Top Business Intelligence and Analytics Trends to Watch in 2020

The world of business intelligence (BI) and analytics is evolving fast. According to MarketWatch, the BI market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.98% by 2025 and reach an incredible $147.19 billion. With that in mind, it’s important for businesses to keep on top of the latest BI and analytics trends to evaluate and evolve their strategies. 

To help, we reached out to some of the speakers from the upcoming BI+Analytics Conference and asked them to identify what key trends they think we should pay attention to in BI and analytics this year. Their responses are summarized below.  

3 BI and Analytics Trends to Watch in 2020  

Most of the trends identified by the speakers center around how to better capture and analyze data in the organization, implementing self-service tools, and innovating with emerging technologies. Specifically, we identified three major trends woven into the contributions:  

  1. Data management, governance, and self-serve tools 
  2. Innovating with emerging technologies  
  3. Taking a cloud and hybrid approach  

These three trends—and others—were also discussed in ASUG’s 2020 BI and analytics trends, which we recommend reading to gain a deeper understanding of the developments to pay attention to this year.  

Data Management, Governance, and Self-Serve Tools  

Organizations are desiring the ability to make rapid, data-informed decisions that support business processes and enhance the customer experience. For these reasons, there is an ever-growing demand for self-service tools that provide access to data across the entire organization and proper data governance to ensure secure and quality data is being leveraged. 

“In my opinion, the biggest trend will be augmentation in the entire analytics space, be it analytics, planning, or data management. Another trend—as I see it— is business-driven self-service data management, using a high degree of federated data.”  Andreas Madsen

“I believe one of the greatest trends to watch for in 2020 is the self-service toolset. Today’s ever-changing business environment is driving our customers’ need for analytics data and is creating IT backlogs for dashboards and reports. Therefore, we need to leverage self-service toolsets to empower our customers to serve themselves.”  Carla Steppick

“One of the biggest trends in analytics is the continued specialization of roles across the phases of the analytics process. While we still need generalists, there are also many specialized roles evolving to deal with the increasing breadth and complexity of the data and analytics that need to be supported.”  Bill Franks@billfranksga

“Key BI and analytics trends for 2020 will be a focus on data culture and interdepartmental communication to derive better insights from business data.”  Holly Rachel 

Innovating with Emerging Technologies  

BI and analytics over the past few years has brought with it the rise of features such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented intelligence. These technologies are allowing companies to do more with less, become more agile, and utilize machine-generated advanced insights to decide and act on the next best course of action. 

“While there are a variety of forces impacting the future of BI/analytics, there are two that I’d recommend following very closely. First, the rapid evolution of AI/machine learning and augmented analytics is poised to dramatically shift the paradigm of how data is analyzed and delivered. Second, along with this comes the need for improving the proficiency of organizations in effectively managing and consuming data (data literacy). As BI/analytics professionals, organizations will be expecting us to be knowledgeable in the first place and play a leading role in the associated change management.”  Merri Beckfield

“The next frontier of BI and analytics is making data more human.”  Dustin Garis

“The first trend that I think we need to watch out for in 2020 is collaboration. I’ve witnessed time and again that the work has to be done with the end user in mind. The principles of Design Thinking and the Agile methodology of iterative/collaborative development are creating higher usage statistics, better storytelling, and actionable metrics that can be used by multiple levels of the organization. Secondly, I think we need to watch out for automation, machine learning, and AI. I’m loving the predictive features that are rolling out in BI. Being able to have insights gleaned from data before the human interaction gives the traditional analyst room to innovate further and collaborate more. Likewise, the ability to automate sets of processes gives us the ability to progress our own skills with the freedom provided.”  J. Dale Thurman 

Taking a Hybrid and Cloud Approach  

Should organizations keep their technologies on-premise or move to cloud-based solutions? This is a conversation that has been ongoing within companies for years. Most companies are now predicting that the future of their data technologies will take a hybrid approach that leverages a blend of on-premise and cloud-based technologies to deliver the optimal data configuration.  

“In 2020, we will continue to see companies focusing on prescriptive analytics by incorporating AI and machine learning. The key technology impact of this focus is the emergence of augmented analytics solutions, enabling users to take the back seat to pre-built algorithms and functionality doing the work for them. But the biggest BI and analytics trend that is top of mind for so many companies is the blended landscape of the future where we are bridging on-premise and cloud solutions as well as juggling technology from multiple vendors. This highlights the need for an even greater focus on enabling our data-driven organizations and providing the user-adoption framework necessary for success in this hybrid climate.”  Heather Hill | @hsinkwitz 

We see hybrid BI and analytics as a key trend for 2020, as we work with many organizations that are complementing their on-premise BI deployments with cloud-based analytics. So many are focused on getting their strategy right and deploying the best technologies to unlock new analytics value—all while leveraging existing assets and investments.”  Alan Golding   


Clearly, the world of BI and analytics is evolving quickly. As identified by the conference speakers, this year we will see the development of self-service tools, innovating with emerging technologies, and providing access to quality data across the entire organization to become the data-centric organizations of the future.  

The BI+Analytics Conference, happening March 9–11 in Atlanta, will discuss these and other industry trends through real-life customer case studies, interactive discussion sessions, demos, and SAP expert presentations. By attending you will have the chance to attend relevant sessions and interact with other professionals who depend on accurate data and advanced analytics.  

Stay updated on conference content and updates by following @BIAconference on Twitter.



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