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Business Intelligence 2.0: Simpler, More Accessible, Inevitable

Say goodbye to complicated interfaces, disconnected analytics and shelfware. An emerging era for BI will bring simplicity, broad access and better ties between analysis and action.

Prepare for the Inevitable

BI 2.0 is a natural evolution, but it isn't happening in a smooth, continuous fashion. It's more tectonic; forces build and changes happen abruptly. Enterprise technologies tend to be sticky because of their cost -- not just to implement but also to replace. However, all enterprise applications are following the lead of the Web, especially Web 2.0. With billions of daily users, the Web is the cohort for a massive longitudinal study. The results are in. People love collaboration, social networks, mash-up's, no-cost software, versionless software and the ability to get what they need without a lot of ceremony. BI 2.0 is inevitable.

What should you do to prepare? Mostly, readjust your thinking so you are open to the best offers. Here are six ideas that will give you to start:

  • 1. Recognize the situation People and technology have shifted to a new plane
  • 2. Rethink analytics Informing people to make better decisions is out; changing the nature of work is in
  • 3. Think out of the BI box Is compartmentalized security logical? Is role-based BI provisioning useful?
  • 4. Shift your focus from data to people Pretend data is like water. Now what do you do?
  • 5. Think less about process and more about experience Reactions to internal software are now flavored by the Web.
  • 6. Think less about features and more about how people work effectively MOLAP vs. ROLAP is history; social networking and collaboration are the future.

BI is not a failure and it's not dead, either. BI 1.0 provided a great deal of utility, but the next wave will be hoisted up, as Issac Newton described his superhuman accomplishments, like "standing on the shoulders of giants." So climb on. The view is great.

Neil Raden is the founder of Hired Brains, providers of consulting, research and analysis in Business Intelligence, Performance Management, real-time analytics and information/semantic integration. Write him at

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