Business intelligence: Trends to watch out for in 2018

Here are some of the most critical business intelligence trends to keep in mind this year and beyond.
9 April 2018

In order to stay relevant, business must stay up-to-date with the current business intelligence trends |Source: Shutterstock

With data being such an integral ingredient to the growth and success of a company, business intelligence tools are constantly evolving to help you understand data and accelerate data-driven decision making.

But with the business intelligence landscape growing and changing at such a rapid pace, organizations across all industries and of all sizes have no choice but to adapt and evolve in order to avoid being left behind.

With this in mind, what are the most prominent business intelligence trends to look out for in 2018?

The move to The Cloud is ever-present

Across the globe, companies continue in the journey to transfer their data to the cloud. Cloud storage hasn’t always been so welcomed by companies, with business leaders wary of the idea of cloud-based tools mainly due to concerns related to data security.

As we glide further into 2018 however, many businesses are implementing multi-cloud computing initiatives to leverage benefits such as maximized flexibility and a reduction in risk.

This has proved to be a successful strategy for many businesses in remaining compliant with data protection laws and regulations. However, it is important to note that cloud computing networks alone are not enough to protect against data risk. A well-structured and comprehensive security plan is also crucial.

Tapping into the potential of artificial intelligence

In recent times, the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly talked about. Many businesses across a variety of industries are leveraging AI in order to transform many different business aspects from creating a more customized user experience to fraud-prevention capabilities.

Though many larger corporations are already harnessing the power of AI and its transformational impact, this year we will expect to see a whole lot more medium-sized businesses tinker with the potential of AI.

Machine learning and AI will continue to transform business models in sectors such as finance, transportation, and healthcare, as well as less obvious industries such as legal and insurance.

Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing (NLP) is the combination of machine learning, AI, and linguistics which allow us to talk to computers as if they were human. It consists of processing, mining and analyzing big data with the intention of identifying patterns.

NLP technology is becoming increasingly popular in the consumer market. It has become a part of the daily routine of many to simply pick up their smartphone and ask Siri what the weather is like outside.

Voice search can provide valuable information to companies. Source: Shutterstock

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 50 percent of queries will be generated via search, NLP, or voice. As such, many companies will be using NLP techniques to extract customer trend information, automate customer service operations as well as introduce NLP techniques in business analysis tools.

NLP will help your business analyze and understand more from a range of data sources, giving you a competitive advantage.

The rise of the Chief Data Officer

With data and analytics becoming core to every business, the need for a dedicated staff member to oversee data management is becoming increasingly important. This is especially pertinent with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) just around the corner, a new law regulating how companies protect EU citizens’ personal data.

Enter the chief data officer (CDO); a key professional who is fully responsible for the effective management of a company’s valuable data information assets. The growing trend of CDOs only highlights just how important data and analytics are becoming in the business world.

From budding startups to global corporations, the leveraging of data is invaluable to all. In order to gain a competitive edge as we delph further into the year, businesses must recognize the technologies, strategies, and business roles that can truly transform their approach to business intelligence.