Big data has been around since the 90’s and the reason it continues to be a force in the technology sector is that it’s the core function of everything we do. From our day to day decision making to making major business decisions, we use information to help us evaluate which options to lean towards.


This is why big data is driving growth in business intelligence (BI), as every business needs a way to engage and utilize with the data it’s receiving.BI initiatives are constantly evolving as technology improves and more people learn how to use it.


Business intelligence emerged when big data tools became easier to use for the non-IT gurus, and started to increase in value. More and more companies are, and should, catch on to the effects that these tools can have. According to Inc.’s article, money spent on big data hardware worldwide may grow annually 30% all the way through 2018. This indicates a shift in the way businesses are approaching data.


Corporations that employ these BI and big data technologies have the potential to gain a significant competitive advantage in their market

Firms that employ these technologies have the potential to gain a significant competitive advantage in the markets they operate in.



These are the three ways BI is helping companies engage with data and boosting their competitiveness:


1)  Growth in Self-service BI


Self-service BI is the new wave of business intelligence innovation and it’s changing the way businesses leverage data for decision making. The problem that many corporations have is driving data adoption, as it needs to be something that all of the stakeholders can utilize.


This is the reason why self-service tools are gaining popularity and firms that can help businesses deploy these tools are needed. Every organizations needs to determine how data is processed and managed.

According to the article, most organizations struggle with contrasting data sources because they take either a centralized, or a decentralized approach to bid data governance.

The key success factor is to take a so called hybrid approach. It’s predicted that by 2020 corporations will invest around 40% of their net-new business intelligence investments in to prescriptive and predictive analytics services.


2)  Agile BI


A growing number of businesses are working to make BI, not only a crucial part of decision making, but also to make that information more rapid.


According to Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of HP the goal is to turn data into information, information into knowledge and insight and finally knowledge into competitive advantage and to be able to do it in a matter of minutes or seconds. Agile BI is the automation of different BI practices to help simplify how BI pros can update information.


Research from Forrester found that organizations are only making use of "40% of structured, 31% of unstructured, and 27% of semi-structured enterprise data." Forrester recommends that business intelligence providers, and the businesses that use them, should focus on how BI tools enable the user to use data independently. They should also help with creating data visualizations to enable BI professionals share insights across the entire organization.


3)  Increased demand for mobile data


Mobile continues to dominate the technology sector, so it’s no surprise that people are starting to look for mobile solutions for business intelligence. A lot of companies nowadays rely on remote workers and teams spread across great distances, mobile analytics are ever more important.


Having access to BI on your phone means you can be connected to important data at all times, but because of the mobile interface, data has to be more visually appealing so non-technical users can understand it more readily.


The challenge for organizations is to decide which technologies and providers make the most sense for their operations. Utilizing the right tools can have a significant impact on everything from expense management to operational efficiency, so research is a necessary function when deciding which BI tool to take into use.