The BI and analytics platform market is undergoing a fundamental shift. During the past ten years, BI platform investments have largely been in IT-led consolidation and standardization projects for large-scale systems-of-record reporting. As demand from business users for pervasive access to data discovery capabilities grows, IT wants to deliver on this requirement without sacrificing governance.
According to Gartner report, as companies implement a more decentralized and bimodal governed data discovery approach to BI, business users and analysts are also demanding access to self-service capabilities beyond data discovery and interactive visualization of IT-curated data sources. This includes access to sophisticated, yet business-user-accessible, data preparation tools. Business users are also looking for easier and faster ways to discover relevant patterns and insights in data. In response, BI and analytics vendors are introducing self-service data preparation (along with a number of startups such as ClearStory Data, Paxata, Trifacta and Tamr), and smart data discovery and pattern detection capabilities (also an area for startups such as BeyondCore and DataRPM) to address these emerging requirements and to create differentiation in the market. The intent is to expand the use of analytics, particularly insight from advanced analytics, to a broad range of consumers and non traditional BI users — increasingly on mobile devices and deployed in the cloud.
BI and Analytics Platform Capabilities for 2015
- Business User Data Mashup and Modeling: “Drag and drop,” user-driven data combination of different sources and the creation of analytic models such as user-defined measures, sets, groups and hierarchies. Advanced capabilities include semantic auto discovery, intelligent joins, intelligent profiling, hierarchy generation, data lineage and data blending on varied data sources, including multi structured data.
- Internal Platform Integration: A common look and feel, install, query engine, shared metadata, promotability across all platform components.
- BI Platform Administration: Capabilities that enable securing and administering users, scaling the platform, optimizing performance and ensuring high availability and disaster recovery. These capabilities should be common across all platform components.
- Metadata Management: Tools for enabling users to leverage the same systems-of-record semantic model and metadata. They should provide a robust and centralized way for administrators to search, capture, store, reuse and publish metadata objects, such as dimensions, hierarchies, measures, performance metrics/KPIs, and report layout objects, parameters and so on. Administrators should have the ability to promote a business-user-defined data mashup and metadata to the systems-of-record metadata.
- Cloud Deployment: Platform as a service and analytic application as a service capabilities for building, deploying and managing analytics and analytic applications in the cloud, based on data both in the cloud and on-premises.
- Development and Integration: The platform should provide a set of programmatic and visual tools and a development workbench for building reports, dashboards, queries and analysis. It should enable scalable and personalized distribution, scheduling and alerts, and workflow of BI and analytics content and applications via email, to a portal or to mobile devices. It should include the ability to embed and customize BI platform components in a business process, application or portal.