BI evolved to answer management questions on an adhoc basis. A report which we create on the fly allowed MIS team to provide valid / required data for decision makers. We used interactive reports and Dashboards to get the job done by using Drill down, graphs and KPI’s.
As technology is changing on a very fast pace, with better computational ability, there are more opportunities to process and present the data in a more meaning full way.
As NLP (Natural Language Process) is becoming very effective in recent times, idea of conversational BI is a reality in our enterprises. Mangers can ask a question in a voice form and fetch the required data through visual form or voice form.
By tagging dimensions and fact information to the right business lingo, its possible to create an association between business questionst to the right data sets and context. Development cycle for new reports and dashboards takes considerable amount of time to understand what decision maker is looking for. Once manager knows the answer through a report or a dashboard, then reuse of that report is very less as decision maker gained that knowledge. So, if you see the usage analysis on BI reports, the numbers really dont look very good.
As we have voice integration technologies like Siri, Alexa and Cortana, enterprises should modernize existing DW systems to enable the conversational BI. Once decision makers get a hang of it, then utilization of this technology will make an impact.
Once we understand the Roles of Decision makers, context of the Decision, Content required for Decision, map those to Dimensions and Metrics so NLP can take over. I am sure there will be lot of optimization we have to do to make sure we are giving the right data, but with the technology we have now, its very much possible to get the conversational BI going even in a small company.