Fourteen (14) trends experienced an upward shift in importance from last year’s study including data storytelling, collaboration, predictive analytics and self-service BI, but at the top of the list remained data discovery/visualization which is helping businesses and organizations to more quickly identify and monitor major trends and outliers – a key to digital transformation.

Data discovery usage has been on a sharp rise over the past five years. BARC’s research from 2012 showed 40% of respondents using it then, compared with 58% in 2016. BARC predicts that almost 80% of the market will depend on their business intelligence tool to address data discovery/visualization within the next three to five years, as it becomes a crucial means for organizations to democratize data and analytics use across the organization.

Speaking of democratization of data and analytics, in a recent BHEF and Gallup Data Science and Analytics Business Survey, 59% of employers responding said data science and analytics skills would be required of all finance and accounting managers by 2020; 51% said these skills would be required by all marketing and sales managers; 49% said it would be required of all executive leaders, and 48% said it would be required of all operations managers.

To read more about why data discovery is considered the most important trend for business intelligence professionals in 2017, along with why it’s so crucial for quickly modifying current business models and discovering new ones to accelerate digital transformation, take a look at BARC’s 2017 survey results.