There was an interesting article in DM Review this week characterizing the business intelligence (BI) market as "messy and dynamic," but the writer managed to find three clear trends: new infrastructure options (e.g., data warehousing appliances), improved data integration and more user-friendly interfaces. If the high-tech media are any guide, this is a good summary of what IT organizations care about in BI.
Improved data integration remains a prominent topic of discussion in the high-tech press, and vendors are beginning to make credible business cases for the value of "clean data" to the enterprise, while at the same time acknowledging the (often political) problems of achieving it.
The key development in the interface area, at least in our opinion, is the increasing willingness on the part of BI vendors to admit that many people prefer the familiar Microsoft Office interface to their own. The decision by i2 to let customers use Office for accessing its supply chain management offering is an example of this trend, and by no means the only one. In fact, integration may be the answer to the question, "Why Buy Office 2007?"