Next-Gen BI & Visualization: A New & Better Way for Businesses to Analyze Big Data

With the constant development of modern technology, traditional ways of running a business are becoming obsolete. In today’s time, business owners want to leverage tools and equipment that can assist them in making smart decisions in a short time. Business Intelligence (BI) refers to tools and software that processes and analyzes large volumes of data to transfer them into actionable insights.

The Business Intelligence analysis technology has been present since the 1980s when the ‘Gen One’ BI was first introduced in the market. It could generate business reports but heavily relied on IT professionals and was inaccessible to those with no IT background. However, the reports generated by ‘Gen One’ BI were beneficial for enterprises, and hence it sparked the interest of many business analysts.

A few years later, the ‘Gen two’ BI was introduced as an updated version of its predecessor. The second-generation BI made the data more accessible and consumable to business owners. Overall, the ‘Gen two’ BI made the analytical tasks easier for businesses, but there were still many flaws when used for Big Data Analysis. According to a report by Business Wire, the adoption of Big Data is still an issue for 73.4% of enterprises. Another problem with the ‘Gen two’ BI was its high cost and time-intensive nature.

To solve these problems, a couple of years ago, the third generation of BI, which is commonly referred to as ‘Next-gen BI’, was introduced, and its prospects reflect the visions of CXOs across the world. The ‘Next-gen BI’ utilized Artificial Intelligence (AI) for providing real-time insights and predictive analytics from Big Data through visualization.

As the third generation of Business Intelligence came into the picture, many enterprises have been adopting it. As of 2021, the BI software segment is expected to generate a revenue of 22,845.99 million U.S dollars.

The following article will discuss different aspects of Next gen-BI, like how data visualization is done in BI, how it can add value to businesses, and many more.

How Is Data Visualized In BI?

Data visualization is a process of presenting raw data in eye-catching and graphical formats such as bar graphs, pie charts, bar graphs, etc. The purpose of visualization is to recognize trends and patterns among the different units.  Traditionally it was done manually on software like Microsoft PowerPoint, excel sheets, and photo-shops.

The modern and more efficient way of doing visualization is by using BI tools. But before we can see the visualization of the data, there is a long process involved that raw data has to go through.

Here is how visualization is done in BI,

  • Initially, the types of data and data sources that are going to be visualized are defined.
  • After the first step, the transformation methods and database qualities are identified.
  • Then, the data is sourced by BI from its initial stages. Here the data is cleansed, mapped, and standardized to a unified format.
  • With the help of APIs, data is moved to the staging area.
  • The cleaned data is finally moved into the storage, and this data is then visualized.

What Can The Next-gen BI Offer To Businesses?
There are numerous benefits that organizations can gain by opting for Next-gen BI. All the tedious and repetitive tasks can be automated with Next-gen BI. It can help businesses to perform better because of its following capabilities:

Data Is More Accessible, And The User Interface Is Intuitive: According to Dataversity, the customs data visualization offered by the next-gen BI has significantly upgraded the outcomes of BI. By opting for Next-gen BI, many steps in the enterprise workflow can be automated, improving the overall efficiency of the workflow.

The automation of processes allows employees to focus more on their primary tasks rather than looking into data for hours every day for insights. This reduces the friction throughout the entire data lifecycle.

Next-gen BI has allowed businesses and customers to access data from their fingertips. Nowadays, there are AI chatbots created especially to answer all the data-related queries. These bots analyze the data and put forward the best visual representation for the users.

It means that companies now don’t have to invest their time creating pie charts or bar graphs anymore.  Anybody can generate relevant information in a matter of seconds just by asking some set of questions.

This is a considerable improvement in the data analysis field as earlier businesses required human resources to extract, analyze, and visually represent the data. With the constant development of technology, next-gen BI is no longer just a tool for companies, and it has become more conversational and intuitive.

Real-time insights: In today’s world, companies need to act on real-time data. The next-gen BI provides real-time numbers that enable businesses to analyze live data and gain real-time insights. A report by Forrester shows that insight-driven companies are growing at the rate of 30% per year.

The Next-gen BI is incorporated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies. ML algorithm makes next-gen BI a self-learner and allows it to learn which insights are helpful for the business making the presented data more refined without any human feedback. AI assists it in automating the process and producing actionable valuable real-time insights in an increasingly timely manner.

Better Predictive Analytics: As Next-gen BI performs Big Data Analysis, it can offer predictive analytics. Predictive analytics enables top executives to lay out a plan of action for their business’s further development and expansion.

Assist Companies To Make Better Decisions: Another way the ‘Next-gen BI’ adds value to the business is by allowing them to make better decisions through its insights and hence decreasing the risk factor. According to TechCrunch, a company with the help of next-gen BI software witnessed an increase of $100,000 revenue per year.

The ‘Next-gen BI’ also offers insights into customers’ behavior, which can also assist in delivering a better customer experience.

Who Can Benefit From The Next-gen BI?

All the types of enterprises can benefit from the next-gen BI:

MNCs: As MNCs have to deal with massive amounts of data, they can benefit from next-gen BI for Big Data Analysis. Automation of monotonous business tasks and access to real-time insights that are very difficult to generate manually can be handy for MNCs or any business in general.

Mid-sized Businesses: As Mid-sized companies don’t have the budget for hiring a data analytics team, ‘Next-gen BI’ can help them with data visualization and exportation that can cut costs across the board. Therefore, it becomes more beneficial for businesses to utilize this software technology.

For Small and Medium-sized businesses utilizing BI-as-a-service is a great way to integrate this technology. By using BI-as-a-service, companies don’t have to invest in creating an on-premise infrastructure, making it a viable option. We will discuss more on BI-as-a-service in the further section.

Small-sized Businesses:

  • BI’s desktop tools like Tableau and Microsoft Power BI are a more popular choice among small-sized businesses. Along with these desktop tools, many small-sized companies and startups go with the option of SaaS and cloud services.One of the reasons small-sized businesses opt for these tools is because of their simplicity. They work very similar to Excel and PowerPoint, applications in which most analysts already have high proficiency. Today’s BI tools also utilize AI-ML algorithms along with natural language for generating visual data.
  • Microsoft Power BI is now integrated with Siri shortcuts. It means business owners will only have to say, ‘Hey Siri, open my reports,’ and the tool will present the user with all the relevant data. Power BI offers centralized reporting capabilities so that enterprises can make most of the self-service analytics.
  • Tableau is another tool that is similar to Power BI.  It adds AI to the workflow and makes data more accessible by sharing the reports on Slack. Tableau has gifted its user with the ability to converse with the data. It offers suitable visuals and interactive explanations to all the data-related queries of business users. Tableau also provides AI-based predictions for Salesforce reports and sends them to Slack.
  • Qlik Insight Bot is a conversational BI tool that provides automated insights and allows business owners to make data-driven decisions. The data and reports can be accessed via Qlik Sense and also through other platforms like Slack, Skype, Salesforce, and Microsoft Teams.  All the insights are driven by Natural Language Generation (NLG).
  • Microsoft Power BI is now integrated with Siri shortcuts. It means business owners will only have to say, ‘Hey Siri, open my reports,’ and the tool will present the user with all the relevant data. Power BI offers centralized reporting capabilities so that enterprises can make most of the self-service analytics.
  • Tableau is another tool that is similar to Power BI.  It adds AI to the workflow and makes data more accessible by sharing the reports on Slack. Tableau has gifted its user with the ability to converse with the data. It offers suitable visuals and interactive explanations to all the data-related queries of business users. Tableau also provides AI-based predictions for Salesforce reports and sends them to Slack.
  • Qlik Insight Bot is a conversational BI tool that provides automated insights and allows business owners to make data-driven decisions. The data and reports can be accessed via Qlik Sense and also through other platforms like Slack, Skype, Salesforce, and Microsoft Teams.  All the insights are driven by Natural Language Generation (NLG).

Future of Business Intelligence

  • According to Statista, the revenue of the BI software market is going to reach 32,652.95 million U.S dollars by 2026.
  • In the future, the BI tools will get better at providing collaboration among the team. The current BI tools don’t have the feature to connect it with a broad network, but many researchers are working on it so that colleagues can work side-by-side, according to
  • Third-party integration will also be introduced. It will simplify data processing and allow businesses to take appropriate action on the generated insights. The BI software and tools would become more accessible as they will send real-time insights to users via emails, text messages, and notifications.
  • The ever-improving AI and ML technology will make it an even better self-learner. The coming generation of BI software is expected to become more intuitive and predictive in nature. Also, the AI/ML-based are good at learning from their past experience, making BI software more efficient with time.
  • It will have Data Proactivity. This means that only relevant data will be provided to business owners, and all human efforts required to do this job would be omitted. This concept of Data Proactivity is co-related to third-party integration. Users don’t necessarily have to engage with the tools; instead, all the business data would be brought to users without any engagement.
  • There will be an advancement in the network. A solid network is needed for any software. Many Computer Engineers are looking for a way to develop hardware networks and automatically increase the volume of data of BI tools.

Business Intelligence-As-A-Service

As discussed earlier, BI-as-a-service is another ingenious way to use BI technology if a company has limited IT resources at its disposal. Traditionally Business Intelligent solutions require extraction of the relevant data, organizing the data in the data warehouse, and then deriving insights from them by applying various algorithms.

But things have changed drastically ever since cloud computing came into the picture. It has made BI solutions more scalable and cost-effective for SMEs. Businesses can employ an end-to-end business intelligence-as-a-service solution instead of investing money in a data warehouse and maintaining it. Companies that already have incorporated BI solutions can also utilize BI-as-a-service for more streamlined and agile solutions which have better accessibility of data.

Sometimes people think BI-as-a-service is the same as Software-as-a-service. The SaaS providers only offer the part of what BI-as-a-service brings to the table. SaaS companies deliver an optimized user interface for interacting with data. But BI-as-a-service providers, along with intuitive UI, also do the job of extraction, organization and offer real-time insights into your data.

If you are also looking to hire a BI-as-a-service company, you must choose one that caters to all your business needs. As a BI-as-a-service company will do most of the heavy lifting, it becomes essential for you to choose the right Business Intelligence solution provider.

The question that comes to mind is how to choose the right Business intelligence solution.

Here are some criteria based on which you can make the right decision:

Reporting Abilities: The BI-as-a-service company should have the ability to provide dynamic reports that can be customized as per your insights requirements. By looking at these reports, you will be making important business decisions; therefore, the service provider must offer dynamic reports that perfectly fit your purpose.

Seamless Integration: The solutions that the service provider would deploy should be able to work in harmony with any other existing solution that you might have deployed in the past.

Accessibility of Data: You should be able to access data anytime, anywhere, and from any device you want. Look if the BI-as-a-service company has the ability to offer real-time insights and reports on any mobile application.  It will save a lot of time and increase the efficiency of the business.

Company’s Expertise: The employees of the service provider should have the relevant industry knowledge and experience. A BI-as-a-service company with a highly skilled team can let you gain a competitive advantage through their above-par BI services.

From the above article, we can see that the future of Business Intelligence and visualization is looking very bright. To ensure that the BI models are integrated seamlessly and working without any troubles, outsourcing this job to a BI-as-a-service company with a team of skilled and experienced professionals is another effective way to adopt this technology.

Sources: Statista, Gartner, Techcrunch, Dataversity, Deloitte, Businesswire, Blugranite, Forrester, ComputerWeekly