Analytics seems to be like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—hugely valuable but generally difficult (or impossible) to reach. It was always too hard, too slow, too expensive and too technical to be used on a widespread basis.
Then things started to change. The rise of APIs meant that getting data into and out of core solutions became easier. The advent of cloud computing meant that standing up infrastructure on a short-term basis was easier, and a bunch of new approaches helped to make things far easier. One of the biggest proponents of this new way of driving analytics out to the business users is SAP, who is pushing hard for its HANA in-memory analytics service.