There is a lot of noise about Business Intelligence, and there are many BI tools also being introduced day in and day out. One major question everyone has in mind is where BI is heading to, and what would be the future of business analytics? In fact, when it comes to the matter of technology, you can only ask someone from the future about its future, or better yet, one should see it yourself over time. However, for the time travelers who want to make a fine guess, experts say that small business is the future of business analytics.

A survey had shown that every one out of three administrators of small businesses believes that the BI tools and analytics can change their business significantly over the next couple of years. Many of them have already started using BI and analytics tools and started taking benefits of it. It is possible for small business owners now to make smart but small investments in BI applications in order to gain the competitive advantages of those.

In order the help the small business owners to decide which BI tools and analytical software may be the most promising investments, here we are discussing 4 top predictions about the future of business intelligence and business analytics.

business intelligence

1. The BI race could be won by small businesses rather than larger corporations

We can expect that the majority of the small businesses may effectively adopt business intelligence in a larger rate over the next two to three years, and supersede the rate of adoption of BI by a larger corporation.

Now also, organizations with less than 100 employees are reportedly having a higher rate of adoption of BI tools compared to larger organizations. The larger corporate, however, show about a 15% increase in penetration of BI into their higher-level workforce, but the same in smaller businesses are reaching to about 36% already. This rate is increasing, which is clearly pointing towards the impact of BI on small business.

It is also said that the business intelligence incentives for bigger corporate tend to experience some diminishing returns. Considering this, at enterprise levels, business intelligence is only minimally used in terms of business growth, enhance operational efficiencies, and to cut down the cost to avoid overheads. Small to medium-size businesses; however, have a greater growth ceiling, which in turn become more sensitive to the impact of BI in order to gain more customers.

2. Impact of cloud on SMB BI deployment

The expert prediction is that by the year 2020, SaaS BI or BI cloud may be the most accepted mode of BI delivery for small to medium scale businesses, following suit the bigger corporations. This shift of BI delivery from the first-generation on-premise implementation to more cost-effectively Software-as-a-Service may further expedite BI adoption for small businesses. Over the last decade, we have seen how cloud proliferation had changed the spectrum of business from small to big. According to Gartner reports, by year by 2020,corporate-level no-cloud policies may be as scarce as the no-internet policies a few even follow now.

This mode of cloud BI deployment as will help business entities cot reduce their operational cost by not bearing the cost of ownership. It is will also ensure speedy and timely delivery of BI applications and software without the need to maintain experienced staff for implementation and support too. The small businesses also need not have to bother about the needs for vast databases or legacy on-premise content. With the adoption of the cloud, they can easily link their various data sources with cloud-centric business intelligence software.

3. Citizen data scientists may replace expert data scientists

Over a span of the next five years, the common data and BI tools users may replace the need for expert data scientists. As such BI and data analytics tools evolve, it will eradicate another burden for the small businesses to hire highly paid experts data scientists.

There are many self-service business intelligence platforms started popping up lately, and these are paving the way to the generation of citizen data scientists. The DIY BI applications have a much lower learning curve, and the user-friendly features of these are accessible through simple user interfaces. Even the complicated tasks like dashboard sharing, data visualization, report preparation, and analysis won’t require the users to have an analytical background or expertise in statistical analysis. All these tools will be well-suited for the small businesses of various domains to come under the BI portfolio.

Another Gartner report says that by the end of 2019, the self-service business intelligence users may start to produce more analysis and insights than the skilled data scientists. This will further pave the way to a data-driven business management culture at all levels of business functions. The business vendors are also now focusing on empowering their employees at all levels to effectively manage data analytics too on top of their primary job responsibilities.

The evolution of data management and visualization tools from the first-generation bit and task-intensive applications to more compact cloud-based and graphical interfaces make things easier for the users. Examples for this evolutionary change are TapClicks and Google Data Studio etc. This new wave in BI tools makes it much easier for anyone at any level to become a data expert in just 10 minutes and then use their data in hand to drive a strategic approach to task management.

4. Data becomes more personalized

Expert prediction on this is that over the next few years, all existing template-based data analytics reports may get replaced with more personalized and easily understandable visualizations and straightforward insights for even a layperson to interpret. In future, personalization of analytical data will reach a level of real-time AI suggestions and algorithms available anytime, anywhere, on whichever device the user accessing it.

This will help the small businesses to endear the target audience more towards them. This could be achieved through various measures like creating a personal home page for each customer based on their previous browsing patterns or use algorithms which show personalized recommendations to individual users as like Amazon etc. do now.

In the future, even the smallest of businesses may be working in light of huge sets of data, and everyone will look forward to getting an impressive ROI from the use of BI. From restructuring online marketing campaigns to be more focused on bypassing the bottlenecks in the operational path, small businesses may largely benefit from the adoption of BI platforms and tools.