7 BI trends to watch in 2024

It's no news that the BI and analytics market is growing exponentially, as an increasing number of businesses embrace the data-driven approach. But with the many capabilities flooding the BI market today, it can be challenging to distinguish the ones that are crucial for driving the desired impact for your business.

After conducting thorough market research, analyzing customer interactions, and running discussions with industry experts, we've put together a comprehensive list of the top seven analytics trends that are set to shape the BI landscape in 2024. Recognizing and embracing these trends can unlock the full potential of your business data, paving the way to establish an insights-driven business model.

1) Data pipeline and preparation by business users

Data preparation used to be a time-consuming task that demanded IT intervention. However, self-service ETL is revolutionizing the data pipeline and preparation process with AI and automation. Combined with a low-code/no-code approach, self-service ETL is now offering lightweight user-friendly capabilities, even for complex data transformations, as a native component of the BI stack.

Catering to pro-code users, along with enabling custom model deployment, the modern ETL layer also supports prebuilt data preparation models that will dramatically accelerate time to insight. We explore some of these data preparation capabilities in the demo video below.

2) Unified business analytics

As businesses use more and more applications to run daily operations, the need for end-to-end 360° business insights will increase. With unified business analytics, data can be seamlessly integrated from various sources, set up into a common semantic model, and analyzed together. This empowers users to gain a holistic understanding of overall business performance and assess the cross-functional impact of various teams and functions.

BI vendors are driving unified analytics by enabling seamless native data connectivity with a wide array of business apps and data sources. This approach overcomes the challenges associated with data silos and disparate datasets, fostering a more holistic approach to data integration. Furthermore, with an AI-infused analytics layer and domain-agnostic prebuilt reports, modern analytics platforms enable deeper domain-specific insights that can be derived seamlessly.

In the dashboard below, you can check out an example of unified business analytics, where we present a 360-degree view of business insights and the cross-functional impact of different teams.

Watch our complete webinar on the 7 BI trends to watch in 2024 to learn more about how unified business analytics can augment your business growth.

3) AI-infused BI

AI has become an integral component across the entire BI stack, encompassing data import and preparation, modeling, visual analysis, predictive analytics, insight generation, and beyond. Seamlessly integrated into these functionalities, AI streamlines and enhances analysis, providing both simplicity and depth.

Key trending AI-powered capabilities today include NLP-powered analytics assistants, enabling report creation through natural language, automated insights, and prescriptive analytics. These features empower users to delve deeper into reports, uncover hidden insights, and receive instant recommendations for decision-making. Additionally, AI plays a significant role in data science and machine learning (DSML) capabilities, further augmenting analytical capabilities and driving innovation in BI.

In the following demo video, we create and interact with a report using Ask Zia, Zoho Analytics' conversational AI assistant.

4) Generative AI in BI

Generative AI (GenAI) emerged as one of the most significant AI waves of 2023, profoundly transforming the BI landscape and leaving a lasting impact across all industries. GenAI has the potential to democratize analytics significantly, adding speed to BI adoption worldwide through simplified data interactions, automatic generation of models and metrics, identification and construction of comprehensive datasets, and beyond.

We also foresee the integration of domain-specific LLMs in BI platforms in the coming years, which will significantly enhance the relevance and depth of insights. GenAI is expected to play a crucial role in bridging the divide between BI users and analytics platforms.

In the demo video below, we create a query table with simple natural language commands using the OpenAI integration in Zoho Analytics.

5) Autonomous analytics

Autonomous analytics is set to empower AI-enabled business activity monitoring, allowing BI platforms to monitor key changes in business metrics proactively. This capability enables instant detection of anomalies or outliers in key metrics and promptly notifies users through their preferred channels, facilitating swift action to address any anomalies.

This capability not only involves notifying users of anomalies but also extends to providing actionable recommendations to guide decision-making processes. Users can even intelligently set and trigger workflows based on detected conditions, thereby enhancing the responsiveness and agility of business insights.

In the screenshot below, we look at the data alert creation setup.

6) Data storytelling

Data storytelling opened up the BI space to creative communication, and still holds relevance by continuing to grow with new enhancements. With the emergence of prebuilt templates, users can now seamlessly weave their insights into business stories in no time.

Some key data storytelling mediums offered as part of BI platforms today are slide shows, microsites, infographics, NLG-powered narrations, and more, to present insights with more empathy and context. Furthermore, users can leverage an array of creative elements, like text, images, audio, video, and embedded code, while crafting persuasive data stories.

The image below depicts data insights presented in the form of an infographic, crafted within a BI platform.

7) Embedded analytics

Embedded analytics, a long-standing BI trend, continues to evolve, as vendors innovate for a more cohesive analytics experience within existing workflows. Enterprises can leverage this to deliver contextual intelligence, as part of their traditional workflows. Additionally, independent software vendors (ISVs) have the opportunity to rebrand analytical capabilities and integrate them as inherent offerings within their applications.

Users can go beyond embedding the entire BI stack and integrate customizable, purpose-built analytical components, enabling businesses to tailor the analytics interface according to their specific requirements. The platform also provides fine-grained access controls, empowering organizations to determine how users access and interact with insights.

In the below screenshot, you can check out an example of embedded analytics. Here, the full-fledged Zoho Analytics platform is a native module within the Fine Pick application.

Analytics in 2024

The BI trends discussed here offer insights into the potential future of BI and can serve as a roadmap for implementing BI strategies within your business. For a more in-depth understanding of these trends, we invite you to view our comprehensive webinar on the 7 BI trends to watch in 2024.

As a leading BI tool, Zoho Analytics remains at the forefront of capitalizing on emerging trends. We diligently monitor evolving customer needs and respond by introducing capabilities that enhance the data analysis process, empowering users to make well-informed decisions with confidence.

You can sign up for Zoho Analytics today—or enjoy a free personalized demo by one of our experts!


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