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The tools and resources for global business intelligence have changed dramatically over the last couple of decades. Now the modern enterprise can do things that businesspeople wouldn’t have thought possible in the not-so-distant past. Much of this can be attributed to the proliferation of data that we now have available, in addition to a massive expansion in processing power and the development of many new business tools. With companies relying on servers rather than mainframes, individuals and teams also have much better access to relevant, useful data when they need it. Innovators are sure to continue improving our technological capabilities in the future, as well, so there’s no telling what sort of resources will be available 10 or 20 years from now. Just consider where we’ve been, and how far we’ve come.

A Constantly Evolving Market

Business intelligence is one of the most vibrant and ever-changing markets in the software industry, thanks to the work of pioneering software developers at a variety of burgeoning technology companies. New products can be seen on television ads and in a variety of reputable publications. While business intelligence may have once been the realm of IT professionals at massive corporations, it is now considered a legitimate tool for businesses of all sizes. Today’s business intelligence solutions don’t only appeal to information technology experts, but also to business leaders at all levels, including Chief Executive Officers for major corporations, as well as small business owners.

Business Intelligence From the ‘90s to Now

Business reporting was quite primitive before 1990, at least compared to the tools we now have available. Companies relied on very basic programming languages for their reporting and there weren’t really any technology tools designed specifically for business intelligence purposes. After 1990, however, we began to see software developers working on more BI-specific tools. Data warehousing became possible after 1990, and by 1995 there were even some platforms explicitly designed for business intelligence. By the turn of the century, there was a range of business intelligence applications that were developed specifically for the purpose of tracking and managing performance levels. By 2007, we began seeing companies such as IBM, Oracle and SAP Software Solutions introducing their own applications to the consumer market. Just a few years later, drive processes for analytics were being developed and fine-tuned. Now, businesses have access to some of the most cutting-edge tools ever to manage their business performance and make more strategic marketing and operational decisions. Business intelligence consultants are also available to help businesses make the most of these resources.

Where We’re Going Next

With so much growth and development in the global business intelligence industry over the last two decades, it may seem like there’s nowhere else to go. So many new tools, methods and products have been introduced that you may assume the growth in this software market must inevitably slow down. This isn’t necessarily true, though. More segments of the business intelligence market are likely to consolidate, and super-powered software companies will continue enabling innovative engineers to develop new tools, products and methods. Cloud technology is still in its infancy, so there’s no telling what sorts of advancements will be made on this frontier. Businesspeople and information technology experts have also been calling for improvements to the methods for accessing and evaluating data in the forms of clickstream information, documents, emails and web pages. The data we have available continues to grow, and soon enough we will require new tools for managing all this content. There’s truly no telling what business intelligence solutions we will have at our fingertips in the world of tomorrow, especially considering just how far we’ve come.