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Business Intelligence 2020 — 3 Essential, Practical Technological KPI Trends

The world of business intelligence and KPIs, in particular, is super fascinating to me. Especially when it comes to trends, I could spend days and nights discussing with my team what's going to be hot in the future.

Indeed, both business intelligence and KPIs are a huge field with various emerging trends. That’s why we picked out one specific area for this blog post.

We want to focus on upcoming technological trends that —from our point of view— will play an essential role in the world of business intelligence and KPIs in 2020. Probably not surprising, each of the three trends is related to mobile usage.

Of course, companies will —for a good reason— continue to use laptops and PCs to perform analysis and visualize KPIs. However, when it comes to personal usage, the rise of the smartphone (or tablet) will continue. Again, this is not business intelligence or KPI-specific trend but one you can observe in all areas.

Here are two charts that describe how the usage of smartphones already dominates our daily life.


Business Intelligence And KPI Solutions Have To Conquer The Smartphone Aggrisevely

Since this global trend will continue, business intelligence and KPI solutions have to meet these requirements. Moreover, they have to conquer smartphones and tablets aggressively.

The fundament in this context is dedicated apps for smartphones and tablets. Solutions that provide the possibility to monitor KPIs and assess information in real-time.

I put out many articles about seamless integration and the necessity of a mobile-first strategy for business intelligence and KPIs. Therefore, this is something we consider as a necessary and inevitable basis.

We see three major trends that will dominate the following year(s) based on that fundament. But, simultaneously, these trends hold enormous potential.

Trends #1 — Ultra-Seamless Integration Of Business Intelligence & KPI Solutions Into Smartphones

Seamless integration describes the provision of dedicated apps tailored to the specific device — in our case, smartphones and tablets. However, we think that business intelligence software has to take the next step. Therefore, with ultra-seamless integration, we define measures to even tighter integrate the business intelligence or KPI app into the smartphone/tablet.

Example — iPhone Widget usage

You may know the widget functionality of iPhones (which, by the way, just received a massive update in June 2020). If not, swipe to the right on the iPhone. You get a very comprehensive overview of selected widgets.

Depending on your configuration, you can see the next meeting or weather information. The cool thing is: Widgets provide a quick summary in a super-easy-to-access way.

You don’t have to unlock the phone, open an app, and probably log in. Instead, in the content of a widget alerts you, you can click on the device, and several apps open.

Widgets are a straightforward and powerful functionality that even further integrates an app and content. Below you can see our very, very initial (actually, it was the first) mockup we used to discuss this idea.

Airline KPI — Ultra-seamless integration

Accordingly, you can access your most crucial information and KPIs with one gesture (swipe to the right). And if a KPI alerts you, you click on the widget, and the corresponding app opens. That’s what we call ultra-seamless integration.

This is just one example of many. As mentioned earlier: The core idea is to utilize smartphone and tablet functionalities tighter to integrate business intelligence and KPI apps into the device. That results in massively improved usability.

Just dream for a second

Instead of starting your laptop, connecting to your corporate network, starting a web browser, selecting a bookmark, doing the login, selecting the correct dashboard to have a look at your KPIs — you swipe to the right on your iPhone. That’s it!

Trend #2: Smart Alerting

What’s even better than swiping to the right? It is getting actively alerted when something happens. This is what the second trend we forecast for 2020 is about.

This business intelligence trend is tightly linked to the growing mobile usage of business intelligence and KPI solutions. However, it requires a lot of work in the backend. The basic idea: You send out alerts whenever a KPI changes significantly.

For example, the revenue drops by 3% compared to the last hour (or last day, whatever makes sense for your business). Within a second, your business intelligence solution sends out a smart and automated alert directly to the smartphones of relevant stakeholders. Another example in this context is about sending out essential and smart updates.

The part I’m most thrilled about when it comes to this business intelligence trend: It literally changes the way you approach data and information. You no longer have to check KPIs and information constantly. On the contrary, you have the calming feeling to receive an alert whenever something happens.

The below mockup shows how we approached the airline concept (OTP in this context means On-time Performance).

Business Intelligence Trend
Mobile KPI App, Business Intelligence Trend

Trend #3: Smartwatch Usage

For example, smartwatches, AppleWatch, and devices from other providers will undoubtedly gain increasing importance in 2020.

Smartwatches aren’t just a trend. They are continuously becoming an essential part of many people’s life. As mobiles did 15 years ago, we are currently witnessing the advent of smartwatches. And this will have an impact on business intelligence and KPIs too.

With a market size of $9 billion back in 2017, the current forecast estimate a volume of more than $30 billion in 2025 (Allied Market Research). In other words, the market size is expected to grow by 15% — annually.

And I know: At the moment, many companies are still struggling to incorporate smartphones into their business intelligence and KPI framework. However, the frequency of discussions I’m having with companies about smartwatches is skyrocketing.

Since the usage of smartwatches is different, your business intelligence approach has to be different too. Bringing the entire information onto the smartwatch won’t work out. Instead, we see the idea of Smart Alerting as a primary driver for smartwatch usage. The charming aspect: You don’t need to develop a native smartwatch app.

How could that look? I give you an example: Instead of trying to visualize the KPI on smartwatches, you send out the alerts mentioned above whenever this KPI changes significantly.

Conclusion — Business Intelligence Trends in 2020

Summarized, we firmly believe that tailored, personal usage of business intelligence and KPIs will play a more super-dominant role in 2020 and beyond. Therefore, it is essential to seamlessly provide the required information and make it accessible as efficiently as possible.

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Benjamin Walther

CEO, Frankfurt

Benjamin is Information Design's CEO and a proven content-maniac. Besides running a successful business and developing pioneering ideas, he's dedicated to writing blog posts and creating content.

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