Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Business Intelligence Chronicles Part 8: Star Trek returns....

Come May 8, Star Trek would return to the theaters with another saga in the journey to "boldly go where no man has gone before"

What are the bold new directions in which Business Intelligence user interface is headed ? I'll leave that question to the crystal ball gazers, tea leaf readers and the pundits amongst us.

I would focus on the direction it should be headed. And the single word answer to that is "simplification". The current and evolving paradigm of user-technology interface can be defined by a single word : "Google". Never before has the "Keep it Simple, Stupid" paradigm been so successful.

And that is the direction which BI needs to head to also.

A simple, single line search box which delivers context specific search and reporting capabilities. A sales rep types in the name of a city and links to sales report(s) for all customers in that city appear.

Also an Amazon.com kind of feature -" People who viewed this report also viewed...". Gives the user a quick and easy feel of what else s/he should be looking for. Building in "crowd intellect" into the reporting capabilities.

And what about a feature which allows a user to know who else is looking at a particular report in real-time or has viewed the report earlier (a viewing history). Combine this with interactive chat or communication capabilities and you have transformed a "report" into a "collaborative interaction".

Did I miss Geospatial analytics and GPS, how about integrating them with BI capabilities. A manager viewing a report, identifies issues with a particular customer, is able to identify the sales rep closest to that location based on the GPS capabilities of the handheld the rep is carrying and asks him/her to visit the customer.

BI has already ventured beyond Reporting & Analytics to Actionable Intelligence. Now it needs to venture even further to "Intelligent Actions". The gap,distance between the availability of intelligence and resultant action needs to be reduced by incorporating other emerging technologies into the classical BI Framework.

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