to support the analytical conversation which users will have a human conversation with the system about their data. 

Using Data for the Greater Good 

Business intelligence is not only used for improving one's business, but there is also a push for using data for positive social change. Collaborated through what's been called “Data Commonwealths”, businesses can combine not only data but efforts to maximize labor outputs and access to data that could help develop new ideas. Many companies are looking to adopt this model in 2019 not only for efficiency but to also utilize data and integrate it into the corporate social responsibility plans and how they can give back more to their community or the world.  

Smaller Companies Adopting Business Intelligence 

Some may think that only larger, enterprise companies are those who harness the power of business intelligence, however, recent studies have shown that companies with less than 100 employees have the highest rate for adopting BI into their work. As systems and community data become more and more available, smaller businesses will have a greater ability to adopt business intelligence, as well as, have more employees adopt BI and feel more connected to and feel some sort of ownership in how the business moves forward.  

More Output from Self Service BI Systems 

As stated above, most businesses are not adopting BI as quickly as others as it does require a specific skill set of data scientists to dive deep into analytics. Although a recent study noted that about 80% of businesses will be looking to hire a data scientist for 2019, self-service BIs will produce more analysis than the hired data scientists. As a business, if you haven’t started BI, a self-service system is a great place to start. As we do with all new tools, do take the time to review and evaluate the right system for your business needs. 

Business intelligence can be daunting for some, but it will be a cornerstone of any business moving forward. In fact, some analysts believe that if companies have not already begun adopting it, they risk falling further behind in 2019. It's not too early for businesses to think proactively about adopting BI and how they can capitalize in on these 2019 trends. 

Lynette Sawyer

Lynette Sawyer

Lynette Sawyer is a Web Project Manager for Falcon-Software, a digital web agency founded in 1994. For the last 13-years Lynette has been in various digital capacities and her expertise goes beyond Project Management. Lynette brings experience and knowledge in graphic design, marketing communications, project management, product management and engagement.

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