2011 brought tons of news and speculation about the rise of mobile BI, which has given way to actual deployments in 2012 (an estimated 22% of companies using BI this year plan to implement mobile BI in 2012). 2012 will bring news of the next wave: Collaborative BI, with an estimated 15% of BI applications to include collaborative aspects by 2013, according to Gartner. I expect that number to be even higher as companies see the value of collaborative BI throughout this year and knowledge workers start clamoring for greater access to information to improve their decision making.
I’ve pondered the impact of Collaborative BI before, but lately I’ve noticed that one aspect often left out of the conversation – open access to all BI content within an organization. Many analysts have been talking about various vendors’ Collaborative BI platforms and accepting their silo’d approach, but I believe the silo story isn’t healthy. Restricting content to one vendor’s BI reports and dashboards goes against everything that collaboration is about. To make the best decisions possible, employees require access to any and all data that can help them, regardless of whether it’s housed in arcplan or a competitor’s BI product, or even unstructured content like an e-mail or a document on an internal SharePoint portal.
Going further, user-contributed content has to be part of the “openness” mix. This means that IT has to loosen the grip on what is considered relevant BI content and allow users themselves to enrich the collaboration database with reports from the Web – like a Salesforce.com lead dashboard for example.
On June 2nd, more than 200 participants came together for arc|planet Korea 2011. I was lucky enough to attend the event, our second in South Korea, and see terrific presentations from our customers in the finance, manufacturing, and retail industries. We were kindly hosted by our partner, Zalesia, who showed off arcplan Mobile on 5 different mobile phones and tablet PCs, which were never out of attendees’ hands.
Like arc|planet Germany, this event gathered arcplan users together for a day of best practice sharing, networking, and learning about arcplan’s vision and product strategy. There was a lot of excitement about our newest product, arcplan Engage, our BI search and collaboration tool, which gathers data, reports, and dashboards wherever they reside (whether they’re in SharePoint, Salesforce.com, email, arcplan, SAP, or other BI systems) and makes them available for rating and commenting so the best data rises to the top. Our Korean customers are early adopters of new technologies, so naturally arcplan Engage was a hot topic.
Also a hot topic – self-service analytics. There was a lot of interest around web pivoting and drag-and-drop functionality, both available in arcplan Enterprise 7.