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From the Candle to the Lightbulb

The BI space is growing rapidly, and many industry experts are expecting disruptive analytics tools to redefine the way business users consume data. Was the lightbulb invented by building a better candle? Does the future of data consumption lie in a better version of Power BI? Quaeris is a truly disruptive solution: it’s BI 4.0. 

Revolution, not evolution

Oren Harari said the light bulb did not come about by doing incremental improvements to a candle. To invent the light bulb, Thomas Edison had to test countless new ideas. In the same light, existing BI tools are only incremental improvements over what Yorgen Edholm created in 1990 and Christopher Ahlberg mastered in 1995. Since then, BI companies have only made incremental improvements to the fundamental idea of a dashboard – everybody has been trying to make a faster horse. 


It was in July 2012, almost ten years ago, that Simon Gratton wrote the seminal article on BI 3.0. It’s not often the BI space hosts predictions this accurate. Simon’s suggestions around having a solid big data foundation that along with BI drives social empowerment and business outcomes are still very much on the money. Simon’s vision for a light bulb moment is not going to be achieved by BI still in the candle and gas-light mindset. We need something fresh: 

See how electric Quaeris is in action

BI 4.0 

Picking up from where Simon left off on BI 3.0, I am: 

  1. Taking a shot at what Simon expected to happen in BI 3.0 in 2012 versus what the reality is in 2021 
  2. Attempting to quantify and qualify the vague concept of BI 4.0 - drawing a line in the sand, so to speak


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Also, an interesting read on BI 4.0 is from Jesus Rodrigues, from his story in Medium in 2016.


In essence, BI 4.0 is catered to the following three business stakeholders and their needs: 

  • Business users: We do not want to be limited in our view of the data – give us the data and we will make our inference.  
  • IT: We are data custodians; we own and control it. You cannot blame us for everything that is wrong with the data when we have no control over what goes into the dashboards. 
  • BI analysts: We cannot keep wasting almost half of our time answering the same questions repeatedly. We want to write models, predict, and prescript. 

Quaeris is the true BI 4.0 solution in the making.