The Future of Business Intelligence is in Data Prep

As Dan Woods points out in a recent article for Forbes, technology marketplaces cycle through predictable stages as they mature. He applies this insight to the component versus platform decision that organizations face when adopting new technologies.

We've certainly seen this in the BI and Big Data space as vendors try to grab more wallet share by adding capabilities to their core offerings. According to 451 Research, this general move towards platforms has also been intensified by a market contraction following a period of extreme growth. It notes that "Of the 275 or so products and services illustrated on our Data Platforms Map, fewer than 70 were in existence seven years ago." Large, well-funded incumbent vendors are gobbling up smaller competitors and growing their platform stacks in the process.

The Keenest Insights Come from the Best Data

The evolution from tools or components to platforms started with the analytics portion of the BI market but is now firmly underway on the data prep side. Platforms emerged more quickly on the data analytics side because it's simply easier to fine-tune analysis and visualization capabilities than it is to conquer the many-headed beast of data preparation. For example, there's a growing segment of the data prep market focused solely on cataloging. A data catalog provides a critical link between data prep and analytics. But it's not sufficient.

For Attivio, cataloging contributes as part of a larger platform that helps customers make the entire journey to becoming a data-driven company. The platform provides solution frameworks for key use cases such as eCommunications monitoring, anti-money laundering, risk and compliance, and enterprise search.

Our customers often start with one of these frameworks—a "magic trick" as Dan Woods would describe it. Yet the long-term value of the Attivio platform resides in the ways in which it can be adapted to solve new problems and create fresh opportunities. That's the future of BI.

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