Business Intelligence Trends & the BARC BI Trend Monitor

Given the enormous value of good data and with 2020 just underway, it’s important to understand what business intelligence trends are shaping today’s business landscape (and beyond, for that matter).

A fantastic source of insight on this topic is the BARC BI Trend Monitor, an annual research study that surveys “users, consultants and vendors for their views on the most important BI trends”.

We highly recommend downloading the free 2020 BI Trend Monitor and reading it. For this article, we’ll be highlighting three of the study’s findings.

Finding #1 – Master Data Management / Data Quality Management Continue to Shine

Master Data Management / Data Quality Management continues to be the most important trend category for BI professionals, according to the latest BARC’s BI Trend Monitor report. The trend category scored a 7.3/10, the only trend category to reach above 6.9.

2020 BI Trend Monitor’s Findings:
“7.3 = Master Data Management / Data Quality Management
6.9 = Data Discovery
6.9 = Data-Driven Culture
6.8 = Data Governance
6.5 = Self-Service BI”

MDM/DQM taking the crown (again) makes great sense to us here at Key2 Consulting. Investing the time, resources, and money into BI and analytics initiatives is only worthwhile if the data you’re using is clean, accurate, reliable, and easily accessible. Otherwise, why bother?

Finding #2 – Data-Driven Culture Is On the Rise

A second key finding from the study is that the “biggest surge in interest [was] seen with data-driven culture”, which ranked #3 behind data discovery (#2) as the most important BI trend for 2020. “Data-driven culture” scored a 6.9/10.

This result also makes sense, as companies (large and small, and across the globe) are becoming more aware of the value that making business decisions based on quality data can bring. To put it simply, data-driven companies win. Did you know that “by 2021, insight-driven businesses are predicted to take $1.8 trillion annually from their less-informed peers”? (Leftronic & Forrester)

What exactly is a data-driven culture, though?

Multinational analytics software company Infogix defines a data-driven culture very well. According to Infogix, data-driven cultures have three key characteristics. They “promote the democratization of data“, “ensure data quality”, and foster data governance. Be sure to check out Infogix’s full article here.

Finding #3 – Self-Service BI Is Decreasing in Priority

“Self-Service BI” slid to fifth place in this year’s BI Trend Monitor, whereas it was ranked as the third most important trend last year. According to the report:

“But a shift has taken place. Companies today no longer solely focus on providing self-service capabilities to users to serve their departmental requirements, they want to democratize data access while ensuring consistent and high-quality data and results.” – 2020 BI Trend Monitor

This is beautifully explained by BARC. As companies become more data-driven, they look to make their data accessible to everyone in their organization, creating a more uniform approach with their data versus a more-siloed approach where different users are using different self-service BI processes. Self-service BI is still an important trend amongst BI users, but it is sliding in priority.



Thanks for reading. We hope you found this blog post to be useful. Do let us know if you have any questions or topic ideas related to BI, analytics, the cloud, machine learning, SQL Server, (Star Wars), or anything else of the like that you’d like us to write about. Simply leave us a comment below, and we’ll see what we can do!

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Key2 Consulting is a data warehousing and business intelligence company located in Atlanta, Georgia. We create and deliver custom data warehouse solutions, business intelligence solutions, and custom applications.