Business Intelligence Blog from arcplan

Business Intelligence Trends 2012: Mobile BI, Collaborative BI and Cloud BI


Last week, our CEO posted an article about his own predictions for BI in 2012. After reading it, I thought about surveying arcplan employees about the trends they see coming to the forefront over the next 12 months. They suggested that the hype around mobile, collaborative, and cloud BI that we saw this year will come to fruition in 2012. We published a press release today that highlights these trends and what we can expect to see next year:

BI Trends 2012 – From Hype to Breakthrough

The market for Business Intelligence (BI) in 2011 was shaped by three much-hyped themes: mobile BI, collaborative BI and cloud BI. While vendors and analysts are driving the buzz around these new technologies, users have thus far hesitated to fully embrace them as they explore what their business benefits might be. Will 2012 be the year that mobile, collaborative and cloud BI go mainstream? Global BI innovator arcplan dares to look into its crystal ball to see what technologies will break through in the coming year.

Mobile BI – Simplified Entry
The hype around mobile BI was clear this year, but did the talk result in concrete implementations? According to The BI Survey 10 from analysts BARC, only 8% of companies using BI software access their reports in mobile form – an astonishingly low number if you consider that mobile BI is being lauded by analysts and the media as the next big thing, and users are clamoring for mobile solutions.

So why hasn’t this hype translated to action yet? So far, Apple has dominated the market for mobile devices with the iPhone and iPad, which are only conditionally compatible with business applications. This will change in 2012 when Microsoft and Phone 7 return to the market with a focus on both the business sector and the consumer market, which will set it apart from Apple. Companies are looking beyond the Apple platform for cost-effective mobile BI solutions, and in 2012, they will encounter Microsoft’s new Metro Design, which will simplify entry into mobile BI tremendously. This concept, fueled by clean typeface and balanced design, can be used on Phone 7 as well as any other mobile device and is well suited for business applications. Furthermore, Web apps – in contrast to native apps – will meet the demand for an efficient entry into the world of mobile business applications. Due to their develop once/deploy anywhere nature, they offer businesses the chance to productively use mobile BI apps on any platform (Apple, Microsoft, Android, etc.) and independent of cumbersome approval processes or other restrictions in manufacturer-controlled app stores.

Collaborative BI – The Democratization of Knowledge
2012 will be the year in which companies realize the promise of collaborative BI when information becomes democratized…

Continue reading the full press release >>


BI Predictions for 2012 – Self-Service, Mobile, Collaborative


arcplan CEO, Roland HoelscherWe’re coming up on the end of the year – a time when we hopefully have a few moments during the busy holiday rush to think about what next year will bring. For us in the BI world, that means trying to stay ahead of trends so we can continue to bring you the world-class solutions you need to get insight from your data.

I believe that 2012 will be all about bringing business intelligence to users wherever they are. That means self-service, mobile BI, and collaboration will be on everyone’s minds.

The idea of self-service BI is taking root in organizations large and small. Business users want to easily access and analyze data without having to use complex tools or rely on IT. Solution providers like arcplan are trying to reach the non-power-users who need insight into corporate data as much as anyone.

Mobile BI and collaborative BI have been named trends before, but in 2012, they are poised to take off. A quarter of organizations surveyed in the BI Survey 10 plan to implement mobile BI in the next 12 months. Businesses are moving from planning to actual deployment as executives and road warriors become increasingly more comfortable with smartphones and tablets, and IT finds ways to ensure data security.

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Next-Generation Business Intelligence: Search & Collaboration


It’s our belief at arcplan that next-generation BI tools should incorporate Web 2.0 functionality – the ability to search, rate, tag, and comment on information; things that we’re used to from social media sites and e-commerce sites like Aren’t you used to checking a product’s ratings before making a purchase? Why should BI be any different?

Specifically what I mean is that users should have the ability (1) to find the information they need to do their jobs more effectively and (2) to make their feelings known about BI reports, dashboards, and other business information (like data stored on SharePoint or email systems that may be relevant to decision-making). If the best information rises to the top, users begin to rely on only the best reports and admins can delete old information that isn’t useful anymore.

This is why we developed arcplan Engage. We’re in the “first customer shipment” phase of its release right now, but pretty soon, it will be widely available and will change the way BI is thought of and accessed at many of our customers’ organizations. It’s all about empowering end users, making business information more pervasive and accessible to the large majority of business users, and ensuring that their organizations perform better.

More and more, we’re going to see BI systems that have been designed with the regular business user in mind, not just BI experts or power users. That’s what arcplan Engage is all about. Take a look at this short video about it and tell us your thoughts!


Collaborative BI – What Does It Really Mean?


The focal point of many BI tools today is to get the right information to the right people at the right time so they can analyze company data and make well-informed decisions. The ‘right people’ are not only the ones at the very top of the food chain; we find that decision makers exist at all levels. Thus, the sharing and exchange of information is increasingly important in modern businesses.

Collaborative BI is a growing trend that merges business intelligence and social media tools and amounts to business users determining what the most valuable and relevant data in their organization is and sharing it to improve decision-making across the board.

Collaborative BI often goes hand-in-hand with the term “self-service BI.” It makes sense, since self-service BI tools make it easy for business users to access and analyze data without having to go through IT. These trends are all about the 85% of potential users in an organization who normally don’t partake in BI, but can benefit from it as much as the other 15%.

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