Business Intelligence Trends: What to Expect in 2021?

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    Whether you have been in business for ages or have just stepped into the world of marketing in recent years, Business Intelligence is a term that you must have looked into or come across as part of your venture. 

    Strictly speaking, Business Intelligence is a wide term used to refer to applications and technologies that are employed in collecting, analyzing, and presenting business information. 

    BI continues to become more and more relevant as the amount of data storage exponentially increases. In fact, according to one such study, global data storage has exceeded 40 trillion gigabytes.

    Some other interesting statistics that we came across were:

    • The global business intelligence market is expected to rise to 33.3 billion dollars in the coming 5 years. 
    • More than 46% of small businesses rely on business intelligence tools for planning their strategies and goals. 
    • The adoption rate of BI jumped from 21% to 26% and it will increase more in 2021.
    • According to a survey, the top 3 fields that adopted BI with the most rapid rate were operation, finance, and executive management
    • Demand for experts who can handle cloud data is expected to increase by 50% next year. 

    By the look of it, we can safely say that the world is quickly turning towards methods for smarter data management. This leaves us with one question: 

    Why is BI Important?

    One thing is for sure; data has become very important in the world of online businesses, eCommerce, drop shipping, digital platforms, and affiliate marketing sites. It plays a vital role in decision-making processes in virtually every other industry as well. 

    With the amount of digital information increasing globally, many web businesses now look forward to using tools that can efficiently handle, analyze, and present this information with the least degree of error. 

    Unfortunately, many companies struggle with handling data correctly due to a lack of business intelligence in their setup. This may not seem like a problem when the sales are low but once your work starts to bloom, the data can quickly get out of control unless you have proper applications to store and manage it. One of its primary purposes is to improve the website engagement and overall functional properties. 

    Business intelligence, its application, and trends have become increasingly important as they ensure that data is stored and then utilized for maximum output. This is crucial to help the business deliver commendable performance in the long run. 

    As you begin to understand the importance of BI, it becomes interesting to explore where this particular field will stand in the future. Let’s have a look at some of the trends that business intelligence is expected to follow. 

    7 Outstanding BI Trends For 2021

    #1 – More Companies Will Rely On Predictive Business Analytics 

    It’s a common practice in businesses to predict where they are headed. Therefore, companies invest a lot in getting reliable analytical tools that can show the expected results of business strategies and plans. 

    However, as the amount of related data continues to expand, it has become more complex to analyze a brand’s performance using outdated tools only.

    Business intelligence is not expected to include AI tools that would perform predictive analysis with utmost efficiency by taking into account a larger number of, and even unrelated, variables. 

    These predictive programs make use of Artificial Intelligence and its algorithms to forecast how a business would perform in the future. Amazon itself is one valid example where data scientists using BI to look into consumer buying patterns ahead of time. Consequently, Amazon managers use this data to enhance their supply chains. 

    #2 – Self-Service Business Intelligence Would Also Be On The Rise 

    Till now BI tools have utilized data stores in central warehouses. However, as businesses have become widespread and need access to a vast amount of data in a short period of time by multiple users, the reliability of data stores has decreased. 

    Therefore, companies are now shifting to self-service business intelligence that provides more flexibility and independence. Self-service BI providers look into different categories of users and their responsibilities. 

    They have recognized that 5% of business analysts rely on BI tools of which ¼ users require more flexibility when going through business data. 

    #3 – Hyper-Automation and Embedded Analytics Will Be Adopted Soon 

    Hyper automation, more commonly known as data automation, had all the limelight in recent years. It was very well predicted that more than 40% of tasks related to data management would be automated this year. The actual statistics proved to be even more surprising! 

    The variety of available data sources has increased exponentially but companies’ ability to consolidate and analyze all the obtained data is restricted in many cases. Therefore, data automation in business intelligence is expected to replace older techniques to successfully deal with larger volumes of data. 

    On the other hand, embedded analytics is also being adopted by multiple businesses, large and small. In fact, Allied Market research carried out a vast study and concluded that embedded analytics in business intelligence would reach global shares of $60 billion by the end of 2023. 

    This technology implies that BI would be incorporated with native applications and made accessible via their dashboards. In turn, this would increase the pace of data analysis and help firms draw decisions more quickly. Embedded analytics will eliminate the need of switching from one tool to another. 

    #4 – Augmented Human Intelligence Will Play a Vital Role In The Growth of Business Intelligence 

    You are leaving it up to the software to analyze and assemble all the data. However, the codes have been written and the algorithm for its function can not change. What is it possible to design a single algorithm only that would allow the machine to think just like a human and therefore change the method of data scrutiny keeping in view the context? 

    The business world has realized the importance of this advancement and therefore augmented analytics is expected to gain much attention in coming years. It paves way for machine learning-based automation by integrating human intelligence and providing contextual awareness via Artificial Intelligence. 

    This raises yet another important question. If the machine would learn what to do on their own, wouldn’t the demand for data scientists die down? 

    That is absolutely not the case.

    Firms and companies still need experts who can work towards novel data management tools. However, in parallel to this, AI-assisted tools would ensure that even the staff with minimum knowledge of computer science won’t have trouble running different programs. 

    #5 – Mobile BI Will Take The Limelight 

    Data scientists are not only working towards making BI more efficient and reliable but also easier to access. In this regard, we strongly suspect that mobile Business Intelligence will take the world by storm as an increasing number of devices allow access to BI metrics and dashboards. 

    In fact, this is expected to be the most evident advancement in BI in the coming year. 

    The main aim of BI is to ensure that everyone can look into data and make the right decisions keeping in view statistics, trends, etc. If business intelligence is made available on mobiles, it will guarantee that even the workers stuck in remote areas enjoy access to it any time. 

    It was ages ago that smartphones were restricted to personal use. Currently, more than 92% of business executives rely on these tiny gadgets professionally and that is why mobile BI has become more relevant. 

    This technology would make sure that data is accessible all the time. You can get in touch with real-time data quickly and also set up alerts, notifications, and features that enhance internal communications. 

    #6 – BI Tools Would Accommodate More of Natural Language Processing 

    Natural Language Processing (NLP) is an AI-technique that teaches computer software how to precisely translate a language into a form that can be interpreted by humans. It has contributed a lot to the growth of business intelligence. 

    Development in NLP has improved drastically how companies collect and extract relevant data. Some examples of NLP that BI applications will rely on even more, in the future include: 

    • Natural Language Generation: Converting any form into a human language such as the technique used in Cortana. 
    • Machine Translation and Learning: Machine translation works by converting one language to another like Google Translate. Machine translation software works by converting one language to another like Google Translate. Machine learning is an entirely different area that deals with how well a software or computer can teach itself to deal with new problems in the future. 
    • Speech Recognition: This is the technique that is used by software like Siri, Google Voice, Echo, etc for understanding a human context when you interact with them and responding in a similar manner. 

    #7 – World Will See More Strict Policies Related To Data Governance 

    When we are talking about handling such a huge amount of corporate data, it comes to mind how safe it would be to gather it in one place. That’s when data governance becomes important. It looks into all the policies, technologies, and personnel involved in data management. 

    From being just a fancy word in 2021, data governance is expected to attract more attention in the coming years and BI applications continue to expand. In accordance with General Data Protection Regulation, general laws related to data governance will be made more strict and this would mean some companies might have to pay hefty fines for their failure to comply with the updated rules. 

    Amidst frequent data breaches, customers have become cautious about how companies handle their personal information. They now demand more transparent policies related to data management and security. In fact, studies show that 78% of buyers terminate online engagement with brands that do not guarantee data safety whereas 36% completely stop purchasing from such companies. 

    This is a clear indication that companies, whether big or small, need to get serious about their data privacy policies and implementation. 


    It can be said without any doubt that the use of Artificial Intelligence is on the rise. If that is true then Business Intelligence will bloom consequently given how companies have started to rely more on data tools and management applications. 

    Furthermore, it is not enough for high-end companies to depend on simple tools like Google Analytics only. Therefore, the year 2021 will see a sharp increase in the demand for data scientists who can come up with a unique and novel solution to data-related problems. 

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    About the author

    Faisal Rehman is a Freelance Systems Administrator and a writer at SoftwareSpice. With 10 years of technology and systems experience, he writes web hosting reviews.