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Evolving Capabilities of BI Tools

By Sveta Freidman, Head of Analytics & BI Team, carsales.com.au

Evolving Capabilities of BI Tools

Sveta Freidman, Head of Analytics & BI Team, carsales.com.au

The Business Intelligence field has evolved very rapidly in the last few years and with these changes, companies have had to adopt a new strategy of Analytics and Business Intelligence ability. 2017 will be no different compared to last couple of years. We will see more and more companies looking into self service capability for interrogating data and therefore have less dependency on Analytics and BI team to help them with the day-to-day reports. This will enable the Analytics and BI team to be more involved in more complex project development.

Due to this evolving trend, BI teams are changing how they have been developing Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence tools and we are now seeing a high conversation rate in utilising In-Memory Business Intelligence & Data Visualization tools across different industries.

“The big players in the field, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google, are constantly providing new features in order to attract potential customers”

There are a few strong players in the market such as Tableau, QlikView, PowerBI, and YellowFin, and every year we see new players trying to enter the market because the demand and opportunities are very high. The ease of using and developing dashboards with such tools has made business users more comfortable with data manipulation; many of these business users don’t have technical backgrounds and are adopting the new tools with ease as well as giving them the ability to access more data and information without depending on development teams to assist with such tasks.

While most of the tools are great, there are still a few areas for improvement, such as metadata layer management and data governance management options. Most of the BI tools are trying to innovate and release products quickly; they are releasing new features every few months and recognising the importance of listening to their customers. This year I hope they will address metadata layer management and data governance which is vital.With such tools in their companies, BI teams need more flexibility to rapidly store and develop data sets, hence we are seeing a trend where more companies are transforming their Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence into Cloud. Personally, I think it is one of the best things that have happened in the field. With the increasing need for more big data sets to be stored and analyzed quickly, the cloud is allowing rapid access to the raw data and enables us to store huge data sets in a cost effective way. The big players in the field, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google, are constantly providing new features in order to attract potential customers. For example, Amazon has Redshift which is a fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud. Amazon has really made it easy for companies to embrace Data Warehouse and Big Data capability.

Recently, AWS released AWS Athena for interactive SQL queries on large data sets, while BigQuery has also been proving such a capability. With such advanced tools in the market, we are going to see more and more new products from the big players enabling smooth implementation of Data Warehouse and BI tools in the cloud and letting more businesses realize the big data capability.

Throughout this year, we will see more small and medium sized companies are trying to utilise BI in the cloud using the available tools to improve their data analytics ability, but also innovate in order to use it for their competitive advantage.

Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, carsales.com (ASX: CAR) is the largest online automotive, motorcycle, and marine classifieds company operating since 1997.

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