Business Intelligence (BI) application sales bounced back strongly last year, in my opinion, as SMBs joined large enterprises in showing interest in the technology. This demonstrated a growing need for organisations of all size for better information on which to base their decisions.
So what changed? In my view, the advent of open source BI has reduced the cost and complexity of deploying significant BI functionality. This lowered the barrier to entry.
BI customers of course will play a crucial role in the development of relevant analytic software. And I often refer to these technically proficient customers as BI builders, because they can be application developers, IT analysts, data warehouse managers, report writers or departmental super-users.
They may be implementing, customising or integrating a BI tool to solve a data problem of any scale for a larger group of end users. They provide the insight, skill and knowledge.
The typical BI builder, in my opinion, wants to see an increasing array of analytic and reporting power, delivered in a highly customisable and easily integrated way.
Software developers should therefore aim to improve in-memory-based analytic capabilities. This will reduce the customers' need to build and maintain costly custom back-end systems.
BI customer needs are fuelled by new and flexible data access techniques that allow them to reach into any variety of data sources. They require the delivery of reports, dashboards and analytics on a variety of devices, increasingly including mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.
As wireless internet connections improve and tablets proliferate, tapping into reports, dashboards and even multi-dimensional analysis through a wireless device will become standard.
Brian Gentile is chief executive officer of Jaspersoft
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