The Consumerization of Business Intelligence

This piece is inspired by Dr. Rado Kotorov, guest author at

Business intelligence development is not a pervasive science. If you need proof of this, ask your friends’ what BI tool their company uses. Chances are you’ll get “What?” or a blank stare in response. This is because, in today’s world, BI applications have only penetrated between 10% and 20% of standard business users.

By its very nature, business intelligence is a harrowing science. Effective business intelligence technology requires complex IT development, programming knowledge, strong analytic reasoning skills, and an emphasis on math. After leaving school, many of us can’t even calculate gratuity without the help of our phones, so how are we to be expected to align business metrics to performance goals and calculate future events?

This not-so-simple question is where traditional BI has failed, and why adoption is so low for non-IT professionals. To solve this problem, BI software must become more user friendly. Development must focus on simplicity and power, rather than just raw power. A tool that can move mountains is powerful and useless if no one can operate it.

The goal is not to teach business users how to use existing complex tools, but rather to simplify the interface of those tools to be approachable to business users. Pervasive BI in this fashion will lead all businesses to better decision making.