Frankly, it’s become a cliché anytime a software vendor proclaims that the technology industry is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. If you’ve ever worked in a Sales or Marketing function, odds are high you’ve used the word “revolutionary” once or twice (*guilty*). But anyone who follows BI news closely must admit that, at least in our industry, a real change is occurring.

Evidence of this change has been mounting in recent years, with the emergence of data discovery tools aimed at business users frustrated with long wait times and lack of access to data. This has resulted in declining market share for the legacy enterprise BI vendors, who dominated the industry throughout much of the late 90’s and 2000’s but have failed to keep up with growing business requirements for ease of use, speed and agility.

These legacy vendors are being marginalized in their own installed base. Industry studies show that customers of these platforms, despite having a broad range of BI capabilities, are using them mostly for production reporting. It’s no surprise then, to hear analysts estimate that more than half of net new purchasing is data-discovery driven.

Unfortunately, the proliferation of data discovery tools has brought with it significant problems for organizations. These data discovery solutions lack the enterprise features that centralized BI teams need to ensure governance, administration and scalability. The more decentralized teams adopt these tools inside an organization, the greater the risk of analytical silos and reporting chaos, with people arguing about who has the right numbers instead of having meaningful business conversations.

The challenge facing IT and LOB leaders today is this: how to satisfy business users’ growing demand for discovery capabilities and less restricted access to data while still ensuring governance? This is the great opportunity in the BI and analytics market today: the ability to close the gap between centralized BI teams supporting enterprise requirements and user-led decentralized teams looking for greater autonomy.

According to Gartner, ensuring success with BI and analytics today “requires a centralized team working in collaboration with a finite number of decentralized teams. IT leaders should create a 2-tier organizational model where the business intelligence competency center collaborates with decentralized teams.”

At Birst we believe we’re well positioned to address this unmet need in the BI and analytics space. Our patented 2-tier BI analytics technology plugs into centrally managed data sources – data warehouses, data lakes, ERP systems, on-prem and cloud business applications – and then seamlessly unifies this with data generated by decentralized teams throughout the organization. Birst then automatically refines this data and prepares it for analysis by overlaying a consistent set of business rules and definitions – a common, reusable semantic layer, to use BI terms – to deliver a single version of the truth.

Birst’s approach empowers business users with the agility and autonomy they demand while giving IT leaders the governance mechanisms to deliver a complete and consistent view of the business. This is a unique approach in the BI space.

I guess you could even call it… revolutionary.

Click here to read more analyst insight about the changing landscape of the BI and analytics market.