BI 3.0: Business intelligence's next iteration

Traditional notions about business intelligence (BI) are being replaced by a new concept known as BI 3.0. We explore what BI 3.0 is all about.

Business intelligence (BI) is just not about creating reports anymore, since it has developed over the years as a forward looking technology that boosts business growth. While BI 2.0 leveraged the Internet capabilities, business intelligence's new avatar BI 3.0 is set to be more cloud friendly. Not just this, the new solutions will also explore the world of social networking.
Speaking at the TDWI India Chapter event in Pune, Venkat Iyer, the practice head of business information management for Capgemini shed more light on BI 3.0. "BI 2.0 is slowly exiting, whereas BI 3.0 is underway," says Iyer. During his session on "BI: Technology Perspective", Iyer explained the entire evolutionary road of BI. This gave an interesting perspective on how the BI scenario has changed over the past few years.

SAP was founded in 1972, which is when the evolution of ERP started to take place. As the data started to grow, people did not know how to leverage such massive volumes. Data was generated from all directions—database and applications. To tackle this issue, the concept of data warehousing came into the picture in 1980s. Now the data could be collected, stored and managed. In 1989, Gartner came out with the term called 'Business Intelligence.' However, the term was struggling to find wide acceptance.

This new generation BI will take care of unstructured data. It will be more people-centric through interactive and collaborative tools.

 The evolution of Internet saw an explosion of data. This was cited as one of the biggest opportunities, which marked the entry of major vendors in the business intelligence space. Many small companies entered the market, which were eventually taken over by the big players. Consolidation took place, so companies like Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and IBM ruled the game. This was the beginning of BI 2.0, which had more functionality for Internet users.

So how does the future of BI look like? According to Iyer, BI 3.0 is driven by business and innovation. This new generation BI will take care of unstructured data. It will be more people-centric through interactive and collaborative tools. The evolution of social media and software as a service model will play a major role in shaping the new generation BI 3.0.
As part of BI 3.0, users can look forward to business intelligence as a service, which is fast gaining worldwide interest. BI as a service will offer:
- On demand BI
- Subscription based BI
- Analytics as a service
- BI platform as a service – Pay for what you use.

Data coming from the world of social networking is humongous. Bringing this unstructured data from different locations into one data warehouse is the future of BI. One of the interesting trends in BI 3.0 is social media analytics. Businesses are demanding BI 3.0 technologies for making their products and services better.  

As new vendors enter the market, the challenge before them is to come up with tools that have friendlier techniques of connecting with users. If BI has to be more progressive, it should be friendlier. On this front, Iyer observes that some of the new solutions from Google and Qlik View are being widely accepted by business users.

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