Moving to the cloud.
Storing data and software in the cloud - essentially a series of large servers shared by a multitude of users - is increasingly popular increased convenience and cost-effectiveness. Instead of hosting and maintaining a server and associated software on-site, a Software as a Service (SaaS) vendor does it for you.
Just as everyone is looking up to the cloud, they're increasingly doing so via a mobile device. Consequently, BI software vendors are emphasizing "on-the-go" access. With more and more people outside the IT department needing to access these tools, there is a parallel need to optimize ease-of-use and intuitive operation.
Open-source vs. commercial.
You may be tempted to go the open-source route because the code is free. But, BI software could be virtually running your business and BI data could be valuable enough to warrant the kind of security found in closed-code commercial BI packages. Ask your IT team if they feel comfortable supporting an open-source package. Don't have any IT staff or do you have limited resources? Then the answer is probably to look for a commercial service rather than open-source software.
Improved usability for the non-geek.
Initially, BI tools were for programmers and similar technical specialists. But, just as most people don't need to know how to build and program a computer to use it, businesses want tools with low implementation costs that all the necessary employees can easily use and understand. Look for BI software vendors that emphasize their interactive visualization capabilities. The automation of data analysis and visualization has made it easier to access and manage data. While there is a counterargument that increased ease-of-use comes at the expense of more complex analyses, there's little point in having a tool no one fully understands without expert guidance, sorting and decoding.
Everything is bigger.
You'll hear the term "big data" a lot because there is a lot of it and more of it every day, thanks in large part to the Internet. And as the amount of data available becomes larger and larger, it becomes all that more difficult to sort through and make sense of what you're looking at.
The ability to analyze large data sets is a competitive advantage. It will make waves of growth in productivity, innovation, and abundant production possible. The rise of big data will challenge the capabilities of all leaders, not just information officers. The exploding volume of data collected by organizations, combined with the rise of multimedia and social media, will generate enormous troves of data that we will be learning from for decades. The challenge to business intelligence software vendors is to continually improve their capabilities to bring "big data" down to a manageable size.