The emerging discipline of business intelligence and analytics has its foundation in aggregating, organizing, and retrieving the vital data that makes a company run efficiently. It combines the skills of the programmer, software developer, analyst and business forecaster to create new solutions that deliver real-time reporting and analytics to the widest audience possible. The field opens up a great opportunity for those holding a Master of Science in Business Intelligence & Analytics degree.
Discover Success in Business Intelligence and Analytics
The growing field of business intelligence and analytics will drive demand for experts to supply executive-level management in a wide range of disciplines. A Master of Science in Business Intelligence & Analytics provides the foundation needed to effectively extract and evaluate data for decision-making. Earning an MSBIA degree can be the ideal next step for project managers, developers, supply chain analysts and others who can successfully integrate business and technology skills.
The MSBIA program is comprised of three disciplines:
- Data mining: Expertise in data mining fosters objective data analytics; practitioners will be able to overcome the emotional variables and focus on raw results.
- Data Warehousing: The MSBIA graduate will have a strong foundation in central storage for data extraction as demonstrated in real-world platforms like Salesforce and GoldMine.
- Communication: The business intelligence and analytics expert will learn to build the extracted data into a manageable format and communicate those results to other teams for execution and decision.
Trends in Adoption and Accessibility
- Pervasive Business Intelligence and Analytics/Data Democracy: Just because a company has adopted a business intelligence and analytics plan, does not mean everyone is automatically on board. A 2011 Information Week survey, in fact, concluded that only 25 percent of employees at a BI/BA company actually had access to the technology. The Strategic Analytics Blog projects an even more dire number, noting that out of the 20 percent of employees using business intelligence and analytics only 5 percent use the tools effectively, seriously compromising the return-on-investment for companies adopting the technology.
To appeal more to those individuals the Strategic Analytics Blog calls the “avoiders,” BI/BA providers are investing in simple, user-friendly tools to encourage widespread usage.
- Self-Serve Business Intelligence and Analytics: The next step forward in widespread adoption is making BI/BA easy enough to create, navigate, and share for users with little or no technical expertise. Reporting and analysis, for example, is a key driver of business intelligence and analytics efforts, but the people who would benefit from such reports range widely from IT developers to sales managers and marketing directors. To take analytics a step beyond Excel, companies like Tableau have designed business intelligence and analytics products that make dashboards and visualizations more accessible for the non-expert user.
For data transformation and integration, tools like those produced by Datamartist, employ drop-and-drag and other user-friendly functionality to create a more compelling graphic environment for displaying and sharing data.
- Mobile Business Intelligence and Accessibility: In 2012, a discussion of business intelligence and analytics trends would not be complete without a nod to mobile accessibility. Stakeholders stay on the run, often checking in via laptop, netbook, tablet, or smartphone. One survey concluded that one-third of business intelligence usage will be conducted on mobile devices by 2013. With business intelligence and analytics dashboards and data optimized for mobile devices, everyone from a warehouse worker to sales rep can keep apprised of key performance indicators (KPI) from any internet-connected location.
Trends in Technology
- Operational or Tactical Business Intelligence and Analytics: While Operational Business Intelligence and Analytics is not a new concept, the process is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 percent, which outpaces analytical business intelligence adoption of 9 percent CAGR. Operational BI/BA’s focus on daily and even hourly performance metrics provides advantages to stakeholders who can follow the movement of everything from customer lead generation to products stocked in a warehouse, and make possible fast tactical decisions to improve those numbers.
- Cloud-Hosted Business Intelligence and Analytics: As people become more familiar and comfortable with the concept of cloud computing, the business intelligence and analytics industry is poised to serve companies with cloud-hosting services designed to save money, overcome hardware and set-up issues and deliver reliable service to employees using static or mobile devices to access dashboards and other KPI data.
- Big Data: The big IT buzzword of 2012, “big data”, refers to the massive amount of data, from social network conversations to broadcast video streams that threaten to crash typical database servers and systems. The challenge for business is to collect and organize big data – moving it from silos into enterprise IT to be more easily identified and retrieved. Trends in data storage for business intelligence and analytics focus on big data storage, analytics, and reporting. Companies like HP, Oracle, and EMC have launched their solutions, and more business intelligence and analytics vendors are sure to follow.
- Agile Development Approach. Companies in many industries now employ Agile Development to cut IT development time and deliver products faster. Is Agile the answer for every business intelligence and analytics application? Sometimes going faster gets you to the wrong place more quickly. To mitigate that risk, Wayne Kernochan notes in Enterprise Apps Today, “real agile BI/BA should not only focus on improving the ability of the organization to change direction proactively … but also create a BI/BA process that itself focuses on improving the ability to change direction within the process.”
The use of business intelligence and analytics for companies is a growing and evolving trend, consider gaining a Master of Science in Business Intelligence & Analytics, and see the many ways BI/BA can enhance your career and your company’s bottom line.