Infotrends 2015 – 21 directions in Information Management

Hold on to your seats! And, get ready for a bumpy ride of super-sized, baffling and thoroughly absurd dimensions.

In 2015 we will continue with the journey that will make the combination of a dot com bomb, the tech wreck, information wars, deregulation, globalisation, compliance, Y2K and the enterprise process engines from hell, seem like a quiet walk in the park.

Leading the charge will be Data Warehousing 2.0, Business Intelligence, Data Analytics, Smart & Right Data, Fat Data (aka Big enterprise artery clogging Data) and Business Performance Management.

These are the guys and gals that will be shaking up things pretty well in the corporate world in 2015.

This will be accompanied closely by almost every weird and wonderful twist and turn of the technological knife bone that one could imagine, or perhaps not.

So here, for your pleasure, enchantment, amusement, delectation, dismay, leverage or disgust is a summarised run-down of how I predict things will unfold in the world of business and information. And how the many and wonderfully innovative and mundane applications, architectures, technologies, and related processes and management methods will pop-up, resuscitate or reappear in 2015.

What you have here is the result of careful research and analysis, and much painstaking deliberation and nagging doubt. All carried out by me and my team of seasoned, spiced, well trained and indifferent intelligentsia. What you see before you is the result of many minutes of pure streams of conscience, research and crystallisation. At the end of the day we have come up with a commented list of what we (my team and I) consider to be quite probably the major Infotrends for 2015.

So play the fanfare, bring on the dancers and call out the roll of honour. Step by step. Side by side. Piece by piece.

These are my forecasts for Information Management in 2015, and if you don’t like them, I have others:

  1. Business process intelligence: I envisage a momentous forward-reaching, head over heels rush, of sea changing proportions towards a significant paradigm shift in how data warehousing and business intelligence is used to leverage data. Especially data which is collected by business processes, and a desire to use data strategically to improve business processes. Simply stated, we will start to see more businesses use data warehousing as it really is supposed to be used. Rather than to individually try and reinvent the data warehousing wheel – albeit badly and completely wide of the mark. Business process management services and software will continue to frustrate business users. The hot BI/DW questions will still be out on the streets. Is 2015 really a time of revolution and a change-of-tack evolution? Or, will we be seeing mostly the same old shabby detritus put into brand spanking new packaging?
  2. Architectural intelligence: In 2015, the massive adoption of service oriented architectures, and extended mark-up languages used for data interchange, will boost the importance of technology agnostic intelligent data packaging and the need for the management and deployment of richer sets of metadata. In 2015, architecture could become more Bauhaus and Mies van der Rohe, or simply continue, as it does now to echo the finer points of totalitarian architecture combined with the aesthetic touchy-feeliness of sixties seaside resort tat.
  3. Outsourcing intelligence: More and more companies will be encouraged to move their data warehouse and business intelligence development activities offshore. Is it on the cards? Will China become the next offshore base of choice for more sophisticated data warehousing and business intelligence projects? Will bad off-shoring decisions and experiences come back to haunt the perpetrators? In 2015 we might learn that although offshoring is good for some things, it isn’t a smart move when it comes to strategic initiatives, core competence and intellectual capital, and legal, fair and unfair competitive advantages. Also, make sure the Data Protection people don’t get on your case about sending identifying data to the wrong places.
  4. Dynamics of intelligence: Don’t worry about business issues, throw more intelligence at it. Companies will strive to capture and leverage as much data as they can get their hands on. The trend will be to try and exploit external data sources (3rd party database vendors) as well as internal business data, we will also see a rise in the attempts at trying to combine the more traditional management data with more complex structured data, this will push organizations to reconsider the need for business knowledge management oriented initiatives in such areas as data source harvesting and the structuring and integration of some intellectual capital and other more complex information assets.
  5. Service intelligence: More and more companies will wake up to the idea that customer service improvements can be gleaned from the judicious application of data warehousing, data analytics and business intelligence. There will be a greater movement to push Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence out to customers, prospects and suppliers. Yes, that’s right. You got it first time. We will be building Data Marts for the customers of our customers, and they will love it.
  6. Growing intelligence: Data warehousing, data analytics and business intelligence functions will grow like ‘topsy’ and corporate competence in the management of data and information will improve, whilst at the same time, becoming more sophisticated and focused. Search engines will continue to support those who are easily confused by simple idioms.
  7. Expert intelligence: In 2015 there will be a serious shortage of professional data warehousing and business intelligence people. This is always the case, but in 2015 it will be even more so.
  8. Compliant intelligence: Information governance will become an important issue in data warehousing, information and knowledge sharing, and business intelligence
  9. Synergistic intelligence: Some companies will wake up to the fact that data warehousing, data analytics and business intelligence are complimentary processes and architectures, and that Big Data is an acquired taste that rarely if ever satiates the appetite for Smart Data and Right Data.
  10. Empowered intelligence: Business intelligence will move further into the End User Computing arena. End user computing will have to go through revolutionary change, to put computing power into the hands of the real business users, and away from the amateur zones that many organizations have cultivated, and which straddles a zero-value added area between business and technology, badly. The best end-user-computing tool for BI on the market is still BIS (Mapper) from Unisys. But the competition is like ‘no worries, mate’. I wonder why.
  11. Quality intelligence: Businesses will rediscover the virtues of quality management, and especially as it relates to data – a nascent corporate asset. Therefore, data quality will still be an issue that companies will consider addressing during 2015.
  12. Fundamental intelligence: Business will slowly grasp the negative implications of rapidly adopting “fad” strategies as alternatives to data warehousing, data analyics and business intelligence. They will however have time to repent at their leisure. In this there is no pleasure in being able to say ‘I told you so’.
  13. Executive intelligence: In 2015 Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence will become a real strategic tool for senior executives. The Executive Information System will eventually become a reality – again.
  14. Global integrated intelligence: Businesses will again try to combine simple and structured data with complex data structures and content. Bill Inmon will explain in simple and plain terms how to do it. Business will think it’s great – because it makes sense. But generally, IT departments and suppliers will ignore it and do their own thing.
  15. Technology intelligence: In 2015 we will see how data warehousing and business intelligence technologies will change for the better, and also for the worse. There will still be problems with the “skunky cludginess” of some product offerings. Dissatisfaction with vendors will be on the increase. Database adapters, event processing gizmos and advanced analytics will again arise from the ashes. We’ll also see a surfeit of WORM devices for compliance. This will be accompanied by moveable compliance dates not being hit (are you ready for Basel, yet?), and information technology being flagged as the culprit.
  16. Moving intelligence: In the next nine to eighteen months the current business intelligence oriented “religious wars” will fizzle out; a lot of the marketing oriented nonsense of ETL versus ELT discussion, or Big Data versus Enterprise Data Warehousing, will go the way of all integration and enterprise nuttiness. We will be left to focus on other issues, such as when is an ETL not an ETL? Does my process back-end look fat in this Big Data? Or, should we focus more on ‘low hanging fruit’ or big-up ‘more meat on the bones’? Oh, what joyous new nonsense awaits us at the cusp of 2015!
  17. Net intelligence: 2015 will herald in yet another marketing push in getting data, data analytics and business intelligence tools on the web. But, will we even notice the ads? Probably not.
  18. Green intelligence: Is having buckets full of petabytes of data, or more, of data spinning and available on disks all year round (ever hour of every day) really necessary? Is having a surfeit of historical data in OLTP systems really a business imperative? Is having servers running 48 hours over weekends really appropriate, especially if they are not being used, at all? Companies might start to ask themselves how environmentally friendly their Information Management infrastructure actually is. Take heed. Ban Ki-moon and the UN Climate Change Secretariat are watching you.
  19. Intelligence test: In 2015 businesses will seriously reassess how they test their data warehouse processes, data analytics and business intelligence applications. Organisations will also begin to seriously question the payback on large scale Big Data efforts and other born again ‘faddishnes’.
  20. Business driven intelligence: 2015 might well be the year that companies decide that data warehousing and business intelligence must only be developed in response to business needs and business funding. Look up ‘business imperative’. They will cease to be IT special projects, ‘we had to do something’ initiatoves, or variants on the well-worn themes of forty years ago and more. Unfortunately, many IT organisations will also still continue to treat their business users as intellectually challenged children… “Oh, look what Father Christmas has brought you! A shiny new Big Data Blah! Blah! Blah! Bleh! Intelligent Warehouse”.
  21. Optional intelligence: In 2015 we will see professional data warehouse, data analytics and business intelligence practitioners displacing dime-a-dozen ‘experts’ in high visibility corporate DW/BI initiatives. Failure through ignorance will no longer be an option.

Thanks for reading.

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