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BI 2019: Explainable AI, natural language to humanize your data, etc.

Tableau, the business intelligence software and services company, which has a mission “to help people see and understand data” in November 2018 published a report on Business Intelligence Trends in 2019. They interviewed experts in the industry – including engineers, product managers and data visualisation specialists in the field – to compile the top 10 business intelligence trends for 2019 which were:

  1. There will be a rise of explainable AI
    • As organizations rely more on artificial intelligence and machine learning models, how can they ensure they’re trustworthy?
    • Tableau concludes that “Ultimately, companies have embraced the value of artificial intelligence and machine learning. But to make a disruptive impact in organizations, AI has to be trusted. It must justify its conclusions in an intelligible fashion, as simply as possible, and dynamically answer follow-up questions—all to help humans better understand their data.”
  2. Natural language will humanize your data
    • Advancements in NLP systems enable all people to have natural conversations with data
    • Tableau concludes that “As natural language matures across the BI industry, it will break down barriers to analytics adoption across organizations and further embed data into the core of workplace culture.”
  3. Actionable analytics will put your data in context
    • BI platforms evolve to put data where people want to take action as analytics moves out of the silo into the workflow
    • Tableau concludes that “The convergence of analytics and action will shorten the time and effort between insight and decision-making. It will also make data more widely available within business workflows, encouraging more people to incorporate data into everyday decisions.”
  4. Data collaboratives will amplify social good impact
    • There will be. “Focused efforts from public and private-sector organizations strengthen 'data for good' movement”
    • Tableau believes that “Advancements in technology, increased data literacy, and a focus on collaboration are creating an opportune environment to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems.”
  5. Codes of ethics will catch up to data
    • Data ethics are designed to act as speed bumps in our work so we understand how to face dilemmas both personally and professionally.
    • Tableau believes that “As more people become data workers, data ethics will be a core part of data literacy efforts, affecting how people approach data in both personal and professional contexts.”
  6. Data management will converge with modern BI platforms
    • Data curation is the process of identifying which data sources are needed, putting that data in the context of the business so that business users can interact with it, understand it, and use it to create their analysis.
    • Tableau believes that “Ultimately, advancements in data curation will enable the workforce to move beyond just asking questions of their data during analysis, toward asking questions of their business.”
  7. Data storytelling is the new language of corporations
    • Tableau found that “Data storytelling will continue to permeate workplace culture as more organizations create work streams and teams focused on analytical collaboration.”
  8. Enterprises will get smarter about analytics adoption
    • Josh Parenteau, Market Intelligence Director, Tableau believes that “We need to rethink how we actually measure the benefit of BI. It’s not just about who has access. It should be about how people are actually using analytics to inform their decision-making processes.”
  9. Data democracy will elevate the data scientist
    • Tableau found that today, data scientists are expected to have advanced statistical and machine learning knowledge, but they are also expected to have a strategic mind for the business, including a deep knowledge of their industry. "Data science is more than just number crunching: it is the application of various skills to solve particular problems in an industry," explains Dr N. R. Srinivasa Raghavan, Chief Global Data Scientist at Infosys. "Data Scientists need to have a thorough understanding of the domains in which their insights will be applied."
  10. Data is moving to the cloud faster than ever, driving organizations to rethink their data strategy
    • Tableau found that “Although not all companies are prepared to move all of their data to the cloud, many are experimenting with hybrid solutions to take advantage of diverse data sources. As a result, companies are assessing modern BI platforms on the premise of whether or not they can support a future transition to full-cloud analytics.”

CTMfile take: This report reads like a Tableau wish list as to what should happen in business intelligence. However, it is no worse for that as it is a really useful guide as to how corporates can get real benefits from all the - mostly un-used - data they have around the group.


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