Seven trends driving data discovery

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About half of net-new business intelligence (BI) platform software buying will be driven by data discovery.

So said John Sands, evangelist at QlikView, speaking at ITWeb Business Intelligence Summit 2015 in Midrand yesterday.

Data discovery is a BI architecture aimed at interactive reports and explorable data from multiple sources.

Citing market research firm Gartner, Sands said: "Data discovery, as a segment, represents approximately 15% of the BI platform market."

According to Sands, there are seven trends driving data discovery:

1. The unbound human-computer interaction

The first computers were not user-friendly and could not cope with human needs, noted Sands. Recent computing devices with touch interfaces are more intuitive. "We are adopting technology that is more natural and even a small child can use, thus the need for data discovery."

2. Accelerating data boom

By 2020, there will be about 31 billion devices connected to the Internet and this will also give rise to data explosion, said Sands.

With the ever-increasing volumes of data, organisations are storing data they are not even sure if they will ever make use of. "The question organisations need to ask is: 'How are we going to harness all this information for business advantage?' With data discovery, we must make sure we make use of the data and not make it an overhead."

3. The rise of 'information activism'

Information activism is being driven by the millennials entering the workplace, Sands explained. "These are people who don't know anything but the Internet, so organisations must make resources available to make them productive."

4. Social media

Social media is also driving information activism, which prompts the need for data discovery, according to Sands.

5. Evolution of IT's role

Sands noted the role of IT has evolved from being a "gatekeeper to a shopkeeper", as IT departments are becoming more accommodative of consumerisation as well as the bring-your-own-device trend.

The role of the CIO is also changing. "The CIO was previously known as the 'chief infrastructure officer', and changed to 'chief information officer', and now it's 'chief innovation officer'."

Nonetheless, Sands pointed out that although IT's role is changing, governance should still be in place to ensure the enterprise remains secure.

6. Information exploitation, speed and agility

"Old style, monolithic BI can't keep pace with today's business needs. Changes to reflect analytic demands commonly take months, while the business problems need answers in days or hours.

"Data discovery apps are agile. Data can be sourced, integrated and analysed in hours. Each app may have a long or short life span, just like the business needs they address," he explained.

7. Transformation of BI and analytics

The seventh trend driving data discovery is the transformation of BI and analytics itself, said Sands. "BI is being rebalanced, away from just describing or picturing what's happened, to discovering why."

* ITWeb Business Intelligence Summit 2015 continues today. Follow #ITWebBI on Twitter.

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