Chapter 7. Advanced / Emerging BI Technologies

From its humble beginnings, business intelligence continues to evolve today as vendors offer more powerful and innovative solutions. With all those changes, the purpose of BI systems remains the same—timely, accurate, high-value, and actionable insights. The new capabilities all serve those simple goals in one way or another.

Some of the advances happening today are taking current capabilities and making them better, such as more powerful graphic representations of data. But BI innovation goes beyond simply adding bells and whistles to existing applications. The evolution of BI is happening along a broad front with the technology growing more powerful, more meaningful, and capable of putting business insights into the hands of more people.

Transforming data from raw facts into meaningful observations and rules about business operations is not so different from scientific research; every year sees incremental advances, not just in the conclusions reached, but in the research methodologies, tools, and technologies that the researchers rely on. The pace of change in BI is steady; occasional minor breakthroughs in how environments are built and used become next year's best practices and top-selling tools.

Of course, in a BI environment, innovative, imaginative, and powerful are all relative terms. Vendors are always rolling out new tools, but there's no guarantee that the newest thing can help you with your business problems; that's for ...

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