7 Business Intelligence Stats That Will Surprise You

Business intelligence is influencing the way the world works in unexpected ways. It is well known that companies use BI to improve insight into their businesses. But just how important are these insights? And just how deep is the ocean of information they’re mining? There are a number of remarkable statistics that reveal the impact BI is having today upon both culture and commerce. Perhaps most provoking, however, is the future which these statistics imply.


1. BI can predict human location 80 weeks into the future

Feeling out the limitless possibilities of big data, the University of Rochester and Microsoft teamed together to mine a massive set of information. This included over 32,000 days of GPS readings, taken from 703 people and 396 vehicles.

Their analysis sought patterns in the data and determined the probability that a person would be at a certain place at a certain time.

Their forecasts reached 80 weeks into the future with 80 percent accuracy.

Among other things, the researchers noted the commercial implications. Tools can be developed that might say: “Your car will be low on gas in nine days. Here is the nearest gas station to your location on that day.”

The researchers named their sci-fi-like system “Far Out.”

This screenshot of the visualization tool shows patterns of one of the study’s subjects living in Seattle. The colored triangles represent the probability of a person’s location in a given hour of a day:


2. ROI for business intelligence projects is over 10,000%

Nucleus Research examined several case studies to find out how much companies were getting back from their investment in business intelligence.

For every dollar spent on BI, researchers found that $10.66 is made back.

The results are encouraging for CFO’s reluctant to invest the time and resources in new technologies. Harvesting big data pays big dividends.


3. 74% of non-adopting organizations are negatively impacted

Companies that do not take advantage of business intelligence software must rely on data that is manually assembled. For reporting alone, this is both time-consuming and prone to human error.

Of those organizations, nearly three-fourths will see some negative effect on their daily operations because of their lack of adoption, according to Info Tech, an IT research group.

This does not even address the competitive advantage lost by companies not using BI for other purposes, such as improving business efficiency.


4.  99.5% of new data is never analyzed or used

The amount of new data being created on the Internet is doubling every two years, according to MIT Technology Review, but a startling amount of it sits untouched in cyberspace.

Most of this data, 75%, is created by consumers. It includes things like movie downloads, emails, VoIP calls, and cell-phone location readings.

Clearly, there’s a gold mine of information out there that’s just waiting to be tapped.

99.5 percent

5. Companies that use analytics are five times more likely to make faster decisions

Technology has vastly sped up business processes, and it’s no surprise that faster decision-making is one of the most impactful results.

Quicker decisions often come from tools that incorporate real-time data, keeping users updated as the data itself is actually created. The phenomenon known as fast data, a group of technologies that collectively make BI faster, is rapidly gaining traction.

It’s why Nati Shalom, the CTO and Founder of GigaSpaces, has written that since so many companies have big data, fast data is how innovative companies are gaining a competitive edge.


6. 250,000 people had their genomes analyzed with BI tools in 2013 

Just as individuals and companies create immeasurable amounts of information across the Internet, so too does the human body contain an immense repository of unanalyzed data.

With the onset of big data, that’s all changing. One Minneapolis company, Miinome, is monetizing human genes by selling DNA information to marketers. The idea? To predict the likelihood of certain conditions in an individual, and market appropriately to that person.

Miinome says that more DNA data is available now because more people are willing to contribute their gene information for philanthropy, or even for discounts on certain products.

While there have not yet been enough genome sequences to produce the insights researchers are really after, most believe that it is only a matter of time.

For example, James Ostheimer, Miinome’s cofounder, sees a future where DNA is linked to an individual’s Facebook feed, providing correlations between certain genes and certain types of foods, behaviors, and hobbies.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Business intelligence software in the healthcare industry will continue to grow.


7. The BI market is projected to grow to $114 billion by 2018

It’s virtually certain that the demand for BI software will only increase. Analysts with A.T. Kearney project that spending on hardware, software, and services related to Big Data will grow at a rate of 30% through 2018.

By that point, the total annual revenue is expected to be $114 billion.

Corporations currently average about $8 million in annual spending on big data initiatives. Moreover, the total BI revenue for 2013 was $14.4 billion, an eight percent growth on the year. These stats point to the need for companies that have not yet considered business intelligence to get aboard before it’s too late.

Perhaps even more noteworthy, experts believe that this growth is modest compared to what they expect is coming. Many companies are still learning how to best leverage big data. BI is only getting bigger.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    “For every dollar spent on BI, researchers found that $10.66 is made back.”

    I do believe that BI is cost-effective and very much worth the investment, but I just wonder over what time frame these case studies covered. Many BI initiatives fail because companies don’t give them enough time to bear any fruit. And while BI might not have such a huge return overnight there is value to be gained.

  2. Anonymous says:

    $10.66 from $1 is 1,000%, not 10,000%, yes?

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