5 Trends in Business Intelligence and Analytics for 2021

Few fields develop as rapidly as BI and analytics. Technological innovation allows data solutions to be ever faster, bigger and more extensive. By now, everybody has access to cloud products, which seemed an exclusive luxury only five years ago. At this point, most companies are no longer wondering whether they need to leverage BI; they are looking into the best implementation strategies. What will 2021 bring us, in this respect? 

Data Visualization

This trend will quite literally define how we will perceive 2021. Employee ease of use is increasingly important for an effective business intelligence solution. The human brain is better suited to processing information in a visual form, so good visualizations are crucial for efficient and effective tools. Of course, a successful BI solution is also heavily dependent on data discovery: how much time is needed to develop relevant insights? How versatile is the information offered by your solution? Data visualization and discovery are still seeing lots of developments and will be a hot topic this year. 

Machine Translation

The possibilities of big data and analytics have boosted the quality of machine translation for basic texts. According to some studies, deep learning has made it hard for people to tell human translations from machine translated text. Machine translation is making great strides in communicating the meaning of the original text, even though a human translation from a qualified translation agency is still recommended for a fluent reading experience. 2021 is sure to see new developments in the field of machine learning and text interpretation. 

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is one of the hottest topics in BI right now. It is based on data mining and works with big data stores to create predictions based on data constellations. This technology can be used to assess risks and opportunities for a company, but also to increase understanding of clients, products and partners. The added value of predictive analytics is increasing rapidly, as risks and margins of error are shrinking with every new development. As of yet, predictive analytics is still the domain of big enterprises, but it will not be long until predictive analytics becomes more widely accessible. In 2021 we expect to see the first steps towards self-service models of predictive analytics, as well as the rise of prescriptive analytics, the next step in this development. 

Prescriptive Analytics

Prescriptive analytics is a form of data analytics that looks at what decisions should be made to reach a certain goal in the future. This technology is based on a combination of machine learning, simulations, recommendation engines and complex event processing. Prescriptive analytics will help optimize processes and analyse what might be likely future expectations and demands. Kind of similar to predicting BI trends for 2021, you might say. 

Artificial Intelligence

All of the trends mentioned above are firmly rooted in artificial intelligence and machine learning, which help us look at our data in completely new ways and which can analyse tremendous amounts of data within one model. Rather than basing their decisions on data about the past, companies can now make predictions based on those data and improve their policies and workflows. And while these types of predictions and analyses used to require trained data scientists, more and more can now be generated automatically. In the course of 2021, even more of these insights will be made available to the end user in a clear and easy way, through tools that do not require extensive IT knowledge. And as the cherry on the cake, advances in AI might mean we will soon be able to interact with these tools in human language and get answers through easy Q&A workflows, rather than through software interfaces or dashboards that still require some training and experience to achieve the best results.