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Sponsor content by AT&T Business

Future of Business Intelligence

Businesses dictate how well we live. They help us get the best of evolving technology, and serve us in order to give us more time to spend doing things we love. The more intelligent our businesses are, the better our lives are. Business intelligence—the practice of drawing insights from data to inform strategy and improve operational efficiency—directs companies’ decision making so that they embrace innovation and enable human progress.

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Future of Business Intelligence

What Happens Next

Data will become the currency of business intelligence by informing the operations of companies across industries. Advances in edge-to-edge computing will allow firms to deploy algorithms in real-time and put intelligence to work immediately. As AI becomes an integral part of the way we live, work, and consume, it will create exponentially more data and will play an even larger role in reshaping how businesses uncover and act on insights.

Consumers should expect businesses to understand and serve them better than before. To do this well, businesses must have the right technology in place and possess the processing power to support networks that make every device feel like a supercomputer.  

In other words, to stay intelligent, the businesses of tomorrow need edge computing. That’s because it prioritizes the most important data by bringing it to the “edge” of the network, and then leverages the cloud for direct and immediate data processing. That kind of instantaneous output will be a must for any business that wishes to stay intelligent in the business landscape of tomorrow. And, with computing-heavy AI, businesses will need tools and processing power to act on vast stores of data.

Where We Thought We’d Be

Since the dawn of the digital age, the success of enterprise has been directly tied to the speed of communication and connectivity. The gaps in geography for businesses became smaller as the next billion—and the next—gained access to the internet. With competition reaching a global scale, the spotlight turned to business intelligence as a means of helping companies interpret and act on data to navigate the opportunities and challenges of the digital age. While we may not have businesses that can teleport products to us on a moment’s notice, businesses have become smarter about understanding our desires and personalizing their products based on data. Consumers have access to personalized experiences that result from more intelligent marketing, and things like tailored offers, custom interfaces, and content recommendations are the norm.

  • 1989

    Business intelligence, redefined.

    Originally coined in 1958, the definition of this umbrella term is expanded in the late eighties to describe “concepts and methods to improve business decision making by using fact-based support systems.”

  • Early 1990s

    Businesses leverage the internet boom.

    US companies turn their attention and dollars to information processing and communications. These investments make up the greatest portion of corporate capital investment.

  • 1999

    The Internet of Things is born.

    A tech pioneer coins the phrase “Internet of Things” to describe the network connecting physical objects to the world of the Internet. The next year, the first "digital refrigerator" is launched, kicking off a wave of connected objects for consumer use.

  • 2005

    The first billion internet users come online.

    The number of internet users skyrockets past 1 billion in 2005. This growth has profound implications across sectors of business, technology, commerce, finance, and more.

  • 2008

    Cloud computing ascends.

    Declared "the biggest innovation in computing in the last decade," cloud-computing facilities and sensor technology are named important developments in the big data revolution.

  • 2011

    The world's data volume hits 1.8 zettabytes.

    A cloud computing company finds that there is enough data in the world to fill up 57.5 billion 32GB tablet devices—forcing companies to rethink the way they analyze and extract value from the information they collect.

  • 2012

    E-commerce sales top $1 trillion worldwide.

    This online shopping boom gives retailers unprecedented access to data about customer habits, and allows companies to offer more customized services.

  • 2018

    The arrival of 5G heralds an era of increased connectivity.

    AT&T announces plans to provide 5G services in several major metro areas by late 2018. Faster and more reliable connectivity will enhance customer experiences and allow businesses to analyze data faster than ever before.