Imagine if you had access to all of the data that you needed to prove marketing success. Imagine if that data was organized in a way that made it easy to understand and allowed it to be easily applied to day-to-day business practices. Imagine if that data was effortlessly paired with strategies that were tailored to its results.
This is all possible with a little something called business intelligence (BI) technology.
If you’re starting to see why BI technology has huge potential, you’re not the only one. Defined as “a set of techniques and tools for the acquisition and transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes” (Wikipedia), the power of these tools lies in their ability to inform decisions by making big data easily understood.
While the term ‘business intelligence’ can apply to any variation of tool, software, or business practice that optimizes decision making and impacts business strategy via the use of data, BI technologies are the most powerful means of accomplishing these objectives.
BI in the Future: Predictions and Projected Growth
BI technology is at a turning point. As big data continues to get bigger, businesses need more assistance than ever in making sense of this information. So, the need for business intelligence technology is only growing. The evolving fields of cloud services, predictive analytics, and data science are also playing a significant role in the developments of BI technology, helping to keep these solutions current and cutting edge.
BI technology is becoming more accessible to business with more limited resources thanks to SaaS providers. It is also becoming more accessible to those looking to offer niche services in this lucrative market. So, competition is increasing as the landscape of marketing technology becomes more and more cluttered.
On the other hand, Gartner has found that investments and spending in traditional BI platforms are decreasing while solutions such as data discovery tools and self-service BI solutions are seeing increased interest. For example, Tableau, a data discovery tool, has grown 77.7% in the same time period that traditional BI vendors have seen a 20% decrease in licensing. (Forbes)
As you might be starting to discern, this situation calls for much more than a clear cut ‘BI technology is in great shape’ set of predictions. Instead, this mix of factors will likely result in diversification and continued advancement from BI technology providers hoping to stay successful. On the other hand, this will mean more options for marketers to pick from.
Below you can find predictions from experts in the BI space:
- 60% of marketers predict Business Intelligence will be the most purchased technology in 2016. (Forbes)
- Self-service data is becoming necessary to BI technology success. (PCMag)
- Storytelling with visual data will be used to communicate data findings across departments and teams. (Tableau)
- Non-analysts are becoming more able to understand and communicate data findings. (Tableau)
- Expect disruption of the BI landscape due to lowered investments in the space. (Forbes)
- Security and scalability will be the first priority in the development of BI solutions. (Forbes)
- Revenue in the BI technology and analytics market will reach 16.9 billion in 2016, increasing 5.2% from the previous year. (Gartner)
Given that the ability to understand and apply the analyses of data is becoming increasingly necessary for success in all aspects of business, BI technology is essential for any level of business success. It plays a special role in relation to marketing, though.
BI & Marketing – How BI Technology is Giving Marketers a Seat at the Executive Table
Marketers are notorious for struggling to show how what they do provides value—and, thus, to show how they themselves provide value. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the classic John Wanamaker quote “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” What we might be less familiar with is the fact that even with all of today’s technology, ROI is still difficult to prove and, on the other hand, 93% of CMOs say that they are under more pressure to deliver measurable ROI. (Adobe)
In fact, many of marketers’ top concerns are related to issues that could be solved by BI technology. The first of these concerns is gaining access to more advanced analytics and insights to make smarter decisions, with 46% of marketers stating they find this to be a significant obstacle. Another 31% of marketers are concerned with an inability to access data. Finally, 29% of marketers feel they struggle with gaining control over budget management & spend while 28% have difficulties improving their marketing technology stack. (Forbes) Each of these prevalent and discouraging issues can be aided in their own way through the use of business intelligence technology.
BI technology offers the ability to take abstract marketing analytics—which often fly over the heads of non-marketing minded C-suite members who are looking for impact above all else—and translate them to findings that can be applied to business strategy. In other words, they prove marketing value and give marketers a seat at the table. Hello, job security. In addition to this, these tools provide access to data, help to provide insight into budgeting decisions, and, if used correctly, can lift up an entire marketing technology stack by justifying investments in essential technology solutions.
When looking to develop your marketing technology stack and take your marketing team to the next level, BI technology is crucial. Providing the ability to connect marketing efforts and marketing analytics to business impact and, ultimately, business strategy, business intelligence technology gives marketing a sense of weightiness that it has not previously been granted. With the opportunities of growth and disruption in the BI technology market, marketers are in a unique position to play a direct role in shaping the future of their industry and their teams if they choose to stay at the forefront of this burgeoning marketing technology.
Did you like this post? Let us know why (or why not) in the comments. In the meantime, check out our blog Blurred Lines: The De-Silo-Ing of Marketing to discover why breaking down organizational silos is key to staying agile and ahead of your competition.