The first comprehensive business intelligence systems were developed by IBM and Siebel in the period between 1970 and 1990. Concurrently, there were small developer teams that had established themselves with inventive concepts, which resulted in the development of a variety of products, many of which remain in use today.
The year 1988 was a great leap forward, as specialists and vendors organized a multiway data analysis consortium in Rome, where they considered options that would allow for data management and analytics to be carried out more efficiently, resulting in the products primarily becoming available to smaller and financially restricted businesses.
By the year 2000, there were a multitude of professional reporting systems and analytic programs, some of which were owned by top performing software producers in the U.S. Business intelligence software producers became interested in producing universally applicable BI systems which don’t require expensive installation, and could hence be considered by smaller and midmarket businesses which could not afford on premise maintenance. These aspirations emerged in parallel with the cloud hosting trend, which is how most vendors came to develop independent systems with unrestricted access to information.
From 2006 onwards, the positive effects of cloud-stored information and data management transformed itself to a completely mobile centered one, mostly to the benefit of decentralized and remote teams looking to tweak data or gain full visibility over it out of office. As a response to the large success of fully optimized uni-browser versions, vendors have recently begun releasing mobile-specific product applications for both Android and iOS users. Cloud-hosted data analytics made it possible for companies to categorize and process large volumes of data, which is how we can currently speak of unlimited visualization, and intelligent decision making.
This has dramatically affected the role of business finance, and in particular, the role of the CFO, which has rapidly evolved with the rise of the digital enterprise. Traditionally, the financial function was charged with protecting enterprise assets by maintaining accurate books and guarding against financial risk. Now, that role has expanded to include providing insight and direction for decision-making across the company’s functional and market-facing areas, as well as becoming an increasingly key player in shaping corporate strategy.