Business Intelligence moving towards collaboration

In the past few years, I have observed two distinct phenomenons: the democratization of business intelligence software and the rise of the ‘’data scientist”. Such has created a large pool of users who are collaborating amongst each other as well as with external stakeholders. Vendors are quickly adapting to such trends.

User-friendly software, high returns

The rise of the data scientist

While it is far from straightforward to define what a data scientist does, these professionals possess a deep knowledge of data processing and analysis and participate actively in the ever expanding business intelligence movement. In recent years, companies of various sizes have set up teams and departments catering to those high-level workers. Naturally vendors are targeting data scientists with powerful and flexible solutions.

Sharing dashboards and reports: a growing need

For example, IBM is adding Jupyter notebooks to its IBM Analytics for Apache Spark service which “allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and explanatory text”. The goal is to create a more end-to-end environment which would provide a more integrated framework for data scientists and other BI professionals.

Publishing: the next frontier

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that it’s making a “publish to web” functionality in Power BI available at no additional cost: “the feature lets users take data visualizations they’ve created inside Power BI and share publicly accessible versions with dedicated URLs and HTML snippets that can be incorporated into other websites”. Microsoft is also adding an “embedded feature” which integrates data visualizations natively into other applications.

This makes a lot of sense because it creates a more integrated, seamless set of tools that will allow the BI community to collaborate and engage with a much wider range of external stakeholders and cut the middleman on many occasions.

The business intelligence community is growing and evolving and so is the software offering that accompanies it. In the next 5 years vendors could introduce even further developments, especially with the rapid growth of artificial intelligence potentially dramatically improving automation and predictive functionalities. Exciting times ahead.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

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