What Is the History and Future of Business Intelligence?

image @Boston Dynamics/ @bostondynamics.com

The world of business has come a long way since the First Industrial Revolution. Today we’re living in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, and business is bigger and faster than the pioneers of American industrialism could ever have imagined. We have all kinds of smart devices, from phones to toaster ovens and thermostats. We can access thousands of movies within seconds without leaving our homes. We even have cars that can drive themselves. Many of the first industrialists didn’t even have cars!

Of all the many technological advancements that have pushed us forward in society and business, analytics has been one of the most impactful. It’s been so vital to the business world that they invented their own segment of data science called business intelligence. The business intelligence industry is large, and a lot of people are talking about it, but many business owners are still in the dark about what it is and how it can help their companies grow. That’s why we’re here to tell you all about business intelligence—past, present, and future. So, continue reading to get some in-depth insight into BI tools, strategies, and use cases.

Business intelligence is much older than you think.

image @Privateer Space / @mission.privateer.com

We’ll start by telling you that business intelligence is much older than you think—at least the term is. It was coined in 1865 by Richard Millar Devans, who used the term to describe how banker Sir Henry Furnese gained a competitive advantage by gathering data and acting on it before his competitors. However, the first “modern” BI tools wouldn’t come for another 100 years. Decision Support Systems was the first BI software that was used by decision-makers on a massive scale. BI solutions really hit their stride in the 1980s when business users began realizing the value of business intelligence and implementing it en masse.

It’s all about big data analytics these days.

@Acer SpatialLabs™

Many experts will tell you that big data analytics and machine learning technology are the present and future of business intelligence. Indeed, IT departments rely on business intelligence tools that provide in-depth data analysis to provide actionable insights. Data scientists increase their productivity by implementing machine learning algorithms that can find valuable data in disparate data sources and provide a wide range of analytics processes. To get an idea of the impact of machine learning on the quality of products and services that companies provide consumers, consider a platform like Netflix. The more you watch movies and shows on Netflix, the better the platform gets to know your tastes, and over time, it personalizes your experience. Machine learning enables data scientists to customize data in the same manner.

Business intelligence will be bigger and more powerful in the future.

photo @NVIDIA Reflex

Indeed, the future of business intelligence is bright. One of many business intelligence trends you can expect to continue growing more popular is automation as more companies look to streamline workflows and automate repetitive tasks. Furthermore, you can expect more companies to begin implementing digital transformation, necessitating robust business intelligence tools. As you can see, business intelligence is an essential resource for the business world of today and tomorrow. The right BI tools empower business users to capitalize on data from disparate sources (in real-time in many cases), giving them a competitive edge by enabling them to make better business decisions. Moreover, as more companies across the globe implement digital transformation processes, BI solutions will become more of a necessity than a luxury.

Research to learn more about the many ways BI software can optimize your business processes and increase your ROI, and do your due diligence to find the right BI solutions for your company. Business intelligence is the future of the business world, and the future of business intelligence is bright.