As with many emerging technologies, when people talk about business intelligence, that conversation is often confused by competing views of what the term means and how it should be used.
While terms like BI 1.0, BI 2.0 and now BI 3.0 are contested, they do reflect a real evolution in functionality and targeted users, according to an article on the SmartData Collective website. Driving this change are technology vendors that want to tap new markets for their business intelligence tools, as well as organizations that have realized the value in encouraging wider use of these tools.
The latest incarnation, BI 3.0, focuses on helping a broad audience of decision-makers explore and analyze data and generate their own reports and insights. At the same time, according to the article, this technology is meant to:
1. Shield users from the complexities of the underlying data
2. Allow users to share BI insights easily with people inside and outside of the company, in a way that is compatible with virtually any device or platform
3. Help stakeholders combine data and human knowledge within BI dashboards to aid in collective decisions
In some ways, the evolution of BI 3.0 is most meaningful for those organizations on the bleeding edge — companies that have already gone through and learned from 1.0 and 2.0. But for mid-market manufacturers especially, many haven’t started using BI at all — and that also represents a technology strategy of sorts.
As an organization, you need to decide whether being on the bleeding edge gives you a market advantage or whether you’ll do better by waiting to jump in later — at the 3.0 stage, for example. By waiting, organizations often avoid the pain of early iterations and reap the benefits of the refined technology. The danger of waiting is that you don’t know how long those early phases are going to last, and you might find yourself out of date and out of touch.
Either way, the most important aspect of business intelligence technology is the internal recognition of the value of an organization’s data to further itself in the competitive marketplace.
Source: SmartData Collective, April 2014