I’m probably biased because I’m working on this problem, but I think there is a fundamental change coming in business intelligence and analytics. And I think I’ve only heard one company talk about it: Google.
I try to keep an eye on new BI companies and products, and there are some really great new ones out there: QlikView and Palantir come to mind. Technology platforms and the like aside, I feel like there’s one underlying assumption that’s reflected in these projects that I would consider legacy at this point. Or at least old-school, one that’s going to have to change to keep up.
That underlying assumption that’s going to change is that people look for data, instead of data finding people.
Google’s Eric Schmidt once talked about this, saying:
“I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”
This is an easy thing to gloss over, but if you think about how this applies to BI & analytics, nobody is doing this right now. You still have to use a tool to find things that are interesting to you, instead of the tool becoming invisible and delivering interesting things to you.
Pandora is the closest thing I’ve seen to this–I’ve read their patent and it’s very specific to music. Somebody is going to get this right for broader analytics. Soon.