Gartner: The era of the “analytical” personal assistant is upon us

Gartner, worldwide leader for research in Information Technology and consultancy, predicts that by 2016 as many as 70% of manufacturers and suppliers of Business Intelligence solutions will offer voice interaction capabilities in their mobile applications, introducing the era of the “analytical” Personal Assistant.

Garner observed that currently, compared to other sectors, the industry operators are lagging behind in offering these features; so far, they have in fact been focusing on adapting the interfaces of their applications to the new, touch-based OS mobile devices, for which the interfaces have been especially “tailor-made”. It is therefore expected that in the coming years there will be a sort of race in order to recover this gap, and to align the market with that of virtual personal assistance. “It’s the technological evolution itself which now requires a sustainable start in terms of voice-analysis development in this field,” said Douglas Laney, Gartner’s vice president.

Gartner forecasts coincide with the recent research published by Ovum according to which new generation mobile devices and broadband infrastructures will enable the sustainability of advanced BI features, without any problem also in the mobile context. In fact, according to Fredrik Tunvall, analyst at Ovum, “there is no doubt that the success of the iPad in the consumer market has also affected the vendors’ go-to-market strategies. However, in order to reach a wider audience, you should also consider developments that allow support of native applications for other operating systems, such as Android and Windows, which are expected to be increasingly used by businesses, particularly in emerging markets.”

An important piece of data that emerges from the Gartner research shows that by 2015, about a third of BI analysis projects could begin to deliver results based on unstructured data, evolving from the current BI that, at the moment, manages primary analysis only on structured data. The analytic management of unstructured data will have a strong response from businesses and in fact, as argued by Rita Sallam, analyst at Gartner, “the correlation, analysis, presentation, and the incorporation of structured and unstructured information will enable organizations to obtain the best analytical findings and consequently to outline business strategies to personalize the Customer Experience, taking advantage of new opportunities for growth and differentiation”.

The trend that is emerging is the following: as companies are increasingly adopting mobile systems to manage their business, the manufacturers and suppliers of Business Intelligence solutions will have to begin to provide systems that include voice interaction and that will be able to process unstructured business data.

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