Can you believe another decade has gone by? Seems like just yesterday we feared a digital meltdown with Y2K. Fortunately, that really didn’t happen though a lot of other historic things did. That made me wonder how much (or how little) BI changed over the last decade.

Looking back on my entry into the BI world, I still remember business analyst experts pulling data out of mainframe computers with “green screens,” green bar paper reports, teletype machines, and no data integration whatsoever.

Then I found an article in ComputerWorld from 2004 (mid-decade) titled, Predictions for BI’s Future that made a number of claims. These predictions were pretty aggressive including automatic real estate appraisals using image recognition. It also included some more realistic predictions around mining new information from click stream, RFID, and location data.

That then led me to think about promises made in the BI space. Many have come to pass with varying degrees of success and others are still in infancy. Here are just a few:

  • Mobile Reporting and Analytics
  • BI for the Masses and Pervasive BI
  • Real-time BI
  • Collaboration
  • Petabyte databases
  • Mashups
  • Cloud computing, Saas, and Open Source

With all of these great advances in the last decade, every company should be basking in BI glory. According to a sad prediction in Gartner’s 5 Predictions for BI in 2009 and Beyond.

“Through 2012 more than 35 percent of the largest 5,000 companies will regularly fail to make insightful decisions about significant changes in their business and markets, according to analyst house Gartner.”

As a final thought, with all the advances in technology, why aren’t we more frutiful with our BI potential over the past 10 years? Forrester’s Boris Evelson has some thoughts in his, Forrester BI Maturity Survey Results Are In post. In a future post, I will explore what BI vendors can do to help customers reap more rewards from BI.

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