Recently, we had a discussion on how the future of BI is shaping up. As I was exploring the trends in business intelligence, it seemed the new developments are not in any particular direction. Today business intelligence is expanding in all directions. The presentation aspects of BI have already embraced rich UI, Flash and Ajax. It is now reaching out to HTML5 and mobile platforms. There is also a trend towards data visualization, rather than traditional tabular representations. The analytical aspects of BI are now developing towards massively parallel platforms - be it MPP databases and appliances or frameworks like Hadoop. The platform and development aspects are seeing many changes - prebuilt BI applications, BI in the cloud and open source tools.

It is going to be hard to pin down the future of business intelligence to a specific direction. Instead we are going to see focused innovations in different aspects of BI.

On a different perspective, it may not be one tool that is bringing all the best things to a solution. It could be a few good tools, together making the best solution. We are going to see “apps” that specialize in mobile presentation, frameworks that are good in analyzing large volumes of data, tools that aid rapid development, platforms that support transparent scaling and easy maintenance. That is one effect of expanding universe of BI, everything moving away from each other in all directions!