BI Predictions for 2008

Last month Scoble ignited a debate about why enterprise software isn’t sexy.  The blogging world piled on until Nicholas Carr declared it a firestorm.  Despite the fact James’ analysis of SAP’s Business User story was one of the larger logs on the fire, I missed the chance to chime in due to my travel schedule and the holidays. 

I don’t like making the same mistake twice. 

Last week Ken Rudin of LucidEra posted a seemingly self-serving list of predictions for Business Intelligence in 2008.  Seth Grimes calls Ken to the carpet  and then adds his own list of BI 3.0 hot/heating up list. (Seth: BI 3.0?!? Do we really need to use such a hackneyed phrase?  UPDATE: Seth points out in a comment that he didn’t use the term BI 3.0.  Thank goodness.)  Not to be outdone, the Performance Guys chime in with their own 2008 predictions.

Firestorm?  Maybe not yet, but a quick Web search turned up nearly a dozen other articles predicting the future of Business Intelligence in 2008, including Diann Daniel in CIO Magazine, Gartner, and Mike Schiff in Enterprise SystemsI’ll spare you the details but I counted 75 predictions in total. Of those 75, only three individual predictions got mentioned more than twice:

  • Software-as-a-service (SaaS) BI will become more popular
  • Open Source BI will become more popular
  • Predictive analytics will become more important

No offense to the prognosticators but these are hardly earth-shattering revelations.  And couldn’t these easily have been predictions for 2006?   

Despite (or maybe due to) the fact that I was the founder of a predictive analytics company ten years ago, I don’t put much faith in market predictions.  In Be Skeptical about BI Predictions and Trends Mark Smith shares my wariness and suggests that you ask yourself the following question:

Are you able to help lead your organization forward with BI or are you willing to accept what you did last year as the best viable option for the future?

Focus on improving performance.  That’s sound advice.  And unlikely to unleash another firestorm.

10 Responses to BI Predictions for 2008

  1. Seth Grimes January 3, 2008 at 6:34 pm #

    Jonathan, thanks for the citation, but I did NOT use the term “BI 3.0” except to, as I wrote, refer to the discussion thread started by Darren Cunningham of LucidEra. This was in the Facebook BI 3.0 group, which again I did not name.

    I don’t like all this “XXX 2.0” business, and I do have another prediction for you even if you don’t find this prognosticating particularly worthwhile:

    We’re going to hear increasingly about “XXX squared” (using a 2 superscript) rather than “XXX 2.0” in 2008. The idea will derive from the so called network effect, that the value of a network is in proportion to the square of the number of nodes.

  2. Jonathan January 3, 2008 at 7:31 pm #


    I know you well enough to have been surprised that you would use the term. I’ve made a note of your correction above. Separately I’m amused by your prediction in that I vetoed Finance^3 as a marketing concept late last year.

  3. Robert E January 17, 2008 at 1:13 am #

    The next big thing will be when a BI vendor can provide a solution that gets the user groups and their forums talking about improving the business instead of just discussing the inner workings of the software.

  4. Timo Elliott February 7, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    Belatedly, another one to add to your list: Top 5 BI Predictions for the Rest of 2008


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