Five trends in Business Intelligence in 2018

By Eric Hesselmans | January 18, 2018

As the year 2018 has started we see some trends emerging in Business Intelligence at ChainPoint. These trends are not necessarily new, but we do see that in 2018 five of these trends will remain important. Generally speaking, we can say that Business Intelligence tools will be a lot smarter and therefore easier to use. This means that business users will increasingly be able to perform business intelligence tasks themselves rather than relying on an IT department.

Data discovery and visualization

Visualization and explorative data analysis for business users (collectively known as data discovery) have evolved into one of the most important trends in BI. Data discovery is a user-driven process of searching for patterns or specific items in a data set. Data discovery applications use visual tools such as geographical maps, pivot-tables, and heat-maps to make the process of finding patterns or specific items rapid and intuitive. At ChainPoint it is already possible to use visual tools to analyze and report your data and in 2018 we will continue to develop and improve this feature.

Self-service BI

Self-service business intelligence lets end users design and deploy their own reports and analyses. The main benefit of this is that business users can make their own reports without help from specialized IT-staff. Even more importantly, users have a business oriented data model on which they can create their dashboards. At ChainPoint, our integrated business intelligence provides users with easy to use options to get dashboards configured, and this is something we will further optimize and automate for the ChainPoint Data Warehouse.

Master data management and data quality

Things like data discovery and self-service BI are great tools but they aren’t useful if data quality is poor and unreliable. At the same time, we see a great increase of data being added from a lot of different sources. This makes data quality extra important. Master data management comprises the processes, governance, policies, standards and tools that consistently define and manage the critical data of an organization to provide a single point of reference. The tools that are available help users to make sure that their data quality is up to standard. With ChainPoint it has always been possible to collect data from different sources across supply chains and make sure that the collected data is reliable.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence exhibited by machines. Vendors of BI and analytics are using more and more Augmented analytics and AI functionality. Augmented analytics (smart data discovery) helps automate data-driven decision-making processes, making data-driven decision-making accessible to all employees. You can read more about that here. 

Cloud BI

Moving things to the cloud is nothing new and it’s very likely that BI will follow this trend more and more. Currently, we already have hybrid systems in use where the front-end of the BI system is in the cloud and the actual data is secured on a server. It is very likely that the data will move to the cloud if a company chooses to do so. At Chainpoint we are investigating the options for cloud-based BI.


2018 will be an important year for business intelligence. The available tools are growing and becoming smarter, built on solid foundation of master data management and data quality. If you would like to discuss these trends with us, or want to know more about our software, feel free to contact us anytime.

Posted in analytics, data management, business intelligence

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