Forrester's recent report on Top 15 Technologies To Watch In 2011 once again proved that BI is front and center on everyone's agendas. We indeed continue to see unrelenting interest and ever-increasing adoption levels of BI platforms, applications, and processes. But while BI maturity in enterprises continues to grow, and BI tools become more function rich and robust, the promise of efficient and effective BI solutions remains quite challenging at best, and elusive at worst. Why? Two main reasons. BI is all about best practices and lessons learned, which only come with years of experience. Additionally, traditional BI technologies (ETL, data warehousing, reporting, OLAP) have not kept pace with the ever-changing business and regulatory requirements. In a work-in-progress research document, building on a last year's relevant blog post on next-gen BI, we plan to review top best practices and next- generation BI technologies for our clients to watch and adopt in 2011 to improve their chances to deliver successful BI initiatives. Here's the proposed document outline and major themes:


  • Emphasis on business ownership and data governance 
  • Combining top-down performance management, with bottom-up approaches 
  • Emphasis on change management
  • Loosely coupling data preparation vs. data usage
  • Different treatments for front-office vs. back-office users and applications
  • Using a hub-and-spoke model for data architecture and organizational structures  
  • Using Agile development methodology
  • Working with SMEs 
  • Using BI on BI and aligning BI with incentive comp
  • Achieving tangible BI ROI
  • Providing self-service capabilities to end users


Technologies to make BI more automated:

Technologies to make BI more unified:

Technologies to make BI more pervasive:

Technologies to reduce BI limitations:

  • Adaptive data models
  • Unlimited dimensionality
  • Exploration + analysis
  • Elasticity via cloud 

And last, but not least:

What did we miss? Would love to hear from you.