Here’s hoping you’ve had your coffee and are nice and alert because some facts and figures are about to be thrown your way: DID YOU KNOW that bad or poor quality data costs organizations as much as 10-20% of their revenue?? We all rely on data for truth, to help us reach the best decision for our business. Rumor has it that traditional business intelligence software solutions are out-of-date and have no place in current affairs, and they don’t have what it takes to keep up with the technology of today, tomorrow, and beyond.

If your head starts to spin from all these technical terms, never fear – in BDO Connections’ “Traditional BI vs Data Discovery,” they give us easy, definitive comparisons between the two applications:

  • Traditional Business Intelligence: the traditional approach to helping people make the right decisions based on the right data, at the right time. Usually found through internal data sources for structured reporting and ad-hoc analysis.
  • Data Discovery: an innovative mash-up of both internal and external data that helps people uncover hidden patterns and trends. (Term coined by Gartner.)

According to Daniel Humphries’ “Analytics Smackdown,” traditional BI was a tool oriented for deciphering a single source of data. As the amount of data grows, the cons of traditional BI are that it is slow, rigid, and holds up IT from performing other tasks. Completely inflexible. Meanwhile, the new up-and-comer, data discovery, is a flexible self-service tool that is scalable from large companies to small organizations. Global BI manager of SAS, Tapan Patel, and Southard Jones, VP of Product Strategy at Birst, try to defend the extinction of BI. The claim is that depending on the instance, traditional business intelligence still holds up for functional compliance reporting and that while “limited,” it may still “reveal something interesting.” Despite the defense, it seems that the shining glory days of BI are in the past. Data discovery brings new opportunities to the world of analytics. The market is constantly evolving, and where enterprise BI falls short, data discovery self-service applications, like Qlik, are establishing their place in the field.

Business intelligence answers the questions that you ask. Data discovery reveals answers about things that you didn’t know.

Qlik, an industry leader in data discovery applications, reminds that it isn’t only having a top-of-the-line software program, it’s ensuring the education of the user. “There are too many stories of companies that made poor business decisions based off incorrect interpretations of the data, or because of incomplete data sets,” laments Kevin Hanegan, promoting data literacy in his September blog. Qlik believes in the power of people, aiming to channel “Business Intelligence through Human Intelligence,” driving data discovery through the skill of the business user. Education in data discovery and data literacy should not be limited to how to use the tools provided, but how to use those tools to make the right decisions. It’s not what the data is telling you, but how you use and interpret the data available to you.

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