Future of Business Intelligence

September 15, 2008

Chris Webb penned a thoughtful and interesting article about the future of business intelligence. “Google, Panorama, and the Future of BI” here. A number of the comments touch upon delivering business intelligence from the cloud. Take a look at his write up. For me the most interesting point was:

It [cloud based business intelligence]  all depends on how quickly the likes of Google and Microsoft (which is supposedly going to be revealing more about its online services platform soon) can deliver usable online apps; they have the deep pockets to be able to finance these apps for a few releases while they grow into something people want to use…

What stuck me about this comment is that it suggests that the future of business intelligence will be determined by two companies who are not particularly well known for their business intelligence offerings. What becomes of SAP, SAS, and SPSS (just to name the companies whose names begin with “s”)?

What do you think? A two horse race or a couple of nags not sure where the race track is? Let me know.

Stephen Arnold, September 15, 2008


2 Responses to “Future of Business Intelligence”

  1. Chris Webb on September 15th, 2008 6:17 am

    Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for the comments. I’d like to clarify what I meant here (the original post was written in a bit of a rush): in the section you reference the point I was trying to make is that, in my opinion, the vast majority of people don’t necessarily want to use BI tools as such – they want to use the tools they’re familiar with to do BI. At the moment this means the majority of people want to do BI in Excel; in the future I’m sure we’ll have online spreadsheets which do the same things as Excel online (and Google Docs et al aren’t quite there yet in my opinion, they’re way too slow – which is I suppose part of the problem Chrome aims to solve) and new tools that take the place of spreadsheets, plus developments in social applications, IM and so on which hopefully will all link up together. So it’s going to be the pace at which these tools develop that dictates the pace of BI in the cloud, and it’s going to be companies like Google and Microsoft that develop these tools. There’s still going to be ample space for the established BI players (including those you mentioned) to provide BI services, but my theory is that these services will be delivered through this second, more familiar, more widely used client tool layer. I’m sure there will be the equivalent of today’s specialised, standalone BI client tools too, but they’ll need their equivalent of the all-important ‘Export to Excel’ button…


  2. BIT330 (Fall 2008): Sites on September 15th, 2008 6:49 am

    […] Future of Business Intelligence […]

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