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Can Big Data Analytics Close the Business Intelligence Gap?

By Kimberly Crossland
Published: March 11, 2016
Key Takeaways

Businesses spend precious time and resources on collecting big data, but then many drop the ball on analysis.

Source: Everythingpossible/

CIOs increasingly demand better data mining and data analytics.


In a survey by Gartner Research, CIOs said that the biggest challenge is entering into the digitalization phase. As a whole, we are on the brink of a more digital world. This increasingly digitalized world will shape business models. It will define how leaders lead, and it will continue to provide greater digital business innovation.

Business intelligence, in the traditional sense, struggles to keep up with big data. Although it is great for answering specific questions, such as gaining insight into key performance indicators, it lacks something bigger. The primary use of traditional business intelligence services is to answer the questions you know you should be asking.

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With more digitalization comes more data. Businesses continue to use this big data to get answers to their questions. In a traditional sense, this is effective. However, it still leaves a gaping information hole.

And therein lies the problem – big data offers much more.

Big data has the power to answer questions businesses don’t know they need to ask. This hole between answers to questions companies are currently asking (found in business intelligence) and insights businesses don’t realize they need until they have them is what makes up the business intelligence gap.

Enter Big Data Analytics

Big data analytics is still in its infancy. As more data becomes available, more data strategies and data mining tools continue to advance. As they do, these tools can take data to find new insights and analyses. Using these analytics, companies can expose unexpected insights they did not know they needed.


Will these innovations be enough to close the business intelligence gap? It appears that way.

Right now, businesses are not using big data to its fullest potential.

There are three main components to big data: gathering the data, storing the data and analyzing the data. Most companies invest in the first two parts, but fall short when it comes to analysis. However, the future looks bright and full of innovation that could bridge the business intelligence gap.

The Future of Big Data Analytics and Business Intelligence

With so much buzz and excitement circulating the big data analytics and business intelligence markets, many top research firms have released their forecast for the direction of these industries.

  • Cloud-based business intelligence is expected to continue to grow. This is based on a report from Redwood Capital. According to the report, all types of business intelligence will continue to grow, but the traditional type of business intelligence will be slower to expand. Instead, cloud-based business intelligence is expected to grow much faster from less than $1 billion in 2013 to $2.49 billion in 2018.
  • Innovation will happen when leaders focus on engaging active communities within the organization to focus on analytics instead of relying solely on technology. According to a Leadership Excellence in Analytic Practice (LEAP) study, leaders were found to focus more on collaboration among team members, while laggards focused more on using technology to achieve insights.
  • Big data is expected to continue to boom. Numerous studies show that the big data industry is expected to continue to skyrocket in growth. One study by Signals and Systems Telecom reports that big data will be a $76 billion market by 2020. Another study by Wikkbon reports that the market is projected to grow to a $50.1 billion market in 2017.
  • A.T. Kearney recently forecasted that global spending on big-data-related items, including hardware, software and services will reach $114 billion in 2018. This is a 30% CAGR rate.
  • A new report by the World Economic Forum, INSEAD and Cornell University shows that more investment will be made in data systems that offer more opportunity for analysis, and that are fit for a specific purpose. The report talks about numerous other trends related to big data adoption by businesses, showing a distinct shift toward more in-depth analysis and using this information to reach new business goals.

It is an exciting time for businesses. If the statistics and forecasts prove true, it is likely that big data analytics will in fact help in closing the business intelligence gap. The continued growth in the big data industry, alongside greater adoption of cloud-based business intelligence, shows a clear trend toward bringing stronger analytics to organizations.


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Written by Kimberly Crossland

Profile Picture of Kimberly Crossland
Kimberly Crossland is a digital marketing specialist who has worked in the United States and abroad with technology companies. After graduating from the University of Arizona, she followed her passion for the fast-paced ever changing world of technology and now writes about up and coming trends and important information anyone in business must know about technology to succeed.

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