As a precursor to its upcoming conferences in the US and Australia on actionable analytics, Gartner has just published a new research report that identifies three trends that will push users towards analytics adoption in the medium term.

Analytics Adoption Drive

The report, "Actionable Analytics Will Be Driven by Mobile, Social and Big Data Forces in 2013 and Beyond," predicts major changes in the workplace that will see more and more users taking to analytics over the medium term.

It also identifies the three emerging technology spaces of social, mobile and big data as the big drivers for analytics adoption in the enterprise over the coming years, as more enterprises struggle to manage the data created by this terrible threesome.

It seems that despite all the talk around the use of analytics and all the good things vendors are promising, only 30 percent of the potential users in enterprises are using analytics tools, despite the fact that those tools are largely being sponsored by CIOs.

However, the report also notes an interesting trend that should be of considerable interest to vendors -- as enterprises invest in software that make analytics tools invisible, more and more users are turning to them. In fact, there is a lot to be said for this theory surrounding many other technologies we talk about on a daily basis. If users don’t have to think about using the tools themselves, they are more likely to use them.

Analytics, Business Users

In this respect, we are talking about business users rather than IT users.

In the face of accelerating business processes and a myriad of distractions, real-time operational intelligence systems are moving from "nice to have" to "must have for survival." The more pervasively analytics can be deployed to business users, customers and consumers, the greater the impact will be in real time on business activities, competitiveness, innovation and productivity,” said Rita Sallam, research VP and report author at Gartner.

The challenge then -- or at least another challenge on top of all the other challenges facing business intelligence and analytics professionals -- is to encourage adoption by users. There are three ways of doing this:

1. BI transparency

To make analytics more transparent, business intelligence and analytics professionals should develop easy-to-use, natural language interfaces, enabling easy exploration of data through embedded analytic applications.