Business Intelligence Trends in 2021
A Power BI user's perspective.
Put simply, business intelligence is not showing any signs of slowing down.
What are companies concerned about in 2021?
According to bi-survey based on the BARC's data repository the top 3 most important things on their minds are:
Data Quality Management
Establishing a data driven culture
Data quality management as the number one thing doesn't surprise me. As they say, "garbage in, garbage out". This is even more true and relevant today. With 5G already in the horizon, data packets will be flying around in our atmosphere as if a part of the air. More data means more garbage to filter out of our reports. When implementing data quality management, there are several roles needed (or to at least be considered): Project manager, Change agent, data analyst, and a data steward (techopedia).
Data discovery and visualization is a welcomed result. Being a Power BI user, I'm all about dashboards and visualizations. Self-service BI also landed in the top 5, however, in my opinion "data discovery" and "self-service BI", are somewhat of the same thing. A user who is discovering data on their own is in effect performing self-service business intelligence. The distinguishing factor depends on who is using the report. Data discovery is more of a general term that is applied to the data analyst who is developing the report, while self-service BI is applied to the business user (think manager or CEO). To those of you rushing to build a self-service BI tool, a word of warning; this kind of thing is very hard to implement correctly. Power BI advertises itself as a "self-service BI" tool, and it's very easy to jump in and build something in a matter of minutes. However, you don't want your users to accidentally draw the wrong conclusions based on a poorly thought-out design.
Establishing a data driven culture goes hand-in-hand with data quality management. This may be one of the hardest to implement, because it involves changing work flows and enforcing rules (that may be annoying to some people, i.e. sales people don't want to be entering data all the time). This is where a change agent and data steward really come to save the day.
One surprising thing to see is that Mobile BI is one of the lowest on the scale, and actually had one of the steepest declines of importance from 2017 (rated 5.8 in 2017 to 5.0 in 2021).
Cool features in Power BI released in 2021 so far
The team over at Power BI is constantly releasing monthly updates and that pattern continues in 2021. Each month they are coming out with new and exciting features that truly add value to the platform.
Combo charts! Finally! I've been wanting something like this for a while. It allows you to show multiple categories as it's own entity within one chart.
Are you a stock market fanatic? They've released a Bloomberg data connector.
Anomaly detection. This will automatically detect any outliers in your data.
Read more about their updates on their blog.