Gartner has outlined four key trends that it believes will change the way companies use business intelligence (BI) software and technologies in the coming years.
The analyst firm's Predicts 2011 report outlines a series of changes that organisations should be aware in their overall use of analytics software.
Chief among these is a predicted 33 per cent rise in the use of BI tools on handheld devices by 2013, and a shift from the use of simple reporting applications on these devices to dedicated mobile analytic applications by 2012.
"With more staff using devices outside the office that require access to analytical data, there will be an increase in BI tools specifically developed for this purpose," said report author Neil Chandler.
The report also predicts that some 40 per cent of spending on business analytics by 2014 will go on systems integrators, rather than software vendors, as companies begin to use one provider for all aspects of the BI software they deploy.
"More firms are now offering a complete range of services, from BI software to the management and use of this software, which offers benefits by bringing more variety to the market," Chandler said.
Gartner also suggested that 15 per cent of all BI deployments by 2013 will contain collaboration and social software elements in the decision-making environments of BI tools, underlining the impact of social tools in the business environment.
Lastly, the analyst firm expects 30 per cent of analytic applications by 2014 to use in-memory functionality to increase scale and computational speeds, and that they will become more proactive and predictive in their forecasting capabilities.
"With more sophisticated analytics tools entering businesses there is a growing move to access and process the data more quickly, so in-memory technology will become increasing popular," Chandler said.
However, Roger Llewellyn, chief executive of BI and analytics firm Kognitio, argued that Gartner's estimates are too cautious, and that the rise in the use of BI within other areas of businesses will drive the use of new systems.
"The BI infrastructure will have to be capable of performing queries and tasks for a huge number of potential users at once. It will need to be based on in-memory functions," he said.
"We would say that Gartner's prediction that only 30 per cent of analytic applications will use in-memory functions is selling the technology short. As in-memory becomes an increasing mainstay of BI and analytics, we expect this number to surge."
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