For the folks who have been able to dismiss the significance of business intelligence/predictive analytics, and relegate its use to actuaries and computer geeks, there is growing evidence that this is a bad idea which is only going to get worse.
Bob Evans, Editorial Director at Information Week, puts out an annual ‘Top 10’ list for CIOs. In 2010, Analytics came in at #4. This year it moved to #1, under the title of Seeing And Shaping The Future: The Power Of Analytics. Evans believes that the ability to see the future is not ‘cool’, it is a business imperative because so many parts of a modern organization depend on the ability to compete not just on what’s happened in the past, but what’s likely to happen in the future. Evans summarizes the position of the CIO: “If your CEO asks you what you’re doing in 2011 to bring the business value of analytics to the organization, will you be eager to have that conversation?”
And the analytics and how they are going to be aggregated and consumed is going to be more ubiquitous and complex. Gartner in a report from its 2011 Business Intelligence Summit, cites several trends worth watching: On the consumption side, Gartner predicts that by 2013, 33 percent of BI functionality will be consumed via hand-held devices. Of greater importance, from a planning standpoint, in the same time frame, 15 percent of BI deployments will combine BI, collaboration and social software into decision-making environments.
As anyone who has implemented business intelligence knows, supplying information to wider audiences, using unstructured data, in a collaborative decision making environment is non-trivial. The year 2013 is not far off, and if plans are not in place, the goal may already be out of reach.
The 2011 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference (ICTC) is focusing on Analytics as a major theme. Check the conference agenda for details.