What good is business intelligence if it doesn't enable companies to make decisions at the elusive "right time?"
Not much good at all, judging by BI vendors' efforts to speed the query times of their products. The direction is clear from the products' names: Teradata's Active Data Warehousing and IBM's Dynamic Data Warehousing, for example.
A key, according to this IT-Director.com column, is substituting in-memory analysis for the traditional online analytical processing (OLAP) approach to queries. The columnist calls in-memory analysis "one of the most innovative areas of BI today."
Of course, she adds, not all companies are ready to capitalize on real-time BI. Problems with data quality and with process -- ensuring workers know how to act upon real-time insights -- will need to be solved first, she says.
Service-oriented architecture will help pave the way to real-time BI, say experts quoted in this Insurance & Technology Online article. A distributed, Web-based environment could ultimately replace the centralized data warehouse, some say. This change, assuming it comes, is many years down the road, however.
In the meantime, companies will continue to spend big on existing BI products. North American firms will lay out more than $23 billion this year, estimates AMR Research, a 9 percent increase over 2006. The market is "nowhere near" a saturation point, says an AMR Research analyst.