What the BARC BI Trend Monitor predicts for 2018

Analysts BARC have published the BI Trend Monitor for the third time in succession. It reflects current developments in the BI and data management market at a macro level and is intended allow major topics to be more easily classified in accordance with their practical significance. And what is special about the BARC BI Trend Monitor 2018 is that instead of just reflecting the opinion of the analysts, BARC airs the opinions of business intelligence solutions users, IT consultants and BI vendors. Almost 2,800 people answered the call. This figure emphasises that, in 2018, business intelligence and performance management will play an important role in the transformation and digitalisation processes of companies in this country and around the world.The BARC Trend Monitor 2018 report gives detailed information on what topics are of real interest, what topics specialist users, IT experts consultants and vendors agree on, what trends top the list in which sector and in which region and a great deal more.

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6 key outcomes from the BARC BI Trend Monitor 2018

The top and bottom 3

This year, data quality or master data management, data discovery or data visualisation and self-service BI remain the most important trends among all those interviewed and across all peer groups.
In contrast, participants in the study regard engagement with location intelligence, cloud BI, data science and data labs as least relevant for BI initiatives in the coming year.
Compared with the previous year, it is noticeable that the average rating for most trends is lower.

Best in class vs. laggards

Companies that consider themselves to be best in class* when it comes to BI or who rate their BI initiatives highly or very highly attach significantly greater importance to trends such as collaboration, mobile BI and the use of external/open data than companies that are at the beginning of their projects or who are dissatisfied with the results. It is therefore safe to speak of major developments with topics where the differences are lower. This is the case, for example, with agile BI development, cloud BI and data governance.

* Difference between best in class vs. laggards according to BARC: Best-in-class companies comprise the top 10 percent in terms of achievement of specific BI-related business benefits (e.g. “faster reporting, analysis or planning” and “increased competitive advantage”) in this survey. Laggards represent the lowest 10 percent.

Vendors vs. users

The ratings of vendors, consultants and users with regard to trends often coincide. There is however a number of significant variations: unlike user views, vendors rate the topics of cloud BI, data storytelling and mobile BI as very important, with the divergence for cloud BI particularly large. Conversely, the topics of master data and data quality management play a significantly greater role for many users than for vendors. Some individual vendors do take account of this quality requirement regarding the topic of data.

Differences between sectors

Despite topics like big data analytics, digitalisation and Industry 4.0, manufacturing industry is significantly more reticent in rating the importance of BI topics than are other sectors. It is a similar story for utility companies.
On the other hand, the telecommunications and service sectors rate BI trends overall as clearly more relevant than other industries. This presumably reflects the higher level of maturity in the BI area in these highly competitive sectors.
Individual topics such as cloud BI, data governance and real-time analytics result in noticeable outliers in the assessment in some sectors. This would certainly allow conclusions to be drawn about the underlying business models.

Global differences

All BI topics are generally accorded greater importance in Asia, North America and, above all, in South America than in Europe.
Considering Europe, there is a general decline in the rating of topics, especially in German-speaking countries. Global differences are especially conspicuous in the topics of predictive analytics/machine learning, mobile BI, agile BI and cloud BI.

Differences within Europe

There are, however, also differences of how BI trends are rated among European countries: study participants in Eastern Europe generally give greater attention to topics. The topics of predictive analytics/machine learning, mobile BI and data labs/science play a greater role there than in the rest of Europe.

In the DACH region, most trends are regarded as being of medium importance – except for the topic of visual design standards, which is ranked more highly than in other countries. Other topics such as collaboration, data governance, cloud BI, data discovery, data preparation for business users and data storytelling fall significantly behind the international average in Germany.

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