Evolution of Business Intelligence

I had been working on metadata integration of Datastage and Cognos, a Business Intelligence tool. In this blog I would be highlighting my understanding of the evolution of the BI technology.

To start with, Business Intelligence was characterized by general-purpose, off-the-shelf tools for reporting and ad hoc query and analysis of structured data using SQL and standard database connectors. These desktop-oriented tools gave way to server-based BI functionality and the rise of the data warehouse, which marked the beginning of the next level of BI. This continued strongly through at least 2003. Since then the BI players are working to add a stronger Web appeal to their aging architectures and approaches.

Expectation from future BI solutions

The table below summarizes some of the stark differences between past BI platforms and what is needed today (and tomorrow).

Characteristic Then Now
Architecture Closed, Proprietary, Client/Server Open Standards-Based, Web 2.0
End Point Desktop Computer Thin Client/Browser, Mobile App
User Type Power User End User
Data Access Structured/Relational Almost Anything
Decision Timeline What Happened? What’s Happening?
Technology Scale Up Scale Out
Business Purpose Individual Decisions Collaborative Decision
Deployment Type On-Premises: Desktop and Server On-Premises, Virtualized, SaaS, and Cloud
Users Reached Few Many

I think that Cognos stands out quiet strongly as one of the strong leaders in the BI arena.


One thought on “Evolution of Business Intelligence

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