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Will BI survive as a standalone app?

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An interesting point that Phil Wainewright brings up in Can BI Survive as a Standalone App, saying that there's a constant tension in BI between having the capability embedded in an operational application and the benefits of having best-of-breed capabilities that are accessible from, and operate across, a large number of different applications. So will BI survive on its own, or will it one day be absorbed into other applications?

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  • Surely "BI" is a function - in other words apps may provide useful events and data for BI funtions internal or external - or a service, in which case encapsulation in any single app is not really relevant?

    I think I prefer the idea that apps will become BI-enabled, and BI will become a service or services that are on both operational and historic information...

  • I think there will be tighter integration between BI and other applications. However, optimizing business processes requires the ability to obtain metrics and apply analytics across the entire process, and since most business processes are supported by multiple systems, there will remain a requirement for the BI solution to span multiple systems, rather than only being embedded within a single (or even multiple) applications. Standalone BI that is well integrated with disparate systems will continue to be required.

  • Business Intelligence will survive as a Stand Alone application unless we have ONE SINGLE APPLICATION serving all of an Enterprise - Finance, Manufacturing, Sales Accounting, Sales Prospecting, Warehousing and Logistics, Purchasing and Procurement, etc. The first generation of BI were all serving ONE of these functions but these days users need to go across functions - Financial Data cross-tabulated with Sales data for example. BI Reporting may seep into each of the functional applications but that information alone may no longer be enough! Function-based applications may evolve into Process-based applications but even though you may need to cross0-tabulate data across processes. So I don't think BI can survive without being a stand-alone application for a long time to come. The alternatives run into combinatorial problems and BI as the central hub for all data to be collected and combined with each other as necessary!

  • Yes, BI as a standalone app will survive. To the points stated above, which I agree to, I add the necessity to clearly mark the difference between the operational systems and the control systems to the eye of management.
    BI systems are usually perceived as something more sophisticated and "cool" if compared with operational systems.

  • I think the stand alone BI application will continue to exist for those that need a cross process view of an organizations data.

    For those that don't BI will be embedded into the applications they use. It will support the business processes that they are responsible for.

  • The simple answer is that it won't because you did not ask 'HOW LONG'? Nothing survives forever. TLAs come and go. Who cares?

    Businesses don't need masses of statistical data anywhere nearly as much a they need just the right amount of context-sensitive real-time data at the various decision points in the knowledge processes. BI has no solution for that. Trying to drill down at decision time into masses of data is nonsensical.

    It needs real-time data federation and BI mostly doesn't do that. Even with SOA that is quite difficult. So some integration layer that allows clever data consolidation in real-time will survive longer than BI.

    Enough contemplation ... back to real-world work!

    In any case the

  • No...BI should not be seen as a single app, or an application in general. It should be seen as a part of your solutions, with them delievering the stats etc etc that you need when you need it.

    Sure you may want to pull in information from multiple platforms and solutions, but then is that a BI app in a standalone environment, or are we talking about a management dashboard that pulls in data from BI services within LOB applications...I think that is the future of BI

  • To an earlier question on this forum, "What's the next big thing in BI", I had written this way:

    "For organizations to be truly intelligent, it is becoming clear that BI, though critical, is only part of the IT value chain that enables enterprises to get better at what they do. To me, the next big thing in BI is the answer to the question of - How BI systems can work in an integrated & synergistic fashion with other platforms / applications (viz. BPM, PLM, Content Management, SOA, Cloud etc.) in the enterprise landscape."

    And I self-quote to reinforce my thoughts that BI as a system/application cannot stand & act alone in the enterprise, given that the ultimate goal is to improve business decisioning.

    Having said that, BI as a process or methodology to collect & help analyze mountains of data has a special uncontested place in any organization. It is on the aspect of optimizing the overall business process that BI has to collaborate with other apps/systems in the IT landscape to make it truly effective.

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