It was a great 3 days at the Gartner BI Summit and I thoroughly enjoyed attending a conference dedicated solely to Business Intelligence. It was great to experience the general BI sessions while also getting to sit in on some of the healthcare vertical sessions and hear about the specific BI challenges that the healthcare industry is dealing with. If you were not able to attend, below is my interpretation of the major trends that were discussed:

  • Not surprisingly, mobile BI was a huge topic, and Andy Bitterer's mobility session was packed. When he asked the audience if they thought mobile was "cool" every hand went up, but when he asked how many people were actually implementing mobile BI only a few raised their hands. It was obvious that we are still in the "hype" stage of mobile with no real substance yet, but it is coming fast and we may very well be at the peak of the hype cycle. Let's hope so, because Gartner predicts that by 2013 over one third of BI will be delivered via a mobile device.
  • Data visualization is increasingly important in the BI market. There have been major improvements in visualization capabilities and people want to use these tools to interact with their data. Viz helps people to ask the question they didn't know they had and thus changes how they interact with data.
  • In memory analytics is here with all the major vendors supporting in memory capabilities. It is important to note that although memory is getting cheaper, the lower cost will not be able to make up for the amount of data being generated. As a result, we will need to find a balance between the use of disk and solid state. Look for the next generation of databases to manage this balance for us.
  • In 5 years unstructured "big" data will be more important than the structured content we typically deal with today. The BI industry will undergo tremendous changes to allow us to mine this new type of data.
  • Agile BI development methods are not just a passing fad. They are being used extensively in the industry and allowing organizations to get to market faster, embracing the idea of changing requirements
  • Data discovery tools are changing the way business users consume data. They are allowing the business to quickly access large data sets and look at data in ways they never have before. Even though these tools are growing quickly in most cases they don't replace the large mega vendor offerings they just compliment them.

In addition to the trends above I heard a bunch of interesting statistics during the week that I thought were worth repeating:

  • Business satisfaction scores for BI applications is low – just 4.5 out of 10
  • The average number of BI platforms supported per customer is 4.1
  • By 2013 one third of BI will be delivered by a mobile device
  • 50% of BI requirements will change in the first year
  • eBay deals with 50TB of data a day
  • Mega vendor market share increased from 57% in 2009 to 59% in 2010
  • Yahoo has worlds largest SSAS cube at 16TB
  • UPS saved 3 million gallons of fuel thanks to their award winning BI solution
  • Only 10% of data is actionable
  • by 2014, 40% of business analytics spending will go to software integrators, not software vendors
  • Between 75% and 85% of data is unstructured
  • Worldwide volume of data is growing at 59% per year

All in all, the summit was well worth the trip and I am looking forward to attending again next year.

Click here for my blog on day one of the summit.

Click here for my blog on day two of the summit.