One of the trends shaping report designer development in 2014 will be data discovery. It's the logical next step of ad hoc reporting, as it blends the engagement of business users in creating and using reports with the actionable strategy of finding patterns and insights in data. As developers create dynamic reporting tools for interoperable end users, data discovery should be a top priority guiding the design of any tool or program. It projects to be highly advantageous for enterprises, as it can mix the thorough and company-focused perspective of business intelligence tools with the computational power of analytics.

Gartner recently reported about the transition of business intelligence to ad hoc data discovery. It's a transformation that report designers will have to emulate and adopt to some extent in order to remain highly competitive in rapid big data environments. Business intelligence and analytics will continue to be top investment priorities for CIOs through at least 2017 across all disciplines. However, the explosion of real-time information gathering and rapid insight turnaround will put the pressure on regular business users to be independent, ad hoc reporters.

"Major changes are imminent to the world of BI and analytics including the dominance of data discovery techniques, wider use of real-time streaming event data and the eventual acceleration in BI and analytics spending when big data finally matures," stated Roy Schulte, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst. "As the cost of acquiring, storing and managing data continues to fall, companies are finding it practical to apply BI and analytics in a far wider range of situations."

Actionable report designers
According to Gartner, information generated from a a variety of smart machines and applications will increasingly flood databases and provide fodder for ad hoc reporting tools to take action in a variety of ways. Further integration of ad hoc reporting tools with the management of these devices and programs can streamline the process of adapting report findings for immediate implementation.

Additionally, according to SiliconANGLE, the integration of report designers with mobile apps allows for a greater variety of data discovery. Putting the best versions of tools in the hands of employees at all times will lead to the kinds of real-time decision making that can spur business growth, so it's important to optimize mobile reporting programs for analysis. As organizational communications grow more nuanced, with a deeper pool of regular end users contributing to meaningful information exploration, it will open further possibilities for developers to build even more complex, valuable report designers.