Traditional business intelligence (BI) and analytic models are being disrupted as the balance of power shifts from IT to the business.
According to Gartner, the rise of data discovery, access to multi-structured data, data preparation tools and smart capabilities will further democratise access to analytics and stress the need for governance.
As a result, Gartner predicts that by 2017, most business users and analysts in organisations will have access to self-service tools to prepare data for analysis.
"Data preparation is one of most difficult and time-consuming challenges facing business users of BI and data discovery tools, as well as advanced analytics platforms," says Rita Sallam, research vice president, Gartner.
"However, data preparation capabilities are emerging that will provide business users and analysts the ability to extend the scope of self-service to include information management, and extract, transform and load (ETL) functions, enabling them to access, profile, prepare, integrate, curate, model and enrich data for analysis and consumption by BI and analytics platforms."
Sallam believes self-service data integration will do for traditional IT-centric data integration what data discovery platforms have done for traditional IT-centric BI: reduce the significant time and complexity users face in preparing their data for analysis and shift much of the activity from IT to the business user to better support governed data discovery.”
However, specific skills are required,” she explains. “Self-service data integration requires that users master both the technical aspects and the business requirements of joining data together."
Gartner expects basic business user data mashup capabilities to become mainstream as part of data discovery tools in the near future.
Consequently, data discovery and traditional BI vendors are likely to respond to this demand and opportunity to add value by extending their own business user data mashup capabilities to include more-advanced data preparation features.
By 2017, Gartner believes most data discovery tools will have incorporated smart data discovery capabilities to expand the reach of interactive analysis.
As data discovery capabilities are becoming smarter to streamline pattern detection in data discovery, Sallam claims self-service data preparation capabilities are evolving and becoming more capable of semi-automating and enhancing the data preparation activity of data discovery, and making it accessible to a business analyst.
The two advances in combination will create a next-generation data discovery user experience that makes advanced types of analysis accessible to a broader range of users.
"Smart data discovery has the potential to expand access to sophisticated interactive analysis and insights to business consumers and nontraditional BI users — the approximately 70 percent of users in organisations that currently do not use BI tools or have statistical backgrounds," Sallam adds.