Just last week IT Business Edge's Mike Vizard shared thoughts from Dyke Henson, chief marketing officer for business intelligence software provider PivotLink, that in 2010 BI providers will see an increased demand for analyzing data generated via social media.
That may be optimistic on Henson's part, though, judging by results of a survey of BI practitioners recently conducted by Baseline Consulting and Kognitio, a provider of BI and data warehousing software. Sixty-three percent of respondents to the survey said they are "undecided" about the value of data collected from social media sites to help them understand more about their organization or customers.
Another 23 percent called social media "overrated," saying "there are not as many customer conversations going on as the media would have us believe." Just 14 percent said they want to incorporate data from Twitter and other sites as part of their ongoing data analysis efforts.
Maybe, as with many other social initiatives, analysis of this kind of information seems to lack a clear-cut ROI. And respondents are concerned about financial returns in the coming year. Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they are under pressure to justify the money they have spent on BI projects and are looking for "quick wins or new opportunities."
Connected to a desire for clearly demonstrated business value is a desire for speedier deployments. Thirty-six percent of respondents said the speed to delivery of BI projects will be an imperative in 2010. They want to be able to test, evaluate, and deploy new systems within a matter of weeks. As the Kognito press release notes, this is a "marked change from previous years," where BI projects often took months to deploy and even longer to provide usable information.
Like PivotLink, Kognitio's software is delivered as a service, so it's perhaps not surprising that two out of three respondents said BI delivered on an as-needed basis would grow in 2010. Respondents were evenly divided over whether BI as a service will grow more rapidly in 2010 than in 2009, with slightly more than half saying the pace of growth would slow and the rest saying it would accelerate this year.
Sixty-one percent of respondents said adoption of in-memory databases, which enable faster analysis of immense amounts of data, will grow in 2010, albeit slowly. An InformationWeek article published in September tapped both software-as-a-service and in-memory processing as four "transformational" BI technologies. (Predictive analytics and real-time data monitoring were the other two.)