2021 BI Trends and Predictions

From the rise of real data to the death of the dashboard, we pull out our crystal ball and predict the most impactful BI trends for 2021.
February 18, 2021

As 2021 gets underway, we could all use a crystal ball to see into the coming year.  While we don’t have ESP mastered just yet, together, Sigma and Fivetran worked to provide insights into what the year might hold for business intelligence trends and predictions. Enjoy a sneak peek here, and check out the full ebook for all the details.

Death of the Dashboard

We’ve all been in that meeting where a dashboard is presented and someone has a question about a particular spike, or about data not on the dashboard. This requires the analyst or presenter to go back to the drawing board and find more information to answer the question. For that reason, it’s time to kill the dashboard as a static place to just reveal a point. In its place, build a more flexible place to find answers for your business questions in real-time across the entire business.

Looking for a killer BI tool to transform your dashboarding? Check out our BI Comparison article.

Data Governance Goldilocks Style

Previously, there were two major ways that companies embraced data governance:

  1. The “wild west” — where everyone had access to the data — was ungoverned and available to all.
  2. The “ivory tower” — where only a select few had access to the data — was highly governed to the point of inaccessibility.

Moving forward, the trend will be like the fairy tale of Goldilocks, with companies figuring out a balanced style “just right” for them. How do you get there? Check out the eBook for insight.

Looking to learn more about data governance? Check out this article that outlines it all.

The Rise of Real Data

What is real data? Conversely, what is fake data? Ultimately, real data is the data that delivers a real impact on your business.

For too long, companies have relied on antiquated systems to bring in data, pull insights, and formulate business decisions. Often, by the time those older systems get you what you need, the data is out of date. Sometimes, it only provides part of the picture, so you have to go back and pull more data or give more additional context.

Moving forward, as companies adopt a Modern Data Stack, data that is near real time and pumped into an easily accessible BI tool will be the key to ensuring impactful decision making happens.

The AI Hangover is Setting In

Going into 2020, everywhere you turned you heard about the rise of AI (artificial intelligence). It was promised as the wave of the future to solve all your analysis needs; turn over all your decisions to the machines!

In truth, uncovering truly meaningful business insights requires analyzing data in the context of business processes, market trends, and company goals. Interpreting data through the lens of tacit knowledge and previous experiences is also highly impactful — and something AI simply can’t do.

The Rise of Cloud Data Exploration

81% of companies agree that data should fuel all decision-making. However, 63% of decision-makers report that they’re still not able to get the answers they need in a timely manner.

While modern data integration tools paired with cloud data platforms solve the first part of this goal by preparing data for analysis and transforming it into a usable asset, companies have struggled to complete the last mile of true self-service BI and have fallen short of enabling organization-wide data-driven decision-making for three primary reasons. Check out the ebook to learn more.

The Next Phase of Collaborative Analytics

Analytics can be highly siloed even during cross-team projects. One team makes a request to another and the other team gets to work and passes the info back. This ‘football’ style approach to a project where requests are simply handed off is on its way out. Instead, best-in-class teams at leading companies like Showpad create and hold quarterly workshops to tackle this work together.

Bringing marketing, engineering, and BI teams together to collaboratively workshop their analytics projects allows them to ask more creative questions and find answers more quickly. Ensuring that teams speak the same language from the get-go about what business problems they’re trying to answer and what data they’re using empowers everyone to do their job more effectively.  

Learn how Brandwatch used GCP & Fivetran to improve their analytic capabilities across departments.

Captivating the Most Elusive Data Source

Not all data that is important to a company exists in the platforms used. Contextual information matters, too. A brick and mortar retailer may try out different placements of a certain product one month and move it the next to see if it has any impact on its sale. But where does that experiment and its results get captured? In the manager’s head, and maybe in Excel. But how do you connect that experiment and its results with all your other data sources?

In 2021, we’ll see more companies capturing these elusive data sources and bringing them to the decision-making table. How? By using a Modern Data Stack that not only processes data from platforms but also from docs and excel—bringing the traditional together with the modern.

Looking to evolve your data stack in 2021? Start a free trial of Fivetran today.

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