2016 wisdom of crowdsThis week, Dresner Advisory Services released the 2016 Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study. Once again, Dimensional Insight fared very well in the research. As always, this year’s report contains all sorts of fascinating data about the state of business intelligence and users’ experience with 28 different BI vendors and products.

Tweet: 5 takeaways from the 2016 Wisdom of Crowds BI Market Study

Since receiving the report, I’ve been combing through it to find the most interesting pieces of information to share with our blog readers. Here are 5 main takeaways that I found.

1. BI is becoming more of a day-to-day tactical activity within operations

In previous Wisdom of Crowds reports, executive management and finance were the #1 and #2 drivers of business intelligence projects. However, this year, operations is the primary driver, increasing in influence by 6% (while finance and executive management influence declined by 4% and 5%, respectively).

In the report, Howard Dresner notes that BI is becoming more “baked in” to operations. He says, “Saturation of BI could account for some of this shift, but we note generally that frontline business users appear to be taking more active responsibility among themselves as influential drivers (as IT and strategic planning taper somewhat).”

2. The CDO and CAO roles are slowly emerging at companies

For the first time this year, the report asked respondents whether their organizations have a Chief Data Officer or Chief Analytics Officer. While there has been a lot of discussion about these roles, actual hiring is slowly increasing, with these positions present in 15% of organizations surveyed. These titles were present most often in financial services companies, followed by business services and insurance. They were present least often in healthcare organizations.

3. Healthcare is the most fragmented industry in terms of BI

The healthcare industry has the most fragmented BI systems of those surveyed. In the report, 55% of healthcare organizations are using three or more BI tools, most likely due to the disparate systems they have in place.

Most respondents to the survey indicated that they have one, two or three BI tools in use. The number of organizations saying they have fewer tools in place is an increase over last year. However, Dresner says he’s not quite at the point to suggest that organizations are consolidating their BI tools, as most of this increase was due to the fact that fewer respondents said they “don’t know” the number of tools in use at their organizations.

4. Some of the most-hyped BI technologies are not top priorities

We hear a lot about technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cognitive BI, and social media analysis. But these are at the bottom of a list of BI priorities. What’s at the top? The #1 strategic technology and initiative is reporting, followed by dashboards and end-user self service, showing that the “bread and butter” BI technologies are still the most important.

5. The state of data is a mixed bag

There’s some good news and some bad news when it comes to the state of data within organizations. The good news: more respondents report viewing their data as “truth” – there is a common view of enterprise data with common application of data, filters, rules and semantics. (26% in 2016 vs. 24% in 2015.)

The bad news: more respondents also report a more skeptical view of data, saying that consistent data is available at a departmental level, but conflicting, functional views of data cause confusion and disagreement. (24% in 2016 vs. 22% in 2015.)

What does this tell us? While many organizations are finding great value in their BI deployments, others are still struggling to gain the insights and outcomes they are looking for. These organizations are likely to find great value in the vendor scores in the report so they can compare which vendors are enabling their customers to gain the most insights and results from BI.

View the 2016 Wisdom of Crowds report for yourself

Learn more about these and many other findings, as well as view detailed scores for 28 different BI vendors. Download the 2016 Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study from our website and let us know what you found interesting in the report.

Kathy Sucich
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Kathy Sucich

Kathy is senior content & communications manager at Dimensional Insight. In her role, Kathy directs content production and manages media and analyst relations. She graduated from Dartmouth College and is currently pursuing her MBA in health sector management at Boston University.
Kathy Sucich
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