Over the last few years, we've witnessed tremendous growth and major milestones being achieved in the BI industry. With 2023 underway, let's explore the 7 BI and analytics trends expected to shape the BI landscape over the coming months. These trends indicate what's in store for the business world, and can help companies plan their investments and efforts more effectively.
1) Self-service ETL
ETL analytics capabilities were once a luxury reserved for large enterprises. Today, they are natively supported as a self-serviceable layer within modern BI workflows—democratizing ETL for all BI users. Moreover, low-code no-code interfaces also offer prebuilt capabilities that give users a jump-start on data transformations, and also enable them with comprehensive data customization.
Still remaining suitable for enterprise users that want to deploy their own models, the modern ETL layer will be deeply engineered for pro-code users as well—supporting complex data transformations as light-weight, self-serviceable capabilities. Furthermore, BI vendors now offer easy cloud data scalability, shouldering data management responsibilities that once fell to the user. In the below video, you can check out an example of the self-service ETL layer in Zoho Analytics.
2) Unified business analytics
With the uptick in business app adoption for daily business operations, we're seeing a growing need for end-to-end analytics that overcomes data silos and provides a comprehensive, 360° view of business operations.
Unified business analytics is the underpinning principle with which businesses can seamlessly blend data from various sources to be analyzed together for cross-functional insights. Powerful native integrations between analytics platforms and business apps form the backbone of these data consolidation efforts.
Over and above that, unified business analytics platforms include domain-specific NLP capabilities that help users unearth deeper and more powerful insights instantly. In the dashboard below, you can check out an example of unified business analytics.
To learn more about how unified business analytics support daily business operations, check out our complete webinar on the 7 BI trends to watch in 2023.
3) AI in BI
AI capabilities are rapidly expanding across the BI stack, from the data import stage all the way to the sharing of data insights. Capabilities like automatic data modelling, for instance, greatly simplify data preparation, especially when a large volume of raw data is imported.
As for analysis, along with historic analytics, predictive analytics is also now rapidly gaining momentum in the market, as users can choose from an array of ML-powered, prebuilt or custom prediction models for their data. Cognitive analytics is also rising in popularity, bringing powerful, human-like intelligence to BI workflows through capabilities like automated insights and recommendations.
Especially with recommendations, BI platforms are stepping into the future, graduating from merely sharing data insights to actually guiding stakeholders through their decision-making processes.
In the below screenshot, along with the visualization and automated historic summary, we have an example of AI models recommending real-time actions based on existing data insights obtained from a report. This is only a small peek into what today's AI can offer.
4) Insight bots
We've witnessed a surge in AI-powered bots in the recent past—and the BI world has embraced it. BI bots interact with users to help them easily perform operations, like data searches, visualizations, and various computations. These bots also offer tailor-made suggestions with deep ML capabilities, customizing the experience for each and every user. This capability will go a long way in democratizing BI for users at all levels.
BI platforms are also looking to embed bots into various IM channels, like Slack and Microsoft Teams, so they can be natively invoked from apps users are already comfortable and familiar with. In the below screenshot, you can check out a native deployment of Zoho Analytics' intelligent assistant, Ask Zia, in a Slack channel.
Watch our complete webinar on the 7 BI trends to watch in 2023 to learn about these capabilities in more detail.
5) DSML in BI
Data science and machine learning (DSML) capabilities are now natively available within BI workflows. These capabilities are usually most relevant to data scientists and developers looking to perform complex, in-depth data analyses by deploying trained ML models.
For that purpose, self-serviceable AutoML frameworks in modern BI platforms will provide a range of prebuilt ML models to that will give users a jump-start on their analysis. Moreover, this capability will automatically identify appropriate ML models to be used based on the data imported.
Users are also free to implement custom ML models inside their BI platforms, or seamlessly integrate their BI software with the third-party DSML platforms of their choice. Efforts are currently underway to continue expanding these capabilities.
6) Data storytelling
Data storytelling is an emerging trend that is opening up the BI space to creative communication. Essentially, the objective is to humanize the experience of delivering and consuming data insights with context and empathy for stakeholders to help them make data-driven decisions.
To present their data, BI platforms enable users with a range of creative elements, like text, images, audio, video, and even the ability to embed code while crafting data stories. Presentations, website portals, and infographics are amongst popular methods of curating and presenting data stories. These data storytelling capabilities are also being offered as an inherent part of the BI stack by a few BI platforms.
In the screenshot below, you can check out an example of Zoho Analytics' inherent presentation capability.
Tune in to our complete webinar on the 7 BI trends to watch in 2023 to check out examples of other powerful data storytelling capabilities in analytics platforms today.
7) Embedded analytics
Embedded analytics has been among the top BI trends for a while now. BI vendors will continue to innovate to offer a natural and cohesive BI experience for users wherever they live. This means, not only can users embed the complete BI stack, but they can customize and embed particular layers as needed.
With contextual embedding, users can completely rebrand their analytics platforms with highly customizable components that reflect their brand's look and feel. These components include logos, URLs, CSS customizations, and much more.
With a strong suite of APIs that shorten development cycles, embedded analytics is gaining popularity among independent software vendors looking to inherently embed a complete BI stack within their software offering.
In the below screenshot, you can check out an example of embedded analytics. In this example, Zoho Analytics is completely rebranded as "Fine Pick" to natively cater to the analytical needs of a particular business.
To stay on top of your analytics efforts, it's important to keep tabs on emerging trends and capabilities in the BI market and strategize effectively. The BI trends covered in this blog provide an outline of what the future of BI may look like, and can be used as a guideline for adopting BI for your business.
Zoho Analytics has been among the first platforms to implement these trends. We are keeping a meticulous watch on emerging customer needs and are addressing them with capabilities to transform the way users analyze data and arrive at decisions.