While the first generation of BI was largely IT-centric report generation with server-client architecture, the second generation was all about moving existing wares onto the cloud for easier access, scaling, collaboration, and cost-cutting. With the third generation of BI, we unlocked the power of self-service, and zero to low-code drag-and-drop interfaces. It offered effortless access for users across the organization, helping them visually analyze data and collaborate on it. With such empowerment in the hands of every business stakeholder, BI was no longer a siloed, specialized division with special access to data.

Today, BI has moved to an exciting fourth generation, as breakthrough integrations with AI, ML, deep learning, and natural language processing (NLP) have unlocked previously impossible levels of analysis.

Fourth-gen BI platforms are akin to a genie you can keep in your pocket—able to learn on the go, and getting better by the day. Reports are interactive and dynamic, peppered with handy tools that intelligently identify and automatically pull relevant data from multiple platforms, to create readymade reports accessible via a single dashboard. And that’s not all. These new BI platforms can be talked to, to get things done. Using natural language to access data is a breakthrough that one has to experience to believe.

Delegate. Ensure. Watch. Relax.
Global market intelligence firm IDC predicts that only 25 percent of data will be analyzed by 2025. A recent survey by Forrester has found that 64 percent of respondents wanted to better leverage and extend their capability to consume external data, better understand their operations, and provide better customer service. However, only 54 percent of those surveyed said that they were implementing AI in their decisions. These numbers indicate the remarkable gaps and the lack of initiative from businesses to embrace the disruptive power of intelligent BI systems.

Seamless, proactive, omnichannel BI makes sentiment collection and analysis, and auto-preparing prescriptive actions across departments, a cakewalk. It has a direct, measurable effect on any company’s bottom line. And a unified BI platform promises manifold business gains to enterprises. Sales, marketing, support, operations, and all other customer-facing entities brought together on a single, real-time interface—as one technology stack provides unmatched fluidity and visibility for businesses, empowering teams to deliver their best to customers by always remaining on top.

Blend it with Zia
Zoho Analytics, first released in 2009 as Zoho Reports, was a pioneer in the cloud-first BI space. Today, millions of users in 150+ countries rely on Zoho Analytics to analyze their data.

Zoho Analytics uses Zia, Zoho’s AI-driven assistant that makes interaction with the platform easy, making it essentially a 4th gen BI platform. All one has to do is “Ask” Zia. Data from different business apps gets blended automatically as Zia understands context, and presents answers to the users’ questions as reports in the desired format.

For a long time, we were facing challenges in making fact-based decisions, strategizing effectively, and keeping the team engaged with what was actually happening in our business. With Zoho Analytics at the center of our reporting and business intelligence, we now have all the key metrics available to management. We get a clear picture of our business, with data coming in from various sources, analyzed and turned into engaging dashboards and charts that are accessible to us anytime, and from anywhere.

— Alex Bendiouis, Strategic Director, LINKVIVA Live Communications

Zoho Analytics is packed with connectors that fetch your data from anywhere—to construct beautiful visualizations with custom color options and formats, and enable faster and better decision-making. The Zoho Analytics app is available on iOS and Android, in both mobile and tablet formats. Zoho Analytics even has a downloadable version which can be installed on Windows and Linux machines behind firewalls, or deployed on cloud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud.

To explore Zoho Analytics and sign up free, visit zoho.com/analytics.