Posted on: 16th January 2019, 11:39 am
It was a massive year for Business Intelligence in 2018 but we believe it’s going to be an even bigger 2019.
With that said, you probably want to hear a little bit more, so we’ve compiled the thoughts and predictions from members of the Ometis team as we predict Business Intelligence trends in 2019.
From Conversational Analytics and the Internet of Things to Education in Data Literacy and growth of Qlik’s hybrid cloud, there’s plenty to talk about as we consider the next 12 months.
So, we’re kicking off with our managing director Ross Greig’s thoughts and for the head of Ometis, education is going to play a key role in 2019:
‘I think we’ll see a big shift in the number of our customers and prospects looking to specifically combine what they do with BI with a more formalised Data Literacy programme. Educating end-users proactively in data literacy will see a change in how requirements are gathered, with people requesting KPIs and visualisations that more closely align with the ‘bigger picture’ rather than smaller compartmentalised use-cases. That’s all driven by end-users becoming more empowered and involved in the creation of that ‘bigger picture’ rather than having it dictated to them.
‘As part of this, we’ll be looking to develop our training and education services at Ometis to help promote key data literacy subjects but framed with Qlik technology in the background.’
For our sales manager, Andy Patrick, there’s no single stand-out development this year. Instead, he believes that Business Intelligence strategies are going to benefit by an overall advance in technologies and more considered processes.
‘I don’t think there will be one single aspect of BI evolution that will be bigger than others but I do think there will be a few things that customers will be paying more attention to.
‘First off, it will be governance and use of data catching up to platforms’ capabilities. There has been a big spotlight on things like GDPR and we are awaiting the first big fine but more and more customers are looking for automated systems to tell them where their data is being used and who has access to it. With widespread use of Business Intelligence in many businesses, this will be the main area to come under scrutiny and we all need to be aware of what data is being opened-up to people across the enterprise.
‘Secondly, people are still craving ease of use and for many that comes in the form of alerts and requests. “Alexa, tell me when any new order goes on the systems with margin less than 30%,” this will start to become more common place but certainly not ubiquitous in 2019. The use of communications tech, whether that is written or verbal, combined with peoples’ data platforms will start pushing through as a “nice-to-have” in 2019 and a “must-have” in 2020.
‘Finally, systems that show you things that you have not asked for… yes AI. Understanding what requests you make of the data to offer similar points of interest in your data will start to shine through. In Qlik, we call this Augmented Intelligence through the Cognitive Engine. We can search for the top sellers of a certain product but Qlik may tell us that the overall top performing sales representative didn’t sell any of that product, for instance. This will be key moving forward.’
Neil Thorne, sector manager at Ometis, believes the internet of things is going to play an even bigger role in 2019 as wifi connectivity continues its rapid integration into machinery:
‘I can see companies begin to make more use of IoT data in 2019. Traditional BI projects have focussed on transactional systems which all remain valid but now there’s so much more data easily available to companies that can add value to their business,’ Neil explains.
‘We already have customers visualising data direct from machinery, both internal and external to their organisation, saving them money on better predictions of servicing, for example. I can see that use case expanding as more machines and gadgets become internet enabled and their data becomes more readily available for discovery.’
Our pre-sales consultant, Chris Lofthouse, who is the face of many Ometis vlogs on our YouTube channel, agrees with one of Andy’s predictions and believes it’s the year for chatbots to establish a position within Qlik’s data analytics reports:
‘2019 will see key players of conversational analytics emerging. In the world of Qlik, Conversational Analytics is the process of using natural language to query your data and relying on natural language processing technologies to return human-like responses. Conversational Analytics could be a big disrupter for Business Intelligence as the ‘chatbots’ become smarter, contextually aware and more human. I don’t expect the maturity of this form of analytics in 2019 but I hope to see a form of Conversational Analytics in the base product of Qlik Sense or a reasonably priced third-party offering which is attractive to the masses.’
Meanwhile, our Service Delivery Manager, Alex Walker, highlights the continued move to SaaS in 2019, but is also interested in the evolutions Qlik will see over the next 12 months:
‘There will be a continued move towards SaaS – cloud infrastructure and subscription licensing. That’s true across the software industry in general though, not just Business Intelligence. I am excited to see the Hybrid Cloud taken to the next level in Qlik, though.
‘Having a seamless way to take data extracted and modelled from both cloud and on-premise systems and have it securely accessible both internally and externally will help drive adoption. I’m keen to see how our subscription licence customers can leverage Qlik’s infrastructure for this as that will be the quickest win, and if our perpetual licence customers can get access to this.
‘I’ll also be very interested to see how Qlik Data Catalyst (formerly Podium Data) further expands the reach and enterprise features of the Qlik Platform,’ adds Alex. ‘I’d like to see it demoed and get hands on with it! It will also be interesting to see what ends up in the base product from this or whether it stays pretty much completely separate.’
As Alex initiates the discussion around Qlik evolutions in 2019, everyone has their own feelings on what could become the most valued features to shine this year.
‘With regards to Qlik, I’m looking forward to enhancements in collaboration and augmented intelligence,’ explains Chris.
‘It could be argued that Augmented Intelligence is the process of a human collaborating with a machine. Having seen a high-level roadmap for the next 6, 12 and 24 months, it’s exciting to see statistically generated insights and forecasting mentioned, which was briefly demoed at Qonnections last year.
‘Alongside this, it’s listed that augmented data stories, highlighting changes in users’ data, will be featured as well as further insight sharing. Additionally, notifications and alerts based on system, social and data driven insights are outlined to make an appearance over the next 12 months.
‘Each and every one of these pieces of functionality will address customer demands of a post-modern analytical platform and more. Equally, they will reduce the necessary skills required to become data literate by providing narratives and other mediums of information alongside visualisations.’
Our managing director, Ross, agrees with both Chris and Andy and believes Conversational Analytics will play some role in Qlik’s evolution in 2019: ‘Conversational access to analytics will, over time, become a mainstay of what a BI implementation looks like.
‘Being able to speak or type the question and receive the answer back, with supporting data and visualisations will become totally normal. You only need to look at the desire of consumers to engage with smart technology (home, car, Amazon’s Alexa etc.) to see that this trend will continue to force software manufacturers to deliver better and more comprehensive solutions to access analytics in this way. It’s an exciting time.’