Top 10 Business Intelligence Trends 2018

Trends in Business Intelligence (BI) will pivot in 2018 from record-to-report to a focus in agile analytics.  Agile analytics involves principles and practices that streamline the ability to move fast and smoothly through a project by assessing core traits of key pieces like management, collaboration, documentation, change, or other specified needs of the organization.  In 2018, digital marketers and entrepreneurs will see an increase of BI capturing these key insights for an almost immediate resolve and transformation of their business and online presence, bringing your website into focus.

How will your marketing strategy set you apart?

Most business owners know the message they want to transmit as well as the mission and brand to display, but they are lacking thought into the “why.”  Why is this message important to my viewers, readers, and users?  Why is this design or display appropriate for my audience?  So how can you figure out the answer to these questions?  How do you know what your audience wants and how you can meet their expectations while serving your purpose?  The answer: analytics review and early planning.  So get started!  Here are the top 10 indispensable intelligence practices for your organization to be up to par with the latest trends for growth and success in 2018.

1. Data Analytics

Predictive, descriptive, and prescriptive analytics are necessary to complete the full business analytics process.  Using methods aligned with each analytic includes business policy extraction, computational procedural methods, machine learning techniques, and key algorithms.

Descriptive – summary of what’s happened.

Prescriptive – what will happen and why it will happen?

Predictive – what will we do?

Web Analytics create framework for retrieving and evaluating the information, from website content to user engagement, and lead to stronger digital intelligence and strategic website tactics. Every data set extracted contains characteristics for measurement. Blend your strategy across prescriptive and predictive analytics to find the best approach.  Bringing together forecasts (predictive) with optimizations (prescriptive) lets your business get to the heart of the task of adding business value, making decisions that drive action and influence the future outcomes. For example, conducting A/B testing and implementation of changes to increase traffic or conversion rate, measured improvements speak. 

2. Actionable Insights

Actionable insight is the result of data-driven analytics.  Comprehensive digital strategy yields results that are either predictive or postscriptive.  Data is transformed into a “story.”  This “story” determines what questions need answered, what has the ability for measurement, and/or how to make business decisions in a faster more precise manor.  Performance metrics indicate positive outcomes of measurement and point toward a more agile and productive team. Underperformance of products or services can easily be identified and website services can be adjusted toward visitor expectations, user experiences and pushed toward further digital success. These tools provide insight into market patterns in order to determine a proper course of action for the next business step.

3. Cloud Analytics

Website applications are moving towards the cloud, along with your data.  Cloud based analytics and BI platforms are gaining traction on the cloud along with applications and sensitive data.  A primary business motivation for choosing cloud options cite time-to-delivery of analytics and BI as the primary decision drivers. According to the “Analytics in the Cloud” report by Enterprise Management Associates, financial drivers behind the move are credited to reduced administrative cost, increased customer experience, infrastructure cost, reduced implementation costs and minimized hardware. Business processes and strategies are adopting insights that align with a successful move to cloud analytics.

4. Digital Security

Infrastructure is a big determinant of a website and a businesses’ success as trends in cybersecurity fears hover around 2018 cloud security.  The cloud is often a target for cyberattacks.  To counteract this, create an internal document that outlines cloud deployment decision criteria. You should differentiate what information you want to keep private or public, and what needs to totally avoid uploading to the cloud. Map out the areas of concern within security, availability, integration, and causes of threat.  How often should monitoring happen?  What are the access levels that need to be determined? 

5. Digitization Strategy

Digital transformation occurs when the audience experiences the core of their business through digital capacities.  As a structured approach to business models, sales, website marketing, IT, and similar entities, digital strategy walks the business owner through choosing which technologies to invest in and where those investments must go, all the while maintaining budget adherence and high-margin business outcomes.  Digital agenda and strategy will be at the forefront of web development and marketing early in the year.

6. Data Visualization and Near Real-Time Data Display

Streaming analytics and streaming data feeds are presented in visually appealing pages that modernize in near real time. Simple and sophisticated graphs, charts, and figures are displayed to allow the audience to interpret the data easily.  Agile analytics allows this display to cross internal and external business classifications.  We’ve seen these types of displays on inter-web company portals, performance indicators, networks, really any type of infographic.

Software tools to improve data visualization include:

·                     Tableau Software – a company that produces interactive data visualization products focused on business intelligence. The product queries relational databases, OLAP cubes, cloud databases, and spreadsheets and then generates a number of graph types.

·                     Chartblocks – online chart-building tool that helps businesses to pick the correct part of their data for use in a chart and will guide them through the whole import process.

·                     GanttPro – a free online Gantt chart software for project management. The online software lets businesses build comprehensive project plans, and allows team members to effectively collaborate on projects, set accurate estimates, and track project progress.

·                     Google Data Studio – a new-breed of data visualization and reporting tools that take data-driven decision making to a much higher level. Data Studio lets businesses connect all its marketing data and turn that data into reports that are easy to understand

7. Data Quality Management

As information infrastructures become more sophisticated and data volume continues to expand, Data Quality Management (DQM) has become a crucial business discipline that requires guidelines, processes, and technologies to preserve enterprise information.  Quality data is crucial to decision-making and planning. By ensuring that quality data is stored in your data warehouse or business intelligence application, you also ensure the quality of information for dependent applications and analytics.

Phases in the data quality life cycle include:

·                     Quality Monitoringthe process of examining your data over time and alerting you when the data violates your business rules.

·                     Data Profiling– the process of uncovering data anomalies, inconsistencies, and redundancies within the data. This forms the basis for data monitoring.

·                     Quality Assessmentthe process of loading the source data and use data profiling to assess its quality.

·                     Quality Designthe process of designing quality processes. For example, specify the legal relationships between data objects using data rules, or correct and augment your data.

·                     Quality Transformationthe process of running the correction mappings used to correct the source data.

8. Visual Design Standards

Web design is so poignant that things considered fresh and modern a couple of years ago probably seem antiquated now; every designer needs to stay up-to-date with the latest news and solutions. Therefore, it’s very important to monitor the changes that occur. Some examples:

·                     The Patterns, Lines and Circles; and Geometric Shapes trend appeared in 2016, gained popularity in 2017, and will continue to develop in 2018. Flat and material designs are to combine with decorative elements and simple shapes.

·                     Bright Colors transition is amongst the actual and contemporary trends in modern design amongst logos, buttons, and other elements have a new style. This is the 2017 trend that it will continue to into 2018.

·                     The Unique Pictures and Graphics design theme has captured business and this trend will continue to develop and will continue to be in use in 2018. Avoid stock photos and switch your attention to original and unique graphic images. The individuality will certainly highlight your exclusivity and expertise.

·                     Animation is everywhere and offers a smooth visual pleasure is as a popular way to add some drama and movement to pages—all the way into 2018.

9. Artificial Intelligence

In 2018, the potential contribution of artificial intelligence to content creation will be huge. With tools like generation analytics and predictive analytics, AI will be taking over a larger portion of the creation process and even generating content. The benefits of AI content marketing are vast, as it will help with research, outcome tracking, and micro targeting. Here’s how:

·                     Machine-Mediated Customer Conversations. As businesses strive to deliver relevant content in order to build a more solid bridge with consumers, AI has made communications even more customer-centric. In 2018, businesses are looking past the chatbox and voice/text communications, into possibilities of creating multi-sensory communication (e.g., sight, sound, touch, gestures, and a person’s gaze).

·                     A Personalized Customer Journey. In 2018, instead of offering personalization techniques in bits and pieces (i.e., push notifications, email messaging, and content recommendations), AI will be able to build upon learned data about an individual. This means not only can an interaction or campaign be personalized, but also the actual customer journey tailored to the individual.

10. Hadoop

Hadoop is an open-source software framework that provides massive storage for any kind of data, has enormous processing power, and has the ability to handle virtually limitless concurrent tasks or jobs. The promise of low-cost, high-availability storage and processing power has drawn businesses to Hadoop. Using new techniques to go beyond searching of webpages and returning relevant results, popular uses of Hadoop for 2018 include:

·                     Sandbox for Discovery and Analysis. Big data analytics can help your organization operate more efficiently, uncover new opportunities, and derive next-level competitive advantage. The sandbox approach provides an opportunity to innovate with minimal investment.

·                     Low-Cost Storage and Data Archive.  The modest cost of commodity hardware makes Hadoop useful for storing and combining data such as transactional, social media, sensor, machine, scientific, click streams, etc.  The low-cost storage lets you keep information that is not deemed currently critical, but that you might want to analyze later.

·                     Complement Your Data Warehouse. The end goal for every organization is to have a right platform for storing and processing data of different schema, formats, etc. to support different use cases integrated at different levels. Hadoop is beginning to sit beside data warehouse environments.

·                     Internet of Things. Hadoop is often used as the data store for millions or billions of transactions. Things in the IoT need to know what to communicate and when to act. At the core of the IoT is a streaming, always on torrent of data. Massive storage and processing capabilities also allow Hadoop to discovery and define patterns to be monitored for prescriptive instruction.


Data has become the life force of businesses. It empowers business owners to gain access to broadly deployable, easy-to-use, and often cloud-based technologies for query, analysis, and reporting (including those that do not have advanced analytics skills or resources). The demand of these new BI tools is spreading to more businesses. These emerging data preparation capabilities let businesses self-access information, management, and data visualization, which in turn, allows them to prepare and integrate shareable data with colleagues and stakeholders.


Divergent Web Solutions in conjunction with Elite Research presents actionable insights for your online presence through marketing and analytics.  Be ahead of 2018, contact us today for a free consultation, and we’ll develop a customized quote tailored just for your unique needs and budget at

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