Member Article

Anticipated trends in Business Intelligence for 2021

In the last few years, BI (business intelligence) has gained momentum in becoming an essential catalyst for business growth, and with COVID-19 impacting the acceleration of software technology, we will see BI rapidly changing to fit the future of business.

‘Augmented Analytics’

In the next year we can expect to see BI and AI working together to create augmented analytics and augmented data. With augmented analytics, businesses will be able to identify data types automatically, model information straight from the source, and automate suggestions. With AI and BI working in unison, jobs will be completed more easily, faster, and more effectively. Aspects such as conversational analytics will gain more popularity and be readily adopted so that business users can simply ask questions in natural language and the engine will be able to understand and generate answers within seconds. Propelled by AI’s integration with BI, expect to see users with less technical backgrounds gaining analytic literacy in 2021.


Storytelling, also known as automated insights, will also help businesses in the coming year. Instead of users spending time determining which insights are more impactful for their business, intelligent storytelling will highlight key findings for them. The system will be able to track changes and build a narrative that’s digestible to the user and points to key findings. Storytelling will also be able to generate presentations automatically to eliminate tedious busy work.

However, it is important to note that while storytelling will impact business in 2021, it will need to be adopted in a way where deliverability of insights will come from regularly used business tools, such as email or a chat. Enabling storytelling to be accessible in these types of software tools will be a key component in driving the consumption of storytelling BI.

‘Self-service BI’

Embedded BI and self-service BI are also on the forecast for rapid growth in 2021. With embedded analytics giving end users the ability to manipulate data, businesses will be able to generate advanced analytics, rather than static reports as seen in the past. Momentum around embedded BI adoption has been growing over the years and interactive filtering will be more common in the near future. Because of embedded BI, users will be able to create actionable insights, and business apps with analytical aspects will become more integrated. Additionally, self-service BI will provide businesses with AI enhancements to automate search engine reporting, insights, augmented data preparation, unified business analytics, and more. It has become critical for businesses to have the ability to connect all data points so they can have a 360-degree view of business insights. Unified business analytics will prove to be an essential aid in that process.

‘Cloud-based and mobile BI’

With COVID-19 and remote work accelerating cloud adoption, connected cloud will be a huge influence on BI in the year to come. Businesses will be looking for vendors that offer cloud-based BI as well as vendors that offer either self-managed cloud networks or private cloud servers like AWS and Google Cloud. Additionally, mobile BI will prove to be more prevalent in 2021. Mobile BI will enable anywhere access to insights to work in harmony with a “work from anywhere” environment. While a limited screen size continues to be a challenge for mobile BI, specific mobile interfaces will become more prominent and will bring in aspects such as conversational capability to help drill down data further.

Generally speaking, demand for cloud and AI-enabled Business Intelligence is expected to surge, as partial and full-time remote working continues to be the norm for thousands’ of businesses, even when the pandemic begins to subside. Regardless of the working environment, the benefits of BI in helping businesses to stay ahead of the curve, predict market movements, and streamline services, will be hard to ignore, and key decision makers should look to invest in or enhance their digital and market intelligence strategy, if they have not done so already.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Chandrashekar LSP, Product Evangelist, Zoho Corporation .

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