The state of cloud business intelligence 2018: Why usage continues to soar
- Cloud BI adoption is soaring in 2018, nearly doubling 2016 adoption levels.
- Over 90% of sales and marketing teams say that cloud BI is essential for getting their work done in 2018, leading all categories in the survey.
- 66% of organizations that consider themselves completely successful with business intelligence (BI) initiatives currently use the cloud.
- Financial Services (62%), technology (54%), and education (54%) have the highest Cloud BI adoption rates in 2018.
- 86% of Cloud BI adopters name Amazon AWS as their first choice, 82% name Microsoft Azure, 66% name Google Cloud, and 36% identify IBM Bluemix as their preferred provider of cloud BI services.
These and other many other fascinating insights are from Dresner Advisory Services 2018 Cloud Computing and Business Intelligence Market Study (client access reqd.) of the Wisdom of Crowds® series of research. The goal of the 7th annual edition of the study seeks to quantify end-user deployment trends and attitudes toward cloud computing and business intelligence (BI), defined as the technologies, tools, and solutions that employ one or more cloud deployment models. Dresner Advisory Services defines the scope of business intelligence (BI) tools and technologies to include query and reporting, OLAP (online analytical processing), data mining and advanced analytics, end-user tools for ad hoc query and analysis, and dashboards for performance monitoring. Please see page 10 of the study for the methodology. The study found the primary barriers to greater cloud BI adoption are enterprises’ concerns regarding data privacy and security.
Key takeaways from the study include the following:
Cloud BI’s importance continues to accelerate in 2018, with the majority of respondents considering it an important element of their broader analytics strategies
The study found that mean level of sentiment rose from 2.68 to 3.22 (above the level of “important”) between 2017 and 2018, indicating the increased importance of cloud BI over the last year. By region, Asia-Pacific respondents continue to be the strongest proponents of cloud computing regarding both adjusted mean (4.2 or “very important”) and levels of criticality. The following graphic illustrates cloud BI’s growing importance between 2012 and 2018.
Over 90% of sales and marketing teams say cloud BI apps are important to getting their work done in 2018, leading all respondent categories in the survey
The study found that cloud BI importance in 2018 is highest among sales/marketing and executive management respondents. One of the key factors driving this is the fact that both sales & marketing and executive management are increasingly relying on cloud-based front office applications and services that are integrated with and generate cloud-based data to track progress towards goals.
Cloud BI is most critical to financial services and insurance, technology, and retail and wholesale trade industries
The study recorded its highest-ever levels of cloud BI importance in 2018. Financial services has the highest weighted mean interest in cloud BI (3.8, which approaches “very important” status shown in the figure below). Technology organizations, where half of the respondents say cloud BI is “critical” or “very important,” are the next most interested. Close to 90% of retail/wholesale respondents say SaaS/cloud BI is at least “important” to them. As it has been over time, healthcare remains the industry least open to managed services for data and business intelligence.
Cloud BI adoption is soaring in 2018, nearly doubling 2016 adoption levels
The study finds that the percentage of respondents using cloud BI in 2018 nearly doubled from 25% of enterprise users in 2016. Year over year, current use rose from 31% to 49%. In the same time frame, the percentage of respondents with no plans to use cloud BI dropped by half, from 38% to 19%. This study has been completed for the last seven years, showing a steady progression of cloud BI awareness and adoption, with 2018 being the first one showing the most significant rise in adoption levels ever.
Sales and marketing leads all departments in current use and planning for cloud BI applications
Business Intelligence Competency Centers (BICC) are a close second, each with over 60% adoption rates for cloud BI today. Operations including manufacturing and supply chains and services are the next most likely to use cloud BI currently. Marketing and BICC lead current adoption and are contributing catalysts of cloud BI’s soaring growth between 2016 and 2018. Both of these departments often have time-constrained and revenue-driven goals where quantifying contributions to company growth and achievement are critical.
Financial services (62%), technology (54%), and education (54%) industries have the highest cloud BI adoption rates in 2018
The retail/wholesale industry has the fourth-highest level of Cloud BI adoption and the greatest number of companies who are currently evaluating Cloud BI today. The least likely current or future users are found in manufacturing and security-sensitive healthcare organizations, where 45% respondents report no plans for cloud-based BI/analytics.
Dashboards, advanced visualization, ad-hoc query, data integration, and self-service are the most-required cloud BI features in 2018
Sales and marketing need real-time feedback on key initiatives, programs, strategies, and progress towards goals. Dashboards and advanced visualization features’ dominance of feature requirements reflect this department’s ongoing need for real-time feedback on the progress of their teams towards goals. Reporting, data discovery, and end-user data blending (data preparation) make up the next tier of importance.
Manufacturers have the greatest interest in dashboards, ad-hoc query, production reporting, search interface, location intelligence, and ability to write to transactional applications
Education respondents report the greatest interest in advanced visualization along with data integration, data mining, end-user data blending, data catalog, and collaborative support for group-based analysis. Financial services respondents are highly interested in advanced visualization and lead all industries in self-service. Healthcare industry respondents lead interest only in in-memory support. Retail/wholesale and healthcare industry respondents are the least feature interested overall.
Interest in cloud application connections to Salesforce, NetSuite, and other cloud-based platforms has increased 12% this year
Getting end-to-end visibility across supply chains, manufacturing centers, and distribution channels requires cloud BI apps be integrated with cloud-based platforms and on-premises applications and data. Expect to see this accelerate in 2019 as cloud BI apps become more pervasive across marketing and sales and executive management, in addition to operations including supply chain management and manufacturing where real-time shop floor monitoring is growing rapidly.
Retail/wholesale, business services, education and financial services and insurance industries are most interested in Google Analytics connectors to obtain data for their cloud BI apps
Respondents from technology industries prioritize Salesforce integration and connectors above all others. Education respondents are most interested in MySQL and Google Drive integration and connectors. Manufacturers are most interested in connectors to Google AdWords, SurveyMonkey, and The healthcare industry respondents prioritize SAP cloud BI services and also interested in ServiceNow connectors.
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